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Belle Plagne/Paradiski

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We've just booked a week, departing 7th April. Not done this area before, we usually head for 3V, so it's a nice adventure for us.

Looks like there is a lot to discover, what with the three areas and 11 villages, but are there any must do pistes that peeps would recommend for a couple of piste only intermediates like us?

We are going with Nelson, and a big positive seems to be that they offer 3 guided days, so we won't be all at sea!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
t40ora, suggest you post on La Plagne 2017-2018 rather than start a new thread.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@t40ora, the first thing to note is that you don't flip between valleys in the same way as you tend to in the 3Vs. That's not to criticise the domain; it's simply that there is a single point of contact between two otherwise separate ski areas. You should generally expect to spend the day in one area or the other.

Having said that, the Vanoise Express lift is only a single lift (in either direction) from Arcs 1800 or one lift (plus a rope tow) from Plagne Bellecote.

Skiing between the villages of Les Arcs is very straightforward as is skiing between the villages of La Plagne.

As a piste skier having done a couple of seasons in the 3Vs and being half way through my first full season in Paradiski (albeit my first week's skiing was in Les Arcs about 30 years ago) I would say my favourite runs at the moment are Arendelieres above Arcs 2000, Clocheret above Arcs 1600/1800, Sources above Belle Plagne or Esselet above Montchavin / Les Coches.

Just like the 3Vs, you'll probably only scratch the surface in a week. Don't ignore the area above Champagny en Vanoise (which appears in a pitifully small box on the piste map) as there's some lovely skiing in that area. Who could ignore pistes with names such as Hara-Kiri and Kamikaze?
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@Alastair, thank you, a very useful reply, and most helpful.

The main thread quoted above seemed to be experienced visitors asking for, or giving, updates. Too much detailed information to be of help (at least in the 6 or 7 pages I looked at), and I didn't want to hijack it by asking newcomer questions!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@t40ora, you're welcome. If you want a tour of the Les Arcs side of the valley, feel free to PM me.
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Levasset is enjoyable but has some flats and even a bit of uphill. I also enjoy Mont Blanc and Pierres Blanche but not sure how the lower section will be by mid April. There’s also a small section of Mont Blanc that is fairly narrow and generally icy...again, could be different by that time of year.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@SnoodlesMcFlude, thank you. We will be marking up a piste map with all the suggested runs to see what we can string together.

@Alastair that's really kind of you, and we might just take you up on it!
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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!
t40ora, impressed you ploughed through "6 or 7 pages" of the La Plagne Thread, and quite understand your point about wanting specific advice.
The Neilson site is quite helpful, but your real boon is the Free on-the-mountain Guiding and Coaching.
Looks very good - didn't know they offered this - and this should sort you out for the week (especially as they claim will also show you best hot-chocky stops).
All the runs round Belle Plagne are good for "only" intermediates (we're all intermediates really), but so is the whole resort.
Don't miss going up to the Glacier area: the red run down is usually ok. And while you're there don't miss getting off at the mid station and giving the runs 2 runs down to the Chalet de Bellecote chair a go.
The Montchavin sector and runs above Peisey have trees, so good in murky conditions.
And as mentioned above, the Champagny side is full of super runs.
As you are here the week after Easter, you should have a glorious time with quiet pistes and lovely sunshine.
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@Jonpim, cheers! We're starting to get excited, especially with your last sentence! The Neilson offer does look pretty good - I'll let you know how good when i get back.

My wife wants to print up some tee shirts with the slogan "We're all intermediates, really" as it really tickled her. We've been saying that for eight years Very Happy
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Hi, we were in Vallandry last month, we had 2 days over in La Plange. In the whole area (Paridiski not just La Plange) we were quite surprised at a few of the black runs, and how moguly some of the red pistes were. Almost like they'd never been groomed, in fact I don't think I saw a Piste Basher all week. Our group are all either level 1 instructors in the UK or like me, upper intermediate. We've all skied reds and blacks no issues, but a couple of times found ourselves in places I'd not choose to ski again - some of the others loved them though!

