Skiing in La Plagne
La Plagne is linked with Les Arcs; together they are one of the largest skiing areas in the world. The Vanoise Express cable car connects the two ski resorts via les Coches in la Plagne and Plan Peisey in Les Arcs creating the combined ski area, Paradiski.
La Plagne itself is well known as a beginners’ and intermediates’ paradise with an abundance of easily accessible nursery ski slopes and miles of motorway pistes. The whole ski area is served by a massive inter-linking lift system with a network of snowmaking machines covering most of the lower slopes as well as many of the higher altitude pistes.
The la Plagne ski area is enormous in both vertical range and extent. The first stop on the breathtaking ride to the glacier is Roche de Mio (2700m), from where even inexperienced skiers can enjoy genuinely long runs home. Adventurous intermediates can ski the beautiful itinerary route to Les Bauches, and on to Les Arcs.
La Plagne Skiing fact file:
Ski range 1250m to 3250m
Marked pistes: 225km (Paradiski 425km)
Ski lifts: 89 (Paradiski 143)
Snow parks: Plagne Centre; Belle Plagne; Champagny and Montchavin – Les Coches
Half-pipe: Plagne Bellecote
Belle Plagne, Plagne Centre, Aime la Plagne and Plagne 1800 are probably the best for beginners. You will quickly progress on runs such as “Golf” near Aime la Plagne (from here there is a chairlift to take you back down to Plagne 1800). A favourite for beginners is the Vega chairlift out of Plagne Centre giving access to “Ramy” or to Plagne Bellecote using “Trieuse”. Towards the end of the first week it is likely that you would get on to “Carella” and “Les Inversens” coming down from the Roche de Mio at 2700m.
There are special deals for lift passes and ski school available in Plagne Centre and Plagne 1800. Oxygene in Plagne Centre and ESF in Plagne 1800 are probably the best taking all things into consideration.
There really is a huge selection of blue and red runs available in la Plagne. One of the great things about skiing in la Plagne is that it is very difficult to get on to a black run by mistake. There are huge wide-open pistes above the tree line or some beautiful blue runs lower down. If you are not taking lessons then it may be best to stay with a tour operator offering ski hosting, try Ski Beat chalet holidays or Snow Hounds.Advanced on-piste: there is limited on-piste skiing for the genuine advanced skier, there are half a dozen black runs and only few of the reds are steep. With the Vanoise Express it is well worth getting a Paradiski pass: at this level the skiing in Les Arcs is more interesting.
la Plagne does not get the recognition it deserves for its off piste skiing, this is great for those who do ski it. La Plagne does not attract the ski bums and other powder fans; this means that while better known off piste ski areas nearby are tracked out, powder can still be found days later (with no climbing!). Favourite off piste areas would include the Face Nord be Bellecote departing from 3200m and arriving at 1500m at the entrance to the Vanoise National Park, returning via the Vanoise Express. A guide is always recommended.
One of the best sites for descriibing the off piste skiing and snowboarding of la Plagne and Paradiski would be Pistehors.
Ski runs of La Plagne – a guide to every piste in La Plagne, sector by sector:
Plagne Centre – Aime la Plagne – Plagne 1800
Plagne Centre – Plagne 1800 – Plagne Soleil – Plagne Villages
Plagne Bellecote – Belle Plagne
Montalbert – Aime la Plagne
Montchavin – les Coches