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Les Arcs 2010 / 2011 Snow Reports

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK, so there is clearly a difference of opinion about adjectives, but to my mind whilst not quite blue ice there are some areas - such as the approach to transarc and sections of the path just outside our appartments, that are so hard that I was losing the grip on the lower ski (well sharpened) when trying to side slip it. It is shall we say the melted and re-frozen side of hardpack snow in places. So when I talk about 'ice' or 'icey conditions' that is the sort of snow I am describing - OK?

OK, now for today's report I have been to ski school and skied mainly above the Peisey area. This is a cut and paste from my trip report for the purposes of the snow report thread just to assist those that only like to read one area:

The morning saw BMF_Skier and I in the Arc 2000 bowl we skied down to 2000 via Teppes. The steep section there was having danger poles put in as we skidded down it due to the icey conditions. I'm not tempted to re-visit until that gets any more snow. The flatter areas approaching 2000 are very hard packed, but with the sun on it the surface was enough to get a little purchase and you could Schuss the area without problems. The approach to Bois de L'ours wasn't too bad at all considering the number of skiers on it today - I think there was quite a bit of man made snow about. Arpettes and Grand Melezes back to Villards was reasonably hard packed, but not too bad higher up. Man-made on the lower approach to the lifts (better than the Trans Arc approach) wasn't too bad, but there were icey patches between the two height areas of the run.

I had a private lesson with Dominic from Arc Adventures this afternoon. We took Villards from 1800 the dropped Charmotteger from a short distance, followed by a steeper section of Reches and then Plan bois across to Derby then I think we must have done Renard and I guess must have taken 2300 66 and possibly Cabri 64 to a large open beginners area. I got a little lost at this point, but I think we did aigle, and then picked up Grizzly 68 and then back to foret, renard, maitaz and home.

Now the snow conditions. Well Maitaz is no better than the other day, neither is the approach to to Transarc off the end of Maitaz - scraped doesn't even start to describe it - heaven knows how the beginners are coping - it's enough to make me stop and think I can tell you. However, the areas described above were better than I expected. Clearly we didn't often drop too low, but the snow was quite doable up above Peisey, better than closer to 1800 I think. There are patches of ice in the hard-pack snow, but the surface was not too bad in comparison with the 1800 area. A question of patches of looser snow in the 1800 area scraped icey hardpack, but patches of ice in more skiable surfaced hardpack above Peisey.

At least that's how I saw it, how you interpret this is up to you all

Very Happy


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 23-01-11 21:00; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w, self-appointed experts always get peeved when they're contradicted. There's a lot of it about. wink
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Megamum, I think your descriptions are very helpful - they make it easy to understand exactly how it all feels. Genuine ice is impossible to ski, really - just have to slide across and hope for something better. That very hard hard pack is possible to ski but not (for me at any rate, and for you by the sound of it) any fun at all. It's a bit like being a sailor and being out on a cold, wet, rainy day with practically no wind. For masochists or those very techy, twitchy, sailors who like to change to light weather sheets and stand around with water running down their necks hoping for .1 of a knot more on the speedo.
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Megamum, Great report, especially as I've often found it difficult to be truthfull when I've been 'out' and conditions aren't A1.
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Hurtle wrote:
pam w, self-appointed experts always get peeved when they're contradicted. There's a lot of it about. wink


+1 and rather more succinct than the point I made.
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pam w, Me peeved? No, but I'm here and you are not. I'm also as entitled to have an opinion as anyone else. One being that conditions in La Plagne yesterday were noticeably better than we experienced on Les Arcs.
Today in the 2000 bowl conditions were better (IMHO) than Arc 1800 and lower (IMHO).
Hurtle, And you aren't known for having an 'opinion' are you?
Back tomorrow for more of the same................ wink
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

I'm here and you are not

and when did any thing I wrote suggest that I was there? You said there was no reason for anyone to cancel a trip. I pointed out that cancelling a trip was a perfectly rational step in some circumstances (especially when the person concerned had recent first-hand knowledge of conditions in the area). I still fail to see what the problem is.
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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!
BMF_Skier wrote:
pam w, Me peeved? No, but I'm here and you are not.


I've changed my plans and will now be over in March as opposed to next week. BMF_Skier do you think that is a bad decision? I've an LA season pass, so need to use it (as opposed to going else where) , now for a few weeks or gamble for March?? Which would you suggest, taking into account current conditions, of course.
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Hurtle, holidayloverxx, pam w, it is not about being in charge, or caring if someone contradicts me, it is about making sure for those that are reading this thread that they are getting the true facts about current conditions from those that are here right now.

