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Les Coches, La Plagne, Paradiski, France

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Week 9th to 16th April. We stayed in the village ski station Les Coches which is part of the Paradiski ski area, more commonly known by the names of the two now linked areas of La Plagne and Les Arcs. On the trip was me, my wife, son just shy of 6, daughter aged 3y9m. The apartment was rented via the La Plagne website and entailed using a local agency (Socogest). As usual this was beaurocratic and all documentation was in French, though email, phone and face to face conversations could be done in English up to a point. My wife speaks French which helps but you can get away without. Our apartment (in La Traverse) was excellently located. South facing looking over the town square and a couple of hundred metres to one of the two lifts out of town. Outside parking was free and plentiful. Access to the apartment block easy enough. The apartment itself was pleasant enough. The only odd thing that it had 4 single beds and no living area as such. But no matter.

As usual we drove, crossing by Eurotunnel. The crossings and drive up and down were incident free.

Snow conditions wise we were fearing the worst. Last year we went out one week earlier and there was plenty of snow right down to 1300m. But this year has been poor and with a thin base late season was always looking dicey. Fair play to the lift company and pisteurs, they had clearly planned for the eventuality and had stacked out the link runs with snow. Even with roasting temperatures early in the week we managed to get ourselves over to the mid to higher areas of the ski areas and back home again for the whole week. It was fortunate in a way that we were skiing with young children to whom the lack of squeaky snow or powder snow was no inconvenience. I can honestly say I've no gripes in regard of the slope and lift management.

As per my previous reports we continue to self teach the children. We were able to move around as a unit. The older boy was totally independent. He froze up a couple of times on what were quite frankly awfully icey pistes but for the first time later in the week I really had problems keeping up with him. He does have a very wide stance at the moment and is not progressing to parallel quite as quickly as we hoped but I suspect we are setting our expectations too high. The younger daughter is a bit of a tearaway. She got tired by mid-afternoon, and required regular chocolate bites to keep her going. But she can schuss like a demon and is quite happy to take on her brother in a virtual slalom race!

I have stayed in Les Arcs 2000 and the higher La Plagne villages several times and I have to say Les Coches is a great place to stay. It is close to the Vanoise Express which runs between the two main areas giving you great flexibility. It has some nice runs down to end the day. The town has a nice little feel to it with enough bars and restaurants for the occasional venture out. I particularly liked The Last One bar, really nice feel to it and nice beer. There is a Ski Republic hire shop for those in need of some reasonably priced rental. I definitely would like to stay there again. You do need to check the town map for where to stay. As often is the case these days they have built some apartments that aren't as convenient as the older stuff. Quite important if you have kids.

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