Scarcely two weeks after I came back from Christmas holiday back in Czech Republic I went to France for a week of skiing holiday, precisely to Les Arcs.
Let me start by one statement – don’t you ever trust a navigation. On my way there my car navigation system tried to get me through some very narrow roads, that are barely passable with fresh snow cover and even via one road that is closed during (any) winter for all traffic. Thus I had spent 3 more hours on the road (totaling on 11,5). But don’t they say that the lessons learned the hard way are the ones which are remembered the best? (The journey back took me about 8 hours.)
So, the day I arrived to the Les Arcs was the last day it was snowing. After that only a few snowflakes fell and the suns was shining almost every day (at least for us up there in 1800+ metres above sea level).
On the other side I would have changed one of the sunny days for a snowfall as the snow was a thing that was sorely missed. Not that the skiing was impossible, no, but the snow was hard and its layer was thin in many places and stones were ever present on the slopes. It can be said the amount of stones increased with the days (therefore I got a few hits and my skis will need a repair), yet in the morning the slopes were almost perfect, and if not, signs were put into place (well, a few slopes were closed due to the lack of snow, that’s true, but this is a problem of this season as far as I know). The pictures below show how it was.
These two pictures were takes a day apart on the same slope. They are actually about 20 metres apart.
This picture is from the top of different slope. Actually grass could be seen between moguls – apart from that the slope could really be used for mogul riding (that may have been its only use).
And all of these photos were taken at the attitude of 2000 metres at least. The snow line can be seen to by high up the mountain sides.
But the views were mostly like this.
The pictures don’t do it justice – there were two main centrical “rainbow” circles visible around the sun (she being in the centre), with another partial circles visible to the sides (not only we could see the partial rainbow above the main circle, as visible in first two pictures, but there also was one below, though faint, and to the sides as well). It was actually funny to see how many people tried to capture this phenomena on their cameras, even the people from ski resort’s medical rescue service (it seems like it is not common to see it there).
Back to skiing – counting the way up the slopes we covered about 100 km every day. I guess 60-65% of that might actually be downhill distance. That is, for me at least, a lot (even though we have been skiing for circa 7 hours each day), considering the last time I have been skiing might have been back in 2012 when… Well, that is for other time. Unfortunately I didn’t remember to track the distances until Wednesday so I can only assume that we had coverd pretty much the same on the days before.
I have almost forgot – we have been staying in one hotel in Arcs 1800 that does not have horizontal floors – the corridors go up (or down, depends on the place you look from), in some places the corridor goes up on one side of the hall while down on the other. This means the adjacent apartments are not on the same level. Very strange. And according to the ads in the offices in the “town” also very uneconomical – the apartmens fall into E or F class of energy efficiency. Not impressive.
To conclude – it was great holiday and I enjoyed it. It was a long time since I have been skiing for the last time and I missed it. Hopefully next time I will go somewhere the snow conditions will be better.