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Les Arcs season thread. - Page 3

post #61 of 111
Thread Starter 

When will these powder days end. Not for a while yet I hope! Today was another powder day. This time on the Bellecote. 

 

After spending yesterday in Les Arcs it was time for a change. We headed up early and went over to the Bellecote bowl via the Roche de Mio face and then did a couple of laps of the bowl in mixed conditions. Sometimes the snow was untracked powder, other times it was wind blown and a couple of times we dropped on a few rocks, ouch! But the funniest times were when 'other people' skied into a few holes or bumped over ridges which were hard to see in the flat light (it is always funny when it is not you doing this and nobody gets hurt, just have a laugh about it afterwards!).

 

Then the blue sky broke through and we could see the untracked powder lines from the ridge just waiting to be skied.

 

An hour or so later we reached the Bauches Chair having found plenty of places to make our own lines and stopped for a very late lunch before heading off the top of the Dos Rond ridge down into the waterfall gully and finally back to the Vanoise Express and onto the Altiport for a last drink and home.

 

With the cold temperatures right now the snow on and off piste is holding up well and there is still plenty of powder around. Tomorrow should be another good day.

 

If you would like to see the photos of today, take a look in the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

These are the photos I like best from today!

 

 

The Roche de Mio Face behind them.

 

 

Nice powder!

 

 

The final gully, watch out for the holes!!

post #62 of 111
Thread Starter 

Another Powder day!!

 

I know, you are all fed up with me telling you how good the 'Powder' is each day. So all I shall say about today is that we spent the whole time in the Bellecote Bowl and then down the North Face to get back to Les Arcs and yes, we had untracked powder almost the whole day. Even without hiking you can still find great snow in some out of the way places.

 

Take a look at the photos in the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page if you want to see where we went.

 

For those coming out, the pistes we crossed on the way to the Bellecote and on the way home afterwards were all in great condition and you can go almost anywhere as there is still loads of snow. You are going to have fun next week when you get here!

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

 No room for a mistake here!

 

 

Plenty of space for each of us to make our own lines.

 

 

More untracked snow on the North Face this time.

post #63 of 111
Thread Starter 

After all the fun of the last week, it was decided to have an easier day and head over to the 'Omelette' restaurant above Mont Albert for lunch.

 

With the sun shinning and not much wind although still very cold (at least -15 most of the day), I set off to meet the others at the Vanoise Express (VE).

 

Having met up we headed over 'on piste' towards Plagne Bellecote, but just had to do one of the little gullies on the way down to the Blanches Chair. Then over the ridge and down towards the Verdon Sud chair off piste through the meadows in soft powder rejoining the piste near the lift.

 

From the top of the Verdon Sud chair, off piste once more down to Plagne Centre and up the Biolley Chair, then through the 'Etroits' piste nature area and finally over to the lunch stop for another excellent omelette.

 

The pistes we skied in the morning were soft lower down with a 2cm covering of fresh snow which made them quite pleasant. We even found fresh untracked powder near to the pistes at times.

 

The piste nature area was also fun although the traverse under the cliff was a little narrow in places.

 

On the way home using mainly pistes we found you had to work hard to hold an edge and going down towards the VE at the end of the day was not much fun as it was mostly very hard packed or boiler plate and very slippy. Our detour up to the top of the Roche de Mio and down through the Tunnel to see the new light show inside  was worth the effort (the kids will like this). If there is not some fresh snow soon, most pistes will become very hard packed during the coming days and the off piste is likely to transform into hard chalky snow on the steeper faces and cruddy in other areas. Please let it snow again soon!!

 

After another good week of skiing in varying conditions it was time to have a few final beers and head for home. Great skiing this week guys and for those that know him, 'P' is back skiing the off piste again after his recuperation following the little mishap last season and looking good. Nice to have you back!

 

If you are interested in looking at where we went today, go to the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

Here are the photos I like the best from today.

 

 

 Powder still up to your knees in places.

 

 

 Mr P. showing he can still do it. Good to have you back!!

 

 

 A very nice mornings skiing!

post #64 of 111
Thread Starter 

Changeover days are always nice. Not so many people around so few queues and quiet pistes.

 

Today we toured around Les Arcs mainly 'on piste' in the Arc 2000 bowl and over in Arc 1600, 1800 and a little in Peisey Vallandry. The pistes were not busy in the morning and in good condition.

 

The recent fresh snow has made them firm, but with a soft layer on top after the sun had a chance to take off the overnight frost. As it has remained cold today the off piste although well skied was still light and soft in places with firm chalky snow in other areas.

 

By mid-day some of the group had to go back to help with new arrivals while others continued for a little longer. By mid-afternoon the remainder headed for home and I went back up the Arpette chair.

