Snowboarding in Les Arcs

Thanks to Borneo being cancelled by snow, I managed 2 snowboarding trips this year. This time Les Arcs, the other side of the twin-resort Paradiski area to La Plagne.

Like La Plagne, the pistes were well kept, so I had a really good time tumbling my way towards finally being able to call myself an intermediate snowboarder.

Taken when (after much perseverance) I arrived in Arc 1800 on my board/feet, as opposed to on my arse!

Arcs 1600 and 1800 is really typical French resort-y (all 1960s apartments, high priced bars and apres-ski discos). They’re not my “thing” and I wouldn’t stay there
…but the views are good and you can see Mont Blanc on a good day. There’s certainly worse places to have a beer at the end of the day.

Sunset at Arc 1600

Arcs 1950 and 2000 are newer, (obviously!) higher, and tucked away a little between higher peaks, so when the mid-March sun got too much for the lower pistes I headed upwards.
I particularly liked a long, undulating blue called Valee Des Arcs running from the top of the Varet chairlift at 2700m.

At the top of the Varet lift


The run drops 1000m over c. 3km of piste. Not scary for the under-skilled like me!

Having immense fun in a whiteout halfway down

I can most heavily recommend that anyone considering a snowboard holiday in Les Arcs stays at the Loft Hostel in Bourg St Maurice. The hostel is run by a Brit girl, Charley, and was certainly a very sociable place full of fun and friendly snowboarders the week I was there (people I’ve bumped into since back this up).

The Loft Hostel

On the practical side the place was warm, clean, secure and had great facilities (secure outdoor gear store, too)
It’s about 5 minutes’ walk from the Eurostar terminus and 7 minutes’ walk (in your full gear) to the funcicular up to Les Arcs. Oh, and the funicular trips, like all resort buses, are included in your lift pass.

Looking down to Bourg from the start of the funicular tracks at Arc 1600

If you feel the need to venture further than the Vanoise Express across to the La Plagne side of the Paradiski, you can even take a bus from Bourg St Maurice to further afield places such as Tignes or La Rosiere.

Ummm

Sooo… Today should see me heading towards Heathrow to catch a Qantas flight to Singapore, and from there to Borneo for jungle and monkey-based festive fun.

Unfortunately heavy snow in London has currently closed even Heathrow. They’re clearing snow off the runways til at least 16.00, and from there we shall just have to see.

Watch this blogspace.

…The outcome was VERY different to my plan. I couldn’t get to Singapore for over five days, and had missed various connections and tours. End result:
1. Cancel holiday
2. Make insurance claims
3. Find plan B (NB. not the rapper!)

I ended up working in the Crisis at Christmas homeless shelter for a few days, which was incredibly interesting, different, thought-provoking and rewarding.
Christmas Day was spent in the homeless shelter in the morning, then on my own in a Premier Inn at Gatwick Airport (bottle of red and Doctor Who? Don’t mind if I do!).

That was followed by a week’s incredibly cheap (=bogstandard package chalet trip) last-minute-booked snowboarding in La Plagne. Which is beautiful.

At the top of the Roche De Mio, La Plagne