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A day out in Espace Killy. The 'Never Ending Winter'.

Sunday 28 April. Sometimes webcams are very useful. Looking at the webcams of Tignes early yesterday morning I was pleased to see the sun was out above the clouds. Time to get at least one extra days skiing in before my season comes to an end.

Quickly headed up the valley and parked at Tignes Les Brevieres, up the gondola, skis on and was in Tignes Lac by 9.30am.

Decided to do a tour of 'Espace Killy' and see what was still open. By 4.30pm I was back at the car having been to all the stations of Espace Killy, managed a few off piste routes and skied on both Glaciers.

It was good to find that almost all lifts in Espace Killy were still open and the only pistes that seemed to be closed were due to avalanche risk.

The snow off piste in the morning was typical spring conditions, firm with a light covering of fresh snow and good to ski. Especially on the Pissaillas Glacier off piste area (Fornet Glacier) and the Grand Motte Glacier (Tignes Glacier). The off piste route down from the top of Toviere combining a number of different areas to La Daille and from the top of Rocher de Bellevarde to lower down the Face piste also had some good snow mixed in with avalanche debris and tricky sections which had to be crossed with care.

During the morning the sun stayed out and the wind was light. As lunch time arrived, the clouds came in and by 2pm it was snowing lightly and the visibility was poor.

The pistes everywhere early in the day were firm and fun for carving. Despite the change in the weather later in the day the skiing was still ok although it did become soft, slushy and quite heavy lower down.

For anyone thinking of coming out before the 5 May when all lifts close except the Tignes Glacier, if you are prepared for typical spring conditions then it is well worth the effort. I thoroughly enjoyed my day out.

For those interested in the route I took yesterday. Here are the details.

1) Start,Tignes Les Brevieres. Up Gondola, down the piste to Tignes Lac.
2) Up Aeroski. Down from Toviere by various off piste areas to lower down the Orange piste and arriving at la Daille.
3) Up Funival and down from just behind the Olympique Gondola on the Rocher de Bellevarde off piste to lower down the 'Face' Piste and into Val d'Isere.
4) Up the Solaise chair and down on piste to Le Laisinant.
5) Up the Laisinant chair and on piste down to Le Fornet.
6) Up the Fornet cable car and gondola to the 'Fornet Glacier' and Off piste from the top of Cascade chair to the short poma and then the 'Up and Over' chair.
7) Back down to Val d'Isere via the Ladies down hill black piste from the top of Solaise.
b2eb59423fbf5fa39342041237025880.gif Up the Olympique gondola and across to Tignes Val Claret via Follie Douce and the top of Toviere.
9) Up the Grande Motte Funi and down right hand side of Laisse piste as the top of the glacier was now closed. (the visibility was now poor. The weather had closed in for the day.)
10) From the bottom of the Grande Motte Cablecar back to Val Claret on the pistes.
11) Up to the top of the Col des Ves chair then back down the piste natur to the Grattalu chair.
12) Up the Grattalu chair and across to the top of 'L'Aiguille Percee all on piste.
13) From the top of L'Aiguille Percee all the way back to Les Brevieres via the Sache piste. I had hoped to finish my trip by going down the 'Vallon de Sache' off piste valley, but the weather and snow conditions were not safe enough for that. Guess you cannot have everything.

A long, but fun days ski. In this type of weather and snow conditions it is good to have a plan when you set out and even more rewarding when you manage to complete the route. If I have the time I might make one last trip to Tignes before they close all the lifts.

The photos from Sunday will be posted as quickly as I can, but I do have quite a few to catch up with still.

Hope you have enjoyed following the route I took. It is not that difficult and can be done without the little off piste detours I took. Until next season. Hope you all have a good summer.