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THE KEY TO IT ALL - Alf Alderson, Les Arcs
Thursday January 31, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Our correspondent Alf Alderson is a Les Arcs ‘ambassador'. Here's what's going down at the Ambassador's Residence this week.

A few seasons ago I bought a copy of ‘Les Clés de Paradiski' by Didier Givois, a local mountain guide and photographer.

This handsome tome ain't cheap at a shade under €40, but forget about Amazon who want over £120 for it.

Despite the price, if you plan to ski off-piste in the Paradiski area it's a ‘must'.

Even if you don't want to hit the backcountry the book is worth considering just for the beautiful skiing and mountain images that adorn its pages.

Paradiski, FranceParadiski, France

Even better, the routes are described in English as well as French.

There are also useful chapters on everything from mountain safety to the ski history of the area.

Unlike the various ski touring guides that will also direct you to the region's best backcountry terrain, you don't necessarily need ski touring equipment for the routes in this book.

Many of them are accessible from the Paradiski area lifts though you may require ropes, crampons and ice axes for a few of the tougher routes.

Each route is also graded for difficulty and avalanche danger, so you've got some idea of what you're taking on before you start.

I recently did one of the routes off the Aiguille Rouge with a few friends, ‘Les Grandes Pentes'.

Paradiski, FranceParadiski, France

It's accessed via the Aiguille Rouge cable car and a short, steep hike and involves a 2000-metre descent that takes in wide, open powder fields.

With the option of more challenging chutes if you like that kind of thing.

The long descent toward Le PlanayThe long descent toward Le Planay



On the way down we had forests and alpine meadows, then the pretty hamlet of Le Planay before literally ending up outside my front door in Le Pré.

The snow was in excellent condition considering that there hadn't been any real snowfall for around ten days.

And if you've got a copy of ‘Les Clés de Paradiski' you can really make the most of it; or just enjoy drooling over the photos after a day of following one of M. Givois' ‘itineraires'.

Happy skiing... and readingHappy skiing... and reading



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