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A warm weekend with a snowy week ahead in Val d'Isere

Top tips on where to find quieter skiing this week

Featured in:

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 27 Feb 2017


A warm weekend with a snowy week ahead in Val d'Isere

The weekend started off with 5 cm’s of fresh snow and cloudy overcast skies with occasional foggy patches. Any new snow at the moment is gratefully received and it was enough to soften the feel underfoot and with the help of the wind it smoothed out and filled in some tracks.

I had three strong young skiers who hadn’t skied for a few years so we started off with the Face du Bellevarde, which is the run they used for the 1992 Olympic Downhill. It is a long run and fairly steep in places, and when it has fresh snow on it first thing in the morning it is a wonderful start to the day.

The Face du Bellevarde is east facing so if you’re looking for a run to start your day in the sun, the Face is great for good skiers as it is a ‘black’ run. It is groomed every night and the Olympique opens at 08:50 so you can have it totally to yourself if you start early.

Val d'Isere

It is going to be another busy week and if you want to beat the crowds try this for a plan: First lift up the Olympique at 08:50 and have a quick run down the Face du Bellevarde.

The Solaise Express opens at nine and you’ll be down by 09:05 to 09:10 to beat the ski schools. There may be a little queue but it moves quickly. Then ski the ‘ L’ or the Mattis to the Laisinant. The ‘L’ is a fantastic run first thing when it’s empty it is one of my favourites! 

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From there work your way up to the Fornet Glacier (Pissaillas) and it will be 11:30 before the rest of the resort catches up with you! Think about an early lunch and then ski again when the rest of the resort is lunching between 12:30 and 2 o’clock. (This would work well for experienced skiers and not recommended for beginners.)

After skiing in flat-light in Tignes on Friday we enjoyed a stunning day of bright blue skies and another dusting of fresh snow on Saturday. I took my team up to the Fornet and we had some brilliant skiing off the Laisinant Express, then in the Combe du Signal, the Combe du 3300, then over the Col Pers and out through the gorge before coming back up for a Pays Desert to finish. It was a big morning and I was pretty tired but extremely satisfied by the end of it!

Val d'Isere

On Sunday we awoke to bright blue skies that weren’t forecast, so everyone started the day in high spirits. I took my team for a double ‘skin’ to the Crete du Genepy and Mont Roup and we had some wonderful skiing in total solitude, which feels especially nice when you know how many people are in town! 

It was incredibly warm and my team ‘skinned’ in t-shirts because of the heat. We then had lunch on the terrace of the Bar d l’Ouillette (at the base of the Madeleine chair on the Solaise sector) and it seemed like a beach party! It’s in full sunshine with great views, the beer is cold and the steaks are grilled on the BBQ. It does get crowded so either come early or book in advance, but you’ll need to queue for your food and drink.

Val d'Isere

The week ahead looks a little mixed on the weather-front with a sunny day Monday; followed by snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, a partially sunny day on Thursday and full sun again on Friday. What we really need is the forecasted snow to arrive mid-week!

Have a fantastic week and stay tuned for another update on Friday.

Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.

NB. Some of the areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable to all skiers. Wayne has 35 years experience in these mountains. If you're considering going off piste you should always take a guide with you.