John Bennett, Chairman of Ski Independence, is currently out in Les Arcs staying at Le Village with his family. Here is a short report from his stay so far…
This trip was all about taking one of the grandchildren with us and so school holidays dictated dates. Now ,I’m not a fan of late season skiing but this trip – so far – has changed my view.
Arcs 1950 was developed by Intrawest, the Canadian company that operates Whistler and a number of other resorts in North America. They have created a great village atmosphere high up in the Tarantaise with quality accommodation. The snow covered main street means everything is ski-in and ski-out – brilliant with kids involved and lined with a sufficiency of shops, bars and restaurants.
What I really like is the kids ski school gathering in the street for their 9.30 a.m. departure and then the parents all gathering just before 12.00 noon to welcome them back. It’s quite special! Of course if you don’t like kids then get up a little later than 9.30 and don’t come back at noon. But this isn’t big disco land and despite the windows in our bedroom overlooking the square there’s been little or no noise so far.
Tonight we got back to find a game of snow hockey being played in the main square by a dozen 5-7 year olds with plastic sticks and a sponge ball all watched over by a couple of instructors. After they went home the entertainment changed to street golf with a competition to hit a (real) golf ball with (real) clubs into a big iron pot in the middle of the square. As ever in France loud music was the order of the day and soon it brought a queue of hopefuls lined up for the chance to win a bottle of wine if they could pot the ball. Now health and safety isn’t big in the French consciousness and soon golf balls were flying all over the place.
And the skiing? This has been excellent on piste, with your usual spring conditions off piste but everything we have tried has been open. It’s been three days of blue ski mornings and light snow in the afternoons often with the sun shining through the clouds.
There has been alot of talk of high prices on the mountains this season however in Les Arcs the prices up the mountain don’t seem unreasonable and there’s an ample choice of restaurants and bars with most places kids friendly whilst the adults quaff a glass. But biggest hit so far is the Crêperie in the village and the honey and chocolate pancakes – I think it’s going to be on the agenda every night after supper.
Most important Charlie, the grandson, thinks Les Arcs 1950 is brilliant! Oh and for grown ups there’s free Wifi – most important these days!
Right, I’ve just been beckoned to lead the trip to the Crêperie – let’s hope tomorrow’s skiing will repair any damages to the waistline!