 

As I had not taken any photos earlier during the day I went to the top of the Combe des Fond Blanc and had some nice views across to Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. Having taken a few photos I then headed down one of the couloirs where they had held the Red Bull Linecatcher competition and across the Arc 2000 bowl onto the Varet gondola. After one last ski down through the off piste area I arrived in Arc 1950 and a drink at George's Wine Bar in Arc 1950.

 

Tomorrow they have forecast worsening weather as the  day progresses with snow later in the afternoon through into Monday. For those coming out or just arrived after the poor weather has passed, if the predicted snow does arrive you are in for some excellent snow on or off piste.

 

A few photos from today are in the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter page. Enjoy!

 

The photos I like best from today!

 

 

 Looking down on Arc 2000 and Arc 1950 from the top of the ridge.

 

 

The entry to the couloir.

post #65 of 111
Thread Starter 

Double post! Deleted.


Edited by snowcrazy - 1/28/13 at 2:06pm
post #66 of 111
Thread Starter 

Time to catch up on the last two days.

 

Yesterday we went riding in some of the tougher off piste areas. It was a long day, but loads of fun. I even hiked a few ridges to reach the couloirs. We managed half a dozen different routes, some long others short. I shall not post loads of details as it was yesterday. Instead I have posted the photos I like the best. If you are interested in seeing where we went, take a look in the Jan 2013 Album Two under the 'Jan 27' for yesterdays pics. I think you will enjoy them!

 

Here are the ones from yesterday that I like the best.

 

 

Nice couloir!

 

 

!!!!!

 

 

Arc 2000

 

 

The waterfall! Deos anyone know where this is? Clue: it is near the piste.

post #67 of 111
Thread Starter 

Now to catch up on today. POWDER again!!

 

I am sorry for all those back home, but I just had to say that!

 

Last night as I was leaving Arc 1950 it had just started to snow lightly. By the time I woke this morning we had 5cm lower down and a good 15cm higher up on the mountain.

 

After a slightly later start due to some lifts not opening on time I met up with the others and we made a few runs under the Arpette Chair in great fresh powder. No need to go anywhere in the morning to have fun. The whole resort had powder 'on and off' piste. We then headed over to the Clocheret Chair and the off piste area beside the pistes on the left and right. More fun!!

 

Finally we headed down the valley beside the Comborciere piste in more good snow and up to Mellee's snack bar in Arc 1950 for lunch.

 

Time for something a little longer. By 2pm most of the main areas of the resort were skied out. There are a lot of people going off piste inside the resort boundary so we headed into the back country down the Col de la Chal. Untracked powder most of the way!

 

Having made our way back into the resort time for one last run, something special maybe. Two of us hiked up the Aiguille Grive and down through the powder onto the Vallandry side. Still plenty of room to make more fresh tracks.

 

Finally as the lifts were closing we headed directly back to Arc 1600 without using the lifts and then home.

 

The pistes everywhere today were in great condition after the fresh snow last night and the off piste was excellent. If the wind does not spoil the snow and it stays cold we are in for a few more very good days. Putting fresh tracks everywhere again! WOW!!

 

If you want to take a look at todays photos go to the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

 

Nice!

 

 

Time for some air!

 

 

Col de la Chal!

post #68 of 111
Thread Starter 

Powder days are still with us.

 

Although today was very mixed visibility, the snow had stayed in great condition and we had fresh untracked powder most of the day.

 

Started off in flat light heading over to the La Plagne side with a warm up run down towards the Crozats Chair, then up into the Bellecote bowl via the Roches face as usual arriving at the top of the Gondola just as they opened the Traverse chair to get across into the off piste area.

 

From then on until we returned to the Vanoise Express around 4pm we had fresh tracks almost everywhere although at times the light was very poor. We had planned to go onto the North Face, but with the poor light we kept on the Bowl side before heading for lunch and then into the trees on the way home.

 

Even in the forest the snow was in excellent condition and mostly untracked where we were. After a long and fun day we arrived back in Les Arcs and headed for home around 4.30pm. I decided to make a little detour going down to the mid station of the Funicular which proved worth the effort as the snow even lower down in the forest was still good. The pistes are holding up well everywhere and even late in the afternoon were firm and grippy, but not to icy although you do need good edges at times.

 

Tomorrow promises to be another fun day! If you want to see where we have been today, take a look at the photos I took in the Jan 2013 Album Two of my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

 

I really like this view, even in poor light.

 

 

Untracked Powder from the top to the bottom of the run. WOW!

post #69 of 111
Thread Starter 

What a different kind of day we had today.

 

Went up the top of Aiguille Rouge with the idea of doing one of the steeper couloirs first thing in the morning, but found that the wind was blowing strongly and there was plenty of wind slab about plus the rain last night up to 2000+ metres had made the snow very strange in places.

 

Went to have a look and we decided not to go any further. It is always better to walk away than take too great a risk.

