Tignes - slopes
In addition to the 150km of pistes Tignes shares with Val d’Isère, Tignes has another 150km of local slopes, most of which are ideal for intermediates. The terrain is spread across four main areas: La Grande Motte, Col du Palet, Tovière and Brévières.
Tignes has created avalanche-controlled ‘naturerides’ and boasts some of Europe’s finest, most accessible freeriding terrain.
From 14-16th March 2013 Tignes hosts the exciting X-Games, where the best snowpark trickters compete in front of admiring crowds.
Ski highlights for all levels
Beginners: best-suited for beginners keen to learn fast in this sometimes daunting high-Alpine environment, Tignes offers good nursery slopes serviced by free lifts and some gentle greens to progress to. Start at Le Lac and Le Lavachet nursery slopes before progressing to Val Claret’s Bollin greens and the long blue H piste down into Val Claret.
Intermediates: Tignes has so much to offer. In addtion, Le SPOT (Skiing the Powder of Tignes) above Val Claret is a dedicated off-piste area, with zones for experts, less confident skiers and freestylers – it’s a must for intermediates keen to hone off-piste skills.
Experts: pisted highlights include the long black Sache from l’Aiguille Percée into les Brévières (1,200m of vertical descent); the infamous Face first thing in the morning; and Trolles down from Tovière. Increasing numbers of avalanche-patrolled but ungroomed itineraries (’naturerides’) are being introduced in Tignes.
The magic of Tignes is the endless off-piste accessed directly from the lifts or by a short walk. High with plenty of north-facing terrain, Tignes keeps its snow well but doesn’t always get huge amounts of it, so powder is skied quickly. Hire a guide and get an early start for the best snow.
Ski schools and guides
There’s an extensive choice of ski schools, virtually all of whom have English-speaking instructors as standard.
Evolution 2 (00 33 479 063576) is a ski school and general adventure company and ideal for adventurous skiers looking to explore Tignes’ off-piste. Snocool (00 33 479 063992) is a fun, relaxed outfit good for kids and less confident skiers, which offers off-piste Freeride Camps. The ESF (00 33 479 063128) offers Women’s Only classes and Freestyle courses for teenagers.
The lift system at Tignes is generally efficient with fast new lifts and only the odd antique chairlift. Queues are less common here than in neighbouring Val – although they’re almost unavoidable coming up from les Brévières after lunch during peak periods.
Snow reliability and snowmaking
The resort of Tignes is located at 2,100m and rises up to 3,456m, making it one of the most snow-secure, if not snowiest, resorts in the Alps. Even so, there are more than 300 snow cannons.
Tignes has a sizeable terrain park by Val Claret with various boxes, rails, jumps and a half-pipe.
Off the top of the Grattalu chairlift, check out the Swatch Snowpark, where riders can have videos made of their jumps, and watch themselves on a big screen. There is also a chill-out zone with deckchairs and music.
In the Lac area, on the Millonex piste (down Palafour), head to the Nissan Gliss park, where riders can get photographed mid air.