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50 YEARS OF LES ARCS: Robert Blanc, founder of the resort (1933-1980)

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A GUIDE TO THE SLOPES: Where to Ski and Snowboard

The new edition of Where to Ski and Snowboard is now out.  It has a winning format - latest news and analysis, followed byextensive guides to the main resorts and pen pics of hundreds of smaller ski areas.

Looking at the main chapters, there's an informal system of promotion and relegation in terms of who is and is not included.  For example, Alpbach was relegated from the 2014 edition, but is back now.

Over the years, Valmorel has yo-yoed from having a seat in the main section to being in the back of the book.  It's back with a chapter of its own this year, although the authors suggest that the ski area is "lagging some way behind - and it is never going to compete with its illustrious neighbours in the next-door Three Valleys."

You can ski over from Valmorel to St Francois-Longchamp in the Maurienne valley, and the Maurienne will be delighted that it now has a chapter of its own in this new 2016 edition.

This includes details of the Eski-mo ski pass, covering the five resorts east of Modane, as well as short summaries of the following ski areas:

  • Les Sybelles
  • Valloire
  • Valmeinier
  • Les Karellis
  • Albiez
  • Valfrejust
  • Aussois
  • La Norma
  • Bonneval-sur-Arc

These resorts are little-known to British skiers.  And they provide much cheaper options than the mega resorts on the other side of the hill.

I've never got beyond St Francois in winter, but the summer drive up the valley motorway is a more dramatic one scenery-wise than the RN90 to Bourg-St-Maurice.  And the skiing gets good reports - see for example this piece from Peter Hardy in the Telegraph a few years ago.

Surely some mistake:The new edition of the book gives
Les Arcs a measly 2 stars for Alpine Charm....

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