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On the slopes La Plagne can offer something to suit all tastes. There are wide motorway pistes, short sharp blacks and terrain that varies from glacier to powder snowfields and forest. All in all the 225km (140 miles) is the largest amount of skiing offered by one resort anywhere and the 2000m top-to-bottom vertical is pretty vast also. If that's not enough for you tickets purchased for six days or more also valid for a day each in other top Savoie Alps destinations from the '92 Olympics such as the Espace Killy and Trois Vallées. More convenient though is the Paradiski link be the spectacular Vanoise Express double-decker cable car to the Les Arcs ski domain across the valley, more or less doubling the skiing available from your doorstep. Indeed Paradiski is one of the world's biggest ski areas. All of the skiing above the altitude villages is also above the tree-line and most of it below their level is below it - on trails cut through the forests down to Plagne Montalbert and Montchavin Les Coches. The runs down to Champagny are over the back of the snowbowl. The vast majority of the skiing appeals to recreational skiers, more than the 'die-hard' variety who will find a more limited number of blacks than at some of the other top resorts. For those with a bit of realism who don't need the machismo image that they aren't actually a part of in order to enjoy their annual skiing week though, La Plagne can't be bettered. Experts will be happy anyway, especially if they sign up with one of the ski schools to tackle the under-rated off-piste or attempt the sheer near 2000m vertical down from the north face of the Bellecôte glacier, one of the world's longest and toughest runs . Beginners also have some good nursery slopes, a huge choice of tuition deals and a free surface lift by every village of La Plagne. La Plagne's commitment to winter sports has long been evident with its own Club des Sports established in 1962 to encourage domestic talent. Famous Club members include Eric Labourex, five times Freestyle World Cup circuit winner) and most recently Jean Luc Crétier, winner of the Men's downhill at the Nagano Olympics. There are no less than 11 different Ecole de Ski Français operations in business from the different villages. Each offers a wide variety of tuition options but also individual schools have unique ideas. The ESF in Montchavin for example has a guided off-piste 'Ski total' course whilst Plagne Bellecôte's school has carving-ski courses. At Aime la Plagne the 'Modern stages' package introduces students to the different modern methods of sliding as well s offering advice on improving technique and powder skiing. Apart from the ESF there are yet more choices the Oxygène school operating out of Plagne Centre or Eric Laboureix's 'El Pro' school. Evolution 2, based in Montchavin limits class sizes to 8 participants. Good skiers may wish to participate in the popular free night-time (floodlit) parallel slalom races at Champagny on Tuesday evenings during the Christmas and February holidays. There are cups for winners and prizes for competitors. Finally cross-country skiers have about 90km (57 miles) of loipes to enjoy.
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