14:47,
Monday,
18 November 2019.

La Plagne, Skiing & Snowb...

La Plagne, now part of the Paradiski area is joined to Les Arcs via a double-decker cable car, the Vanoise Express. Between them they offer an immense 425 km of marked pistes and form one of the worlds’ largest linked ski areas. The riding is most suited to intermediates who can roam around the entire area on the abundant long blue and red pistes. Some of the blue pistes with their flatter sections may frustrate snowboarders who could, if they were to fall, find themselves having to hike a bit to get to the next downhill section having missed the schuss opportunity. However, with a bit of careful route planning this can be avoided entirely.

Most of the riding is found above the tree line on open sunny slopes although there are several routes through the trees to the four outlying villages. In bad weather you would do well to head for the slopes above Les Coches and Montchavin where almost all the runs are protected by the forest.

Most of the villages offer some accommodation with ski-in ski-out convenience. Such properties are most abundant in the likes of Belle Plagne, Aime La Plagne and Plagne Centre.

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Beginner

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All of the centers, Champagny being the exception have gentle nursery areas on which beginners can find their feet. Although La Plagne does not have loads of green pistes it does have an unbelievable 79 blue pistes, many of which are pretty easy and could rightly be re-graded as green. Progression should be relatively easy especially if you hire a good instructor.

Intermediate

ski rating

Intermediates! This is your resort. Even before La Plagne joined forces with Les Arcs to create the Paradiski it was an excellent destination for intermediate skiers and snowboarders with the overwhelming majority of its runs being graded blue and nearly a quarter graded red. That’s 113 intermediate runs in La Plagne alone and if you include the Paradiski as a whole you get a further 86 pistes to play on. Intermediates wishing to take the plunge and experience riding off-piste powder can do so in relative safety simply by popping off the edge of a multitude of pistes. Be sure you don’t stray too far from the pistes edge if there has been a lot of fresh snow as you might find swimming in powder snow isn’t too easy either. It’s definitely worth bagging an instructor for an hour or two and getting them to go over some of the basics with you. Riding in powder is relatively simple but you could flounder around for hours and get absolutely no where. Expert tuition can help avoid frustration.

Advanced

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La Plagne has one or two challenging pistes with some really nice and easily accessible off-piste routes too. You could spend a day or more between the back side of Roche De Mio and Bellecote and still not discover all the off-piste options leading down to the Chalet de Bellecote chair from either peak. Many other inspiring routes lead from Bellecote itself down to valleys on either side. This area is heavily glaciated so it is imperative that you hire a guide who knows these routes. En route to the Vanoise Express cable car occasional gaps in the forest beckon you to deviate from the main thoroughfare and often prove to be a more rewarding shortcut. Over on the Les Arcs side more black pistes are to found in abundance under the 3226 meter Aguille Rouge peak above Arc 2000. Here, especially after a fresh snowfall there is some good powder riding in the bowl above Arc 2000.