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Encyclopedia > Les Arcs
The centre of Arc 1950

Les Arcs is a ski resort located in Savoie, France, above the Tarentaise town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice and was created by Robert Blanc and Roger Godino. Since the opening of the new Vanoise Express cable car in December 2003, it has become part of the Paradiski group of ski-lift connected resorts, which also includes La Plagne. The five areas - Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 - are situated over an altitude of 810 to 3225 metres, although skiing is only really possible above 1200 metres. The ski area consists of 106 runs, 54 lifts and 200 kilometres of descent. The highest peak in the resort is the Aiguille Rouge (Red Needle) Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... St. ... Savoie is a French département located in the Alps. ... The Tarentaise Valley (French: Vallée de la Tarentaise) is a valley in the heart of the French Alps, in the Savoy region. ... Bourg-Saint-Maurice is a commune of the Savoie département, in France. ... The Vanoise Express is the double-decker cable car that links La Plagne with Peisey-Vallandry and Les Arcs in the Alps. ... An Aerial tramway in Italy. ... Paradiski is a ski-area offering uninterupted skiing in between the areas of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne External links Official website Categories: | ... La Plagne is a french ski area in the Alps (Savoie). ...


It has a reputation among the French "mega-resorts". All of them have a convenient, large and varied network of pistes. Les Arcs have the specificity of an unique "avant-garde" modernist architecture labelled as Patrimony of the 20th Century. Most of its resorts are built following this modernist architecture, with the exception of late Arc 1950 which is built following the traditional architecture in the Alps.


The ski domain provides a mixture of open runs (especially above Arc 2000) and wooded runs (around the outlying villages of Peisey and Villaroger in particular). Its terrain park has a good reputation, with green, red and black jumps and rails. It's also good for snowboarders, with few drag lifts.

Contents

From the base of the gondola up to the Aiguille Rouge, at 2670m. To the right is the Aiguille Grive
From the base of the gondola up to the Aiguille Rouge, at 2670m. To the right is the Aiguille Grive

Les Arcs' ESF ski school teaches the ski evolutif method, where students are taught parallel turns from the beginning, but on very short skis (that get progressively longer through the first week). Les Arcs is regarded as having excellent beginner ski areas in each resort, although absolute beginners have little to progress to - away from the nursery slopes things get trickier. Les Arcs is also regarded by many as the home of snowboarding in Europe. Local instructor Régis Rolland popularised the snowboard in France with the Apocalypse Snow series of films made in the resort in the early 1980s. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 378 pixelsFull resolution‎ (3,984 × 1,880 pixels, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 378 pixelsFull resolution‎ (3,984 × 1,880 pixels, file size: 3. ...


The ski area of Arc 2000 and 1950 consists of a broad valley, with these two resorts at the bottom of its broader part. One of the sides of the valley is the ridge with the area's highest point, the Aiguille Rouge. The other side is a ridge to Arc 1600, 1800 and Peisey-Vallandry, which hold a wide range of runs.


History

Creation of les Arcs

1968 : Arc 1600 resort opening.
1974 : Arc 1800 resort opening with the inauguration of the Hotel du Golf.
1979 : Arc 2000 resort opening with the Club Med.
2003 : Inauguration of the first tourist residences in Arc 1950.

Thanks to a successful meeting, in the early 60s, between Roger Godino, developer and constructor in mountain tourism and Robert Blanc, born in the area and a ski instructor and high mountain guide, Les Arcs took shape with the help of well-known engineers, architects and town planners sharing the same creative spirit.


Three fundamental rules were followed in order to create a functional and aesthetic construction in keeping with the tourist development of that time :

Respect for the area and the natural surroundings,
The conservation of existing old mountain chalets which were not to be copied for more authenticity,
The use of local material.

Les Arcs is completely integrated into the mountain setting, and distinguished by an exterior architecture avoiding buildings overlooking one another and by an interior open plan concept (open kitchen, large picture windows, and raised balconies) which paved the way for a new style of living.


20th Century Label

In 1999, the Ministry for the Arts and Communications introduced new policies in favour of the architectural and urban heritage of the 20th century : protection, public awareness and restoration. Living proof of modernity working hand in hand with the mountains and nature, Les Arcs town planning is being studied by the Grenoble School of Architecture.