Megamum, another good report. A group of use will be skiing across the paradiski area and back tomorrow. I shall keep a look out for you guys. Now that we have cleared up what we mean by icy pistes, it will be interesting to compare this ski area with others I have been visiting.
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Hi all. Just back from a week in Arc 2000 (15-22nd Jan). I was part of a group of 13 which ranged from beginners to advanced (all generally on piste skiers). I was a bit worried about the conditions before I went out but to be honest we all managed OK and had a great holiday. I did notice a big difference though in conditions as the week went on (arandelieres on Sun was beautiful but on thursday afternoon was very compact). This may be because the temps at the start of the week were high and the pistes a bit softer. Thursday and Friday were very cold and lots of ice in places. The piste bashers are doing a good job though and skiing was best in the morning on the freshly groomed pistes. We skied across to Plan Piesey in the morning and worked our way back in the afternoon. I agree that some of the flatish cat tracks used to get you from one lift to the other (like the bottom of maitaz) have been polished like a stone and very slippy in places.
The beginners had private lessons with Spirit and loved it. I had one with ESF which was also good. I was going to go with Spirit but when I asked our Crystal rep it was approx 70euro an hour with spirit and 39euro with ESF. We were able to take the beginners down the 'easy' black ecureuils in Plan Piesey by the end of the week. To anyone going out don't worry you will have a great time! Very Happy

Regarding food we stayed in a catered chalet but ate out a few times. On the chalets night off we ate in L'atinos in Arc 2000 (not sure of spelling). Most of us got the Cote de boeuf which is 1kg of ribeye and was 49euro. It does between 2 and comes with veg/chips. It's presented whole and they slice it for you beside the table. Good value and very enjoyable. One of the group got the fajitas and wasn't impressed Laughing As you know it usually comes piled onto a sizzling plate however it looked as though someone ran the knife over the top and removed most of it. He had to order 2 portions Shocked
Had lunch on Friday in Kilimanjaro in 2000 mostly carbonara (13.50euro) and pizzas(13-14 euro) and was really good. Anyone looking for a nice crepe try La Bolle in Arc 1950 - really good!

Anyway - anyone going out have a great holiday. Hope this helps. snowHead
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BMF_Skier, I misread to whom pam w had directed her post. My apologies.

I think that people's opinions on snow conditions, and even more on piste difficulty, are inevitably coloured by the standard at which they ski. It really is a case of one man's meat (even if a bit indigestible) being another man's absolute poison. It is very difficult to be objective, particularly when things can change so quickly on the mountain. It therefore doesn't seem sensible to be over-categorical with advice.

Megamum's descriptions are as objective - evidenced in minute detail - as it's possible to be, I think - terrific.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

it is about making sure for those that are reading this thread that they are getting the true facts about current conditions from those that are here right now.

well nothing I said undermined your wish to make sure of that and your very negative response to somebody who dared to come up with a different opinion (knowing the area well and having been skiing there till just a few days previously) was what prompted me to say
Quote:

I don't think anyone should be pilloried for deciding to cancel and hoping for a better spell of weather.

It would be difficult for any objective observer to quarrel with the suggestion that for someone who has a season lift pass and some flexibility about their holiday plans now is definitely not the optimum time for a holiday in the French Alps. Equally, for someone with a pre-booked holiday, then obviously it's still worth sticking it out and making the most of it in as positive a spirit as possible.
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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
If, 4 years ago, I had gone to LA for my ' introduction to skiing ' with conditions as they are, I probably wouldn't be writing this.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another vote for it is not that bad from the scene of the crime. Skied back down to Villaroger last evening and there are a couple of sections of ice but the rest is in pretty good shape.

The sun is up and I am off to enjoy it snowHead
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Hurtle, I'm logged in at the moment and BMF_Skier is busy sharpening edges! for another expected hard packed day on the slopes (on account of the fact that we didn't get two foot of powder overnight Sad), he said 'apology accepted' with good humor and I'm sure will post later.

I think we are going over to the area above Plan Piesey again today - there is a huge gently undulating area over there that I can practice what we did in ski school (if I can find it again, I'm sure it was around the top of the the Vallandry chair area). The surface over there was OK, still over hard packed snow, but fine for a beginner or 'ski technique' exercises as I was doing. I was there in the afternoon after a sunny day though.

