Started by Snowcrazy2005 in France - 280 Replies
As many of the lifts close tonight for the season, if we were to make one final trip down the Bellecote, today had to be the day. During the last week I have either been visiting other ski resorts or the weather has kept us away. Although yesterday was good, the icing on the cake is to go down the North Face of the Bellecote on a powder day.
We made it to the top of the Bellecote by just before 11am and due to the weather already starting to close in we headed straight over onto the North Face. We had fresh powder well above our knees at times until on the final ridge above the forest. Then the snow turned to spring conditions and although more difficult was still fun to ski. Finally we went through the forest and hit the path which was skiable again after the recent snowfalls.
By 12.30 we were sitting drinking a beer and having a snack at the bottom waiting for the bus. The weather was closing in, but we had made one final trip down the Bellecote in powder on the day the connecting lift closes. I am
In the afternoon we went up high again, but found the Gondola to the Roche de Mio and the Bellecote were now closed due to bad weather so we played around in the untracked powder fields of the Crozats Chair before heading down through the forest one last time towards Les Coches and finally the Vanoise Express. Once back in Les Arcs we stopped at the Altiport for a final drink as it shuts tonight and then down to Arc 1800 for a cup of tea and then home.
The season is coming to an end, but today was good and it was snowing again whilst I was on my way home. Tomorrow should be another powder day!
Peisey Vallandry closed at the end of skiing today. Arc 1600 will be closing tomorrow after skiing and only the Chantel (until Wednesday at the moment), the Transarcs and Grand Renard will remain open in Arc 1800 during next week.
In Arc 1950/2000 for next week the Varet, Grand Col, Aiguille Rouge, Marmotte and Arcabulle are confirmed to be open (weather permitting). I will report again tomorrow morning once I have final confirmation of what is remaining open.
However, even with only limited lifts open in Les Arcs, the snow is excellent on and off piste and everywhere that will be open is in very good condition for this time of year. For those coming out you should have a good time as long as the weather is kind to you!
Well above his knees at times!! April 21
Telemark skiing off piste and he is only 13 year old!! with powder up to his waist at times!
As today was the last day that Arc 1600, some of Arc 1800 and a few important lifts in Arc 1950/2000 will be open I spent most of my time in these areas. First with some French friends that left me gasping for breath trying to keep up with the speed they ski through the deep powder. Then at a slightly more relaxed pace with another friend before meeting up with some others for a few jumps (not me. them, I took the photos ).
The powder in the Mont Blanc and Malgovert forests was excellent. Deep, light, fluffy and mostly untracked. Then heading higher as the sun broke through we managed a few routes over on the Arc 2000 side which also had great untracked powder at times. 8-)
Finally heading back to the Comborciere valley where we found the snow was already going off by 3pm and then down through the Malgovert again where the snow had still mostly stayed in good condition. Taking the Arpette chair back up we then found a nice route down a couloir off the ridge before stopping for a well earned beer in Arc 1800 and then home.
Overall today was great, perhaps not the best this season, but it was still up there as a good day in the office! If you are planning a last minute break you will not be disappointed. Loads of snow, pistes in excellent condition everywhere and plenty of fresh powder to keep us all happy.
Take a look at the photos which will be posted shortly in the April 2012 Album Two of my Les Arcs Winter facebook page and see how many of the routes you can name. Tomorrow they hope to open the higher lifts in the Arc 2000 bowl so it should be another untracked powder day if I can get up there early enough! What a last week of the season this is already turning out to be!!! :skele:
One of Les Arcs land marks! Les Deux Tetes!
Malgovert, a place where everyone can go and play safely!
But there are also places where you can take some big air, so keep to the marked areas and stay safe!
After a warm up run down to Pre Esprit we headed up the Varet and onto the KL piste nature for a ride down in the powder. We were not disappointed. Although well tracked, it was a great place for the youngsters to tune there skills on skis and board and everyone improved from the two runs we did down this long piste.
We then went over to the Grand Col and put more lines down the centre and right side of the piste in more deep powder. Again although well tracked, we were able to find some nice untracked sections further away from the pistes and a few challenging little gullies.
With tired legs we headed for lunch. After lunch it was back up the Varet and then the central area of the Arc 2000 bowl to find a few more untracked areas and a chance to take a couple of steeper routes.
Photos of today will be posted shortly in the April 2012 Album Two. Enjoy!!
Now that is what you call dropping in on a power turn! April 23
As the lift pass for the final week still costs 162.50 euros. People are saying this is very poor value for money and I agree. My advice if you are thinking of coming out for a last minute ski, go to La Plagne, Espace Killy or Val Thorens. You will get much better value for money. Or come to Les Arcs knowing you can only ski a very limited area officially at least. It is possible to ski back to Arc 1600 off piste from the top of the Transarc and you can also ski most of the higher forest areas of Peisey Vallandry as long as you can get back to the Transarc and even down to Pre Esprit though the top of the Villaroger area. But you will be going into closed areas which are not patrolled so you are doing so at your own risk.
Now for what we did today!! Enjoy! Tomorrow we will try Les Arcs again.
What a day!! After the hassle of getting over to the Arc 2000 bowl yesterday we went to the La Plagne ski area today. What a great move!! Arrived at Les Coches after only a 20min drive and we were up and skiing within 30 min.
After getting to the top of the Les Coches side of La Plagne, due to the weather and poor vis we decided to head off piste into the forest areas. Starting from high on the ridge we carefully made our way through the meadow and down the steeper face into the forest areas in very deep snow. Due to the higher avalanche risk with so much fresh snow about we went very carefully down the steeper slopes taking a very conservative line.