 

Instead we headed over to the Grand Col and off the back into the National Park via the easier couloir and then an interesting ride down through very mixed snow conditions including powder, hard pack, breakable crust and crude plus poor visibility at times just to add to the mix. Just as the visibility improved we were able to spot the large avalanche that had come down yesterday afternoon from the ridge on skiers left. Having to cross the avalanche area to get to the path out was not much fun!

 

Despite the conditions we enjoyed the challenging ride down and headed back to Arc 2000 for lunch. After we finished eating we made another route which was also very mixed before finally going down through the forest back towards Arc 1600 and home.

 

The change in temperature has actually made the pistes soft and fun to ski although the off piste will become very cruddy if this weather continues very long. Later in the afternoon it was more like late March than the end of January. Tomorrow on the Bellecote should be very interesting.

 

If you are interested in seeing what it was like today, take a look at the photos in the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

Something for today!

 

 

Entering the National Park.

 

 

 Powder turns again!

 

 

 Now that was steep!!

post #70 of 111
Thread Starter 

Something different again today.

 

Went over to the Bellecote via the Roches face which still had good snow and over the back down the Petit North Face route. Then back to Les Arcs and a little ski around to the bar in Arc 1800 for a drink before heading home.

 

An real mix of snow conditions. First, the pistes early on were in quite good condition considering the weather yesterday as we went from Les Arcs to the Roches de Mio and then over to the Bellecote.  The entrance to the North Face, despite a few cms of new snow last night was rather rocky, but we found better snow until just before the second section around 2200m.

 

From then onwards it was breakable crust everywhere all the way to the forest track which was very busy and also icy.

 

After spending quite a bit of time waiting for an ESF snowbaord group in front of us to finish the track we arrived at the bottom for a late lunch.

 

Although a challenge, most people agreed it was worth the effort and now we look forward to the fresh snow which has been forecast over the next few days.

 

Photos of today in the Jan 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs facebook page (They are in date order).

 

https://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter

 

 

Todays start of the Petit North Face of the Bellecote.

 

 

Even the easy way has some steep places!

 

 

The snow looks good, but it was breakable crust from here.

post #71 of 111
Thread Starter 

Powder in the trees, but poor visibility and getting colder with strong winds.

 

Quiet on the mountain and many lifts closed today. The fresh snow in the valley did not arrive, but there was plenty up high together with strong winds (approx 30cm). It has started to get cold again and although the wind has badly effected the snow in exposed places, in the trees it is powder. The pistes higher up are in good condition after the fresh snow and even lower down where it was raining (below 2200m) they are ok now that it is colder.

 

Tomorrow when the sun comes out (hopefully) it should be a better day and I will get some photos if it is not to cold. No photos today, but check out my Les Arcs Winter facebook page for photos of the last few day. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter

post #72 of 111
Thread Starter 

MORE AMAZING SNOW IN LES ARCS!!! Powder days are here again!! Monday 4 Feb.

Although the light was coming and going all day, we were able to get some great powder. Having crossed over the Vanoise Express we made a route from the top of the Salla Chair down through the meadows and forest to the La Roche chair and then back up to Plagne centre for a picnic in the hall.

After lunch the sun came out for a while and we went from the top of the Grande Rochette down to Champagny via the south facing slope. Had to take care here, but the snow was still good and the ride down was fun. Then up the Roche de Mio and down the centre ridge for a few more fresh powder lines before heading home through the hidden valley and then the off piste down to the bottom of the Bauches Chair.

Once back on the Les Arcs side of the Vanoise Express a quick ski across the pistes and off piste areas to the trees above Arc 1600 before a final ride down in deep powder again to the meadows in Arc 1600 and home.

The fresh snow in the last few days has made all the pistes in great condition right now. Even the north facing well skied pistes have held up to the extra traffic from the growing number of people around as the February holiday ski period gets started.

The off piste is still powder and although you must be careful to avoid the more unstable areas, if the fresh snow promised in the next few days does arrive, those coming out for the holidays are in for a great time.

Take a look at the photos of the last few days in the new Feb 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.429402117136260.95575.195692797173861&type=3

post #73 of 111
Thread Starter 

After posting the update this morning as it was windy, raining and some lifts were delayed from opening I decided to take the day off. I was given the following report by someone that went up anyway.

 

The mist made the visibility poor 'on and off' most of the day. The snow was wet and heavy lower down, but powder higher up. The winds increased as the day progressed forcing some of the higher lifts to close later in the day. The forest riding was good, but you were dropping through onto cruddy snow quite often. Despite the mixed conditions he said he had fun and did not come down until mid afternoon although he did look very wet when I spoke with him.

 

Tonight it is snowing heavily up top right now and even lower down the snow is settling. They have now forecast snow for all day tomorrow and the winds are still blowing very strongly tonight. It should be an interesting day. Next update tomorrow.

post #74 of 111
Thread Starter 

Powder! Powder! Powder! Today it just kept on snowing!!

Now all we need is a bit of good weather to really enjoy the backcountry without nearly falling in the holes we cannot see.

