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

Bobsleigh, cheesemaking, slalom and some après-ski fun

Featured in: | Stuart Hamilton, La Plagne Reporter | Published
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With the hazy memories of Hogmanay and Christmas 2019 fading fast, we launch headlong into 2020 with a look at what’s on in La Plagne in this, the first month of a new decade.

January is traditionally one of the quietest months in any ski resort as the world goes back to work after the festive break and life returns to normal again. It’s also one of the best times to pick up a cheap deal on flights and accommodation since most people simply can’t spare the time after the Christmas holidays.

Why come to La Plagne in January?

If you can manage a trip, the next two to three weeks will see some of the quietest lifts and pistes of the entire year before things start to pick up again as we near February. With a great cover around the resort, it would almost seem rude not to take advantage. Also, as the Christmas crowds leave, the bars and restaurants become considerably quieter too, so we’ll say farewell to the massive queues that have been common everywhere over the last two weeks.

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

This year, we were gifted very generous early dumps through the months of November and December meaning we’ve got exceptional cover over the mountain for this early in the year (it’s easy to forget but we’re currently only in week three of an 18-week season). Lower down, areas such as Montchavin and Montalbert didn’t benefit quite as much from the early storms as the freezing level tended to hover around the 1800m mark but up in the main areas of Plagne Centre, Bellecôte, Belle Plagne, Villages, Soleil and Aime there is a deep and wide cover that will guarantee good riding for the rest of the season. At the time of writing, we currently have 20cm at 1250m, 125cm at 2000m and a whopping 230cm at 3000m. And, although the weather forecast for the next few days is looking largely settled and sunny, you can be sure January will have some treats in store as the month progresses. It’s almost always one of the snowiest months in resort.

La Plagne Snow Report & Forecast

What's on in La Plagne in January 2020?

Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup – 10th-12th January 2020
La Plagne plays host to the 4th leg of the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup in a three-day event from Friday 10th to Sunday, January 12th. 14 nationalities will be in attendance, as will Olympic champions Kaillie Humphries, Francesco Friedrich and Mariama Jamanka. The La Plagne bobsleigh track is the only course in France and was built for the Albertville 1992 Olympics. It is one of only a handful of officially recognised bobsleigh courses in the world and features a stomach-churning 19 turns over a total length of 1.5km.

The track winds its way down a steep ravine a little below Plagne 1800 to the base at La Roche. There is a regular bus service leaving from the main gare routière in Plagne Centre or, alternatively, it’s possible to ski or snowboard down. The small town of La Roche is connected to the Aime and Montalbert sectors by the Cornegidouille (blue), Emile Allais and André Martzolf pistes (both red), so access is very easy. And, when you’re done, the La Roche chair can be used to get back up to Aime 2000.

Also, if you’re the type that prefers to do rather than to just watch, remember La Plagne also offers unique Bob Raft, Speed Luge and Bob racing experiences so you can witness the thrill of riding the track first-hand. It’s the closest us mere mortals are ever likely to get to doing these thoroughly exhilarating sports.

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Savoyard cheese-making – Thursdays and Saturdays through January 2020
Most people aren’t aware but, in the summer months, the lower runs of La Plagne are used for farming and the area is renowned for producing some of France’s best-loved and highest-rated cheeses. Learn the skills involved in this ancient art from 10:30 every Thursday and Saturday (or from 15:00 every Tuesday) through January in the traditional village of Montalbert.

Local Produce from La Plagne

Test your slalom skills – every day
Every year in the late season, La Plagne holds officially the longest slalom race in the world, the Super Slalom. In celebration of the event, the organisers have established a new slalom track on part of the official course, near Aime 2000 on the Golf piste. The track is open to all and includes race timing so you can test your skills just like in a real competition. Access is via the Becoin chair or Télémetro if you’re coming from the Plagne Centre side or the Roche/Envers chairs if you’re coming from the Montalbert side.

Ski Pass Options in La Plagne

Buffalo park – every day
New for this year, La Plagne has installed another funslope to compliment the existing one at Arpette above Bellecôte. The new Buffalo Park starts near the Verdons Nord chair and runs below the Colorado chair back into Plagne Centre. Access is free and the track is open daily – great fun for all, young or old.

Family Activities in La Plagne

Aprés-ski at La Folie Douce in Les Arcs
Strictly-speaking not really La Plagne news, but the Folie Douce chain has expanded its empire with the opening of a new bar and restaurant in Les Arcs. Famed for its lively and inventive cabaret, the Folie Douce is an après experience like no other. Although the party tends to get properly started later in the day, the bar is still well worth a visit - even if you’ll have to start thinking of heading back before the lifts close. The new Folie Douce Les Arcs is located near the Villards gondola just above Arc 1800.

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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.

More inspiration...

As mentioned above, January is one of the best months to come to La Plagne, both in terms of prices and also the fact the resort will be very quiet for the next two to three weeks. If you can make it, it would be great to see you out here! Check out our events calendar for more ideas.

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Events in La Plagne