After nearly an hour of untracked deep powder we arrived at La Roche and then had a run down through the forest on that side in more fresh snow finally reaching the Omelette Restaurant almost exclusively off piste from leaving Les Coches to arriving in Montalbert. This is a route I have tried a number of times, but today was the first time I have managed to do all sections off piste almost the whole way.
After a good lunch we headed back to Les Coches by mostly off piste routes again with snow falling around us, the wind blowing quite strongly at times and great powder well up to our knees.
By the time we reached the car it was 5pm and we had only stopped once for a short lunch. Quite a day and although the vis was bad at times, the snow conditions made up for it.
Tomorrow promises to be more of the same as it is snowing higher up again tonight. If you are interested in seeing what it looked like today, check out the latest photos in the April 2012 Album Two. Enjoy!
Entering into the backcountry! April 24
The peace and quiet of the wilderness! April 24
If you don't mind could I pick your brains? I'm looking into finding a resort with some nice long green/blue runs for those who like less of a challenge plus some runs to stretch those more experienced skiers in the group.
Having stayed in Les Arc a few years back and been to La Plagne a couple of times the same week I know the area fits the bill.
Could you recommend an area to stay please? Somewhere where the nervous skiers could have access to a few nice long green/blue runs that would bring them on without any nasty supprises to knock their confidence or horrendous queues?
Ski in/out would be ideal. We are a group of about 16 +/-.
Any suggestions would be great!
When the link did finally open, after one run down the middle of the bowl it was clear that the higher lifts would be delayed for some time so we headed to the 'closed' area above Arc 1800 for some fun in all the fresh powder. At level 4 avalanche warning you need to be careful so we took very safe routes and had a great morning, putting fresh lines down some slopes and even on a few pistes. The snow was from 20 to 40 cm deep depending on where you were and at times up to your waist if you dropped into a hole by mistake.
After a bit of playing on the ridges the light went flat again and we headed into the trees. Really fun as always before going back over to the Arc 2000 bowl and up onto the Grand Col. Made more nice lines and found some very deep powder. I took a pic of one of the Spirit Instructors taking a big jump, very impressive!!!!
Then another off piste route down to the Lanchettes chair before finally going off piste to the Chalet Pre St Esprit for a very late lunch.
After lunch the sun was out again, but they very quickly closed the Varet and Grand Col lifts due to avalanche risk. There had been a slide off the Aiguille Rouge onto the piste (nobody caught that I have heard about) whilst we were having lunch.
After a nice run down the centre of the Arc 2000 bowl ridge putting a few fresh tracks in the meadow at the bottom we headed back to Arc 1800 off piste the whole way from the top of the Arc 2000 ridge to the bottom of the Vagere chair (you do have to cross a few pistes which are now closed).
After more fresh tracks and with tired legs we arrived in Arc 1800 and time for a Beer.
The pistes and off piste in many places were the same. Powder on a hard base and sometimes very deep. All the open and many of the 'closed' areas are in great condition and despite the lack of lifts open in Les Arcs, anyone coming out for the last three days will have a great time. It is more like January than April! Three more days to go before the lifts close!!!
If you want to see what we have been doing, take a look at the new photos in the April 2012 Album Two of my Les Arcs Winter facebook page.
Above Arc 1800 in deep powder! April 25
It's a POWDER day!! April 25
Spirit Instructor taking some air! Did he land it? April 25
CLT, Arc 1950 is good if you do not mind higher prices. Also Arc 2000 has bigger places and the pistes are the same. Both should meet your needs. Peisey Vallandry is ok, but complete beginners have to go up and down on a lift. Arc 1800 is good if you like to party and is a little cheaper. Hope that helps.
What about La Plagne? Can you suggest any particular areas on that side?
The there are no complete beginners in the group, we're all just getting a bit old and while one or two forget just how old they are a few are not making the progress they may have if they'd started skiing a bit earlier in life!
What a difference a day makes!!!
Today we went over to La Plagne via Les Coches by car to try the powder on the other side of the Paradiski after the fun I had yesterday in Les Arcs.
Unfortunately the wind had picked up and was gusting at 60km/h plus at times so the Bellecote Glacier Gondola and chairs were closed. They also closed the Crozats chair just as we arrived due to avalanche risk so that was another off piste area that we could not access.
Not deterred we went up to the Roche de Mio and then down Inversens and the hidden valley where we were able to find some soft untracked snow. The gully at the exit proved interesting today as well.
Then over to Champagny by another less tracked route before heading back to Bellecote La Plagne via the Roche de Mio once more and the off piste area into Belle Plagne before having a late lunch.
When we set off again the snow had become very soft everywhere and although it is quite fun pushing the slush about, it is hard work and off piste was just to soft and sticky to be worth risking.
After a leisurely route back to Les Coches, we headed for home about 5pm.
The snow conditions in La Plagne were very different to yesterday in Les Arcs. It was 20 degrees by lunch time and many slopes were starting to slide. The wind was very strong high on the glacier and the light came and went as the clouds passed overhead. The pistes were all in good condition, but became very slushy later in the day. I have been told by those in Les Arcs today, the conditions were very similar there as well.
Overall it was a good day, but with the change in temperature, the snow is going off fast, creating typical spring conditions. We will have to catch it just right to have more fun over the next couple of days. Tomorrow the weather will become even warmer and I shall be back in Les Arcs for the last couple of days of the season.
I think the spring has really arrived just as the season comes to an end!
Photos from today have been posted in the April 2012 Album Two of my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!
The local major peaks looking from the Roche de Mio towards Les Arcs. April 26
Time for a little gully before lunch! April 26
Putting down our own lines! April 26
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