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La Plagne in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

Featured in: | Stuart Hamilton, La Plagne Reporter | Published

The month of February is probably the busiest of the season in any ski resort but perhaps even more so in La Plagne, officially the world’s most-visited ski area. With the majority of Europe taking their mid-term holidays on at least one week in February, the area will see more visitors this month than any other.

Of course, increased visitor numbers also mean an increase in activities and events across the resort. Join us as we take a look at what’s on in La Plagne through the coming month.

What are the weather & snow conditions like in La Plagne in February?

La Plagne in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

With the recent late January snowfalls, snow depths around the area have increased and, at the time of writing, we have over 2.5m on the higher runs with the vast majority of the lifts and runs open. These depths will surely increase through the coming weeks as February is, normally, very reliable for snowfall. There was a slight exception last year when we had a two-week period of unbroken sunshine but, in the main, February almost always sees fresh snow – and often in considerable quantities too. You can usually expect fairly mixed weather – fresh snow intermingled with often sunny days – so it’s a very good time to take a trip out here if you’re looking for that ‘best of both worlds’ scenario.

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Top tips to avoid the February half-term queues in La Plagne

La Plagne in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

With so much of the area open, queues will be less of a problem though you’re still well-advised to get up and out early to avoid the usual bottlenecks. In particular, the Bellecôte hub of lifts can get agonizingly busy and you’ll find similar bottlenecks on the main lifts around Plagne Centre. If you can, try and avoid these areas after around 10:00, otherwise, be prepared for a long wait.  Other lifts to avoid are the Bergerie below Plagne Soleil and Plagne Villages and the Arpette in Bellecôte. In previous years, these two lifts have jostled for the unenviable crown of the ‘Season’s Busiest Lift’ in the whole of the La Plagne domain. Also, they’re both very popular with ski schools so the runs they serve tend to get very congested. In particular, the Écartée (off Bergerie) and Arpette (off the lift of the same name) can get ridiculously busy. In the main, the best advice is to try and head for the lower traffic areas – places like Champagny, Montalbert and, to a degree, Montchavin. You tend to find far fewer people in each though Montchavin can get busy with the traffic between La Plagne and Les Arcs.

Another top tip is to ride lunchtimes. The French are almost fastidious when it comes to taking a break (food is, after all, a huge part of their culture) so they almost always tend to take a break between 12:00 and 14:00. If you can, stop either side of this two-hour window or, better yet, pack something in your backpack so you can eat on the way up on chairlifts. The lunchtime window really is far too good to miss so find ways to make sure you’re on the hill when the rest of France isn’t.

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What's on in La Plagne in February 2020?

La Montée des Raveillus

In terms of activities and events through February, it’s really all about the Born to be Show towards the end of the month. However, there are also another couple of things going on, namely:

Rando Challenge de la Plagne – La Montée des Raveillus - 6th February 2020

While the predominance of La Plagne’s activities is mostly downhill in nature, there is still a huge cross-country and endurance race following across the area. To cater for these hardy enthusiasts, La Plagne organizes the annual Rando Challenge – a series of cross-country endurance events held at various locations throughout the season. 

The next leg of the tour takes place on February 6th in Champagny-en-Vanoise and will see competitors tackle the climb from village level to the top gondola station – a climb of around 800m – in the dark. We did say, ‘hardy enthusiasts’. Pretty impressive stuff. The event is open to all so, if this is your kind of thing, you’ll find registration details on the homepage of the main La Plagne website. Alternatively, if you’re a more sedate type, you can watch the competitors set off from Champagny village around 19:00 on the evening of February 6th.

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Odyssea Race

Odysséa Race – 18th February 2020
Plagne Centre

The Odysséa is a charity race event held to raise money for cancer awareness and research. The race takes two formats: a mellow 5km event mainly for enthusiasts and a more serious, timed 8km race (official medical certificate required). Both the timed and fun events start at 13:30 from Plagne Centre. Again, registration is possible online for both with further details available on the main La Plagne website homepage.

Events in La Plagne

Born to Be Show

Born to be Show – 27th February 2020
Plagne Centre

Along with the Super Slalom later in March, the Born to be Show is probably the biggest annual event in La Plagne’s calendar – a celebration of the resort’s Club des Sports and its athletes (many of whom have medalled at Olympic and world-class level). The show tends to feature ski and snowboard demonstrations by the area’s up-and-coming young sports stars as well as some of its more established competitors. Previous years have seen attendances from Marie Martinod, Brice Roger and snowboard superstar Tess Ledeux (two-time X Games Big Air gold medalist) to name but a few. Appearances are largely dictated by the athletes’ availability so the list varies year to year but you can definitely expect to see some of the bigger names. 

There is also a prize draw to win a car, as well as the obligatory fireworks show to close-off the evening (the French do love a bit of firework action – for any excuse). The Born to be Show is a highlight in the La Plagne calendar and is a fitting tribute to the resort’s stars of today and tomorrow. If you’re in resort, it’s well worth attending – though be warned, unless you’re staying directly in Plagne Centre, getting back to the other villages once the show is done can take forever. You’re well-advised to consider leaving as promptly as possible (or early) to avoid delays.

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Where to celebrate Valentine's Day in La Plagne?

La Plagne in February 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

Valentine’s Day is a big deal in France – it is the country famed for romance and love after all – so what better way to celebrate than to treat your better half to a romantic dinner in one of the resort’s many excellent restaurants? Our personal recommendation would be an early Fondue Bourguignonne in the Panoramic Restaurant at Aime 2000, with spectacular views across to a setting sun on Mont Blanc. Alternatively, you could go for a night spent under the stars in the Over the Moon experience – a full evening on the mountain in a luxuriously converted piste-bashing machine complete with panoramic roof window, Jacuzzi, queen-size bed, wi-fi and mini-bar. The slogan, “What happens at 2000m, stays at 2000m” should be more than enough to inspire you.

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Get in touch with our reporter Stuart Hamilton on his new site iRide, featuring videos, guides, playlists and more. Stuart also produces SnowGuruSnowGuruVRSnowboardApp and SkiApp – a range of Android skiing and snowboarding apps that improve your time in the mountains.

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While February is probably the busiest month in La Plagne, with our vastly improved snow conditions there should be more than enough space for everyone. Better yet, the coming week looks set to bring further top-ups mixed with sunny intervals meaning further improvements in both depth and quality of snow. Follow the tips above and you should be able to avoid the worst of the queues and bottlenecks and find yourself riding great snow under often-sunny skies – the perfect mix. Bon ski!

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Events in La Plagne