Les Arcs is an intermediates, experts, freestylers paradise, and as it is one of the biggest ski areas and one of the world’s biggest lift-served verticals at more than 6561 feet (2000 m) there is something for all levels. There are wide, gentle green pistes and more than 50 blue runs to choose from so while the experts are well catered for, this offers some good beginner/intermediate skiing. The steep, high-altitude glacier runs as well as pistes through the shelter of the forest not to mention the awesome off-piste terrain in between all these groomed slopes will satisfy the adrenaline junkies.
Les Arcs benefits from a fantastic modern lift network and is well connected to the slopes of La Plagne. There are little walking or bus rides needed to make connections and with skiing, up to 10583 feet (3,226 m) it is a fairly snow-sure resort plus most slopes are north facing with extensive snow-making facilities.
Good intermediates and experts will love the steep runs – the resort boasts one of the highest percentages of steep terrain in the Alps and there are 19 black runs. If you’re looking for great off-piste, hire a guide and head to the north face of the Aiguille Rouge. Or test yourself on the steep Couloir en S which pitches at up to 45 degrees, and ski the 7km, 2,000m-vertical descent from the top down to Villaroger. The resort, like many in the alps, also has some ungroomed pistes which are signposted and patrolled but provide good training for moving to off-piste terrain.
Do try the long red run down to the tiny village of Villaroger which is also a lovely quiet cruise, although you do have to get a succession of chairlifts needed to get back up.
Snowboarders and freestylers are well catered for continuing Les Arcs’ tradition of being a pioneer of the new snow sports. The main terrain park, the huge Apocalypse Park is just above Arc 1600 and has a vast array of terrain features and lines for all ability levels over tables, hips, a funbox, pyramid, and jumps of various sizes. There is a boardercross course at arc 2000 and a second smaller park, called the Rey Park, with areas for both novices and advanced riders, as well as a second boardercross course.
This is a great area for cross-country skiers – in the Paradiski area there are around 279 miles (450 km) of cross-country skiing and these are graded exactly like the downhill pistes. In Les Arcs there are two free trails – a 3-mile (5 km) loop in Arc 1800 which runs from the top of the Jardin Alpin chairlift and there is a 3-mile (5 km) loop in Arc 2000 which starts near the bottom of the Arcabulle chairlift. You will need to buy a pass for the other areas but do head down to the Nordic area of Peisey-Nancroix where there are 44kms of well-maintained trails at the entrance of the Vanoise National Park. Also, a great place for walking and practicing biathlon, and paths for walkers.
|Skiable Terrain||425 km, 35,558 acres|
|Vertical||2050 m (6,725 ft)|
|Top Elevation||3250 m (10,662 ft)|
|Base Elevation||1200 m (3937 ft)|
|Winter lifts Total||131|
|Gondolas Trams||Cable Cars 5, Funicular 1. Gondolas 16|
|Longest Run||16 km (10 mi)|