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Les Arcs 2019 - 2020 (Useful links are added to the first post)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@wills_h Even when you book it online (I heard that might force them to charge extra???)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@bober02, none of the friends that have come with me and rented from them have ever had a problem. They will sometimes change gear mid week, particularly if we are going to do some off piste routes.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@wills_h, thank you, just wanted to be sure that booking through website was also ok. I heard good things about them, and I know that crystal ski uses them.
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we, and all of our friends who stay with us, use the skiset at Tournavelles, opposite the Intersport, at the Villards end of the resort. The guys in the shop are always very helpful and keen to sort things out for you. The manager Gaetan is a very good all mountain skier, and I mean all mountain, and brings his knowledge to boot and ski selection for our very mixed bag of skiers and boarders
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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OK, sorry to be a pain, as I am hearing lots of positive things here, I wanted to clarify one final thing:

SkiSet (as in teh shops) seem to be very good based on comments, but I read around this forum, that skiset.co.uk (the website) is somehow not the same thing and you might run into some nasty surprises when you book with them.

So anyone here(@wills_h, @ipken) that used skiset, booked online and had (or hadn't) issies?
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@bober02, it's easy to find someone who hasn't had a problem. After all, look at the millions of people who enjoyed Thomas Cook holidays over the years. What's important to know about a company is how you'll be treated if there is a problem. And in that respect, see Trust Pilot re skiset.
If people here say the shop itself is good - it's probably a safe bet that it is, but in my opinion, you're best off dealing with them direct if you can.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@bober02, As I've said, friends who have travelled with us over the years and used various Ski Set shops in Arc 1800 haven't found any issues when it's come to wanting to change sets of skis midweek or asking for them to be waxed or edged over night. I believe you are asking specifically about Arc 1950 and I can't comment on the shops there, having had no experience of them. I would imagine as with all things service can vary greatly from franchise to franchise, staff member to staff member and even if the particular staff member is having an off day owing to too much genipe the night before.
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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!
bober02 wrote:
2. Can I ask them for extra waxing/sharpening after a couple of days?

I would have thought that would be an unusual request. Why would you need that?

It's been a while since I hired but I never took mine in for a service during the week.
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@wills_h, sorry, I am going to ask this again, I think I did not phrase myself well enough:

Did you, and/or your friends, booked the ski rental through their website or dealt with the ski shop directly? Smile
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bober02 wrote:
@wills_h, sorry, I am going to ask this again, I think I did not phrase myself well enough:

Did you, and/or your friends, booked the ski rental through their website or dealt with the ski shop directly? Smile

You haven't asked me - but I will give an opinion anyway.

1. The last time, I booked through Crystal, who had one of their offers, which made bringing my own uneconomical.

2. I would not book in advance - as it ties you in. There are so many hire shops, that if you know the website price - go in and bargain. Also, one's accommodation often has discount vouchers. If you don't like the price or the kit - vote with your feet. Websites usually give an example/s - but state you may only get similar.

If you want the skis left ready for you - it might be possible to ring the shop directly - though I've never done this.
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Thank you. I just wantnto organise everything before... Smile just for my peace of mond.

So of anyone used ski set through their website and has some feedback, I would appreciate this very much
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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.
@bober02, My friends and family have always booked in advance through the central booking website, taking advantage of a SCGB discount. To the best of my knowledge none of them has ever had an issue with Ski Set, One person did against my advice once use Ski Republic (actually might have been rental republic, this was quite a few years ago now) who supplied her with awful skis, one had been waxed and the other hadn't. On our first day it was snowing quite heavily and this friend was something of a novice. She couldn't understand why one ski would move and the other wouldn't. When I looked there massive clumps of snow sticking to the ski without wax and the skis were basically unusable. Which made for a nice walk off the slopes for her in knee deep powder. Good thing she was only on the beginner slopes!
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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
@wills_h, great, that sounds like it sorts out my plans Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi All, First time post although i have been lurking for a few years! I usually go to Avoriaz for my annual trip. We like the large area, variety, trees, parks etc. However after being about 10 times in the last few years I fancy something new. After some reading I have been thinking Les Arc might be worth a try. Anyone have any comparisons with the two? We are intermediate, and live everything from powder, trees, and parks. We go everywhere.

I have found a good studio to in Les Arc 2000, not bothered about the night life, just some decent food is always appreciated, we usually are fast foodies when on trips.

