Les Arcs welcomes back British skiers

19th January 2022, by Abi Butcher

Simon Beck's snow art in Les Arcs: a Union Flag

Simon Beck's snow art in Les Arcs: a Union Flag

We’ve been inundated with emails from French ski resorts welcoming British skiers back after restrictions were finally lifted last week, but none has been quite as eye-catching as this one from Les Arcs where snow artist Simon Beck has created a Union Flag.

Beck is well known in Les Arcs for creating snowflakes and other complex geometric shapes on Le Lac Marlow in Arc 2000. His designs, of between one and four hectares in size, usually take around 12 hours and 20-30km of walking in the snow to complete. Beck takes about 90 steps a minute, with around 65,000 steps needed to complete one design.

Beck first drew a star in a lake in front of his house after a day’s skiing in December 2004. When he looked at the design from a nearby chairlift he was amazed at the results and ater the next snowfall decided to take on a more complicated design.

Nearly 20 years later, the Oxford-educated, British-born Beck completes around four or five designs in the snow each winter. He is a cartographer by trade.

While the Union Flag isn’t his most complex design and is unlikely to have taken as much time, Beck’s precision is incredible. Apparently he listens to classical music to keep his mind calm and concentrated on the job in hand.

Pretty neat, don’t you think?


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