We’ve had a few weeks of gorgeous weather, and our last day off was no exception. We usually head for Les Arcs on our day off to make the most of having a full day of skiing, but today we had our sights set on La Plagne. Our goal was to ski the four corners of the resort in one day; that is to ski to the top of the Bellecotte glacier, and the bottom of Montchavin, Champagny and Plagne Montalbert.
We set off just after the lifts had opened, and headed up the Grande Rochette to Champagny. Our aim was to get down to Champagny, and hopefully by the time we were back up again the Glacier would have opened (it is the last area of the resort to open in the morning). We skied down a steep red Kamikaze, which was lovely in the sunshine, and all the way down to find…that the two red runs down to Champagny village were closed. No matter! We decided to press on and if we had time come back later to see if the runs had opened.
Up the Roche de Mio we went, aiming for the Glacier…to find that they were delaying it’s opening for a few hours while they prepared the pistes. We were hoping to take red Inversens and black Crozats down towards Les Coches, but we were disappointed to find that they weren’t open either! Just as we were about to head down to Plagne Bellecotte however, the runs opened! We skied down my favourite combination of runs- Inversens is a nice moderate red, and Crozats is a reasonably gentle black. At the bottom of Crozats you have the option of getting a chairlift up or continuing down a blue piste carrying a warning: Route des Bauches is a 3km blue track with 2km of it so flat that you have to pole along it. Hence we call it the ‘poley-poley run’. Most people hate it, especially those who stumble across it by accident, but it is very pretty and one of my favourite runs!
We managed to reach Montchavin, our first proper corner. It was only 11am and it felt like we’d been skiing for ages! 5 chairlifts later, we were back up the Roche de Mio because the glacier was now open! After drinking some well-received hot lemon squash on the gondola, we emerged to a fantastic view. At the top of the Traversee chairlift we headed for the red run Combes. It hadn’t been pisted since the last big snowfall so the snow was surprisingly deep, and we had a lot of fun ‘off-piste skiing on the piste’ as we call it!
We then made a beeline for Champagny again, because I’d seen on a sign that the runs down to the village were open. First we did the red run Bois, which is a nice run winding through the trees all the way down. We then decided to give the other red, Mont de la Guerre, a go. This red goes from the top of the Verdons peak, and turned out to be possibly the most random run we have ever done. It started with a long traverse along a narrow track around the mountain, became a long stretch of nice moguls, then a windy track past some farmhouses, followed by some rather large and icy moguls. It was a challenge! The run is hardly ever open, and we could tell why!
Montalbert was last on our list. We went down twice, doing our favourite two of the many lovely red runs through the trees. We had an app which was calculating our distance for the day, and it read 48km. We wanted to make it 50, so we skied a blue run close to home until the lifts shut. We had achieved our goal, even doing some points twice, and we ended up skiing 58km excluding lifts. But the stats didn’t matter because we’d had such a fantastic day.
Our next challenge? Plagne Montalbert and the Glacier in La Plagne, and the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger in Les Arcs!
Written by Chloe, Bon Vie Chalet Host