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A 12 year old's seven days of exploring Val D'Isere and Tignes, commonly known as L'Espace Killy in the French Alps - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

It's interesting with the lifts. Back in 1980 I remember scanning our ticket. It had a magnetic strip on it. So far ahead of the States. You'd come to say a poma, scan the ticket and it would let you through. I seem to recall self starting some of the pomas in the middle of nowhere. Meaning they were running, but you pulled a handle when you got to the loading area after grabbing the poma. I may be mis remembering though. I loved the pomas out in the middle of somewhere.

There was no funicular at that time. Does that go up to the top of Grand Motte? When I was there one had to hike that to get up there. There was a summer poma or t bar off to lookers right of the top of the gondola in that valley. It was pretty well buried in the winter.

How do the towns run? It's my recollection that it went Tignes, up by the main lift to the top, then Val Claret a bit lower, but I don't see a Tignes on your map. I wonder if we stayed in Le Lavachet.

Tog, I could be having an equally senior moment but I first skied Val D'isere in 1983 and 1984 (plus on 5 or 6 occasions since then) and I am pretty sure there was not a magnetic strip on it then

Dusty, glad you enjoyed your trip, sounds like you got some awesome conditions. IMHO Val D'Isere/Lespace Killy is still the No. 1 area in the world
post #32 of 41
I'm pretty sure about the strip and swiping it because it was so far ahead of Vermont lifts. Unfortunately I did not ski one turn most of the 80's.

I remember at Tignes we used to get fantastic powder right under or lookers left of the lift to the top where it makes a turn. There was a small bowl there with rocks on top. We used to traverse in and ski down and not many did it. I imagine with fat skis and the general increase in powder skiing that's not the case any more. At that time though we could get basically barely tracked anytime we wanted and it was deep. Believe we were there mid march.

The other thing I remember is lookers right of the lift to the top at Tignes.(to base of Grand Motte). To the right there's a very large roll over that gets steepish and heads into the valley that parallels the lift more twardsbthe bottom. I guess the rollover could be the base ifvthe glacier? Anyway, that was probably my first real light powder waist deep experience. Or light powder in general. Going over that lip with the view in front was just incredible.
Olin Mark VI skis and jeans on! Yea, young and dumb but that's what we had. Plus the heaviest boots probably ever made. Just awful and likely way too big. (Some Trappeur boot with a massive metal rod wrapped in the back for...?..support??)

Nothing like the views in the Alps. Telluride/San Juans comes close.

Dusty thanks for the detailed report and the Action photo!
Btw, you need to get a real camera instead of a phone.
post #33 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

I'm pretty sure about the strip and swiping it because it was so far ahead of Vermont lifts. Unfortunately I did not ski one turn most of the 80's.

I remember at Tignes we used to get fantastic powder right under or lookers left of the lift to the top where it makes a turn. There was a small bowl there with rocks on top. We used to traverse in and ski down and not many did it. I imagine with fat skis and the general increase in powder skiing that's not the case any more. At that time though we could get basically barely tracked anytime we wanted and it was deep. Believe we were there mid march.

The other thing I remember is lookers right of the lift to the top at Tignes.(to base of Grand Motte). To the right there's a very large roll over that gets steepish and heads into the valley that parallels the lift more twardsbthe bottom. I guess the rollover could be the base ifvthe glacier? Anyway, that was probably my first real light powder waist deep experience. Or light powder in general. Going over that lip with the view in front was just incredible.
Olin Mark VI skis and jeans on! Yea, young and dumb but that's what we had. Plus the heaviest boots probably ever made. Just awful and likely way too big. (Some Trappeur boot with a massive metal rod wrapped in the back for...?..support??)

Nothing like the views in the Alps. Telluride/San Juans comes close.

Dusty thanks for the detailed report and the Action photo!
Btw, you need to get a real camera instead of a phone.


Tog: I laughed - yes, that 'lip' over the rollover where the Funicular ends is great, mention it in my 'book' above. And yes, there is a GoPro and iPhone involved in film-making, it's under production...not a 'real' camera just the two above. Just a lot of footage has to be discarded as cameraman was busy focusing on life, limb, oxygen-conservation as skiing and terrain was as magnificent as it was an unrelenting exercise ( for the visiting camera-man anyway ) in self-preservation: so GoPro chest mounted is pointing down as knees bend and body angulated over, and iPhone was never used in motion as terrain was too intimidating for the Dad to do his usual iPhone in one hand, poles in the other filming!

 

It is a home movie after all, and even with all the discarding, I think for interested viewers, this is one film with actual filming of classic off-piste routes of Vallon de la Sache, Tour du Charvet, and Grand Vallon, most YouTube clips are of the Face, and some of the Sache - which are the famed Black pistes at L'space Killy. (Just a preview here - editing continues). It's a long movie, longest I have ever made...that's less than 10% of footage shot..

 

On 'Average' and this is casual experiential empiricism, On-Piste L'space Killy is the steepest ski area we have ever skied, and locals and visitors (from Russia, Italy, UK, Belgium, Germany and France) told us L'Espace Killy Piste runs - are significantly steeper than pistes anywhere else in the French Alps. For us, hands-down, on-piste is way steeper than all US and Canadian resorts we have been to...and also Zermatt-Cervinia and Lech-Zurs. For instance, even a local transit thoroughfare is this wide Red in Val D'Isere called 'Plan' which becomes Piste 'M' , it is really steep and good skiers can really fire up the turbo-chargers on it, down from the top of Solaise into Val D'sere, a Black on-piste almost anywhere else, it's wide, bald and has innumerable uncontrolled human missiles of all shapes, stripes and configurations barreling down, it's a genuine threat to life, mind and body!

 

Serge estimated and conservatively, 12 yo and his Dad skied about roughly 80kms (50 miles) on day 1 in non-stop snow, fog and mist, a 'trip', there is film of 12 yo taking a nap from fatigue and jet-lag on Tichot lift at the start of the 2nd round post lunch. