Les Arcs, a few Q's.

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  • Les Arcs, a few Q's.
  • trail_rat
    Member

    campsite in bourg – would let you use the funnicular to access the lifts , there is a campsite at landry but youll have to climb 6/7k every day to the lifts.

    Finding trails on your own might be a little hard. the trails marked on the route cards they hand out are pish . the singletrack is quite well hidden imo – but excellent.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Loads of guiding companies around Les Arcs, might be worth dropping them a line to see if they can squeeze you into a group or offer standalone guiding… Adds a bit of cost but I reckon would be worth it, I didn’t see many signs on most of the better stuff.

    loddrik
    Member

    Any cheap campsites in Les Arcs?

    When are the lifts open ’til?

    How much is a 3 or 4 days lift pass?

    Has there ever been a feature on Les Arcs in the mag, and if so what issue?

    Thanks in advance.

    loddrik
    Member

    I’ve always been a lone ranger so not really into the whole guiding thing, happy to follow my nose and see where it takes me.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    happy to follow my nose and see where it takes me.

    long walks crap trails and no fun if you get it wrong!
    There is a trail map for the stuff that isn’t built around somewhere. Would recommend a trip up to La Thuile (italian side of Petit col d St Bernard) and St Foye Resort for the trails there too. Enjoyed that more than some of the Les Arcs stuff.

    Some of the best routes (not in the resort again) to do require a lot of pushing/uphill grinding (more than makes a pleasant day) or a lift (& or collection).

    trail_rat
    Member

    prepare to do alot of pushing

    White and Black 8 + la varda see if you can find them.

    loddrik
    Member

    Would another resort be better? Always assumed Les Arcs would fit the bill.

    After lift accessed flowy singletrack rather than DH.

    trail_rat
    Member

    les arcs fits the bill for sure.

    its just the trails are built in such a way that it is not glentress.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    It’s perfect just take in the whole area not the tiny bit under the lifts.
    The trails are not marked as trail rat said the stuff on the official map is carp. The reason it’s not massive out there is mainly that.

    There is also no way to link the other resorts without driving so it’s hard unless you are guided/shuttled. Coolbus do some shuttling I think.

    https://vimeo.com/album/1988585
    [video]http://vimeo.com/album/1988585/video/30210337[/video]
    Needs a lift up
    [video]http://vimeo.com/album/1988585/video/44634547[/video]
    Couple of Shuttles
    [video]http://vimeo.com/album/1988585/video/44510421[/video]
    Other side of the Col
    [video]http://vimeo.com/album/1988585/video/44965700[/video]In the resort

    From what people have said they all had a good week in the resort but it’s damm hard to find without a guide. We did the whole valley and it was fantastic

    bland
    Member

    Drop me a line Loddrik, were out for the second year on teh trot and i can give you loads of maps, gps/mmo files for trails and point you in the right direction.

    Lots of the guide companies cant guide this year anyway due to the french laws, white room and one other can but thats it.

    When are you going? We are out the 19th to 28th July and camping in Bourg if that fits in, more than welcome to join the group.

    You wont regret it, email me and ill send you all you want/need!

    trail_rat
    Member

    it was explained to me as – see these trails

    see how natural they are

    imagine they were clearly visible, mapped and easily found

    now you have 10 x the traffic hitting them and you have to armour them , before long its morzine or worse a trail center and folks are moaning.

    Cant have cake and eat it

    Even with guiding – trying to find them again a day later can be a nightmare (non guided wednesday trying to find a trail we rode on monday)

    bland
    Member

    You can link la plagne and all the way down the valley to the 3 valleys if you so wish

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    What trail rat says – the best trails are paths not marked / managed mtb trails

    OP if you buy the IGN maps and study them and know how not to get lost you can do it “your way” – I’ve done a bit of that in other resorts

    The penalties for getting lost can be severe, ending up in the wrong valley or somewhere with no bus link could mean a very very long ride back only to fund the loft up out of the valley back to the resort is shut

    Having a crash in remote spot alone could be life threatening, it’s possible no one would ride past all day never mind if you went “over the edge” and couldn’t get back

    I would highly recommend Trail Addiction, if your budget will stretch and you can join a small group you will have an outstanding time

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    You can link la plagne and all the way down the valley to the 3 valleys if you so wish

    Sounded like a good route, the missus did it while I was in another group.

