March 11, 2015 | La Plagne
As the weather grows warmer, the days last longer, and flowers start blooming, it’s easy to think that the ski season is nearly over – but, in fact, it’s just hotting up. Skiing in the spring has numerous benefits – for starters, it’s cheaper, warmer, quieter and sunnier. Make the most of the corn snow, the lack of lift queues and the fun-filled activities on offer. Besides, what’s better than drinking an ice-cold beverage on a sun-lounger, after an adventurous day carving around the resort?
There are many events and opportunities to enjoy when the temperatures rise, but here are just a few to sweeten the deal, all set in the snow-sure resort of La Plagne, France.
Check out the brand-new Subli’Cimes festival
Boasting six peaks with six experiences, the new (and free) Subli’Cimes festival – taking place from 5-16 April – offers some wonderful late-season entertainment. Situated at 2,000 m, with a multitude of activities, it’s ideal for every kind of mountain lover. Sit back, relax and enjoy the music on the private beach (complete with sand and deckchairs!), take a Taï Chi lesson before rewarding yourself with a massage, make the most of the reindeer and huskies in the Lapland village, summon up the courage for a bungee jump, and stop off at the top of Le Fornelet to hear some wonderful stories, or to visit the candy-filled cabin (a hut filled to the brim with an assortment of sweets). (A day’s ski pass costs €55.50 / £41 pp.)
Add another string to your bow and try Raquettes
Raquettes (snowshoes) work by distributing your weight over a larger area – so you don’t sink into the snow – giving you the opportunity to venture off the beaten track, and discover the untouched, rugged scenery of La Plagne. Boasting numerous tree-lined routes, offering dramatic views down the valley, La Plagne is an ideal place to explore. Follow one of the many sign-posted raquette trails; alternatively, hire a guide – or mountain expert – for the day to make the most of the lesser-known paths. (A two-hour family excursion (for four), with an Oxygène instructor, costs €60 / £45 including snow-shoe hire, return transport to the chalet, and hot chocolate.)
Listen to some live music at Bar La Mine
Set in Plagne 1800 – just beneath La Plagne Centre – saunter off the slopes and into this impressive après-ski lair. True to its name, the bar comes complete with a fake train track, mining carts for tables and multiple props, including an array of ‘tools’, all of which add to its character. Open from 4 pm to 2 am, make the most of the after-skiing sun with some well-deserved drinks, the choice of two happy hours (4-6:30 pm and 8-10 pm), and an assortment of lively, skilled musicians. (Enjoy a glass of white wine, or ice-cold beer, from €3 / £2.20 pp.)
Free the heel, free the mind and try Telemark skiing
Telemark skiing is the oldest and original form of skiing. Named after the Telemark region of Norway – where the discipline originated – it combines elements of both Alpine and Nordic skiing. Generally, telemark skiers use Alpine skis with specially designed Nordic-style bindings, which only fix the toe of the boot, hence ‘free the heel’. Watch the FFS Telemarking French Cup in La Plagne from 4-5 April, or take advantage of the quieter pistes and give it a go yourself. (Telemark tuition, with Evolution 2 ski and adventure school, costs from €36 / £27 pp per day, including telemark ski hire.)
Learn the art of cheese making in Montalbert
Discover the expertise behind French fromage with Roland Loyet, the owner of Le Forperet restaurant in Plagne Montalbert, situated at 1,350 m. Every Tuesday (from 3:30 pm) and Thursday (from 10:30 am), he demonstrates (for free) the skill involved in creating the well-known traditional Savoyard cheese, Tomme. Learn some of his special techniques, and feel free to ask Roland multiple questions; he is always keen to practise his English. (A fondue at Le Forperet costs from €33.60 / £24.80 for two sharing.)
For more information, visit www.la-plagne.com.
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