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12 March 2005: Skiing Les Arcs, France Skiing Winter 2004/2005
Yet again, we were very lucky with the weather. A high pressure sitting over Europe provided Helen, Hazel, Gordon and myself with blue skies and very little wind. However, for the first couple of days it was bitterly cold, but as the week went on, it got warmer (less cold, more like!).

We were based in Vallandry, one of the villages of the Les Arcs ski resort. I thoroughly recommend staying there, as there is now a superb gondola across to La Plagne which takes a mere 3 minutes or so. As a result you can get across the valley early in the morning with minimal hassle.

We did 5 days in Les Arcs and 2 days in La Plagne. Helen and I had been to La Plagne 2 years ago, so it was good to revist it. If anything, the snow was better there also. The first of the 2 days in La Plagne was a full one, so full that we missed the last official gondola back across the valley, however, we managed to get onto the service gondola for the staff, and quite a lot of other skiers/boarders by the time it left!

The tree lined runs directly above Vallandry were excellent, as were the descents off of the Aiguille Rouge. However, my favourite was probably the run below the short 2300 chair. The reason being that from the top you could hammer straight to the bottom in no time at all. The chair lift was 700m long, with a descent of 175m. Only timed a couple of runs one day, and managed 34 seconds. It meant that from the point that your backside left the chair at the top to the point that you sat down again at the bottom of the chair, less than a minute would have passed. Sad, but remarkably good fun!

One of the attractions for me about Les Arcs was the flying kilometre run. Unfortunately, i hadn't done my research, and didn't realise that it doesn't open until later in the season. By the end of the week i had a miserable cold anyway which would have probably stopped me trying it. Maybe another time.....

Helen, Gordon and Hazel with Vallandry behind, having just crossed to La Plagne.
Helen and Gordon, La Plagne
Hazel, La Plagne
Champagny, La Plagne
Heading towards the tunnel in La Plagne
Helen trying out some long skis for a change with no problem.  Mont Blanc in the background above Arcs 2000.
Mont Pourri from the top of the Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs.
Hazel and Helen above Arcs 1800.
Back in La Plagne, Gordon with the Grand Motte (part of Tignes) behind.
Hazel, Gordon, me and Helen!  La Plagne
Hazel, above Vallandry
Hazel, Gordon and Helen above Vallandry.
The flying kilometre above Arcs 2000 on the Aiguille Rouge.
Returning to Vallandry
One of the night time views from the chalet.....
.....and another one a couple of nights later with a new moon.
Dinner time in the chalet.
A (not very well put together) panorama of Mont Blanc.  2 hours before, the summit was completely clear.  By the end of the day, it was completely clear again!
27 February 2005: Beinn Udlaidh Icefalls Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
26 February 2005: No 3 Gully Buttress & Central Gully RH, Ben Nevis Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
20 February 2005: Wavelength, Coire an t-Sneachda Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
06 February 2005: Black Spout & Crumbling Cranny, Lochnagar Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
29 January 2005: Pinnacle Gully 1, Lochnagar Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
22 January 2005: Western Rib, Aonach Mor Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
16 January 2005: Glen Lichd, Kintail Walk Winter 2004/2005
20 November 2004: Central Buttress, Lochnagar Winter Route Winter 2004/2005
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