Les Arcs – Paradiski (1200m – 3226m) - Grande dislivello (Ski Magazine, HS 13)
The Aiguille Rouge cable-car takes passengers to the peak of the same name, where there is a black run followed by a red run leading down to Villaroger, 2026 m further below. This has got to be one of the best runs served by ski lifts in the world, especially as the rotations can be quick, too quick even. Other off-piste options also allow skiers to explore the natural reserve of the Hauts de Villaroger on the east-facing slope of Aiguille Rouge and the Grand Col, as long as certain regulations are respected. There are only two passages open to skiers, but they provide access to top-class routes such as the corridors of the Équipe, Genepy and the S-shaped corridor. The first bends of the latter are sharp (40/45°), then the corridor widens before opening out onto immense slopes overlooking the valley of the Grand Col and the end of the descent into Planey de Villaroger.
The Paradiski area offers another wide descent above the resort of La Plagne: from the Bellecôte glacier at 3 250 m, a lovely series of runs enables skiers to reach Montchavin-Les-Coches (1 950 m) lower down. It starts with the red run from La Combe, then the new black run from Le Dérochoir and finally the blue Route des Bauches. Watch out however, as doing Aiguille Rouge and Bellecôte in one day is not only expensive, crossing from one ski area to the next is long and complicated, so choose your side and stick to it!
Note: there is a protected area (the Hauts de Villaroger natural reserve) in which skiing is prohibited, except for two corridors accessed from the Grand Col and the summit of the Aiguille Rouge, where you can ski as long as you are accompanied by a professional. Otherwise, it is possible to obtain an authorisation permit issued by the forest rangers, following a 2-hour training course led by the rangers themselves indoors. Registration required. €7 per person. For further information or to register contact François-Xavier Girardo - Tel. 04 79 07 69 61. If you breach this regulation, not only will you be left somewhat shamefaced, you may also receive a €135 fine.