Today was another one of those excellent powder days when everywhere you went you were able to make fresh tracks and the powder was flying up into your face. Because some lifts opened late we went up at 10am and then stayed around the Arc 1600 area in the trees and powder fields. After lunch we headed over to the Peisey Vallandry side and again played around in the trees and also in the open areas when the light improved.

We made one effort to go high, but the light was very flat and although the snow was excellent, you could not see anything and I hate falling in holes so we went back to the trees again. Looking across to the Arc 2000 bowl, it was very misty and poor visibility so we did not try going in the other valley.

By the time we went home when the lifts were closing it was snowing right down to the valley and tomorrow should be all fresh tracks again. It was colder today which is great for the snow and the wind had dropped a little which will allow the snow to settle a little. Today was a level 4 avalanche warning day so we did not try anything exposed in the off piste, but still found a few jumps and steeper places to ride safely.

Tomorrow they say the weather will start to improve a little. Looks like we shall have a few more powder days before the week is over.

Take a look at the photos of today (did not take many today in the poor visibility) in the Feb 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page if you are interested in seeing what the conditions are like right now. The amount of snow in the trees in some places is quite amazing. Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #75 of 111
Thread Starter 

Blue sky and powder!! What more could we ask for!

 

Today we started from Les Arcs early and headed over to La Plagne hoping to get on the Bellecote, but we were out of luck, closed all day. Time to find something else to do.

 

Whoever thinks La Plagne has nothing to offer is very mistaken. We found untracked powder and soft snow all day.

 

Starting with a ride down from behind L' Arpette we rode through the powder to La Roche and then headed back up top and down the back of Les Verdons to the chair far below. Up top again and down by another route  through the powder and some steeper drops to the Borseliers Chair. After a quick lunch, up to Roche de Mio and over the back for a long decent by one of the couloirs to the Bauches Chair. From the top of the Dos Rond down through the meadows and forest to the Pierres Blanches chair and one final run down to the Vanoise Express in the trees.  Almost every route over in La Plagne had untracked powder and the pistes we crossed were all in great condition.

 

Back over in Les Arcs, a quick dash through the Peisey Vallandry forest to the Derby chair and from the ridge down the shoulder for a quick jump off the 'Big Drop' before heading to Arc 1800 by way of the forest and meadows which even at 5pm were still not completely tracked out. The pistes on the Les Arcs side were also in great condition after the fresh snow.

 

What a wonderful day, powder and blue sky although the cloud did come and go which caused spells with flat light at times. For those coming out this weekend, with more fresh snow forecast you are in for a great time.

 

Here are a couple of photos from today.

 

 

Not always scary, but still fun!

 

 

That is fun!

 

If you want to match up what I have written with photos of where we went today, take a look at the Feb 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #76 of 111
Thread Starter 

COLD! COLD! COLD!

 

Today was great powder, but oh so cold! I managed just a dozen photos before my hands could take no more, ' - 22 at 3000m'. If you have to cope with these temperatures to be a sports photographer I think I might give up this idea.

 

Despite the cold temperatures we still had a great day in the powder. Started off with a warm up off the Arpette ridge in Les Arcs down a short couloir and then up the top of the Arcabulle Chair and a quick ride down the middle ridge of the Arc 2000 bowl in more powder before heading over the back of the Col de la Chal for a fun ride in mostly untracked snow the whole way to Moulin village.

 

Chatted with some people on the bus and quickly changed or plans. The Bellecote was open!

 

We headed over to La Plagne and the Bellecote bowl. Managed to get there while the sun was still shinning and had a great descent down one of the couloirs of the North Face in mostly untracked powder from top to bottom, even in the meadow near the restaurant it was fresh snow. It was such fun we are going back again tomorrow if the weather is ok.

 

After getting back to Les Arcs, a quick ride over to the Derby chair through the forest and down the ridge to the 'big drop'. Found some local lads taking a bit of air. Very nice!! Wish I had 15 year old knees again.

 

We then continued down to Arc 1800 off piste the whole way and back up the Vagere Chair. Then to the top of the Clocheret Chair and over into the Comborciere valley for a run in surprisingly untracked powder in places. Finally it was time to head for home.

 

Back up top and down through Malgovert and the Mont Blanc forest and then the meadows to the mid station of the Funicular and home. Another good day at the office!!

 

The pistes are holding up well and although becoming hard packed in the busy places they are still in great condition. There is still plenty of powder, some untracked in the off piste areas and if you take a guide there are many great places to go for that special day out.

 

Despite the very cold temperatures, if you dress up well, those of you just arriving are in for a great holiday. You might need chains on the smaller roads if driving out, but the main roads are clear right now.

 

Check out the few photos I took today in the Feb 2013 album of my Les Arcs winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

Here are two photos from today that I like!

 

 

One of the local lads taking a bit of air on the smaller of the two jumps back in Les Arcs! Nice!!