Transfers seem abit long fro Geneva, and expensive comparing them to Morzine. However i found bensbus.co.uk offering something on a budget. We are 3 guys mid 20's and on a budget.

Planning on going on the 25th of Jan to avoid the holidays, is it usually busy at this time?

The one question I won't as is the snow, over the years I've just learn't its pot luck!

Thanks,
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We've been there a few times and enjoyed the wide terrain immensely.
As a matter of fact, last year we were one week later than yours. Except a very long queue arround 13 for the Aiguille rouge (better to pay and come earlier), everything was fast.
If you enjoy mileage, consider the bigger skipass which costs €30 euros more for 6 days. It will offer you more than one day in La Plagne.
You can always end your day in 1950, have a good burger there and return to 2000 in the evening by the free gondola
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Thanks for the info, do you think its better to come earlier? With the French school holidays starting 8th of Feb i thought 25th Jan for a week would be good.

We usually go mid march, last season was good. But thought to change it up to end of Jan this year.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@dogsheds, as you point out, transfer comparison is one of the big differences but well worth the effort as I feel it's ideal from your description of preference.

Much more compact in the area over which it's spread than PdS, but lacks nothing in the way of terrain choice. In reality you can spend comparatively less on lifts to cover very contrasting terrain.

Prefer to stay in 1800, just because we do and nothing more than that. 2000 a bit more sparse as you suspect but certainly no real downside. If it's a good deal there for you I can't see you'd be disappointed.

More immediate tree line skiing around 1800 area if visability closes, so may hold advantage in that instance. 1800 has one lift direct access to 2000 bowl so also convenient for that.

As already stated, most of the villages would suit whatever you find in a deal. So free pick from that point of view.
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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?
Having skied both areas, with all my family, several times, everyone prefers Les Arc (my 3 boys are a similar age to you). Arc 2000 is a good base to work from giving easy access to lots of very varied skiing and skiing over to La Plagne is perfectly possible in a day if you feel the need for even more area to ski. The transfer is a greater hassle but if you`ve got that sorted all is well. (Don`t forget under 25`s get a good deal on French train/bus!)
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I think your week is fine, one week earlier might be even better (re: prices plus people on pistes).
Study the map on https://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/les-arcspeisey-vallandry-paradiski/trail-map/
to choose your base.
In april we enjoyed 2000, in february we've been to 1800. Next time I plan to stay in Vallandry so I can ski every day in a different area (I enjoy wandering from edge to edge on all available pistes).
As it was pointed, being lower and close to trees during bad weather will allow you to ski. In 2000 bowl things might close/suffer from bad visibility
Any choice you'll make will be a good one.
You'll want to return.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dogsheds, I'll be in Les Arcs the last couple weeks in January and expect the resort to be quiet. Quiet but not dead. I've have only been to Avoriaz once and Les Arcs a lot. I wonder why.

I have had rain and blizzards in January in Les Arcs and in general the snow is better in March and April than January.

As to where to stay (I'll declare an intererst here I have an apartment in 1600) in general the Arc 2000 bowl is more crowded and more at risk from bad weather than the rest of the resort. I've only stayed in 2000 once and we lost 2 days due to avalanche risk. Therefore I would reccommend staying over the otherside of the ridge, 1600 or 1800 both of which are less prone to bad weather and have lots of tree skiing especially the Malgovert forest.

Since I am fast food phope I cannot make any reccomendations about fast food but there are some good restaurants in the village.
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Thanks for all the replies. Really helpful.

So it seems Les Arcs is definitely worth a try and by the sounds of it i won't be disappointed. In January probably better to stay in 1800 but should be generally quiet on the slopes. However if i can probably better to go in Mid March for better snow.

I'll check the prices for March and see if it works as I'm racing in April (cars) so might be too close.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
dogsheds wrote:
Thanks for all the replies. Really helpful.

So it seems Les Arcs is definitely worth a try and by the sounds of it i won't be disappointed. In January probably better to stay in 1800 but should be generally quiet on the slopes. However if i can probably better to go in Mid March for better snow.

I'll check the prices for March and see if it works as I'm racing in April (cars) so might be too close.

Arc 2000 is a bit desolate and "Moon Base Alpha".....complete contrast to Arc 1950, which is small and bijou - a bit "Disney does a ski resort"....While expensive, is a slice of proper Canadian room size/luxury.

