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What's on in Les Arcs March 2019

Outstanding events and activities in resort this month

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| Sam Birch, Les Arcs Reporter | Published
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It may feel a bit like summertime at the moment but there are two months of the season left, the mountains are covered in snow and the next cold snap (with accompanying snowfall) is just around the corner.

March is a truly lovely time to come skiing. With the half-term holidays behind us, the pistes are much quieter and the days just keep getting longer. In Les Arcs, although we keep shredding all the livelong day, there is still a number of ancillary events to keep you amused, engaged and entertained when not strapped to a ‘board/skis. Here are a few of the highlights.

Belgian Week – 2nd-9th March

This season sees the inaugural Belgian Week Huy in mountains of Les Arcs, and we are expecting it to be Damme good. First, there are two welcome drinks, one in Arc 1800 (Sunday 3rd), one in Arc 1800 (Monday 4th), Waremme you can enjoy hot chocolate, vin chaud, and delicious Beaufort cheese. On Tuesday the Ice Warrior Challenge will Landen Arc 1800, providing an Alpine obstacle course for everyone to try. Andenne, at 16:30, there will be a friendly Franco-Belgian competition which should definitely be worth a watch. On Wednesday, March 6th, Dinant forget to visit the Arc 1800 snowfront to witness a special Belgium-themed torchlit descent.

It is fair to say that both Belgians and the locals of Les Arcs share a great love for cheese. This is probably the main reason for the “Beaufort Tour” on Thursday 6th in Arc 1800. Starting at 11:00, it is a big snow-front fondue party celebrating one of the region’s most famous products. We are expecting quite a Turnhout. You can expect plenty of carnival-themed events, frites, Belgian flags and trappist beers, so what have you got to Looz

Milka Chocolate Tasting – 6th March

If you like serotonin (and I am guessing you do) look out for the big purple flags across Les Arcs on March 6th. The well-known Swiss chocolate brand will be providing chocolate for “tasting” between 14:30 and 17:30 on the Arc 1600, 1800 and 2000 snow fronts, giving you a much-needed sugar boost for late afternoon shredding. 

Ski Show – 7th March

If you like your ski spectacles to be accompanied by pumping, pumping electro-house music, then get down to the Arc 1800 snow front on March 7th. Not only will there be a skiing and snowboarding show followed by an elaborate torchlit descent and fireworks, but DJ Jay Style will be blasting out the tunes throughout the whole après ski extravaganza. I’m not saying you have to bring glow-sticks, but you should probably bring glow-sticks.

Acrobatic Show – 7th March

In an unfortunate scheduling clash, at the same time as the Ski Show in Arc 1800 (above), there is an acrobatic show in Arc 2000. Starting at 18:30, there will be circus-type aerial acrobatics, a torchlit descent (promising 120 participants), a magical fireworks show AND a DJ presiding over a snow-based dance-floor. So wherever you are staying, you should be able to enjoy some post-ski fun on a Thursday.

Criterium des Marmottes – 10th March

Do you want to participate in a real Ski Sunday? Are you prepared to play the theme tune loud enough for everyone to hear? If so, sign up for the Criterium des Marmottes, an amateur slalom race on the Combettes piste in Arc 1600. Skiers of all abilities (aged 15 and upwards) are invited to join in the fun, with activities starting at 12:30. The whole event, including a post-ski buffet and dance, is only €22 on the day or €20 in advance. Even if you prefer not to navigate the course, there will be ample opportunity to spectate and non-skiers can still enjoy the evening’s dinner-dance (starting at 18:00 in Bourg St Maurice) for only €17. 

St Patrick’s Day – 17th March

Ski on the white stuff in the daytime, drink the black stuff at night. Whilst the bars and restaurants typically commemorate the day in their own inimitable fashion (often with extended happy hours and drinks promotions), Arc 1800 has decided to mark the occasion with a free concert featuring Mister Hole, a wacky French swing band (from 18:00). Check out the local drinking establishments for the best place to slake your thirst that evening.

Electronic Peak Festival – 19th, 20th & 22nd March

This is the festival’s second year and it has expanded to feature two ‘fringe’ warm-up events on Tuesday and Wednesday before the main event on Friday night. The on-piste Bulle cafe in Arc 2000 is the starting point on Tuesday, with DJs spinning tunes from 13:00 until the lifts close. Then you can hit the Bois de l’Ours cafe in the village for a late-night session from 20:00 to 01:00. On Wednesday, the festival moves to Arc 1800 with Chez Boubou hosting the ‘early’ stuff from 17:00 to 01:00 and the serious late-night raving happening in the (in)famous Club 73 until 06:00! There is no specific entry fee for these two evenings, which must be good value.

