Spring is officially in the air as we enjoy longer sunnier days. Don't forget your sunscreen!
The Easter holidays bring families back to the valley for a short end of season break in the mountains. The warmer spring days also brings a party-vibe to the town and the sun / snow conditions obviously warrant a longer lunch break on a sunny terrace to top up the tan, and après-ski seemingly starts a little earlier.
To make the most of the longer sunny days we like get out on our touring skis and split-boards, get away from the lifts, and find that last bit of untouched snow. Also, this is the perfect time to tick the world-famous Vallée Blanche off the bucket list. Whilst some locals are brave enough to bring out their bikes for a quick trip into town, in general it's still too cold and icy to risk any road biking adventures.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout April.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in La Plagne in April?
As winter draws to a close for another year, the snow on the lower slopes is usually much heavier by midday. The temperatures can still dip below freezing, usually falling between a low of -5ºC and a high of 4ºC, plus there's still the chance of snow as April averages eight days snowfall, and therefore a powder day isn't out of the question.
What's on in La Plagne in April?
The Super Slalom
The La Plagne event of the season, The Super Slalom, is held towards the end of the month and sees one day of slalom competition. The Super Slalom is the longest slalom in the world, where amateurs and advanced skiers compete with the top of the international ski competitors in a sporting and friendly spirit. Starting at the top of the Becoin; at 2,340m, and finishing at the event village located at 1,555m in La Roche, the historical village of La Plagne. The stadium is located at Plagne Centre and is the Super Slalom Pit Stop where the crowds go wild as each runner passes.
For more information on what's on in April check out our events calendar link.
School holiday Skiing
Easter is a popular time for families so the slopes are noticeably busier. 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. Fortunately, the ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break. 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.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Try to avoid the busy main ski areas, in particular the Bellecôte hub of lifts can get agonisingly busy and you’ll find similar bottlenecks on the main lifts around Plagne Centre. If you can, try and avoid these areas after 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.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Bars & Clubs
There is still time to enjoy some après-ski parties before the season comes to an end, and if you're here late enough in the season there are some wild closing parties.