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What's on in La Plagne March 2019

Sports, glacier festivals and swimming in the snow

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Stuart Hamilton | La Plagne Reporter | Published: 7 Mar 2019

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What's on in La Plagne March 2019

With the advent of spring, La Plagne takes on a much more relaxed feel as we slowly exit the coldest winter months and move towards longer, sunnier days and significantly fewer crowds.

With the February mid-term madness now consigned to history for another year, we can start looking forward to a much more chilled and calm March. Winter is far from over, though, and there’s still enough going on in resort to keep you entertained through the month.

Super Slalom – 30th March

Super Slalom – 30th March

The world’s longest (and some might argue – toughest) slalom race returns to La Plagne this year on Saturday, March 30th, attracting top-level skiers from around the world. The course will again run from just above Aime 2000, starting next to the Becoin chair at approximately 2340m. It follows the Pavane blue before splitting off to join the Emile Allais red all the way down to La Roche, located below the Olympic bobsleigh track at around 1550m. To save you brain-strain arithmetic, that’s around 800m vertical over a course that spans 4km. Between the start hut and finish line lies a daunting 350 slalom gates making the race a test of endurance as much as one of slalom skills (a normal slalom course typically has only 50-70 gates). The Super Slalom really is no ordinary slalom race.

Pros and amateurs are welcome to compete meaning times will vary considerably per competitor. For the best action, arrive early to see the pro riders taking on the course. The amateurs follow next, at which point the race begins to take on a more convivial, carnival atmosphere. There are live bands and entertainment planned for the finish area at La Roche – plus there’s also a couple of pit-stops (called Fun Zones) along the track where you can stop, take in the views and watch the thigh-burning action up close.

This is the third Super Slalom and the event has grown considerably over the years so expect an A-list line up of skiing talent from all disciplines. Last year’s comp saw big name riders from freestyle, telemark and cross-country taking part – as well as skilled slalom specialists – all competing for top prize in this unique event. Make no mistake, while the amateurs take part mainly for fun, this is a proper race event so far as the pros are concerned and there’s always healthy rivalry among the top-level competitors.

Events Calendar for La Plagne

Destination Glacier – 12th-14th March

Destination Glacier – 12th-14th March

Once upon a long ago, La Plagne used to offer summer skiing on the Bellecôte glacier. Sadly, through global warming and a general retreat of glacial areas worldwide, the area’s operations are now limited to the winter months but the glacier is still well worth a visit – if only for the views. From the top, a vast vista stretches forth encompassing the Tarentaise valley, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Les Trois Vallées and Mont Blanc. If that isn’t enticing enough, from March 12th to 14th La Plagne is once again holding Destination Glacier, a celebration of the local mountains featuring a themed area at the top aimed at enticing skiers and non-skiers to enjoy this beautiful vantage point.

From 10:00 to 15:00, visitors will be offered free pancakes and ice-cream as well as the chance to see avalanche dog demonstrations (from 11:00-12:00). There will also be a treasure hunt, skill games, snow-making presentations, music and snow sculpture. Non-skiers will need to buy a glacier pass (around €13) and take the Roche de Mio gondola out of Bellecôte. At the top of the first stage (at Roche de Mio) take the second gondola up to the glacier. In total, the trip takes around 25 minutes from station to summit. The ride alone is worth the ticket price – the views over the La Plagne ski area and beyond are breathtaking.

Book Ski Hire

Land Rover Shelters Experience

Land Rover Shelters Experience

If you fancy trying something completely different in the mountains this winter, how about the Land Rover Shelter Experience? A night at the top of the mountain staying in one of the cabins used during the French polar expeditions. This is “roughing it” but in a somewhat comfortable, sumptuous way. Almost mountain-top Glamping. The overnight trip includes snow-driving with a qualified instructor out of Bellecôte up to your mountain hideaway where you’ll also find a fondue kit, local produce and warm duvets. Breakfast is also provided, as is a coffee maker and a small selection of wine. There are on-site dry toilets and the cabins are also heated. An instructor will return to pick you up at 08:30-09:00 – or you have the option to hike or ski back down to resort. Prices start from €90 per person (based on six sharing).

Book Accommodation

Quieter pistes and better riding

Quieter pistes and better riding

After a rather erratic season which has seen everything from full-on blizzards to February’s record-breaking temperatures, everyone in resort is looking forward to a more predictable March – traditionally one of the quietest months of the entire winter season. The long-term forecasts are for snow and sun through this month, meaning our already good snow depths will prevail and, if things stay true to form, we will more than likely see some late-season powder days. March is one of the best months to go riding and with the mid-term February madness behind us and longer, sunnier days there’s even more skiing and snowboarding to be had on some of the best snow of the year. You might even get lucky and time your trip to coincide with one of the frequent late-season storms.

Buy Ski Passes

Swim in the snow in Bellecôte

Swim in the snow in Bellecôte

It’s not every day you can say you went swimming in the snow but Plagne Bellecôte’s Magic Pool lets you do just that. This outdoor pool is heated to a balmy 30ºC, so there’s no chance of getting cold – well, apart from entry and exit maybe! In any case, the pool also features a spa and sauna to banish any unwanted chills. The rising temperatures and stronger sun in March offer the perfect chance to try swimming outdoors in a ski resort. Not all resorts have an outdoor pool after all and it’s a very odd experience watching steam rise off the water as you look out over snow-covered hills. The Magic Pool is open Monday to Saturday through March, 15:00 to 20:00. If you’re not staying in Bellecôte, just jump on one of the multiple free shuttles from the other stations or, if you’re in Belle Plagne, take the connecting Belle Plagne bubble which runs all day until midnight. 

Sports & Fitness Centres in La Plagne

Stuart Hamilton is the Creative Director of Snow-GuruSnowboard-App and Ski-App - a range of Android skiing and snowboarding apps aimed at improving your time in the mountains. He also runs iRide Ski and Snowboard app, available for both Apple iOS and Android.