Back to La Plagne

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With extensive intermediate skiing and access to the vast domain of Paradiski, the La Plagne plateau offers great skiing for all. It is a sunny and snow-sure bowl surrounded by towering mountains that protect its slopes from the wind. There are plenty of forest-lined runs, so it’s easy to escape the elements and make the most of days with poorer visibility.

The lift system is impressive. The hands free passes read automatically at the barriers, without even taking them out of your pocket. They do not require a photo.

In contrast to some of the ugly architecture there are loads of spectacular views from La Plagne’s pistes. The Italian side of Mont Blanc will become a regular feature in your holiday snaps and if you’re lucky you might spot an aeroplane touching down at Courchevel’s altiport.

About Paradiski

The introduction of the Vanoise Express cable car back in 2003 linked La Plagne to Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry, creating a skiing area of over 400km of pistes! There are several lift pass options including the Paradiski Discovery which, for about 20 euros more than a local pass, allows you to choose any single day to explore the Les Arcs side.

A 6-day Paradiski pass is about 40 euros more than just La Plagne. It’s worth considering where your base is before opting for the full area pass. If you’re staying on the far side of the La Plagne area in Montalbert or Champagny, it’d be a real mission to ski to Les Arcs and back every day. If you are in Montchavin on the other hand, you are right next to the link and would have great access to both sides.

In terms of ability, it is perfectly feasible for an intermediate skier to ski across to Les Arcs and back in a day. Keep an eye on the clock though and allow plenty of time to get back to where you’re staying, as a taxi to the main La Plagne resorts (even from Montchavin) will be expensive.

Good skiers can head up to the Aiguille Rouge, which is Les Arcs’s highest peak and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains including Mont Blanc. Plus, the vertical drop to Villaroger is over 2000m! Something of a leg-burner then!

Pistes for beginners

La Plagne is well suited to novices who can quickly begin to move around the mountain. Each of the altitude villages has at least one free lift where beginners can practise without needing a lift pass. There are some lovely gentle blues underneath the Arpette chairlift and from the top of the Roche de Mio. A favourite for kids is the “Tunnel Run”, which brings you from the Roche de Mio towards the back of Belle Plagne via a 100m long skiable tunnel. It is quite feasible to go right up to the Glacier and if skiing down is too intimidating, you can still have a look in the ice grotto and take in the views, before travelling back on the gondola.

Pistes for intermediates

More daring intermediates will enjoy the red run, “Source”, from the top of the Roche de Mio. Descend past the Inversens restaurant and then continue straight ahead. Another favourite is the “Mont de la Guerre” red from the top of the Verdons heading down to Champagny. The views here are spectacular, but the piste does require good snow conditions to open, and is rather flat at the top. Some of the joys of La Plagne are the lengthy blue cruisers which are ideally suited to improving intermediate skiers who want to cover lots of ground.

Pistes for advanced skiers

Advanced skiers can attempt various black runs dotted around the area such as those accessed from the top of the Becoin chair and the drag lift beyond. If you tick all the blacks off your list within a few days, don’t feel that the challenge stops there. There is always Les Arcs to explore and more importantly the fantastic off-piste of La Plagne.


La Plagne sometimes has the reputation of a gentle intermediate resort, but you’ll soon reassess this as you stare down that 45 degree couloir! The off-piste opportunities are extensive, and the best thing is that few people come to La Plagne specifically to take advantage of them. There is plenty of accessible terrain, but for a real treat, the North face of Bellecote is superb, where a guide can show you descents of over 1700m. Another spectacular itinerary is the Cul du Nant off the back of the glacier down to Champagny le Haut with the stunning Grand Casse and Grand Bec towering opposite.


La Plagne itself boasts an Olympic standard halfpipe (check the blog from the park team) and Belle Plagne, Montchavin Les Coches and Champagny all have boardercross courses. If you get the Paradiski pass then in Les Arcs you will find the Apocalypse Snow Park. La Plagne’s park has a good range of hits as well as a giant air bag so you can try all those tricks you’ve always wanted to with a soft landing.


Skiers with disabilities

There are a wide range of sporting choices and carers available for skiers with disabilities. Of particular note is the Antenne Handicap Ski School in Aime 2000 who have many years’ experience with disabled skiers and even design and custom build their equipment.


Kevin Rolland. Photo © Elina Sirparanta

Kevin Rolland. Photo © Elina Sirparanta