Pierra Menta, Arc 1800

Pierra Menta, Arc 1800
Above Arc 1800 at The Arpette, December 2014

Sunday, 25 January 2015

THE LONG WAY DOWN

The famous descent from the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger features in this week's welove2ski.com snapshot of the world's longest ski runs.

Click here for a little more on the run.  If weather and (your stamina) permits, it's good to do it two days in a row.  On day one, take it all in one go and crash out at La Ferme in Villaroger for a well deserved lunch.  The next day, allow time for pottering around the various reds on the Villaroger side, coffee at the Solliet, etc.

Finally, don't forget La Plagne's 2000m descent from the Glacier all the way down to Montchauvin.  This never appears in the guide books because there is a 2km flat bit below Les Bauches.  But it's worth persevering - more here.

En route to La Plagne's Glacier.
This "characterful" gondola will
be replaced soon

Saturday, 17 January 2015

THE SEASON SO FAR: A tour of Les Arcs

One month into the season, a quick tour around the resort to pick up on what's occurring.

At 1800, the big news is of course the Mille 8 development, which is settling down well.  A new ski cross course (Les Bosses) was built at the end of the year, running parallel to the foot of the Vagere lift.  It will video your performance, giving you the option to review your style half way down the run and upload the film to social media, if you so wish...

Peak time queues do remain a problem at Arc 1800, and the Vagere simply can't cope with New Year and February crowds.  Help is at hand, however..  The next stage of the Masterplan for the resort will be the new Col des Frettes lift, which will give a direct link to Arc 2000.  Two bits of gossip on this:

1. It will leave from Edenarc/Chantel - the intention is to create a new "axis" from the upmarket development.

2. Although the budget is in place, planning permission is not yet forthcoming.  So let's see if it arrives for 2015/16.  Meanwhile, it looks like the "urban lift" which will link Edenarc/Chantel directly with the front de neige will happen in time for next season.

New Year crowds at Arc 1800

Up at the Col de la Chal, the new extension to the La Creche restaurant is now open - giving another 80 or so seats for dining inside, without feeling that the space on the panoramic terrace has been compromised.  (For a summer view of the site, click here).   It's arguably the best place in resort for a mid-morning coffee, although for lunch I would tend to go elsewhere.

La Creche, Col de la Chal

La Creche just got bigger

One place worth considering for eating is the Bulle café in Arc 2000.  It is now well-established and has a bit of a buzz about it.  This relatively new establishment gets high marks for its varied offering - those with deeper pockets have oysters and champagne on offer; student types can opt for a slice of pizza at less than €3.  For more on where to eat in Les Arcs click here.

January weather outside the Bulle café

Local hero Simon Beck has been in resort, and he was creating one of his trademark pieces below the Varet earlier in the month:

Impressed? Click here for more...

Looking ahead to March and April, take a look at this account of late season skiing in the Telegraph.  And, because of the changes to the French school holiday calendar, it is likely to be very quiet.  Much to the irritation of resort bosses and businesses.

A "dinky facsimile of a traditional ski village", according
to Ben Ross of the Telegraph. Click here for a guide to
the original (and far more interesting)
architecture of Les Arcs