Arc 1800 would be my preference - followed by Arc 1600.
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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!
Just took a look at prices for March and the first week is still school holidays so blows the budget, but 7th to 14th of March is do able in both 1800 and 2000. What would the consensus be, 25th Jan or 7th March? Whatever is the best hope for powder days Very Happy

Luxury wise, we have been using Avoriaz studio or 1 bed apartments so are accustom to zero luxury on our ski trips Smile Off to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the F1 next month so I'll do my dose of luxury there Smile
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dogsheds wrote:
Just took a look at prices for March and the first week is still school holidays so blows the budget, but 7th to 14th of March is do able in both 1800 and 2000. What would the consensus be, 25th Jan or 7th March? Whatever is the best hope for powder days Very Happy

IME. The quality of the snow is likely to be better in Jan, due to colder temperatures. The quantity of the snow is likely to be better in March, as the weather is warmer. My choice would be to go in Jan....other people feel different.
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dogsheds wrote:
Just took a look at prices for March and the first week is still school holidays so blows the budget, but 7th to 14th of March is do able in both 1800 and 2000. What would the consensus be, 25th Jan or 7th March? Whatever is the best hope for powder days Very Happy

Luxury wise, we have been using Avoriaz studio or 1 bed apartments so are accustom to zero luxury on our ski trips Smile Off to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the F1 next month so I'll do my dose of luxury there Smile

Personally, I would try to stretch my budget to do both. If not, I'd go for the March option on account the days would be a wee bit longer and things getting a bit more Spring like. In truth neither is bad and it's a bit of a coin toss!
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I wish i could do both but its not possible. I think I might try end of Jan and just pray for fresh snow.......just like every year then lol.
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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.
@dogsheds,
Re: 'where'. All villages enable access to all spots, but @johnE is probably right - in 1800 you may get less white-out days. OTOH, I'm in 1950, and much prefer the skiing in the 2000 bowl to the runs down to 1800 (albeit I confess that a couple of the reds, Froide Fontaine and Carreley, are probably amongst my favourites and they are on that side of the mountain).

1 lift gets you to Vanoise Express in about 15 minutes ski time (or 2 lifts if you prefer to warm upon on Reds rather than Blues), and similarly a single lift from 2000 will get you to Villaroger, or [a different lift] to 1600 or [a different lift] to 1800. So although 2000 is slightly further away from the centre than 1800, it's not badly connected at all. And when it all goes pete tong weatherwise, the buses run every 15 mins, unless it is really, really bad.


Re: "evening ents". Actually nightlife in 2000 can be pretty good, with a number of bars and the bowling alley to choose from, offering late night/early morning 'opportunities'. Or a quiet night down in 1950 with the lft between the two open until 11:30 giving you a wider choice. Once you've booked check back here for updates on restaurants and clubs specific to the village you end up in (I know that Ruud, who owned Whistlers in 2000 for example has given up this summer, and tis "under new management").


re: hire. If going to 2000, most owners / locals there would recommend Equilibres ( http://www.arc2000-ski-rental.com/ ) which is an independent, and you can book ahead of the game via their website. We've known them for years, love them, and use them for all our guests, as well as buy our gear there (and shh, don't tell Spyderjon, even for iterim servicing when it's too cold to get the bench set up on the balcony).
Previously I've walked into other SkiSet (and beyond) in 1950 with the laptop and shown them the price on offer from the aggregators, asked them to match it. Some of them will, some won't.
But if you press the ' buy' button in front of them, they will honour that price despite it being cheaper than they can or will sell you at the front door.

re: 'when' - to be honest just get the best price.
As others have said Jan can be cold, and will be shorter days. OTOH, I've been there in March when it's been +12C one week, and -13C the next...very tricky to pack suitable clothing to cover THAT eventuality. Yer pays yer money, takes yer medicine.
January will be quieter.
And both will have fabulous snow.
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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
Thanks @Arctic Roll again really helpful. January is just fitting right really so I think I am going to book up today. I book everything separately usually. Transfer wise, I have seen bensbus.co.uk it has its good and bad reviews but is well priced in the grand scheme of things. Anyone know of any other shared transfer companies or bus routes to Les Arc that i should look into?

Lift pass wise I usually buy when I arrive on the mountain in Avoriaz online and top up my existing lift passes. I'm guessing there are lift pass offices all around?

