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A Guide to Off Piste In Les Arcs by Xavier Troubat, Ski Instructor

Amazing routes for all weather conditions, times of year & experience

Off Piste Routes In Les Arcs (transcript)

Off piste in Les Arcs is very varied. There are different sectors that you can ski in different snow conditions and weather conditions depending on your skills.

Tree Runs at Lower Attitude in Bad Weather or Visibility

There is a lower altitude sector, which is close to Arcs 1,600, 1,800 and Vallendry. They are very nice tree runs. You can even ski [00:00:30] down to Bourg Saint Maurice or Landry. We often use these routes when it's bad weather, so too windy, higher altitude, we have to ski there.

1600 and Comborciere

Then coming up on Arcs 1,600, there's a nice sector with nice couloirs in Comborciere, with a little hike up of maybe half an hour, and you reach a different exposure, or north couloir or south-facing couloir that you can ski in spring snow, very nice.


Aiguille Grive


[00:01:00] In 1,800 you have Aiguille Grive, which is a very nice peak. You ever have to hike up to there, and from top of Aiguille Grive you can ski every exposure from north to south, to east to west. Some routes are going down to 1,800, some are going to [Peisey 00:01:25] and some are going to Arcs 2,000. [00:01:30] So you have the choice, and you look what the snow is like and then you can choose the best run for you at one moment.

Aiguille Grive

The Valley Of Arc 2000

Then coming up, we are on the valley of Arcs 2,000. Many nice routes, even when it's a bit bad weather to Villaroger. Many nice tree skiing there. With bad weather or windy, skiing Villaroger, it's a good place.

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[00:02:00] High altitude, going down to Villaroger from the top of Lanchette Chair, there is a quite classic wood which a classic route called Paravalanches. It's a restricted area, so some places are forbidden to ski in and some are allowed, but with restriction. You have to have an accreditation. So all to ski with a guide or to have an accreditation on your own. Then by the following [00:02:30] the ridge to the top of Aiguille Rouge, there are many routes going down to Villaroger. Some are classic, like Valdez and some like Pentes Est, S Couloir, are more extreme, so are not that often done.

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A classic one, too, from the Arcs 2000 valley, is the [00:03:00] Grand Col route. Same again, it's a restricted area, so you have to go there with a guide or with an accreditation. Goes down to Villaroger. It's very wild, so it's a very nice route. Long, far from the lift. Very interesting. Then you can use skins to reach some places a bit further from the skiing area. Using the skins, you can go close to Mont Pourri, Mont Pourri Refuge and further in the National Park de la Vanoise, which is very interesting too. (Below is picture looking towards Grand Col and Mont Pourri).

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La Plagne and Bellecote

Once you've skied all this big area, you can even go to La Plagne with Paradiski. Many sectors too. You can ski down to Macôt on the lower part. There is Mont St. Jacque. Many routes on Mont Saint-Jacques. Then [00:04:00] the north face of Bellecote, which is very famous and ending in Peisey too. Some routes from the top which are very extreme and some more classic, like Petite Face Nord de Bellecôte. It's better to wait for the snow to be stabilized to go there, because it's a huge north face, so it can be quite dangerous for the avalanches with a big snowfall.


[00:04:30] From top of Bellecote, you can ski, of course, north face and you can even ski south facing, to ski down to Champagny, which you can ski it with the fresh snow if you're not too late, and if not, it's better to wait and ski it in a spring snow. It's a very, very wild and nice route in the National Park de la Vanoise. La Plagne is a very huge [00:05:00] area, so there are many off piste routes to do and some are to be done from Chamonix and Chapagny mont de la Guerre. There are many nice runs there.

You can have also steeper couloirs. Couloir des Bourtes [00:05:16], close to Montchavin. It's a very nice tour, and more extreme so for better skiers. You have many choices and [00:05:30] try to do the best choice taking into consideration the snow conditions, your level, your equipment and the weather forecast, of course.

Ski safe.

Bio: I'm Xavier Troubat, an experienced Off-Piste Ski Instructor based in Les Arcs. If you would like to find out more or to book some time off-piste please click here