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La Plagne 2020/2021

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Charliee wrote:
is it possible for someone give a quick translation of the options and scenarios.
Many thanks in advance


Sure.

First there is a profound dive into history back into the "plan neige" in the 1960s and 70s. This explains in a way the kind of strange role the Bellecôte glacier takes in the La Plagne resort as some weird addon to the main ski area. Meaning the need to go down by télécabine (from Roche de Mio) so that you can go up just to reach some crappy old lifts and narrow pistes. The idea which warrented these extremely expensive (to construct AND to operate) installations was the wish to offer summer skiing. At one time in the video a (provisional!) piste map of the glacier sector is shown which not only includes two drag lifts on the west face (which have been in place at some point in time; or at least one of them (photo shown in video!) until 1996; if you've ever wondered - like I have multiple times - how you reach the advertised 3250m in La Plagne, now you now it Laughing ). But also two chair lifts on the south facing Cul du Nant glacier which never have been put into place (at 2:40min).

Anyhow, for different reasons summer skiing never really came into fruition at least at La Plagne and so they gave it up for good in 2005. Now the Bellecôte gondola, built in 1978, has reached the end of its lifespan not only but also for reglementory reasons. There are five scenarios in the discussion (starting at 7:40min). The color code on the maps used for lifts and pistes reads as follows:
1. Yellow => Remodeling on the same trace. Meaning new lifts and wider pistes.
2. Green => Creation on totally new trace.
3. Red => Abandonment/Scrapping.
4. Black => Stays as is.

As I said, there are five scenarios which made it to the official list and got evaluated. To jump ahead, as the decision is very close, the clear frontrunner seems to be #5. Here they are:
S1. New Bellecôte gondola (upgraded capacity, less wind prone - probably a 3S) on the same trace. New, much longer and of course bigger TS Chalet in direction of the Plateau du Rochu. Creating a new piste on top, widening two others and scrapping two lower which wouldn't be reachable anymore. You get the picture.
S2. Same as S1. With the exception, that the gondola goes up a little bit higher so that you can ski down to the TS Glacier without poling.
S3. This is interesting! Creating (finally!) a new piste from Roche de Mio down to Col de Chiaupe - powered by dynamite. Two new gondolas from the base of TS Chalet. One up to Bellecôte (same place), one back to Roche de Mio. I guess, from all the scenarios on the table this is the prefered one by the SAP but can't pass because of environmentalist reasons.
S4. New TS Chalet on same trace. Same first section of new TC Bellecôte, but then going up to the Plateau du Rochu instead of Bellecôte. New, longer TS Glacier. Pistework.
S5. Same as S5, but without TS Glacier and therefore without TS Traversée.

In the second half of the - until then great - video the author, a mountain guide who makes his money in winter with off piste guiding, pushes with quite self contradicting arguments for a simple renovation of TC Bellecôte. - Will not happen.

S5 on the other hand is very likely. It is by far the cheapest option to run and the SAP can use the given up ski terrain to negotiate the piste extensions which will inevitebly be necessary once a modern high capacity gondola is in place. Piste skiing will be better up there. On the other hand La Plagne will lose its famous Chiaupe mogul run. And it is particularly bad for freeriding as the wide, relativly easy and safe southfacing slopes of Bellecôte (Cul du Nant, etc) are vanishing out of reach. Because they would require a quite long traverse through steep avalanche prone terrain. In other words, skins and avi risk II max. When you reach risk II thoughout midwinter, those slopes would surely be crunchy. So no more quickly safe powder options around here.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Tristero, thanks for taking the time and trouble to explain.
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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?
@Tristero, and other many thanks - its unimaginable that they could do away with the glacier chair - it cuts off some of the best south facing off piste in the alps!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Sounds like it’s a toxic mix of politics and financials which will inevitably lead to a sub-optimal decision in the long run for the resort.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
...


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 19-11-20 13:10; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
chopkins13 wrote:
Sounds like it’s a toxic mix of politics and financials which will inevitably lead to a sub-optimal decision in the long run for the resort.


You mean, business as usual? Laughing

Honestly, it's a tough one. The glacier sector clearly runs at a deficit. Only very few people actually (can) ski there. Most of them are one time visitors accustomed to Plagne's boulevard pistes who get instantly humiliated. Of all skiers in the resort only a tiny fraction actually practices freeriding up there. Out of them the majority most likely consists of locals who ski either on season passes or cheap samedi-je-skie tickets. There are very few tourists who can spend the time (family duty!) and money to hire a guide. And even fewer who do have the skills to go on their own. But the folks who vacation there for a week or two are the ones who purchase the expensive lift passes and therefore keep the whole show running.

From that perspective best option for SAP would be S6 - going in big. Meaning S3 + S4 + two powerful chairs on Cul du Nant as thought of back then. Especially because Plagne painfully lacks south facing runs. Okay, that will never happen.

What's next in line? That would be building a blue run from top to bottom via Rochu and Dérochoir. Unfortunatly an undertaking like that looks something like this. Or probably worse:

http://youtube.com/v/uVo2CW2I1mc

Will any sensible SAP CEO give up TS Glacier and Traversée for the right to do that? Of course!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
you can watch them re building the snow front of Plagne Centre Live on You tube:-
http://youtube.com/v/gbpMreaCW1o
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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!
@Charliee, Excellent and it really is live! Notice pylon for the new lift are in although the lift wont open until next season I believe. (Just visible above the piste patrol office, where the Z was once.)
Hopefully that will stay on all season snowHead

Also Bergerie live Very Happy


http://youtube.com/v/HaH7zWOX8zA
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