The headline event happens on Friday night in the Centre Bernard Taillefer at the heart of Arc 1800. Big-name DJs including Synapson, The Driver, Saint Vincent (the DJ, not St. Vincent the international rock musician) and V$M will be on stage from 19:30 to 03:00. Tickets are available in advance for €17 or €20 on-the-door. Not bad for over seven hours of electronic shivoo.

Star Trail – 22nd March

The Star Trail is a race. However, unlike most winter sports in Les Arcs, it is largely uphill and does not involve skis or snowboards. In fact, if the athletes find themselves sliding down the slopes then things have probably gone horribly wrong. It is an 11km run along a pisted track between Arc 1800 and Arc 1950. If that does not seem overly difficult, be aware that the course actually involves an overall ascent of 710 metres and the event happens during the night. That’s right, you must be prepared for distance, altitude, incline, freezing temperatures, snowy underfoot conditions and the joy of finding your way by the luminescence of your head torch. One reason you might choose to sign up for such an event (registry online until 16:30 on March 21st) is the €300 prize money on offer for the winners of each gender-specific race. If you are not competing, get to the snow front in either resort to lend some support and behold some superhuman effort.

European Gay Ski Week – 23rd-30th March

Often copied, never matched, European Gay ski week comes to Arc 1950 and 2000 for the first time ever this March. Featuring a host of events both on- and off-piste, this is THE premier week-long winter sports event for Europe’s LGBT community – it is like Pride but features significantly more snow. With holiday packages including accommodation, ski pass and access to a huge variety of social events, it is a great week to shred the slopes, meet new people and party deep into the night. The ‘events pass’ is also available separately, so you can get involved even if your Les Arcs holiday is already booked.

During the day, you can improve your ski skills with group lessons, off-piste tours or individual tuition before stopping off for a social lunch at designated mountainside meeting points. Après, there are rich fondue dinners, pool parties, daily cabaret shows, club nights and even a dedicated ‘after hours’ venue open until 05:00 in the morning! Starting with a huge welcome night, you can ski hard and play hard for six days, with an epic group ‘ski-down’ on the final day. For girls and guys alike, it is guaranteed to be an amazing week.

La Journée d’Enfer – 30th March

You know what sounds fun? “The Day of Hell.” Best described as a winter relay pentathlon, this event comprises five challenges to be distributed between teams of three people. It is open to everyone and there are different categories in which you can compete: scratch (literally everyone involved), all-female teams, family groups, professionals (ski instructors etc) and business (you all work together). The five individual contests which must be completed to attain an overall score are giant slalom, a flying kilometre (speed and bravery), a ski rally, timed team skicross and a (running) obstacle race which culminates in a rifle shoot. All the events are ‘non-extreme’ but there will clearly be a competitive element to the whole day. Entrance fee includes various meals throughout the day, a sledge ride and a genuine after-party. So whether you ski, snowboard or telemark, consider signing up with your friends/family/colleagues for a mere €135.

Great British Week – Saturday 30th March-6th April

Now a permanent fixture of the Les Arcs’ ski season, British Week mostly occurs in April as part of the Spring Ski events. However, for those of you enjoy the centrepiece of UK culture, the pub quiz, it is worth noting that a welcome drink happens on Sunday, March 31st featuring an Anglo-French (or Franco-British) quiz at the Place de Soleil in Arc 1600. The winner takes home a bottle of champagne.

La Course du Coeur – 31st March

Organised to raise awareness of organ donation, the “Race of the Heart” sees teams of 14 people complete a journey of 750km over the span of four days and nights. This ultra-marathon relay event is an incredible challenge, especially considering at least one person in each team has received an organ transplant. With a variety of specific stages throughout the course (biathlon, cycle, rollerskate, etc) it is quite an undertaking. The caravan is expected to arrive, and the teams finish, in Bourg St Maurice on Sunday afternoon. 

Read more from our Les Arcs reporter Sam on his blog.

More inspiration...

There are always regular local events happening throughout the Les Arcs resorts, with welcome drinks a usual feature of the villages’ snow fronts on a Sunday evening. You can make early “first tracks” before the lifts open, go cross-country ski joëring pulled by a horse, play laser games, compete in a parallel slalom race, have a snowball fight or do a little night skiing. Check out our events calendar for more ideas.

Events Calendar for Les Arcs