Mind you it is clear that some areas are getting 'slick' as everyday we find more signs saying 'icy surface' - there was one yesterday that I found in the afternoon which I think was on the stretch of reches accessed from top of Villards across to plan bois (which my instructor then took me down Twisted Evil). I don't think they put those up for no reason. A full report later.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys & gals, is anyone in Les Arcs during 5thFeb-12th? I'm keeping the faith that snow will arrive before then! lol Shocked snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Megamum, glad to hear you're enjoying your week, even though the conditions are less than ideal. My view is that as long as there's white stuff of some sort on the ground, skiing & fun can be had Toofy Grin It's very rare you are lucky enough to get perfect conditions (although last year I did have a couple of great weeks!) and if you manage to ski hard scraped pistes, it makes skiing lovely soft snow when you get it all the more enjoyable. Fingers crossed for some fresh snow for you during the week - it only takes a bit of snow to transform the slopes. snowHead
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cathy wrote:
Megamum It's very rare you are lucky enough to get perfect conditions


I must be Mr lucky from 7 lucky street, who works at the horseshoe museum of rabbits feet. Very Happy
In five years, I have never failed to hit powder days.

Tell a lie!!! I had a week last year and the year before that had no powder ... but that was August:P

As bad as it can get, at times like this les arcs is the best place to go. They do wonders at keeping the snow good in theses conditions and I still bet you can find some freshies if you are really adventurous.
I would feel sorry for those going to lower resorts in the alps at the moment. That must be quite bleak.

Tux
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Megamum,
Quote:

there is a huge gently undulating area over there that I can practice what we did in ski school (if I can find it again, I'm sure it was around the top of the the Vallandry chair area)


Hope you found the area you were looing for, try the Derby and the Grizzly for some really good blues and the red down the Derby is a great run and only has a small steeper section
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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tuxpoo wrote:
cathy wrote:
Megamum It's very rare you are lucky enough to get perfect conditions


I must be Mr lucky from 7 lucky street, who works at the horseshoe museum of rabbits feet. Very Happy
In five years, I have never failed to hit powder days.

Tell a lie!!! I had a week last year and the year before that had no powder ... but that was August:P

As bad as it can get, at times like this les arcs is the best place to go. They do wonders at keeping the snow good in theses conditions and I still bet you can find some freshies if you are really adventurous.
I would feel sorry for those going to lower resorts in the alps at the moment. That must be quite bleak.

Tux


i must be your twin then tux. having said that i book my hols three to five days before i go, so i know what conditions are, and what they're going to be**( **or what the forecast says they're likely to be). best way to do it i reckon.
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Quote:

at times like this les arcs is the best place to go.

well right now, between the two, it seems that La Plagne is the better. It seems that provided people are able to cope with the boilerplate and icy patches, there are plenty of French resorts still providing enough snow to have fun. It depends as much on aspect as height at times - Les Contamines was excellent last week. The cannons are making a big difference in so places - major investment in snowmaking in many resorts will be paying dividends at the moment.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
snowcrazy, and others, we're all cyber mates round here as far I am concerned. I have no interest in screwing up someone's trip, only enhancing in it. And I think everyone else is the same. What I think we have here is a classic case of is the glass half full or half empty. And we not talking about your beer in George's bar Toofy Grin Would I rather be in the office than in Les Arcs. No. Would I cancel a trip next week that was already booked up. No. On a scale of 1-10 how good are the conditions in Les Arcs right now. A lot nearer to 1 than 10. If someone offered a last minute trip to Les Arcs right now would I go. No.

I have skied on average a couple of weeks a year for 20 years. My wife has skied since she was a toddler. When we were in ADH the week up to Christmas we agreed things were pretty poor and when we left things were pretty poor. I wouldn't like to say they were the worst I've experienced. My memories not what it was rolling eyes And apart from anything else snowmaking is much better and more prevalent than it used to be. But from what I've read things have got no better, and probably worse since. So a bit grim I would have thought, though no doubt all still "skiable".

Anyway, hopefully there will be a dump shortly and we can all chill Very Happy
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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!
Layne wrote:
What I think we have here is a classic case of is the glass half full or half empty.

