There’s no better way to relax and truly recharge than by heading out to the beauty of the mountains. When you’re trying to make the most of your winter holiday, enjoying the luxury of catered chaletsis the way to go. As you won’t need to worry about cooking and cleaning, you’ll be free to enjoy the wonders of the slopes and the unsculpted off-piste terrain that awaits your tracks.
One of the most exhilarating experiences of any ski holiday is venturing off-piste, which should only be undertaken by the most advanced skiers. It’s also crucial to plan a route and to make sure that you are properly prepared.
How to Prepare for Off-Piste Adventures
What’s the best piece of advice for going off-piste? Hire a guide. Certified local guides have excellent knowledge of the mountains and will be able to take you down the best routes. Not only will you avoid any risky zones, but you’ll also access the very best snow! Guides will be able to provide you with specialist avalanche equipment, such as transceivers and shovels: taking the proper kit out with you is extremely important. It might sound obvious, but checking the snow and avalanche conditions before you head out is a must. As is listening carefully to official advice!
Les Arcs and La Plagne
Jointly forming the Paradiski area, the neighbouring resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagneoffer huge expanses of excellent off-piste terrain.
Couloir de Pramain
This scenic off-piste route is easily accessed from La Plagne. Cut away from the Bellecôte run and traverse to a col, where you will descend into a narrow couloir. Follow the couloir down the mountain to finish amongst the trees, before re-joining Le Dérochoir piste.
This well-known route down the North Face of the Bellecôte peak is not for the faint-hearted. A narrow section at the top leads to small cliffs, which you’ll need to navigate all the way down. With slopes of 40-45° for the first 300m, this could be tricky! Once the first section is out of the way, you’ll descend the rest of the couloir and then ski out to the road below.
The impressive summit of the Grand Col in Les Arcs is accessed via a 30-minute hike from the Grand Col chairlift. Once you’re up at the top, you’ll clearly see the descent, which follows the line of the valley. As you ski down, you’ll need to pick up the path that leads to Planay before entering the resort on the blue piste.
Kick Back in Catered Chalets
After hours of adrenaline-fuelled adventures either on or off the piste, kicking back in one of your resort’s catered chalets will ensure that you’re rejuvenated and that you’re ready for all the action of the next day. With Ski Amis’ fully catered service, you’ll enjoy a full-English breakfast, homemade afternoon tea and a three- or four-course evening meal with wine. So relax, regain your strength and don’t miss a minute on the mountains.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers and hikers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for catered chalets, La Plagne is an ideal choice. For accommodation anywhere in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.