    Sancho
    Member

    “I’ve always been a lone ranger so not really into the whole guiding thing, happy to follow my nose and see where it takes me. “

    You mean too tight to pay for a guide but more than happy to get free route advice from the forum ๐Ÿ˜‰

    have fun on your own then.

    legend
    Member

    Even with guiding – trying to find them again a day later can be a nightmare (non guided wednesday trying to find a trail we rode on monday)

    This, we got properly lost on the Wednesday – we even had the guide’s map on us and still couldn’t see where trails started! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Been two years in a row, will still want guiding next time. Last years GPS traces don’t have this years new trails on them!

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    We are camping in Bourg 13th – 27th July. Soooo excited.

    rondo101
    Member

    We are out the 19th to 28th July and camping in Bourg if that fits in, more than welcome to join the group.

    Are you camping at Ley Versoyen? We’re there from 13th-27th, might have to raid your map knowledge to add to my covered-in-highlighter IGN map if poss?

    bland
    Member

    Les Arcs offered the best riding ive ever done in the alps, ok the first time there it was a bit trial and error in some cases but its worth it. You just have to ask about and find the walkers trail.

    Oh and avoid the purpose built stuff as its generally pants in comparison.

    loddrik
    Member

    You mean too tight to pay for a guide but more than happy to get free route advice from the forum

    have fun on your own then.

    More than happy, and I have far more posts on this forum than yourself, much of it providing advice to questions asked, free of charge!!!!

    Am I too tight? Possibly, but then I’ve been MTBing for 20 years and in all that time I’ve ridden with other people on two occasions, so I obviously like riding on my own.

    And I’m apply to ask for advice from other knowledgable people on here, that’s one of the benefits and appeals of being a regular on here.

    Bland, that sounds great, I’ll email later this evening. Not planning on going til mid to late August though, the gpx files would be great.

    Sancho
    Member

    the way I look at it, the locals know the best stuff and if you are in an area as vast as that, then using their knowledge means you get the best out of the area.
    why go all that way and bimble around not knowing what you are doing.

    you could have the time of your life and love it v just come back ridden some trails that were ok as you followed your nose.

    and cheer up, mountain biking is more fun with other people than on your own and a word of caution, due to the nature of the footpaths out there I wouldnt advise riding them alone as if you take a tumble of a very big steep drop who will come find you?

    bland
    Member

    We are out the 19th to 28th July and camping in Bourg if that fits in, more than welcome to join the group.
    Are you camping at Ley Versoyen? We’re there from 13th-27th, might have to raid your map knowledge to add to my covered-in-highlighter IGN map if poss?

    Sure are Rondo, look out for an Estate Accord and an estate Astra, come and say hi, there will be 8 of us in all.

    Last year was hard going and trying to plot routes form a map in advance was hard going. This time round looking at the map and google maps makes sense so i can see what is where and picture how to get to it. Im hoping to have all teh trails on a GPS so if we get a bit lost (mostly in the woods beneath arcs 1800) trying to find the start of trails it should come in handy. Hopefully all of the leg work in advance will pay dividends this year

    I have a mix of the old IGN map

    and this lot

    Overview of Les Arcs Riding

    La Varda

    Marked Trails on the piste map
    Red 7 pt 1
    Red 7 Pt 2
    Red 7 Pt 3
    Red 7 Pt 4

    Black 8 โ€“ Pretty cut up, most used trail but you can race the fenicular so do a run every 30 mins โ€“ Challenge is on!

    Black 8

    Walkers trails not on the Piste map

    Walkers trails

    Double Header Finishes at the camp site pretty much

    Double Header

    Very close to double header – finishes at camp site

    another walkers trail

    another walkers trail

    and another

    These are the next hill down via La Plagne

    Roche De Mio

    This is to the furthest rideable point and it will mean a climb back up of about 300m

    Back side of Roche de Mio

    More La Plagne

    These are up the valley

    Ridge above Val D’isere

    The Grand Sassiere, the highest rideable peak in the Alps. We can do a ride from 3750m to 800m and it will probably be over 50km long with only a tiny bit of climbing in one village.

