Arolles – Run Guide
Part of the fun of skiing is testing yourself on a variety of different slopes. Some people prefer a cruisy blue, others might like the tranquillity of a green track through the woods while more advanced riders will love to pick up some speed and carve their way down an open red.
Given that the Three Valleys is the largest ski area in the world, skiing in La Tania and Meribel allows you to tackle all these types of runs and more. However rarely does just one piste offer such a variety of different sections. One of the exceptions that proves this rule is the Arolles piste in La Tania.
Thee beginnings of the run are not that promising. Arolles splits off from the Loze Est run a little way down from the top of the Bouc Blanc lift. While it offers fantastic views of both the Courchevel and La Tania slopes on a good day, this exposed plateau often catches the prevailing wind and is a bit flat, especially for boarders. But persevere…
As you approach the top of the Plantrey lift take care to keep left as you can pick up speed quickly as the gradient gradually increases. as you round the small rise, suddenly a widen open blue opens up, allowing you to really put the wind in your hair by carving your way round this relatively steep section.
After a couple of hundred metres you come to a natural plateau, helping you to regulate your speed before you come over the next rise. From here the ground drops away again, with the top of the Forêt bubble ahead and the entire valley stretching out ahead, with Le Praz nestling at the foot of the mountain. This section is a best tackled at cruising speed to take in the views and watch out for riders congregating around the lift station.
As you pass by Forêt, you take a sharp left and find yourself underneath the bubble cables. At this point the wide piste has narrowed to a track with just a moderate gradient at what is arguably the most attractive section. Now down amongst the trees, the run winds to the edge of the Bouc Blanc red. This brisk cruisy track is especially good in the morning when the snow is fresh as it can occasionally become slightly slushy in the afternoon as heavy use can make it a victim of it’s own popularity.
At this point you might be tempted to take the steep section of Bouc Blanc directly to the top of the La Tania bubble but I’d recommend keeping right round the sharp bend and seeing Arolles through to the end. The track continues through another mellow wooded section before a left turn takes you to the top of a short but steep bank. Boarders should take a tight line round the apex of this corner, allowing them to up the heart rate a little again, as well as to pick up enough speed to cross the mound around the La Tania bubble station. Skiers can afford to take it slightly wider if they wish as they way up continuing down Folyères for a well-earned drink in La Tania, or catching the Dou des Lanches or Bouc Blanc lifts to discover more of the 3 valleys.
Author – Rob Bartlett