 

 

Entering the couloir on the North Face of the Bellecote. This one is a little steep!

post #77 of 111
Thread Starter 

Another fun Sunday comes to an end! As planned we headed over to the Bellecote bowl in La Plagne first thing this morning. The sun was out and the sky was blue, but it was freezing. By the time we reached the Glacier on the Bellecote it was -24 degrees and my hands and toes were very cold. No photos until much later in the day, I was not going to freeze again like yesterday!

 

After spending most of the morning and early afternoon in the bowl making various routes in fresh untracked powder using the Chalet de Bellecote chair and the Gondola, as the light was turning flat and the wind had started to blow stronger we headed back towards Les Arcs via the Friolin Bowl and the forest above Les Coches.

 

Despite the intense cold we had a great day and made loads of fresh tracks everywhere. Once over in Les Arcs we slowly made our way home using the Derby and Vagere Chairs.

 

Although most of the easily accessible off piste is well tracked in both areas, it is still soft and light. With the new snow forecast for the next few days the off piste will continue to be excellent. The pistes everywhere are quite hard packed in the busy areas coming into stations, but most other pistes are in good condition after the recent snow. There are more people about now, but so far it is still not to bad.

 

As I came home tonight there was light snow falling again higher up. Tomorrow promises to be another fun day although we might need to be in the trees for some of the time if the visibility is poor or there are high winds.

 

I only took a few photos again today. Take a look at the Feb 2013 Album in my Les Arcs Winter facebook page.  Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

Here is a photo I like from today!

 

 

Nice route!

post #78 of 111
Thread Starter 

Today was another great POWDER day!!! Tuesday 12 Feb.

It was snowing when I woke in the morning and it was still snowing when I came down at 6pm in the evening. In between we went in the powder fields under the Arpette and Bois de l'ours Chairs for a warm up, including one of the steeper small couloirs, over in the National park and down through the forests of Malgovert and Mont Blanc.

What a great way to introduce another youngster into the fun of off piste riding!! and he did very well. Kept going from 9.30 to 5pm with only a short break for lunch and only a few falls. Well done!

Everywhere we went the snow was excellent. Light, fluffy and loads of it. Maybe about 20cm of fresh by the end of the day, hard to tell, but it was up above our knees in most places and sometimes higher. You hardly ever dropped through onto the older hard snow below the surface in the off piste and the pistes were all in great condition.

The visibility was coming and going all day and we managed to find untracked snow almost the whole time. Another fun day where we covered most of the ski domain from Arc 1600, 1800, 2000 Bowl and down to Villaroger. Take a look at the photos in the Feb 2013 Album in my Les Arcs Winter facebook page if you want to see what were doing today. Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #79 of 111
Thread Starter 

Wednesday 13 Feb.  Another great day comes to an end! Went up nice and early again today. They said it would be sunny from the beginning of the morning, but it was still snowing at the top of the Mont Blanc Chair at 9.30am so we headed over to La Plagne and the Bellecote bowl. Great move. By the time we arrived via the couloir off the Roche de Mio the sun was out and the clouds were below us.

 

We spent the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon playing in the bowl, making laps and putting down fresh tracks everywhere we went. Really fun and hardly anyone about.

 

Around mid afternoon we went over onto the Petit North Face for a ride down in more untracked powder all the way to the Bar at the bottom and a hot chocolate before heading for home, just making the last lift out of Arc 1800 at 5.15pm.

 

Quite a day. Really fun and great powder again. The pistes across the whole area of the Paradiski that we used were in great condition, but with the sun coming out, it did become quite busy at some lifts with '5 to 10 minute' queues in places. Considering the number of people already out this week the pistes are holding up very well and the off piste, although tracked in the easy to reach places, is still light and soft. As we found, if you are willing to make a bit of an effort you can still find plenty of untracked powder around. We even had a chance to see a close up repair of a lift whilst sitting on a chair. These guys deserve real RESPECT!

 

Take a look at the photos of today in the Feb 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter page. Enjoy!!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #80 of 111
Thread Starter 

Been very busy for the last few days having fun in the powder, staying out late and leaving early in the morning to find more good snow so know time for updates until now.

 

I have just posted the last photos for this weeks in the Feb 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. If you want to see what we have been doing over the past week take a look.

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

The conditions over the past few days have been great. Fresh powder most of the time and a mix of good light with blue skies and cloudy poor visibility days.

 

The fresh snow has kept the pistes in great conditions in most areas of the paradiski, even where it is busy. The off piste although well tracked is still soft and light in the more sheltered places. As we approach the busy period the sun is promising to come out and with good snow depths right down into the stations anyone coming on holiday should have a great time.

