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UCPA off piste: Les Arcs, La Plagne or Val Thorens?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi SHs

Weighing up the best choice for a week off piste course with UCPA late January next year. Can anyone offer any comparisons?

As a group, we’re pretty standard British off pisters. We can hold our own in the basic UCPA off piste group, but sure as hell won’t be hucking any cliffs with the Scandinavians.

Thanks

PJ
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Argentiere. New centre. Great food. Great ski area (and I say that as someone that sp2nds 3 months a year at Led Arcs), good kit.

And a short transfer from Geneva.
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@eversolazy, I've never been to any of them so can't comment on the centres (though there is a thread around somewhere collating various UCPA trip reports, started by Digger the Dinosaur I think). But just based on resort, I'd pick Les Arcs for January, as you have access to high skiing if it's a slow start, and access to trees if it snows all week.
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@ChrisKernow Argentiere’s definitely an interesting option, but my ski buddies are rather bus averse! Maybe I’ll work on them.

@Gämsbock The brilliant Guide to UCPA Centres thread was my first port of call, but the Les Arcs centre isn’t on there yet. I’m inclined to agree about the choices in Les Arcs. I guess I’m curious about the areas the UCPA guides use, eg if the weather in Val Thorens closes in, do they have other options.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have been to the Les Arcs off piste course. The centre is ok, the shared rooms are very cramped. Many other centres are better in terms of accommodation and food. I have been to Argentiere (old), Chamonix, Val D and Les Arcs. The skiing is very good and the guides are also good. For the skiing, I would recommend it. For the food and accommodation, no, I wouldn't.
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@eversolazy, I'm pretty sure you only get a local area pass (but you could check). In VT that doesn't leave you many options if the weather comes in. La Plane also has tree skiing, though not as good as Les Arcs imo and not as easily accessible from the UCPA.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Gämsbock wrote:
@eversolazy, I'm pretty sure you only get a local area pass (but you could check). In VT that doesn't leave you many options if the weather comes in. La Plane also has tree skiing, though not as good as Les Arcs imo and not as easily accessible from the UCPA.


I did off-piste in V T 3 winters ago and from memory we had a full area pass for some of the week - possibly 2 or 3 of the 6 days. We had a great week and the centre is modern and comfortable, but I can't compare it to Les Arcs or La Plagne as I haven't been to either.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Did a week off-piste in Flaine. Brilliant. Liftpass covers the whole Grand Massif. Plenty of trees around if the weather comes in, but not limited to just that. We barely repeated any tracks all week. Accomodation basic but serviceable and really central location.
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@RishieThat’s interesting, are the rooms that much more cramped than other centres. I’ve been to the Val Thorens centre and it’s certainly a nice place to stay. @Tom Doc You’re right, I think we got two 3 Valley extension days and if you wanted more you could buy them at the reception.
@nbt Flaine’s a good shout, I hadn’t really considered it.
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ChrisKernow wrote:
Argentiere. New centre. Great food. Great ski area, good kit.

And a short transfer from Geneva.


This.

I'm going back in Jan for more!
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@eversolazy, yup. The old Argentiere centre was tired but relatively spacious as were the Cham and Val D centers.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Have been Les Arcs, Argentiere, Val Thorens *2, Tinges, Chamonix and Argentiere.

For myself, next would be Flaine or Les Arcs, then Val D'isere, maybe La Plagne, then Val Thorens, then Argentiere, loop and loop.
Laughing

I dont like the accommodation and food at Chamonix, but only at Chamonix we get chance to visit Italy.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@wowmac Did you do the off piste weeks? How did Les Arcs and Val Thorens compare?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yep, off piste and freerando.
For the mountains and snow, great for any levels, bowl, steep, trees. The guides always could find the best area for that day and team members.

Food, for me, delicious, a lot of choices. But I am Chinese, not professional at the western style, Smile

Accommodation, no twin room at Les arcs, and smaller. But at Val Thorens, bigger, twin room is just a 4 guests room for 2 persons, really great, and ensuite bathroom and shower.
Val Thorens Center is bigger, of course more guests. And the gears room is better, with automatic dryer at regular time for your boots.

Les Arcs is connected with La Plagne, but we dont have enough time to travel through, so dont know about the lift pass.
At Val Thorens, you have to ask about it clear. Normally for off piste, depends on different group, you get only 2 or 3 days of three valleys lift pass, not 6.5 days.

Les Arcs, walk 50 meters, for safety and polite, then ski down to lift. Ski in.
Val Thorens, 50 meters walk in and out, then ski down or ski back.

Les Arcs has a group named Steep. They said its really for expert and hardcore, just ski down down down fast fast fast.
Freerando at Val Thorens is my favorite, you could leave the resort into the real mountain.
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