From reading the recent threads I think it might be more of a case of "glace half full or half empty" wink

I'll be out there in a couple of weeks - new snow would be nice but I'll take what's there. As long as the pistes are covered I'll be happy.
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Worth reading the latest "Alpe d'Huez/Oz en Oisans/Vaujany" snow reports. I think Paradiski, especially La Plagne is holding up a bit better at the moment. But I am still struggling to remember it so bad at this time of the year. I really must stop commenting though, I am starting to bore myself Embarassed
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Anyone know how much the huskie rides are in Les Arcs? it the Mrs first time on the mountain and wanted to really make it memorable snowHead
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Layne, To see how well La Plagne is doing have a look at the Montalbert webcam, more snow there now than when it last snowed properly (14/1)
http://www.trinum.com/ibox/ftpcam/original_montalbert.jpg

For a general view have a look from the top of the Bergerie lift
http://www.perso-laplagne.fr/Webcams.htm
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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.
Angry Squirrel, Mathias who is based in Montalbert (does Les Arcs as well at certain times) has an 'interesting' pricing structure based on many different factors!
His contact details are here
Quote:

CHIENS DE TRAINEAUX
Balade ou initiation à la conduite de
l’attelage, Mathias BERNAL
vous propose différentes formules
Réservations au 04.79.09.77.33

Give him a ring as he gets booked up very quickly, he speaks very good English.
Check out the Montalbert.com website where there are some videos of his trips.
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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
Another sunny day, possibly not as cold. Sun cream required!
Really more of the same piste conditions though. It all depends where you go and where to avoid as to what conditions you find. There is a real mixed bag but we were only considering the pistes.
We went across to the area above Plan Peissy for a practise sessions, found well maintained pistes by the 2300 lift. The return to 1800 confirmed Maitaz was no better condition than previous days, just less people on it.
More snow cannon use in evidence on this side of the hill (1800) today, it was needed.
A more detailed schedule will be posted later. We need to get ready to go to the swimming pool. Very Happy
It was a good day and the 'guys' (Megamum, minimum_1 and minimum_2) are all making big improvements in their skiing! Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
OK, here is my report for the on-piste conditions we skied today copied as usual from the my trip report thread in the piste.

As predicted we did managed to find the large open practice area that I had been taken on during my ski lesson. We took Villards and then skied Plan Bois (not bad snow at all through there), then hopped Derby and skied renard through to the area of the 2300 lift. The snow up there was as good as yesterday - it's still hard packed, but I think the top layer is being 'managed' quite well up there. There is enough snow to get a fair 'bite' on and the surface is quite OK for practising daft things like one legged skiing on.

We took Foret and Maitaz back. Foret is doing quite OK, Maitaz gets progressively worse. There were far fewer people using it when we returned for lunch, but I fancy that ice skates would be better weapons than skis! From above earlier in the day, the 200 yds back to trans arc looked as though it had taken some man-made snow, but when we got to it to slide across and take the path to Villards I was less certain of that as it was as bad as it had been before.

We went out after lunch and rode Vagere and then took the blue (still in a fairly skiable condition) to the snow park where the kids did the jumps. Then for a change we tried Clocheret. This lift went higher than I expected. In expectation of scraped red sections we did take Clapet (the blue) from the top and this is in very good nick. A good surface (not ideal, but 'good' in comparison with many at the moment) and we had a good ski down there lots of variation in slope which made it interesting.

We ran back to chantel on belvedere. For a run that I imagine gets a lot of use it seems to be holding up well - odd areas are getting a tad scraped, but its still more than skiable. The top of Chantel is still hard and occasionally scraped and would catch out the unwary, but its not too bad today, and perhaps better than it has been. It's been a sunny day and I think the afternoon sun had just softened things a tad.

All in all the real 'rogues' still remain as Maitaz (esp. once out of the trees) and the approach to transarc. It's not quite at the crampons stage, but I think you would def. get a better result on ice skates rather than skis!

I've downloaded some photos from my camera so I will see if I can post some of these for you - they say a picture is worth a thousand words and maybe some 'on the spot' photos will better show what it is like up here.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Megamum wrote:
OK, so there is clearly a difference of opinion about adjectives, but to my mind whilst not quite blue ice there are some areas - such as the approach to transarc and sections of the path just outside our appartments, that are so hard that I was losing the grip on the lower ski (well sharpened) when trying to side slip it. It is shall we say the melted and re-frozen side of hardpack snow in places. So when I talk about 'ice' or 'icey conditions' that is the sort of snow I am describing - OK?


bottom bit of maitaz is always a nightmare when not snowed much - especially where it merges with the bottom of gd. melezes...

