Pierra Menta, Arc 1800

Pierra Menta, Arc 1800
"Mille 8". All change on the slopes above Arc 1800 this season. Click on the photo for the marketing video

Sunday, 21 December 2014

HIGH ABOVE LA PLAGNE: The Glacier

"A bit of an odd set-up"
"Feels like it needs more thought"
"A-MA-ZING views"

Some comments overheard on a visit last season to the summit of La Plagne's skiing.

There are big plans to further upgrade the lifts across the resort, and the Glacier is at the heart of these plans.

For now, the trip up there is not without its drawbacks.  Assuming it's open, of course.  It's closed for 35 days each season.

Coming from Les Arcs, it can certainly take a while - whichever route to Roche de Mio you use.  Even in low season, allow some time.

Then, once you get to Roche de Mio, there is the ancient lift to take to the start of the Glacier skiing.  You can't ski to it direct.

The pistes are not for beginners.  The red from the top of the new Glacier lift gets bumpy, and many people take the easier track - which gets very crowded.  Persevere, however, and if you are up for the fierce Derochoir piste, you have the chance to make a 2000m descent all the way down to Montchauvin, at 1250m.  There are also a couple of blacks up there which have recently been re-instated as pistes.

The fiddly "retro" gondola link to the glacier will be
condemned to the ski history books from 2016

The headache for the resort is that, despite it being (in theory) the jewel in the crown, just 1% of its skiers' time is spent on the Glacier.

From 2016, there will be a new 10-person telecabine, which will take 2,800 skiers an hour. And a new red piste will enable skiers (and piste bullies) to reach the slopes directly:

See www.perso-laplagne.fr for more

For more on the 10 year plan for La Plagne's pistes, click here.

Looking back, 2015 marks ten years since the glacier was open for summer skiing - more here.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

NO WEATHER BOMB FOR THE ALPS

It's beginning to look not a lot like Christmas....

French resorts have been able to make snow this week, but all that may be thwarted by high temperatures in the days to come - the latest update from Telegraph Ski sets out the sorry scene.

Les Arcs is currently registering a feeble 6cm at 1600m and 30cm at the top.  A small number of pistes have been opened above 1800 and 2000, but it's all looking very threadbare - see the webcam at Arc 1950 for an illustration.

This has prompted the newly formed Les Arcs Freeski Academy to decamp back to the gym at Bourg St Maurice for its training/auditions this afternoon.

The British students arriving in resort this week - including parties from Bath and Manchester - will not be happy.  They will have to make do with going to the cinema, courtesy of this week's Les Arcs Film Festival.

It all adds up to a low key launch for the new "Mille 8" development above 1800, centrepiece of a series of developments for 2014 and 2015.

Across the valley at La Rosiere the resort is "sur les starting blocks", but has delayed opening any lifts until next week.

That was then...
Above Arc 1800, 20th April 2014