 

The roads on Saturday are likely to be very busy in both directions coming into Bourg St Maurice and first thing in the morning it could be icy. Take care all those driving out. See some of you on the hill on Sunday.

post #81 of 111

Snowcrazy, I am really impressed with your dedication! I recently got back into skiing and started looking at places I have been in the past. I took my family to Belle Plagne back in the 80s and remember it fondly. Thanks for the memories.

post #82 of 111
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, been really busy again just having fun in all this powder and staying out far to late so just not made it home in time to keep up with the posts.

 

A quick update of the last few days.

 

The snow came again at the end of last week and topped up the pistes and off piste areas very nicely. For the last few days, despite there being more people about than a week ago, we have not had to many queues so far, although it did seem more crowded this afternoon as the holiday makers started exploring further afield.

 

With the blue sky each day since Saturday and little wind, it really has been quite nice even on the pistes, in the snow park, border cross courses and of course in the trees and off piste areas.

 

The Pistes, despite being busy, are still in very good condition in most places, even coming into the stations or lifts. The warmer afternoon temperatures make it quite pleasant to get around the whole paradiski area. So far I have not seen many bare patches and few very icy pistes except on the north facing well used slopes. If the top up that is predicted for later in the week arrives then these good conditions should continue into next week.

 

As for the off piste, take a look at the photos I will be posting shortly of the conditions in the last few days. Even today we were still finding untracked powder off the beaten track. Right now it is well worth taking a guide if you want to have some real fun in the back country. Send me a PM if you want some contacts for guides or fancy meeting up.

 

The piste nature areas and most 'in-bound' off piste areas are well skied, but the snow is still soft and light in many places although it is also becoming hard packed and even crusty where the sun has been directly shinning onto the surface, ' breakable crust' YUK!!

 

Overall I think the conditions are great, even better than last year. For anyone coming out, you are going to have a good time and if you like the off piste, get some fat skis and join in all the fun!!

 

If you want to see the photos of the last few days, take a look at my 'Les Arcs Winter' facebook page. Enjoy!!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #83 of 111
Thread Starter 

Wednesday 20 Feb. What a good day we had. Even nearly a week since the last powder we were still able to find about 1 km of the untracked stuff, might have been even more.

The Bellecote never gives up all it's secrets at once, you have to work hard to find some of them. Today we headed to the Glacier above La Plagne via the cliffs of the Roche de Mio and then over onto the North Face.

 

On the way over the snow was well tracked, but still soft, fun to ride and quite stable which meant we could try yet another route.

 

After dropping onto the North Face we made our way down until we passed the tracked out areas and entered a long section of light almost champagne powder. It was such fun making our way through this untracked snow we just wished it would not end. Tried a bit more synchronised skiing and finally hit the forest. Then headed down into the river valley and out to the Chaval Restaurant for a nice lunch before returning to Les Arcs.

 

Once in Les Arcs we went back to the Arc 2000 bowl and looked at all the new skis and snowboards for next season at the test area at the top of the Transarc plus having the chance to try out the Snowpulse Air Bag system and even testing the inflation method. Most effective! If you can afford the cost, any one of the ABS, BCA or Snowpulse air bag systems are well worth getting if you spend your time off piste as we do together with having your own transceiver, shovel and probes of course.

 

Then it was time for the 'Boardercross Course' and a little race which one of the kids won before heading to the snowpark and a few jumps (I took the photos). Finally it was time to go home for some hot wine. More too come tomorrow!

 

Although the pistes and lift queues are getting busier, the pistes are still in good condition and whilst the off piste is well tracked, it is still fun with the odd surprise if you know where to look.

 

More snow might come this weekend so if you are coming out  soon it should be good.

 

The photos of the last couple of days will be posted shortly in the Feb 2013 Album Two of my Les Arcs Winter facebook page for those interested in seeing what we have been doing. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

Photos I liked from the last few days.

 

 

Les Arcs Backcountry!

 

 

Quite a jump!

 

 

Getting started when you are young is always fun!

post #84 of 111
Thread Starter 

Summary for the last week. What a great time we have all had!!

 

Not as busy as expected on the lifts for 'English half term week' and loads of snow.

 

Powder and fresh tracks almost everyday with blue sky most of the time. It was cold, but then that is what has kept the snow so good.

 

The off piste for the past week has been in excellent condition most of the time in the backcountry with plenty of places to put down fresh tracks in knee deep powder. Even within the bounds of the resort ski area although well tracked the snow stayed in good condition and was fun especially in the trees.

 

The pistes have held up well to the busy traffic and there were not too many icy patches coming thorough even into the lifts and resort stations.

 

The youngsters enjoyed the snowpark, boardercross and speed skiing areas and some even managed to pull off some new tricks which was great to 'watch!' The toboggan run in Arc 2000 bowl was also fun. Although one friend did hurt her knee so be careful how fast you are going when you hit the walls.

 

Those that had lessons found the ESF Instructors to be mostly very good and making an effort to explain in English which was great to hear. If the kids are happy, the holiday is much easier!

 

Everyone managed to get their badges and some good race results as well.

