Skiing - Les Arcs, French Alps

One of the things that we'd not been able to do while travelling in Southern Africa was to go skiing so we decided to rectify that with a trip in our van to Bourg St Maurice so that we could ski at Les Arcs in the French Alps. This is where we used to go in our old van so we know the area well, however as it was 9 years since we'd skied we weren't too sure how we'd cope!

The first couple of days we were awful and we got exhausted after only a couple of hours, however we gradually improved and were soon happy to tackle any of the blue or red runs.

We stayed at Camping Indigo / Huttopia (it used to be called Le Versoyan) on the outskirts of Bourg St Maurice.

On our second day we woke to this, however it only stayed like this in the valley for a few days.

From Bourg St Maurice there's a funicular railway up to the ski slopes at Arc 1600. It's included in the price of a ski pass.

As one train goes up the other comes down and at one point the single track divides so that they can pass.

The Les Arcs ski area is huge with 3 resorts, Arc 1600, Arc 1800 and Arc 2000 and well over 100km of pistes (ski runs). You also have the option of buying a a Paradiski Pass which allows you to take the cable car across to the La Plagne ski area. We were happy to stick to the Les Arcs area. Our favourite part is Arc 2000 as the resort is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains so wherever you are you get a great view.

Arc 2000 in the valley and the ridge between Arc 2000 and Arc 1600 & 1800 in the distance.

The highest lift takes you to the Aiguille Rouge at 3200m. Way down below is Arc 2000 with the Isere valley and more mountain ranges behind.

Our days tended to be as follows:

Get up and check the weather.

If OK, have a decent breakfast and then drive to the funicular car-park.

Take the funicular up to Les Arcs and ski for between 2 and 5 hours with a few breaks for a drink, snacks, lunch.

Go back down and drive back to the campsite.

Have a shower.

Walk to the supermarket for shopping and / or sit outside the van in the sunshine until the sun went down.

 

Out of the 30 days we spent there we probably skied on 24 of them.

Lunch break - a sandwich, crisps and a cold drink - with view!

The campsite is a short distance from Bourg St Maurice and there's a lovely walk through woods and along the Isere River into the town.

Isere River.

One of the lakes beside the river.

The main pedestrian street in Bourg St Maurice.

Bourg St Maurice in the valley below. Taken from the top of the funicular

On our way back to the funicular we often passed the 'fun ski' area where, some days, there were people brave enough to attempt the air bag or the water ski

Kevin ready to set off on a nice easy blue run.

The air bag and water ski which has a popular cafe nearby.

Somersault into the airbag.

Most people skied right across the water - but a few didn't.

Several afternoons I went for a walk in the woods next to the campsite and along the nearby lakes.

Coots, mallards and tufted ducks were always on and around the lakes.

A tree-creeper.

This squirrel was much darker than our red squirrels.

A mobile milking parlour.

 

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