Not sure if it was just the week we were there, but in particular we went up the lift to the glacier one day, GLACIER DE LA CHIAUPE - on the piste maps we had been given there are red and black runs down from here, when we got up there was a handwritten blackboard saying "extreme caution" before the final chair up to the top.

The black "dérochoi" in particular was a real challenge to me, huge moguls, and many pinch points with other struggling all round. I'd really not recommend this area down to the bottom of Bauches chair lift, unless you really want to be testing your skills!

UPDATE: I just looked online pistemap to find the name for you, and all those routes are marked "nature" form the glacier, they weren't on the piste maps we had as that, or I wouldn't have ventured up, and it's easy to just jump on the gondola up there, without realising how challenging it is to get down, getting off at the mid-station would have been better!

Other than that, we had a fab week skiing the whole area, being in Villandry was great, as it's slap bang in the middle.

On our last day we had a lot of snow, but enjoyed the run down to Villa Roger, with lunch at the very bottom. Long way back to Belle Plange though, but I'm sure it's doable. It was lovely and quiet over there, away from any crowds, we had it to ourselves really.
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@micheleperry, Odd piste maps you had, those pistes have been marked as Natur for at least the last two seasons. (As well as some others in the Becoin sector) A section of Derochoir is in the Vanoise National Park and is not allowed to have any machinery on it at all. There are signs on the Glacier lift advising that the pistes up there are for good/expert skiers only. Perhaps they are not large enough...
All piste grooming is done at night in La Plagne as 'Piste Bashers' are not allowed on Pistes whilst they are open in France.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
There's always the chance that as we were a largish group the signs were missed, I wasn't really paying attention to the map that day really, just following our crowd. But it's very easily done, so just wanted to warn the original poster of that area unless they plan to do it!

I used my map the rest of the week after that day!

Piste bashers during the day were quite common in other resorts I've been to. (probably in Austrian resorts if I try to remember)
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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
micheleperry wrote:
we were a largish group ... I wasn't really paying attention ... just following our crowd
.
Always a dodgy set-up. We reckon the ideal max group size is 6, and never more than 8. And if you just follow the crowd you have no idea where you've been, or going.
Bit like following GPS.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
OK, thanks for the warning. I might have thought 'natur' implied naked skiing, as one of my local beaches is Studland :

Looks like caution is needed, to make sure we don't end up in a sticky situation.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
boredsurfin wrote:
@micheleperry,
All piste grooming is done at night in La Plagne as 'Piste Bashers' are not allowed on Pistes whilst they are open in France.


Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why some of the pistes were so bumpy and why they didn't flatten them during the day as I've seen happen in Austria.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boredsurfin wrote:
@micheleperry, There are signs on the Glacier lift advising that the pistes up there are for good/expert skiers only. Perhaps they are not large enough....


There are big signs at the top of crozats lift too.

And on arc side, at the top of comborciere, for the red natur and black back to lift bottom.

Just looked at the yuge app map and it doesn't show runs as being "natur" - just a heads up for people not to rely solely on the app.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've not been up beyond Roche de Mio. Is there a mid station at Col de la Chaupe?

I had considered going up to the glacier and coming back down with the gondala to what I thought was a station , then skiing down frete, then Chalet de Bellecote chair back up to rejoin Bellecote gondala
Is it possible; squinting at the map I can't tell...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There is a mid station, and the pistes down from there looked ok from above - avoiding the Nature runs if you want to! But if you continue up to the top of that cable car, there's then a chairlift to take you to the very top (So you're not at the very top of the glacier at this stage anyway), some of us didn't go up that after seeing the chalkboard, but it meant a section of black to meet up with the red from the top if you want to ski down. It was very icy and wind blown the day we did it.

