Bourg St M Town Hall, Dec 2017. Has "Architecture of XX Century" status, alongside cinema & Arc 2000 cable car station. Click on photo for more

Thursday, 29 December 2016


It's now the 3rd disappointing start to the ski season in a row. This week sees:

Cyclists can get their bikes out of the garage and
have a go at the Col de la Colombiere. Le Dauphiné says the
locals have seen nothing like it since the 1960s

Against this backdrop, things are looking quite good in Les Arcs.  Val d'Isere & Tignes are also skiing well, as are the Haute Maurienne resorts.

The November snowfalls were basically big enough to enable the pisteurs to protect the pistes above 2000m, while snowmaking has meant that you can still ski down to all the resorts.  

The upshot is that:
  • Conditions in Arc 2000 are pretty good, while some of the slopes on the Peisey/1800/1600 side (such as Reches and Renard) are in decent shape.  No skiing below Bois de l'Ours, which is near-unprecedented
  • You can ski over at La Plagne, where again the pistes in the main bowl above Plagne Centre/Bellecote are mostly open and skiing well.  All Les Arcs ski passes for 3 days or more now include a day in La Plagne so this excursion is well worth considering...
  • ...provided you can confidently ski red runs.  The slopes in La Plagne are busier and more crowded, with skiers of varying abilities jostling for position.  And the run down to the Vanoise Express is icy and downright dangerous at the end of the day

Snow is on the horizon for next week, but it's not clear yet whether it will provide much by way of respite.

Arc 1800/1600 snowpark is up and running, 26 Dec

Arc 1800 front de neige, 24 Dec

Mont Blanc from Aiguille Rouge, 24 Dec

Panic on the slopes of La Plagne, 27 Dec

Thursday, 22 December 2016


A resort worth watching this season is La Grave.

For years it has been known as an epic off-piste destination - the complete opposite of its neighbours Les 2 Alpes, Alpe d'Huez and the ski factories further north.

It's just received recognition from National Geographic, who have placed it among its Top Seven resorts.  There are any number of YouTube videos where you can inspect the skiing from your armchair: here is an example to give you a flavour.

But its future is now in question: the ancient gondola lift is now in need of renovation - and the contract to run the set-up is now up for grabs.

Many fear this will lead to a takeover by one of the big lift companies, such as Compagnie des Alpes, heralding the end of its cherished status as THE unspoilt place to go.

A campaign has been launched.  Although their bid to be on the list of bidders invited to put in a tender has failed, their mission to protect La Grave continues.  Follow Signal La Grave on Facebook and Twitter for more.