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Les Arcs - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Skiing in Les Arcs
Les Arcs - Ski Resort in Paradiski, French Alps - 200km of Piste (1200m to 3230m)
There are four 'Arcs', at 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000 metres. Les Arcs pioneered the Ski Evolutif tuition method, slope-side accommodation, speed skiing and 'nouveau' winter sports.
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Les Arcs Ski Facts
|19||Black Pistes (43km)|
|32||Red Pistes (62km)|
|15km||Cross Country Pistes|
The French ski resort of Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski area with access to 425km of downhill skiing, with 475 individual pistes, served by 141 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Les Arcs itself (200km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Paradiski ski resorts of La Plagne, Montchavin-Les Coches and Peisey-Vallandry.
The ski resort itself is above 1500m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- Les Arcs is able to augment natural snow, on 22km of ski runs, with 143 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 77 Ski Lifts of Les Arcs are able to uplift 86,000 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There is an airport within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Les Arcs are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Les Arcs
Les Arcs ski area is one of the world's largest with one of the biggest verticals and has an excellent variety of terrain. Although the vertical between the top of the Aiguille Rouge and the bottom of Les Arc's own skiing is broken by the need for a lift ascent half way down, it is possible to make a spectacular descent of over 2000m from the same point to the neighbouring village of Villaroger, the lowest point on the circuit at 1200m. The ski area takes in glacier skiing, wooded slopes and above tree-line bowls - in short pretty well all imaginable conditions.
The terrain will suit all levels of skier with Arc 1600 based in thickly wooded terrain, surrounded by largely gentle trails through the trees, and both 1800 and 2000 located at the treeline with wide open sunny slopes above. All of the centres have gently sloping meadows directly beside them for the first few runs. Intermediates, as with all 'super ski areas' can perhaps get the maximum enjoyment of all, being able to tackle most of the slopes. Most will even cope with the red down from the imposing Aiguille Rouge, the highest point of the ski area where the cable car broadcasts a recorded announcement (one you're ascending) advising that the terrain is not safe for inexperienced skiers.
Much of the terrain is long fast motorway cruising, although there is more variety than at many comparable resorts. Experts have plenty to keep them happy including extensive off-piste terrain. The legendary 7km (4.5) mile long black from the top of the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger is one of the world's longest and covers the world's biggest vertical for a run of this grading, a full 2000 metres.
Plenty other challenges including mogul runs like the Dou d'Homme. The increasingly frequented off-piste route from La Plagne to Les Arcs is a great excursion returning via the Nancroix forest.
The Vanoise Express cable car, which departs from Peisey Vallandry, takes 200 people at a time (120 on the lower deck, 80 on the upper one) over to La Plagne and the joint Paradiski area in just four minutes.
For cross-country skiers there are three 5km long loops, one by each resort.
Snowboarding in Les Arcs
Les Arcs claims to be the home of snowboarding and certainly some people were sliding around on the slopes here on something very similar to a snowboard a few years before Jake Burton hit the headlines in the early '80s. Some of the famous 'Apocolypse Snow' movies that first popularised the sport were initiated here.
The resort is very 'boarder friendly with a combination of value accommodation, great terrain for all styles and abilities and as many chairs and gondolas as surface lifts (rare for a French resort). The terrain park Appacalypse above Arc 1600, which is also open to skiers, has a wide variety of features including diverse humps and mounds which making it an attractive and interesting site where everyone can find something to suit their taste and level. There are also tables, hips, a funbox, a pyramid, big and small gaps.
Les Arcs Aprés Ski
Les Arcs mirrors most of the French purpose built ski centres in not having a particularly strong après ski reputation. For the livliest nightlife Arc 1800 is the place to be, with one of the resort's night clubs - the Apocolypse, otherwise there are a selection of bars - some of them lively. Impromptu appartment parties are quite common amongst the financially challenged.
The hotel du Golf has a piano bar and the most sophisticated end of the 1800 market. The cinemas in the resort show English language films several times a week.
At Arc 2000 there's another night club, KL92 but the Red Rock Cafe is perhaps more the focus of evening activities, serving a good choice of cocktails and with live music often performed.
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Les Arcs in brief
Les Arcs Ski Resort is:
Excellent for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Very good for Beginners.
Excellent for Snowboarding.
Opened : December 15, 2012
Closed : April 27, 2013
Opening Subject To Snow Conditions.
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