You could get the chair back to the mid station, which would have been a better plan for a couple of us. Sorry, don't have the map to hand to name it!
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@micheleperry,

Thanks for the info. If I were to do it, it would be on a good day as I really just want the view rather than the skiing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Having a look at the map again

In a box which I'd not bothered to read (duh! Too focused on the squiggly lines) it says...
"Please note that on the glacier, skiing on the Natur pistes that are not grinned is for good skiers only. The ice caves and panoramic views are open to everyone."
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If you want great pistes in the sunshine, then all 3 runs off the Rossa lift in the Champany area. I could loop around these all day.
Sources is a great red down from the Roche De Mio. And my other favourite for wide carves on a piste with big dips and rollers is Mont Blanc piste which starts at the top of the Bijolin chair and heads towards Montchavin/Les Coches.
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@FastCarver74, Sources is a great piste but I had people moan about the Mogul field half way down... Best do it in the morning, just in case Toofy Grin
Tunnel is also good fun, but don't moan if you lose speed and have to pole through the Tunnel, note to parents if with children please don't let them stop dead in the centre of the Tunnel, a crowd of irate French folk quickly forms...
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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!
@boredsurfin, Tunnel is awful. I avoid at all costs. Yep Sources is always a mogul field at the end of the day on that one steepish section. But it seems much wider now than when I did my season in 2004/05. I'm sure that bit used to be much narrower!
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@FastCarver74, I think tunnel is a nice run but often seems busy and the tunnel itself (and the 50 metre before it) are a pain.

I prefer to stay out of Centre and Bellecote as much as possible during the day, instead heading out to the further reaches; either the Montchavin side, Montalbert or Champagny.

Loved Inversens when I went a few years back but they didn't open it all week when I was out at New Year, so not sure if it's the same. If Centre isn't too busy then the blues from Verdons Nord and Colorado are nice and cruisey. Likewise from the top down towards the base of the Verdons Sud lift is a nice run, although catches the sun so not sure about conditions in a spring the afternoon.
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@FastCarver74, Yep sources was widened 3 or 4 seasons ago, particularly the mogully bit. Tunnel is great! Try and get from Roche de Mio to Bellecote without stopping (or being stopped!) or poleing - I've never managed it but snowHead Davidof has a few years ago - when he was younger - I guess Toofy Grin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Just back from La Plagne here are our favourite runs from the week:

Mini Skier (Age 8, Bronze Level) Favourite Runs:
La Bois – A narrow red with soft snow from Les Borseliers (1800) to Champany (1250)
La Combe – The red down from the Glacier, includes a couple of very narrow sections
La Source – A red with a few steep bits, from just beloewRoche de Mio to above Belle Plagne
I think he like the tunnel too, it's great he's now fast enough not to get stuck on the long schuss into it.

My Favourite Runs:
Andre Martzoif / Emile Allais - Reds through the tress down to La Roche
Inversens – Wide open red from just below Roche De Mio, down to a very slow chair
Pierre Blanche – Quiet tree lined blue above Mont Chauvain, quieter than Mont Blanc on the other side.
Also loved doing one of the blues off Colarado first thing in the morning as warm up with Mini Skier!

Also would really recommend Borseliers restaurant on the Champany side (next to the lift of the same name).
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mel I’m with you all the way with those!

I think one thing to bear in mind with La Plagne is that some of the blues can be quite ‘purple’. If you’ve got a nervous skier with you I’d definitely recommend someone checks them out first. My biggest shock ever was the Mira piste on the section off the bubble. Took eldest (Cool with two years skiing down there and got a bit of a shock. Lots of follow me involved Embarassed

My favourite is Inversens if it’s open. I’m rather partial to the reds on the Champagny side too snowHead
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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
The tree-lined mix of reds and blues down by Montalbert are lovely and always seemed a lot quieter than the higher runs around Plagne. The red that drops off from the Mont Blanc run down towards the Vanoise Express was also excellent.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for all this, guys. We are starting to get excited. I just hope there is enough white stuff left in three week's time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
SkiWithThree! wrote:


I think one thing to bear in mind with La Plagne is that some of the blues can be quite ‘purple’


Totally agree. I've only been once so don't know it in detail but we had two cautious intermediates with us and some blues have sections bordering on red imv. The Tunnel run is a must - nice long blue - with a tunnel wink Nothing like the ADH Tunnel I hasten to add Shocked
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