AlanM sorry to hear that you sacked it orf, I will still be going and testing the conditions for you. Keep an eye out for a liquorcy thing sliding down your webcams wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Piccies from La Plagne and Les Arcs over the last couple of days:

from_the_top_of_arpette_b_20110123



from_the_top_of_arpette_20110123



from_Chantel_lift_20110123_b



from_Chantel_lift_20110123



From_top_of_Les_Blanchets_chair_Plagne_bellecote_20110122



Dos_Rond_chair_From_Pierre_Blanche_restaurant_-_La_Plagne_20110122



Chantel_from_chantel_lift_20110123
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Megamum, lovely. And it doesn't look at all busy. Smile
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Wow, great pics Megamum, goes to show that the mountains in bad shape are still better than anything else. I'm out on Saturday and though it doesn't look like there'll be much more snow by then I'm really looking forward to hitting the slopes.

:S
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Megamum, I don't see any grass, looks fine to me! Glad you're making the most of it.
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Great pics, does not look to bad either.

Having skied Val D'Isere, Tignes, La Rosiere and La Thuile in the last two days. Today we completed a rapid ski across Les Arcs and La Plagne ski area.

Not going to go through every piste or off piste area we covered, but on the La Plagne side we made it across to the Champagny gondola before heading to the Glacier where the left hand coulior off the glacier area back down to the middle lift station gave us some great skiing on firm chalky snow and the decent down to the bottom chair lift at the Chalet du Friolin on the left hand side of the valley was also good until we neared the lower section where we joined the area that they have tried to make into the new black piste. The bushes and tree stumps were coming through and it does not look like there is much chance of this piste opening anytime soon.

By 1pm we were back on the VE and headed over to the Aiguille Rouge Glacier. Once up the top we skied the north edge of the glacier keeping away from the 'blue (yellowish) ice' down to the start of the Robert Blanc Coulior, down the coulior and into the Arc 2000 bowl. Again good firm chalky snow and fun to ski. Finally we headed down to Pre Esprit for a late lunch and then back to the funi for 3.40pm. Three hard days over in our tour of the Tarantaise Resorts.

Doing both Glaciers in the Paradiski domain in one day and many pistes and off piste areas in between gave us a good chance to look at the conditions across the whole ski area. The off piste above 2200m is still good to ski where it has been sheltered from the sun and wind. Good firm chalky snow with the odd pocket of sugar granule powder still to be found. Lower down where it had been rained on it was crusty, hard packed and cruddy with the odd better patch mixed in. Not great, but still ok to ski in most places.

The pistes we crossed were all well groomed and for the most part, in good condition although compacted and firm, needing a real effort to hold your edge on the lower runs into the stations. The higher pistes were good to ski with a firm base that allowed good carving and tighter turns without the skis jumping around to much.

The very cold temperatures are slowly transforming the upper pistes and off piste areas into a pleasant surface to ski although there are also many mogul fields now appearing whilst lower down into resorts the conditions are more challenging and there are many hard packed pistes where you need to take great care and control your speed when coming towards lifts or other obstacles. Overall, there is still plenty of snow and many good places to ski for all levels of ability.
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Megamum wrote:
Piccies from La Plagne and Les Arcs over the last couple of days:

from_Chantel_lift_20110123





Skis not board then next week methinks..
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
bertie bassett, FWIW I don't board, but those that are boarding on the whole are taking it very fast, there do not seem to be so many novice boarders around - unless you count the one that comprehensively took me out during my private ski lesson whilst I was practising balance, on a clear piste with 10 metres to my right and 25 metres to my left Twisted Evil The guy was French, but I'm sure had no doubt that he had raised my ire, and apparently when my instructor had finished with him he told me that the guy had been 'surprised' that I had defended my corner Laughing It is also not the sort of surface that you want to fall hard on. Yes, if you have a choice I think skis would be better idea, but of course I don't board to really know for certain.
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snowcrazy, how are the other Tarantaise areas holding up? as we are doing all these over a week from 5th feb
cheers
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Picadilly wrote:
Megamum, I don't see any grass, looks fine to me! Glad you're making the most of it.

Me too! Pistes are hard but at least they have snow on Very Happy Enjoy the rest of your week Megamum snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'm back in Les Arcs on 9 April - what are the conditions likely to be like then Toofy Grin
snow conditions



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