Snow prospects excellent for Christmas and New Year skiers

13th December 2017, by Dave Watts

The Grande Motte looked stunning on 13 December under blue skies and with metres of fresh snow

The Grande Motte looked stunning on 13 December under blue skies and with metres of fresh snow

Today (Wednesday 13 December) saw clear blue skies for the first time since the first day of my week-long trip to Val d’Isère and Tignes.

Our transfer to Geneva for the flight home was booked for 11am. But with a lot of help from Marion Telsnig of Crystal Ski who arranged the Tignes part of the trip, we’d had the transfer delayed until 12 noon.

That allowed me to catch the first gondola up from Tignes-le-Lac to Tovière at 8.45am and have just over two hours fabulous skiing before heading back to the hotel to change and finish packing.

First, we skied over to Val d’Isère’s slopes, went up to Bellevarde and then all the way down to La Daille before riding the Tommeuses chair again twice with a fab run in between.

Dave skiing down to La Daille around 9.30am Wednesday morning

Then it was back over to Tignes and skiing down to Tignes-le-Lac twice on the immaculately groomed Trolles black run and then over to the Palafour chair for a final blast. We skied around 3500m vertical and I didn’t see a single stone poking through all morning.

Snow had fallen pretty much continuously since I arrived in Tignes on Saturday and in the last couple of days the pisteurs had done a great job of reducing the avalanche danger on the pistes. They were blasting all day Monday and much of Tuesday. Avalanche danger off-piste though was very high. And I saw a slide that had covered half the width of a piste in the Grande Motte sector.

The restaurateurs and shopkeepers of Tignes were busy digging access paths to their businesses

There is so much snow here now that Christmas and New Year skiers can be assured of a fabulous surface to ski on. The last three seasons have got off to poor starts for snow. But this year’s early snowfalls are the best that I can ever remember. The local guide I skied with yesterday said the same and reckoned that there was now enough snow on Tignes’ slopes to last until the end of February.

More on my stay in Tignes in a longer feature in a couple of days.

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