Absolutely! Anyone can benefit from having lessons and it is the best way to improve and get more out of your time on the mountain. It is essential for beginners to have correct instruction for the first week or two and group lessons are a great way to learn. There's aload more information on our Ski Lessons info page.
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Should I Hire or Buy My Skis/Snowboard?
For a beginner it is probably best to hire equipment; if you buy equipment straightaway you quickly outgrow it as your skiing level improves. The cost of hiring skis and boots for 6 days (adults) varies from around €90 - 110 for beginners, to around €110 - 150 for experts/top of the range equipment. Wait until you have done a few weeks’ skiing or boarding and make sure that this is a sport you will practice regularly, and then consider buying - for more advice see our pages on Buying your Skis/Snowboards & Boots. The cost of purchase will pay for itself over 4 or 5 weeks, so if you are doing a season or visit the mountains a few times a year then it is a good investment to have your own kit that you know you are comfortable with. There are a wide range of Ski Rental/Sports Shops in La Plagne where you can hire and buy the latest kit.
What Are the 10 Rules of Ski Safety?
1. Respect for Others: People using the pistes must behave in such a way that they do not put other people in danger or harm them, either by their behaviour or with their equipment. 2. Speed & Behaviour: People using the pistes must adapt their speed and behaviour to suit their personal abilities as well as the general ground and weather conditions, the state of the snow and the density of the traffic. 3. Choice of Direction by the Person Uphill: A skier who is uphill is in a position which enables him to choose a course; he must therefore make this choice so as to preserve the safety of anyone downhill. 4. Overtaking: Overtaking can be done from uphill or downhill, on the right or on the left, but the person overtaking must always allow a margin for the movements of the person he is overtaking. 5. Where Pistes Cross & When Starting Off: After stopping, or where pistes cross, all users must, by looking uphill and downhill, make sure that they can start off without endangering themselves and others. 6. Standing: All users must avoid standing in passages which are narrow or where there is no visibility; in the event of a fall, they must get off the piste as quickly as possible. 7. Going Up & Down on Foot: People who are obliged to go up or down a piste on foot must use the edge of the piste, taking care that neither they nor their equipment is a danger to others. 8. Respect for Information, Markings & Signs: Users must take notice of information about weather conditions and about the state of the pistes and snow. They must respect markings and signs. 9. Assistance: Anyone witnessing or involved in an accident must give assistance, particularly by raising the alarm. If need be, and at the request of the first-aid people, they must put themselves at their disposal. 10. Identification: Anyone witnessing or involved in an accident must make themselves known to the emergency service and/or third parties.
What are the commonest injuries and how can I avoid them?
The type of injuries you may sustain can depend on what your chosen mountain discipline is. Skiers knee ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament in particular) take the most injuries. Make sure your ski-bindings are adjusted correctly for your weight and level of skiing. Over 80 % of accidents to skiers which result in sprained knee ligaments resulted from skis not coming off during a fall.
Snowboarders tend to suffer more upper body injuries such as broken collarbones, dislocated shoulders and head and wrist injuries (wear a helmet and wrist protectors).
Should you be unlucky enough to get injured whilst on holiday and find yourself hobbling around on crutches – do not despair! Make the most of your situation and check out this fun website: Cool Crutches! Injury rates for skiing are much lower than most people imagine, at between 0.2 and 0.4%. The French Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests the following eight points to reduce your risk:
Improve your physical fitness before your holiday.
Ensure bindings are correctly set for your ability, weight and height.
Choose the correct equipment for your level.
Wear a helmet (especially in a snowpark).
Warm up before setting out.
Make sure you take enough food and liquids.
Take a rest or cut short your day when you start to feel tired.
To this we would add:
Follow the piste safety code (see FAQs Skiing & Snowboarding).
Hire equipment from a specialist sports shop rather than borrowing from friends.
Stay within your own limits and don’t try to keep up with more experienced friends
Bring non-slip boots for walking around the resort as pavements can be icy.
For more information on skiing and snowboarding injuries, see this Ski Injury website.
What Are the Different Ski Areas in La Plagne Like?
The Paradiski is split up into 2 main ski areas: La Plagne and Les Arcs. Please go to Ski Areas in La Plagne to read more about what you will find there.
What are the local food specialities to try?
