Ski Guide: La Plagne, France
La Plagne is a collection of 11 villages in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps. It is part of the Paradiski area, which includes both La Plagne and Les Arcs, and it neighbors the Three Valleys and Espace Killy. Each of the villages has a different feel, from the traditional Plagne Village to the modernism of Plagne Aime, which faces out onto Mont Blanc (4,808m), the highest peak in the Alps.
About La Plagne
The La Plagne has more than 200km of well-maintained piste spread across 128 runs and accessed via 95 ski lifts. The runs include low-level tree-lined runs into Montchavin and Montalbert, as well as high, snow-sure skiing on the Bellcote Glacier. Most of the lifts are turbo chairs or gondolas, meaning the queues are generally low. Snow cannons throughout help maintain the runs, though by late afternoon those back into the resort can be fairly cut up.
The vast majority of La Plagne’s 128 runs are red and blue, and 70% of them start at heights above 2,000m. There are 19 black runs for advanced skiers, and the resort’s runs cross two separate glaciers. The views at altitude are extraordinary: an Alpine panorama is all around you, and the highest peaks soar to well over 3,400m.
Plagne Villages: Beginner skiers should head to Plagne Villages as from here you can access a cat’s cradle of blue runs linking Plagne Bellecote, Plagne Soleil, and Plagne Centre. These are ideal runs on which to practice your carving as except at the end of the day, they don’t tend to be too busy, and you can ski significant distances. Several of the routes are tree-lined, and hence particularly picturesque.
Roche de Mio: Roche de Mio at Plagne Bellecote is at a height of 2,700m and accessible via a gondola. From the top, there’s a super long blue that runs down to Col de Force, but those with more confidence will want to pick up the red Inversens and then connect onto the black Crozats for a truly thrilling ride. The Roche de Mio also gives access to the Glacier de la Chiaupe and its medley of black and red challenges.
Belle Plagne: At Belle Plagne, you will find two ski parks. Col de Force is best suited to beginners, but at Le Grand Park the four routes, 20 rails, tables, airbag, and boardercross course will keep even skiers and snowboarders at the top of their game occupied for hours.
Why go there?
Guaranteed snow: Snowfall in Europe has been particularly poor this winter, leaving many ski resorts with sparse snow cover. La Plagne is a notable exception: more than 100 slopes are still open mid-March, the snow is at least 2m deep at the top, and skiing is possible well into April. Ski cannons guarantee snow on all the main runs.