La Plagne

La Plagne

Overall Rating

La Plagne

La Plagne4/52
La Plagne4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Interlinked Ski Resorts

Les Arcs

    La Plagne Ski Trail Map
  • La Plagne Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,250m - 3,200m (1,950m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8 - 10m
  • Lifts (76)
    12 Gondolas / cable cars
    31 Chairs

    Paradiski - 129 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Mid-December to late April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 225km
    Longest run - 7km+
    Advanced - 15%
    Intermediate - 26%
    Beginner - 59%

    Paradiski – 425km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    La Plagne
    Adult - €55
    Child - €44
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Paradiski (incl. Les Arcs)
    Adult - €62
    Child - €50
    Adult over 74yr - Free
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Paradiski Ski Trail Map
  • Paradiski Ski Trail Map
    Les Arcs Ski Trail Map
  • Les Arcs Ski Trail Map

La Plagne - Reviews

La Plagne - Reviews

The Reason is Plagne to See.......

25/06/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

The Reason is Plagne to See.......

25/06/2020

It is possible that I wasn't quite feeling the love when I visited La Plagne in January 2020, but it just didn't tickle my fancy as much as I expected (or perhaps hoped) it would. La Plagne is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world (second to Ski Arlberg), so what happened? The reasons should have been plain to see. Perhaps it all started after arrival on the gondola from Champagny - a lovely journey from undercover car park to ticket office to gondola to ski terrain. An urgent need to go to the toilet was made difficult by the only available ablutions being inexplicably locked. Whilst I found relief behind the nearby Picnic hut balancing precariously on the edge of the rear balcony, several women could not. I suggested perhaps they get to the nearest mountain restaurant or take their chances behind the picnic hut as I had!

With a good start placed on such an instant hold, maybe I never got out of super-critical mode. Not very professional of me, but hey some days just don’t go as planned. Getting sprayed by a tosser as I was getting my skis on possibly didn't help either. First world problems, I hear you say. Too true, but it all dents one’s enthusiasm for a place.

Any resort with huge high-rise buildings is already starting on the back-foot. High-rise equals people ……. lots of people. Ski lifts that wander aimlessly up AND DOWN is another potential indicator of problems. Loads of long flattish groomed trails coupled with extreme off-piste steeps with extraordinarily little in between, is another.

To put all this criticism into perspective, I had skied Courchevel, Meribel & Pralognan la Vanoise in the preceding days, in similar snow conditions. I enjoyed those locations a helluva lot more than La Plagne, but statically that shouldn’t have been the case!

There are two things we say often (more than 2 really but for the sake of this review we'll say there are 2!): ’Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better’; & ‘Every ski resort has something good about it’. This is true of La Plagne.

Whilst the photos show the mountain to appear deserted, make no mistake there are a lot of people on the hill at one time – even mid-week in late January. The condition of several important linking piste trails tells the tale of how many skiers are riding the mountain at once. In short, a helluva lot!

However, terrain too flat or too precipitous is its biggest sin. The huge skiable vertical and majority of terrain over 1800m elevation should help alleviate the sin, but it doesn’t. In short, snowboarders should generally apply elsewhere because La Plagne is not generally snowboarder friendly. The gimmicky ‘disco tunnel’ cut through the mountain between Roche de Mio & Belle Plagne was probably only created so those passing through it wouldn’t notice how long it took to traverse.

If you are a beginner or lower intermediate skier looking for a place to experience a mega-sized French Alps resort, then La Plagne will fit the bill. Family groups may well enjoy the mountain too - it is eminently child-friendly. The on-piste is broad enough to keep one’s interest for a week, but whilst perfect for beginners & lower intermediates, without that breadth of in-between terrain, it is hard to think of a reason to come here.

Upper intermediate & advanced riders will quickly tire of the lack of pitch & limited easy access fall line off-piste. And I say easy access, because to a new visitor, comparing La Plagne with say, a Courchevel or Meribel (just across the valley), is surprisingly like chalk & cheese. Polar opposites! La Plagne has some adequate couloirs in the Bellecote area, but precious little else sparked my enthusiasm. I did enjoy a super-fast schuss on the kamikaze run heading back toward Champagny. Would take a hard-headed mongrel not to revel in the pleasure of sliding down the resort’s best groomed run at warp factor 10. If snow conditions are epic & avalanche danger is manageable, experts will enjoy some of La Plagne's freeride offerings. For most though, if you have to choose, go to neighbouring Les Arcs or one of the 3 Vallees resorts instead!

The ski-in ski-out convenience of all the on-mountain villages cannot be denied. Belle Plagne is the best of them if nothing else because it is the least offensive to the senses.

Champagny-en-Vanoise is a worthy place to stay and play if one insists on visiting La Plagne. Only 5km from the main valley town of Bozel, Champagny is a world away from the Plagne resort villages. I was impressed how a potentially vile 4-storey concrete carpark below the gondola base is craftily hidden behind a pleasant looking row of apartments built along traditional lines. Champagny’s location in a sunny spot looking across the valley to Courchevel, provides easy access to Pralognan la Vanoise & 3 Vallees ski areas. Its south-aspect also equates to less snow & a valley run open less often than in the past as a result. The gondola download back to the village is comfortable though.

Another option is Montchavin at the same elevation as Champagny but on the opposite side of the mountain. It retains its authenticity, but it suffers from a tyranny of distance from the main action. Five or six lifts should get you to a decent height! It is awfully close to the linking cable car with Les Arcs though & is at the bottom of the full skiable vertical descents off the Bellecôte. Certainly a handy locale.

Looking through the photos, I can’t help but wonder whether I have been a bit too harsh on La Plagne. Perhaps a re-visit, but with some friends instead of solo, will change my view. Regardless, the scores are accurate for what one gets comparative to the rest of the world. Come visit & you be the judge, after all it is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. How bad could it be?

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the La Plagne overview page and also see our European ski resort ratings regarding how we score it compared to other skiing areas.

La Plagne - A Vast Terrain

Dieter
19/09/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

La Plagne - A Vast Terrain

Dieter
19/09/2018
La Plagne is formed by several villages and linked (since 2007) with Les Arcs to from 'Paradiski'. La Plagne is a bit bigger and has more diversity , Les Arcs has a bit more vertical. but both offer a variety in off-piste terrain. steep couloirs , forest and alpine meadows. A lot of the off-piste is easily accessed from the pistes and lifts. but the real beauty and vast off piste terrain requires some knowledge and sometimes a bit of hiking.