Although not as renowned as the haute cuisine of Paris or the fine bistros of Lyon the Alps do have a number of tasty treats in store for those who like to sample some regional specialities. Meat and cheese feature heavily in Alpine cooking – so it’s just as well there are plenty of mountains where you can work off the extra pounds! To learn more about typical dishes, cheeses and what wines to try please read our article on Dining in the Alps. You can find details of all Chamonix eateries on our Restaurants or Gourmet Restaurants listing pages.
What are the main events in La Plagne throughout the year?
La Plagne has many events going on all year round. To get an overview of what happens when please see our Events Guide. To keep an eye on a particular date you can check out our What's On Calendar, which is regularly updated with all the latest events.
What dates do the lifts open and close?
The ski area normally opens in early December and runs through into late April, althoug exact dates are dependent on snow cover. Exact dates for this year's ski season can be found on our Lift Opening Dates page. During the summer, the lifts are open from mid-June until the end of August, providing access to hiking, biking, climbing, paragliding and more.
What Different Types of Snowboards Are There?
If you want to know the difference between a freestyle and a freeride board, have a look at our article on All You Ever Needed to Know About Snowboards…. It includes a review of this season’s latest kit and explains all the jargon that previously went right over our heads!
What Do I Need to Know About Maintaining My Skis/Snowboard?
You need to know that your skis & snowboards will benefit from regular waxing and servicing. You can read all about how to care for your skis and boards on our Ski & Snowboard Maintenance page.
What do the different abbreviations for lift types mean on the piste map?
The lifts marked on the piste map using straight black lines are of four types; button tow/drag, chair, telecabine and telepherique. They have the corresponding abbreviations; TK for Teleski (drag lift), TS for Telesiege (chair lift), TC for Telecabine (gondola) and TPH for Telepherique (cable car). For telecabine think bubble car and for telepherique think cable car. Anything prefixed/suffixed with “Express” means a 6 person modern fast chair lift.
What Do the Different Colours of Piste Refer to on the Maps?
The colours represent the scale of difficulty:
Green: Very easy, corresponds to a beginner level and nursery slopes.
Blue: Easy, although the gradient has increased; there may be a few bumps and dips to test your balance. Great fun once you are a little more confident.
Red: Steeper slopes, suitable for intermediate or above; can be a challenge in places.
Black: Technically difficult and steep. Advanced levels only.
The scale applies whichever activity you are doing (skiing, snowboarding, cross-country or biking). Each piste will be clearly marked with a colour at the beginning and the poles along the sides of the piste will correspond.
What else should I know about driving in France?
When driving in France, it is important that you are aware of any road laws and restrictions that may differ from home. For starters, UK licence holders must be 18 years or older in order to drive a temporarily imported car on French roads. For everything you need to know about driving in France, take a look at our page on Driving to Resort
What exercises should I do before my holiday?
Any exercise you can do before your holiday which increases your level of fitness, develops the muscles in the leg, and improves your balance, will be beneficial. Not only will you tire less easily, and slide better, but you will also be helping to protect your body from injury. The ligaments in the knee are particularly vulnerable to injury from skiing - make sure you build up the leg muscles to help protect your knees. You can read a bit more about exercise training in this article on Pre-Season Ski Fitness, written by Mike Halsall of Magic Hands Physio.
What Facilities Are There for Disabled Skiers in La Plagne?
Most resorts now offer lessons by specially qualified instructors and the opportunity to hire out adapted equipment that allows people with disabilities to enjoy the mountains safely. To read more about what La Plagne has to offer, please read our page on Handiski (Disabled Skiing).
What hours are the shops open?
Generally speaking supermarkets will open between 8am and 7pm. Other shops tend to open at 10am, closing at 12.30pm for a lunch break until around 3pm. They then reopen until 7pm or 8pm. Most shops in the resort remain open 7 days a week during the winter and summer seasons, including Christmas, New Year and other bank holidays. During peak season some shops may remain open throughout the day without stopping for lunch. During the interseason periods of spring and autumn many shops in La Plagne close. Read more about Shopping in La Plagne. In France each region has to schedule its sales, so that all the shops in resort drop their prices at the same time. You can find out what sales are coming up if you click here (departments 73 & 74).
What is Carre Neige insurance?