Charlotte Perriand

Charlotte Perriand, a woman full of life and ahead of her time, is well known for having worked with Le Corbusier for ten years and, above all in Les Arcs for her innovative ideas which inspired the resort’s design team, from Roger Godino to Robert Blanc including Gaston Regairaz, Guy Rey-Millet, Bernard Taillefer... Charlotte Perriand wrote in her memoirs «Vivre, c’est faire vivre ce qui est en nous» “to live is to bring alive what is inside us” And when we look at Les Arcs, it is certainly Charlotte Perriand who lives on today. An exhibition will shortly be dedicated to her work at the Beaubourg National Arts and Culture Centre. Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) // Biography 1903 Born in Paris, France. ... Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born architect and writer, who is famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture. ...


Resort Areas

Arc 1600 (also 'Arc Pierre Blanche')

At 1600 metres, this is the lowest of the resort areas and is linked directly to Bourg Saint Maurice by the 'Arc en Ciel' funicular railway. The journey time is approximately 7 minutes and many trains also call at two intermediate stations, serving the villages of Montrigron and Les Granges. It is also connected to the other villages by regular free shuttle buses and ski lifts. Arc 1600 was the first area to be built on and is also referred to as "Arc Pierre Blanche." Arc 1600 now has 30 shops, hotels and meeting rooms to offer its guests. Angels Flight, Los Angeles, California with gantlet track configuration Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with full length parallel tracks The Gütschbahn in Lucerne, Switzerland – from an 1893 guidebook A funicular, also called funicular railway, inclined railway, inclined plane, or, in the United Kingdom, a cliff railway, is a system of...


Arc 1800

An example of the Le Corbusier inspired modernist apartments at Les Arcs 1800 by Charlotte Perriand
An example of the Le Corbusier inspired modernist apartments at Les Arcs 1800 by Charlotte Perriand

Arc 1800 is the biggest of the resort areas and consists of 4 'villages' known as 'Charvet', 'Villards', 'Charmettoger' and 'Chantel'. It has around 100 shops, shuttles services, hotels, meeting rooms, a two screen cinema and an ice rink. There are a good selection of restaurants available to all including Casa Mia, voted resort restaurant of the year 2003 in a worldwide competition. It's in the most convenient position on the mountain, just above the resort of Arc 1600, and given its height is comfortably above the snow line for the entire winter. The "TransArc" gondola reaches the top of the Arc 2000 valley quickly (queues notwithstanding), and there are a good selection of ski lifts, such as the six seater Vagere, to take you to the various different parts of the mountain. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,576 × 1,932 pixels, file size: 1,006 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,576 × 1,932 pixels, file size: 1,006 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (All user names refer to en. ... Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born architect and writer, who is famous for his contributions to what now is called Modern Architecture. ... Modern architecture, not to be confused with contemporary architecture, is a term given to a number of building styles with similar characteristics, primarily the simplification of form and the elimination of ornament. ...


Arc 1800 also has the added benefit of considerably better weather conditions given the topography of the mountain. When heavy snow falls Arc 2000 is likely to be closed down and can also be at the mercy of heavy winds funneling down to the valley. This is not a problem for Arc 1800 which is also west facing and thus benefits from sunshine in the afternoon.


Above Arc 1800 are the apartments of Les Alpages du Chantel. The residence houses 182 apartments in two 3-5 storey chalet-style residences that offer a ski-in, ski-out experience. Also on site is a local shop and a locally themed restaurant Les Alpages.


Above this is the site for the new Intrawest project Edenarc 1800. Following on from their tremendous success with Arc 1950 Intrawest will make Edenarc a four-star resort and the first apartment block titled Les Souverains will be ready for delivery by 2009 with the rest of the resort, including a four star hotel, to follow in the subsequent years. A link, like the Cabriolet from Arc 1950 to Arc 2000, will be added to make the most of the restaurants, bars, clubs and shops available in Arc 1800 already. Intrawest TSX: ITW NYSE: IDR is a world leader in destinations resorts and luxury adventure travel. ...


This area is linked to La Plagne resort by the Vanoise Express Cable car.


Arc 1950

Arc 1950 is a new development by Canadian constructor Intrawest, which also worked on such resorts as Whistler and Mount Tremblant in Canada. It is linked to Arc 2000 by free gondola, Cabriolet, and has five apartment buildings, a wide variety of shops and, for a mountain, a huge variety of restaurants including Italian, Mexican, French, American, a creperie and an oriental (Mongolian grill) restaurant. The architecture of Arc 1950 is most striking as it moves away from the standard concrete blocks of the mega resorts of the period and instead is heavily influenced by the local history and architecture. Intrawest TSX: ITW NYSE: IDR is a world leader in destinations resorts and luxury adventure travel. ... Whistler can refer to the following: Whistler, British Columbia - the municipality of the 2010 Winter Olympics Alpine events Whistler-Blackcomb - the ski resort that will host the 2010 Winter Olympics Alpine events Whistler (radio) - a very low frequency radio phenomenon. ...