 

Last night as we said our good byes, the feeling amongst everyone was the conditions have been great and everyone hopes it will be the same again at Easter.

 

It was snowing again last night with about 7cm of fresh snow by this morning, but it is very cold again. - 21 degrees at the top they have predicted. I am having a day off today, then back up again tomorrow.

 

I have just posted the last of the photos from this week so if you are interested in seeing what we have been doing, take a look in the Feb 2013 Album Two on my 'Les Arcs Winter' facebook page. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

If you fancy discovering some of these great off piste areas send me a PM and we can see what could be arranged. I know many local English speaking Instructors/guides if you need one. 

 

Here are a few photos from the last few days.

 

 

Amazing powder!

 

 

Careful does it, you do not want to get wet!!

 

 

What a great view of the apartment!

 

 

They learn quickly when young!!

post #85 of 111
Thread Starter 

Welcome to the 'High Season!' Today it took some effort to find untracked powder, but we managed it. Only a short section, but enough to make it worth the effort. Then a nice ski down to the trees for lunch in the sun. Even though the wind was blowing high on the mountains on the sunny south facing slopes sheltered by the trees it was actually quite pleasant.

 

After a nice picnic we headed to the lifts in Peisey. The early  morning queues we had experienced were even bigger. As we made our way back across Les Arcs there were many people about and it was time to head off piste again. The snow was still good in the trees coming down towards Arc 1600 and we met some guys taking a bit of air!

 

The pistes across Les Arcs today had held up well to the busy traffic and although hard packed in many places you could still have a bit of fun carving on the wider pistes. The off piste lower down although well tracked had a nice cover of fresh snow, more in fact than higher on the mountain and we also found some good untracked sheltered areas higher up.

 

It was very cold again today, but the sun made it quite pleasant. Tomorrow I hope the queues are not so bad as we hope to head across to the Bellecote in search of more fresh tracks.

 

If you want to see the photos I have just posted of where we went today, check them out in the Feb 2013 Album Two on my 'Les Arcs Winter' facebook page. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

Here are a few photos from today!

 

 

He landed this! Just!

 

 

Welcome to 'High Season!'

 

 

Still places to make your own fresh powder turns!

post #86 of 111
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, just finished posting the photos of the last few days. Take a look in the new March 2013 Album of my 'Les Arcs Winter' facebook page if you are interested in seeing some of the different routes we have been doing.

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos
 
Today, March 2nd, we went looking for some couloirs to ride and finished with our first trip down the North Face of the Bellecote since the strong winds a few days ago. Interesting conditions!!

 

The snow on the slopes that do not face south have now started to change from powder to hard chalky snow which grips your edges and allows you to make good turns, even in the tighter couloirs as long as you can hold the edge. On the south facing slopes, the snow is turning to spring slush in some places and becoming quite heavy. Early or late in the day it is likely to be breakable crust off piste and hard or icy on piste after the heavy night frost until the sun has been out for a while or after the sun has dropped below the horizon.

 

The pistes across the whole Paradiski area are becoming hard packed and firm with a few patches of ice coming through in the busy areas. You need to take care when stopping at lifts or coming into stations.

 

As long as you stay under control, these conditions are fun to ride both on and off piste. Have a fun week while the sun lasts, it may cloud over by the end of the week!

 

Here are a few photos I like from the last few days.

 

 

Not bad for only a few days training. Anyone can learn to enjoy the off piste if they get the right help and are just a little brave!

 

 

And it will not take long before you can turn like this!

 

 

Or you can even go down couloirs like this!!

post #87 of 111
Thread Starter 

What fun today turned out to be. I really like it when the weather man gets it wrong and the conditions are better than predicted. We had not expected to do that much, but ended up doing loads.

 

Having met up with my friends we quickly headed over to La Plagne and the top of the Roche du Mio. We were thinking of going straight onto the Bellecote, but the sky was very overcast and a few snowflakes were falling so we decided to go down to Champagny Village via the 'brown trouser ridge' and the 'gully route', then red piste along the ridge from the top of the Verdun Sud chair.

 

Good choice, although it was challenging going along the ridge in flat light, the meadow at the other end was ok. When in the gully, it was fun with plenty of spring snow and the visibility was not to difficult even in flat light. We then headed up to the ridge and found the red closed. No worry, we headed off piste in more spring snow and made our way down to the valley far below only joining the piste for the last section.

 

Back up the Champagny Gondola, chairs and other lifts before reaching the top of the North Face of the Bellecote just as the sun started to break through. What an opportunity!

Instead of going home via the Friolin Bowl as planned, we went straight over the back and down one of my favourite routes on the North Face through the middle cliffs to the forest track with about 3 cm of fresh powder sitting on a hard base in the top section. The result was some very good skiing mixed in with crud, breakable crust in a few places and lots of hard chalky snow as well as the odd patch of soft deep snow in the sheltered areas.

