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Good first week of the 2017/18 season in Tignes & Val d'Isere

Good snow in the Espace Killy this week

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Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 1 Dec 2017

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Good first week of the 2017/18 season in Tignes & Val d'Isere

The week started off on Monday with glorious sunshine although it was cold, -16ºC on the summit of Bellevarde and with a chilly wind it was a little nippy at altitude. I skied off-piste in Tignes on the sunny-side so we stayed warm and had some lovely strips of powder in the gullies. 

The strips of good safe snow are fairly narrow but, because I’m only skiing with one or two skiers at the moment, we didn’t need a lot of space. I say safe because the snow cover is very thin but there are places where the snow has blown in and there is enough depth to keep skilled skiers who are skiing lightly above the rocks.

Val d'Isere

Tuesday was forecast to be grey but we were lucky enough to have beautiful sunshine all morning long and, with the great visibility, we were able to ski off-piste again in the Fontaine Froide sector off of Bellevarde. We had some stunning snow in even narrower strips than Monday and we enjoyed five runs without seeing another skier.

Val d'Isere

I also had a couple of fantastic runs on the Piste H down into Tignes on Tuesday and the piste was absolutely empty with excellent snow quality. The run down to La Daille in Val d’Isere was much better as well and with the snow cannons running 24-hours a day at the moment the piste skiing is improving rapidly.

After a couple of cold days it warmed up considerably on Tuesday and the pavements were lethal. I’ve been walking around town for 35-years now and I know to pay attention and concentrate but I still managed to slip twice and almost went down in a heap. Please do be careful and don’t get caught with your hands in your pockets!

Val d'Isere

It snowed 5 to 10 centimetres Tuesday night and, with flat-light, I stayed on-piste for most of the morning on Wednesday as we skied perfectly groomed slopes with a lovely cushion of fresh snow on top. It was delightful skiing and made all the better because the resort is as empty as you’ll ever see it. If you get a window of opportunity to come out next week don’t hesitate because it will be quiet and the skiing is improving daily.

Val d'Isere

Thursday was significantly colder with -18ºC on Bellevarde but, fortunately, the wind wasn’t a factor because, if it had been blowing, we would have had a bitter day. I skied a combination of piste and off-piste on Thursday as it was fairly bright for most of the morning and the visibility was good enough to see the good strips and pockets of powder.

Val d'Isere

There a still a few flakes floating about but we haven’t really had much new snow this week, even though it seems to have snowed off-and-on for the past few days. A local website is calling for snow on Friday and Saturday with a sunny day on Sunday, which sounds fantastic, although Meteo France isn’t forecasting any significant snowfalls. It does look as if the next 5 or 6 days will be cold and that’s great news for the snow cannons, which will continue to blow 24-hours a day. We haven’t had much snow so far but the Val d’Isere/Tignes area boasts one of the best snow-making systems in the world and it is possible to ski to the village at the moment in most sectors and the pistes will just get better and better with each passing day.

Val d'Isere

If you are in town next weekend, there is some Men’s World Cup Racing with a GS race on Saturday followed by a Slalom race on Sunday. It’s great entertainment and you can get right up close and feel the speed as the world’s best battle their way down a very steep and icy Face du Bellevarde. There is a lot of animation in town to go along with the races, included the prize giving Saturday night and the choosing of the bibs for Sunday’s Slalom.

Have a great weekend and stay tuned for another update on Monday!


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 for 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.

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