Arc 2000

With a cable to 1950 and free shuttle buses to all of the other villages, Les Arcs' highest station has more than adequate transport links. It has a wide selection of shops, a cinema screen and meeting facilities. Being the highest it often has the best snow, although the nursery slopes above 2000 have a reputation for being crowded, and there aren't so many tree-lined pistes for when the weather gets bad. The Varet gondola is a quick way to get up to the higher parts of the resort and there is also a new selection of six seater chairlifts including Arcabulle, Bois de l'ors and Marmottes to quickly ship you to the different sides of the mountain. Arc 2000 is well known for hosting speed skiing (not for the faint hearted) and other events over the course of the season. Speed skiing is the sport of skiing fastest in a straight line downhill. ...


Other villages

At one end of the ski area are the villages of Vallandry, Peisey and Plan-Peisey, from which the Vanoise-Express cable-car departs (to La Plagne, the other half of Paradiski huge ski domain). La Plagne is a french ski area in the Alps (Savoie). ... Paradiski is a ski-area offering uninterupted skiing in between the areas of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne External links Official website Categories: | ...


At the other end, across the valley from Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, are the villages of Le Pre and Villaroger. A continuous run with an astounding 2000 meters altitude fall links Aiguille Rouge to Villaroger and although rather low at 1200 Villaroger can be reached for much of the season given that it's north facing.


Administratively these villages are not part of the Les Arcs ski domain, but are seamlessly linked. Their ski area is largely wooded, but with some open slopes above. This can provide especially good skiing when fresh snow has fallen or a welcome relief when the weather is windy or bad.

Pistes above the Peisey-Vallandry woods
Pistes above the Peisey-Vallandry woods

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,592 × 1,944 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,592 × 1,944 pixels, file size: 1. ...

Off-piste opportunities

The piste network in Les Arcs is fairly dense, so off-piste opportunities within the ski domain are limited. With a guide, though, some big adventures are possible. Particularly recommended are off the back of the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger, or off the back of the Bellecote glacier (from La Plagne) down to Nancroix valley, just below Peisey, which is linked by free shuttle bus. It is advised that both routes be only attempted with a guide and appropriate avalanche equipment. Off-piste routes from Tignes to the Les Arcs area are also possible. Bellecôte is a summit on the northern part of the massive Vanoise National Park, in the French Alps, dominating the Peisey-Nancroix valley, in Savoie. ... This article is about the geological formation. ... Backcountry skiing or off-piste skiing is skiing in a sparsely inhabited rural region, where fixed mechanical means of ascent (chairlifts, cable cars etc. ... A ski lift on the Grande Motte. ...


Mountain Biking in Les Arcs

Mountain Biking is becoming an ever more popular activity in summer with parts of the lift network opening throughout the months of July and August. There are around 10 marked VTT routes detailed on the summer piste map. Several Mountain Bike holiday companies operate in the area.


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Les Arcs
  • Official Les Arcs site (English)
  • Piste Map of Arc 1600 and 1800
  • Piste Map of Arc 1950 and 2000
  • Overall piste map of whole Paradiski area, including Les Arcs and La Plagne
  • Photos from Les Arcs pistes
  • Webcams from Les Arcs updated daily
  • Les Arcs main association of owners with roughly 1800 members in 2006

  Results from FactBites:
 
Arcs travel: Visit, Maps, Mills (Les Moulins), Dining, Wine, History, France - Provence Beyond (1115 words)
Medieval: Les Arcs was the domain of the lordship of the Villeneuve's from 1200 until the 17th century.
Les Arcs is in the region of the Côte de Provence wines.
Les Arcs is on the main rail line (Nice-Marseille; Nice-Lyon; Nice-Paris), and the station is only a medium walk (a few blocks) from the center of town.
Ski Les Arcs, France with Directski.com (359 words)
Arc 1800 is the centre of the action: this is where the lifts converge and has very lively après ski.
Arc 2000 is the newest addition and is surrounded by pine trees at the base of the Aiguille Rouge peak.
Les Arcs lays claim to be the home of the snowboard and boarders will be delighted to hear there are 2 half pipes and an area exclusive for boarders.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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