    Grand Sassiere

    PILA

    Starts with the death ridge

    Starting with the death Ridge

    Then goes down stuff like this (well it doesnt if you do it in one run, but this is what the main trails consist of โ€“ Well this is the extreme)

    Pila woods trails

    And then the legendary Pila to Aosta run which has a good few variants and is a killer 11km

    Pila Aosta Run Pt 1
    Pila Aosta Run Pt 2

    LA THUILE

    Awesome place

    One of my favourites

    The K2 Trail

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I’d second Mike’s comments- We had a brilliant day at Les Arcs and I bet there’s many times more good stuff that I didn’t see, but La Thuile was maybe the best place I’ve ever ridden. Can’t comment on navigability though, wasn’t paying attention but it seemed well organised. Sainte Foy trails also brilliant but again, that’s White Rooms’ back yard so while some was waymarked I think a lot wasn’t.

    You’ve got Tignes just up the valley too, which divides opinion a bit, I liked it just for the change of pace and style, it’s got a lot of trail but not up to the same standard IMO. But more open, jumps and berms and such, and mostly easy to navigate, we went up on our day off and it was good to take the brain out a bit. Also, free ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    You mean too tight to pay for a guide but more than happy to get free route advice from the forum

    ???

    As others have said, you’ll get the best out of Les Arcs with a guide. However, there is enough you can find there using IGN maps and GPS logs on the internet to keep you going for a few days. Yes it’s more risky etc but with a bit of common sense, forethought, and mountain experience you’ll be ok. I found loads to do around Villandry by going off GPS logs and an IGN maps whilst on a family holiday. Not sure I’d go down something like La Varda on my own but the stuff around Plan Peisey, Vernettes, and down to Llandry is all pretty safe and easy to find if on your own.

    rondo101
    Member

    Cheers for that Bland, videos blocked at work but will check tonight. By the look of things I think I might have most of your Les Arcs trails, and some more, on my map so I might be able to reciprocate! There will be 4 of us for the second week, look out for an Estate Passat.

    Will be interested in the La Thuile stuff as we didn’t venture that way last year. Did find some nice trails from La Rosierre and spent a day in Tignes (where the lifts are free again this year).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Not sure I’d go down something like La Varda on my own

    TBH after doing it I was a bit underwhelmed, could have preferred my HT that day…. not a highlight of the trip just a trail with a bit of exposure. Probably wouldn’t bother with it again too much better stuff.

    bland
    Member

    La Thuile is a great day out. We rode down from the top of the col du petit saint bernard which is a good warm up and different riding to what la thuile offers. All id say for la thuile is the long marked up trails are accesible from the col du petit saint bernard, but to get to them from the top lift involves a massive ride up and then a crap roll down to the road, so dont bother doing that.

    Its basically a hand crafted trail centre for 6″ bikes, the K2 trail is awesome and has something of everything in so make sure you do that. Not enough there for more than one or two days but definitely put it on the list to do

    saxabar
    Member

    I can appreciate the riding solo bit and riding in groups does involve a lot of stop/start. There’s no reason no to mix it by staying in a chalet (Trail Addiction, Mountain Bike Chalet, etc.), riding with folk/guides for some of the day(s) and then heading off to do bits you really liked again. I generally ride in the UK by myself too, but the risks are more severe in the Alps so head-up and eyes open.

    superfli
    Member

    This question pops up all the time and with the same answers. Lots of people insisting or really pushing for guides. Last year was my first time since 2005 (only 2 days with missus on easy stuff) and 2weeks in ’96 (riding footpaths and black 8, red 7 and the long blue to Villaroger+La Varda).
    We all found it easy to find routes. The marked routes will keep you happy for a number of days. Take any footpath down and they are great trails. Keep your eyes and ears open for other trails – eg stuff otherside of waterpipes on red 8. Buy an IGN map. Really, its easier than navigating in UK (you can ride footpaths) and I would not consider getting a guide for UK riding.

    If you are there for a long period of time and not travelling around, then I may consider a guide to show me the best stuff.