 

With no tracks most of the way down, only one other group had ventured over the back using the route we choose from the few tracks we could see. We had a very nice ride down in sunshine on a warm spring afternoon.

 

Once back in Les Arcs we headed over to the Waterslide for a bit of free entertainment and a drink after a slight delay when the Vagere chair broke down for 20 minutes. What a pleasant way to finish the day sitting in the sunshine having a drink watching other people fall in the water!!

 

A good day was had by all and we managed to get some very nice photos as well. Take a look in the March 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page if you are interested in seeing what our day was like. I will post them shortly.

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

 

For those coming out this weekend, the piste conditions right across the Paradiski area were ok today. The little fresh snow higher up and the warmer temperatures have made the pistes softer in most places and quite easy to hold your edge, whilst not to sticky either. The north facing slopes are still quite hard packed and slippy, but with care you can pass these without difficulty if you control your speed. Coming into the stations and lifts areas where it is still very busy can be difficult so you do need to slow down.

 

The off piste areas and piste natures are a mix of everything, from crud to wind slab so you need to take care and choose your routes carefully, but you can still have loads of safe fun.

 

More to come tomorrow when we hope the sun is shinning again!

 

Here are a few photos I like from today!

 

 

Air Time!

 

 

A test photo! Does wide screen work on here?

 

 

Not always scary, but still fun!

 

 

Powder days again!

post #88 of 111
Thread Starter 

What rubbish weather today. Planned to go up this morning, but when the rain started we choose to take the day off instead. It is still raining lower down now, although I have just heard it is snowing up at the top. The snow/rain limit seems to be around 2000m.

 

I hope tomorrow brings some better weather.

 

I have just finished up loading the last for the photos from the past week. The Val D'Isere day trip showing all nine routes we did that day are in a separate album. Take a look at the Val D'Isere and Tignes 2013 Album on my Les Arcs Winter page if you are interested in seeing where we went that day. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos .

 

Here is one as a taster.

post #89 of 111
Thread Starter 

Today, Saturday turned into a powder day and we were all very happy!!!

 

When I left home in the morning I was not  sure how much powder we would find. I was told the official count was 10cm above 2000m. If anything it turned out to be a little more than that on the Bellecote.

 

After a fast ski across Les Arcs we headed straight  for the Bellecote Bowl via the Roche du Mio face. What a good choice. Fresh untracked powder for the whole day.

 

We had an untracked run down the Roche (a real surprise), and then made 3 long laps and one shorter lap of the bellecote bowl by different routes before heading down the North Face by a different route to earlier in the week and then finally home through Les Arcs by way of the off piste above Arc 1800, the Waterslide which everyone did without a problem, the off piste route down to the Marmotte Chair and then down through Malgovert to the Mid station of the Funicular and home.

 

A really fun day,with fresh untracked powder almost the whole day and pistes that were refreshed by the recent snow and few people around (change over days are great).

 

Tomorrow we plan another early start to make the most of the fresh snow before it is all skied out.

 

If you are interested in seeing where we went today and the condition of the snow right now, check out the photos I shall be posting shortly in the March 2013 Album Two on my Les Arcs Winter facebook page. Enjoy!

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

post #90 of 111
Thread Starter 

Wednesday 13 March. Another surprise day comes to an end. They had forecast snow again today, but instead we had a little cloud to start and then blue sky for most of the day. But it is snowing a little outside tonight.

 

After meeting up in Les Arcs we headed over to the Bellecote glacier again as the snow had seemed better in the Bellecote bowl. By the time we arrived after a few queues and quite busy pistes we found the clouds had lifted and the visibility was good.

 

For a change we took one of the steeper couloirs  down the Roche de Mio face into the Bellecote Bowl. Then up to the top of the glacier and a couple of loops by different routes looking for steeper areas to practise those skills needed off piste before finally heading down the Friolin Bowl via the ridge to the Bauches chair. Then over the back of the Dos Rond and down the waterfall gully avoiding a number  of air holes that have opened  on the steeper face and back to Arc 1600 for a drink at the Altiport before heading for home. No waterslide today for us as it was closed when we arrived.

 

The snow off piste everywhere today had a nice soft top surface with hard firm snow underneath. As long as you took care, it was fun to ski even in the steeper couloirs. Lower down and in the trees it became heavy at times where it had been effected by the sun and wind, but it was still soft and enjoyable in many places.

 

The pistes right across the paradiski area where we skied were in good condition  with a softer top surface and hard firm snow underneath to help you turn. However, coming into lifts, on the more north facing slopes and in busy areas the snow had become hard and slippy by the afternoon and you had to take care not to loose your edge at times.

 

The fresh snow falling tonight should make the pistes everywhere much easier tomorrow.

 

The photos of the last few days are slowly being uploaded. I have now added those from the weekend. Take a look if you are interested in seeing what the conditions are like and the places we have been visiting. Enjoy.

 

http://www.facebook.com/LesArcsWinter/photos

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