Is it worth getting a guide to go exploring to learn the area abit? Knowing PDS so well, it feels abit odd going into an area I don't know, or know the best bits lol.
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You know it makes sense.
dogsheds wrote:
Is it worth getting a guide to go exploring to learn the area abit? Knowing PDS so well, it feels abit odd going into an area I don't know, or know the best bits lol.

Unless you are looking to do serious off piste I wouldn't sweat it. Easy enough to figure stuff out yourself. And all part of the fun. And people can you give tips/advice on here if you need it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@dogsheds, Re the lift passes, if you buy on line before the end of this month you'll get a 10% discount, every little helps Cool
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@dogsheds, If you are in Les Arcs in late January and want showing around the on piste stuff then send me a PM. That is if you don't mind being shown around by a creaking oldie in his late 60s with dodgy knees.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE thanks for that, appreciate it!

Looking at transfers and busses etc. It seems just as cheap to get a small car for rent for a week from GVA. What are the thoughts on this? I am comfortable driving in Europe etc. Seems like it could work as transfers are always a nightmare I find.
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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?
Think you're right that you can balance it better with the right numbers to spread the cost.

It's intrinsically more of a journey than to Avoriaz, as you know. I like the drive there especially alongside lake Annecy if travelling at the right time in order to avoid traffic as it's absolutely stunning along there.

Consideration (certainly for 1800) is parking charges are approximately €75 for the week to add in overall comparison. Others will probably be able to indicate for 2000 as I've no current experience of that.
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Oh yeah i forgot about the car parking charge. MVTransport seem to have good reviews for shared transfers and are coming up at 360 euro return for 3 Smile

Lift pass wise, is it better to get the Essential one or is there enough terrain for a first timer to cover the Classic Les Arcs pass?
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drporat wrote:
We've been there a few times and enjoyed the wide terrain immensely..
If you enjoy mileage, consider the bigger skipass which costs €30 euros more for 6 days. It will offer you more than one day in La Plagne.

It really depends on your character and what you like.
Some people enjoy doing the same pistes over and over, faster and better. Others enjoy going from peak to peak, corner to corner.
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Difficult one as pace and approach can vary as to how much you enjoy travelling distance.

Staying there for one week I always get the sense of just travelling through La Plagne to get across and back again If we cross over.

Feel there's more than enough on Les Arcs side to keep busy for a week, it's absolutely covered with piste and interconnecting pitches of all shapes, sizes and aspects. There really is alot to go at and enjoy, with such difference from almost adjacent areas. Big fan of it here.

If you get to La Plagne it probably will convince you that it also needs a week staying there too, so maybe plan for next year if you like the valley Tarantaise Very Happy
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@dogsheds, afaik you can rent 'one way' ( Eurocar I think) to a depot in BSM - ie, drive it to 2000, dump your gear, drop it back down to Bourg office; funi and bus back. So you only rent for 2 days, and pay car-park for one.

just a thought.

(and 2000 car parking will be similar to 1800 - 1950 is a bit more @ €95+ for a week iirc.)
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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!
@dogsheds, Have a serious look at using the train for the transfer. It's probably be what I'm doing late January. Even given that I'll probably be renting a car.It is normall a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from |Geneva to Les Arcs.

In January I would only get a classic pass. There is more than enougth skiing in Les Arcs for a week (as there is in La Plagne)
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@Arctic Roll, We looked into getting a one way car from Eurocar a few years ago, the premium they charge to leave it at a different depot to where you picked it up cancels out the saving of only having the car for a day or two each way.
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wills_h wrote:
@Arctic Roll, We looked into getting a one way car from Eurocar a few years ago, the premium they charge to leave it at a different depot to where you picked it up cancels out the saving of only having the car for a day or two each way.
That was my experience as well, with not much price difference as well as the hassle factor of dropping the car off and heading back up to the resort. For those in 1600 and 1800 having a car means it's convenient to pop down to Bourg to get the wider range and cheaper prices of groceries in the SuperU or Lidl.

The cost of in-resort parking was mentioned. Some places have their own parking garages so don't pay the daily or weekly rate charged by the resort (I have my own parking spot in our underground garage, so I don't pay the resort to park), so worth enquiring about this before you book your accommodation as it can save around 80 Euros per week.
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