    – edit, I wouldnt be too keen about riding on my own though. Generally much more likely to have an accident out there than trails I ride in UK

    nicksee
    Member

    Another vote for La thuile. Great last day of holiday last year with white room. Most of it is waymarked i think but im sure we went down some un-official stuff! Oh and as your in Italy the ice-cream and pizza is superb ๐Ÿ˜€

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_4hMqIaPc4[/video]

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Take any footpath down and they are great trails”

    you mean the footpaths that your not supposed to ride ? the ones that are giving the locals a want to get rid of bikes from the resorts ?

    bland
    Member

    bear in mind only trail addiction and white room can guide in les arcs this year, the others are just chalets that cater and offer advice due to french clamp downs on guiding!

    There are pros and cons of guided holidays. if you have the sole use of the guide for your group then great but if not then its a lottery as to who you will get in teh group. Some we saw last year were so mixed it was painful, which means you aint going to get much riding in and a lot of sitting around.

    A lot of research and you can cram more in for a lot less, ride more, get more days there riding and have your own freedom.

    We used Steveo from the white rooms last year onhis day off and it was great to have a van and trailer assisted lift to the top of teh Col D’iseran to ride HEIDI, but then there were only 4 of us and it was just one day

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Good point bland may have been spoilt with white room and a great group for 1 week and whatever we asked for for the other 4 days as it was a quiet week but having done about 10 self guided trips this one surpassed all expectations. The area is so much bigger than les arcs sorry to hammer the point but it is. However the lifts aren’t so a van and trailer make a huge difference and can transform the area. See if you can join a white room day or 2 just to do the stuff you cant do without a lift.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    you mean the footpaths that your not supposed to ride ? the ones that are giving the locals a want to get rid of bikes from the resorts ?

    Nothing but a friendly reception from the very few locals we did see in two weeks of riding last year.

    bland
    Member

    and nothing wrong with riding them, they aint foot paths per se, they are just trails, different rules but obviously you are polite to walkers as you are at home when on wednesday afternoon bridleways

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I just see guides as holiday multipliers- you get the best the area has to offer, and none of the getting lost or missing the good stuff and taking mediocre trails. If you’re only over for a week, that means a week of great rides and no regrets.

    But then the big costs for me seem to be travel, and time off, the extra cost for guiding isn’t massive taking into account the rest of it.

    torihada
    Member

    I camped here for a week: camping-savoie-mont-blanc-lanchettes.com?

    Its in Peisey-Nancroix. Cycle down the road to the ‘lobster pots’ lift (there’s also a trail option). That’ll get you to the Les Arcs lift system or La Plagne. The end of Le Varda would put you above the campsite.

    The campsite’s very nice. As a family we stayed there; we cycled and made use of the lifts to access Les Arcs trails. The trail ‘Barry’s Bollock Buster’ spits you out close to the campsite and some of the hidden single track on the La Plagne side will bring you down to the back of this campsite.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Going to Les Arcs this summer, guiding, but as per normal, I’ll take an ING and a highlighter…just out of comparison, as I’ve only ever done PDS when going to France how busy is it compared to the heaving metropolis that is Morzine/Les Gets?

    coogan
    Member

    So much amazing stuff there. I always found Black 8 and the Les Arc bike park bit pretty crap. All the other natural stuff hidden away all over the place is just superb.

    ianv
    Member

    Would another resort be better? Always assumed Les Arcs would fit the bill.

    After lift accessed flowy singletrack rather than DH.

    I usually ride on my own and have spent a fair bit of time travelling around France. I have to say I dont think Les Arcs/St Foy deserves the amount of worship it gets on here, but it has some decent riding if you follow the purple lines on the IGN maps (the stuff down towards Seez was the best I found although I didnt head over towards La Plagne). You would probably get more out of the area with a guide but if you look, you will find stuff for 3-4 days without one.

    The site in Bourg d’Oisans is handy for the funicular and the shops.
    The lifts close at 5 (i think) and the funicular at 7 (again I think)
    If you are staying for 4 days riding, its cheaper to get a week pass (you might be able to flog it in the camp site and recoup some extra money)

    Have a look at Deux alpes/Alp d’huez as an alternative venue. The riding is really good if a bit more DH (but not especially gnarly). Everything is marked out and there is loads variety. The grande russe side (alp d’huez/Vaujany/Oz en Oisans is massive and lifts are pretty cheap. Camp at Venosc, camping le cascades (cheap but cool)

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