Carré Neige is the basic insurance policy that covers you whilst on the mountain and is recognised across all French ski resorts. You can purchase it for a few euros a day when you buy your ski pass or take out cover for the whole season. It is reasonably inexpensive and provides good basic cover. Please read our article on Winter Ski Insurance to find out more and see how it compares to other policies.
What is paragliding and can I do it in La Plagne?
Paragliding, or 'parapente' as it is called in French, is the popular sport of taking off from a high point and gently floating down to earth attached to a parachute. Safely strapped into a tandem harness, your instructor will show you how to control your 'wings' while you admire the mountains from a birds-eye perspective! To find out where and how you can do this activity please go to Paragliding in La Plagne.
What Is the Difference Between Telemark, Cross-Country, Alpine Touring and Regular Alpine Skis?
The range of skis on the market is vast and many of them are used for different variations of the sport; regular Alpine skiing is the most common and is where most people start out. To read more about the differences between the skis and what they are used for please read our article on All You Ever Needed to Know About Skis….
What is there to do in the summer in La Plagne?
La Plagne is not just a winter resort. Every summer the lifts crank back into action and are used by hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, paragliders and those who just like to enjoy the view! There is plenty to do down at resort level with golf, swimming, archery and white water sports all attracting plenty of visitors. Our guide to Summer Activities in La Plagne will tell you all you need to know about what the resort has to offer.
What lift passes are available in the summer?
La Plagne in the summer has just as much to do as in the winter - if not more! There are a number of lift passes available, depending on how you want to explore the mountains. Please see Lift Pass Options & Prices - Summer for more information.
What Should I Do If My Skis/Snowboard Get Stolen?
It’s a sad fact that in this day and age, we can no longer leave our skis outside as we enjoy a warming hot chocolate, après ski, or a leisurely lunch at the side of the piste. “Prevention is always better than cure", so be very careful about how and where you leave your skis unattended. Should the worst happen and you can’t find your kit where you left it, follow these points:
Before you panic, double-check the area where you left them, just in case. It is possible they have fallen over and/or have been put back in a different location.
Report the theft to the police as soon as possible. Don’t be fobbed off by the lack of interest by the local police force. They see this type of incident all the time, and are therefore not always the most helpful. Be persistent, this is necessary and required by all insurance companies.
If applicable, tell your resort representative. If they were rental skis, you'll probably have to deal with the shop, and they may be able to provide some assistance. When hiring the skis, some rental shops will offer additional insurance to protect you against theft. If you choose not to take this option, or the rental shop doesn’t provide this service, you will probably have to pay for the skis (to the replacement cost value) and then claim on your insurance.
Theft tends to happen when you least expect it. Speaking from personal experience, even placing your skis directly behind you as you sit in a café or bar can be a mistake… BE AWARE!! Here are some tips to minimize the risk of having your skis/snowboard stolen:
Never leave your skis unattended for a long period of time outside a bar or restaurant. Some bars may offer a “ski monitoring” service.
Avoid leaving skis on your balcony, even if your apartment is located on the higher floors of the building (thieves have been known to scale up to four floors for the latest skis and boards!)
Always keep your skis in your sight line.
Swap a ski with a friend when going into a mountain restaurant or bar; but don’t put the unmatched pairs next to each other!!
Where you have rental skis, ask the rental shop to write your name on the skis as many people will have the same or similar pairs, and may take your skis by accident.
Use ski lockers where provided.
Invest in a ski/board lock. Although they won’t prevent the determined thief, they may deter them.
Check your insurance policy to see what’s covered should your own skis, or rental skis be stolen.
What Sort of Bike Do I Need in La Plagne?
There are many different routes/areas which are suited to different types of mountain bikes so if you’re an experienced rider then you’ll undoubtedly be bringing your own mountain bike with you and you'll already know your preferred terrain. However, if this is your first mountain biking experience and you’re not familiar with the lingo or sure of the differences between a cross country (XC), trail, freestyle or downhill bike; or whether to take the hardtail or full suspension option, then take a look at our Mountain Biking pages.
What Sort Of Jobs Are Available?
Pretty much anything you can think of relating to hospitality and tourism. Tour Operators are a good place to start as the larger ones will need a range of winter staff from chalet caterers, to cleaners, to accountants, to bar managers. To get an idea of what is on offer, check out our Types of Jobs in a Ski Resort pages. NB Most tour operators won’t employ anyone under 21, and none employ those under 18.