Les Arcs Day Trip

Snow covered mountains are the most incredible place to wake up.

You wake up in the most gloriously warm room, pad over to the windows and throw open the curtains. The snow blinds you for a few seconds, but when your eyes adjust you see white. Clean, pure, white. You open the window and the breathtakingly crisp air fills the room reviving your body from it’s cosy-sleepy state. There’s no sign of people, no cars and not even the piste machine. It’s just dark blue skies, crisp white floors and silence. Utter silence.

After spending the previous day exploring ice-caves with S’s mum I was desperate to get back out on the slopes. As was everyone else. The snow on La Plagne wasn’t the greatest and so we had decided to ski down to the cable car and cross over into Les Arcs to see what it was like on that side. S and I shot off and skied down to the first chair lift whilst Syd and Ollie (Sam’s sister and step-dad) agreed to meet us over there later.

Due to it being unusually warm this winter the conditions were pretty horrific once we got to a lower altitude. Grass patches, sheets of ice and parts where it felt like we were skiing on gravel had us exhausted by the time we reached the bottom, and a trip down the mountain which usually takes us 15-20 minutes, ended up taking us an hour.

Les Arcs is somewhere we have been before, and the cable car across is usually the most serene trip you’ll take. Hovering hundreds of feet in the air as you cross a snow-topped valley really is the thing that postcards are made of, but this year if you only saw a photo – you could have easily mistaken it for summer. Beautiful green mountains with only a dusting of snow on the peaks. The warmth may have made skiing a bit of a nightmare at times but my word it was beautiful to look at. I skied with my DSLR in a camera backpack (I’ll make a post on my favourite things to take skiing later this week) but most of the footage we got was taken on the GoPro and once I’ve managed to sift through the footage, I’ll make a video – the views are just too good not to share with you!

As we got out of the cable car and walked over to the first chair lift it was the most bizarre thing. Grass was everywhere with literally only the piste having snow on it. It was disorientating, but was only because we were so low in altitude. As we got higher the snow covered surfaces were a lot more expansive (luckily). It was strange because as we sat on the chair lift and gained height, we went past the chalet that we had stayed in on a previous trip and the difference in snowfall was noticeable. It makes you realise that global warming is happening, and whether it’s part of a natural cycle of the earth or just a fluke, this year you can see the differences occurring.

Once we reached the top of the first chairlift S received a phonetical from Syd advising us that they were on their way. Just to the right of the chair lift was a platform with picnic benches over looking panoramic views of the valleys. So many people are scared to go skiing, but once you’ve experienced these views and the freedom you feel as you traverse your way alongside them, you’ll be hooked.

We pulled up a bench and sat snapping for a while before we were joined by a group of people that had walked up the mountain. Yeah. I was baffled too. Why people walk thousands of metres up when there is a perfectly good chair lift available baffles me, but apparently it’s actually a thing which many people enjoy.

I ended up being group photographer for a family because I just can’t resist helping people capture a holiday snap. I adore being able to look back at photos and hate it when I think “Oh I wish I captured this shot” so when I see people struggling to get a selfie with the background is, I can’t resist lending a helping hand. #ShutterbugProblems I tell you!

After S and I captured a few photos I spied Syd and Ollie on a nearby chair lift

We sat back admiring the views and indulging on a mini picnic of Daim Milka and accidentally partially frozen yumyums before making our way around the mountain. The snow was a lot softer on this side of the mountain and even though there were a few falls *ahem* we managed to get in some good runs and a few accidental jumps.

Eventually hunger struck so we skied over to a local cafe and had a bite to eat. I had a panini and a coke for 8 Euros which is probably the cheapest mountain side lunch I have EVER had, and even though it was delicious, I didn’t take a picture of it. So here’s a picture of a pizza from the day before when I remembered to be a good little blogger instead.

Why yes, it really was as delicious as it looked.

After a good few hours on the mountain we started to make our way back to La Plagne where we met up with Sam’s mum for a bit of apres-ski.

After walking past a bakery on our way to the gondola and realising that I am totally unable to walk *past* the smell of freshly fried donuts, we took a quick pitstop into a nearby bakery to grab a few vital resources.

After that we took the gondola down to Belle Plagne

For a few drinks before heading back to the chalet for dinner.

I honestly can’t tell you what my favourite part of this trip was.
Sure the lack of snow was a total pain in the ass, but despite that we still managed to get in some good runs, and being away with people that are not only lovely, but are as crazy as you are? There’s no feeling quite like it.

 

Snow covered holidays are definitely one of my favourite ways to spend the winter.
But what about you? Are you a snow-bunny too? Or do you prefer to escape the cold for a little winter sun?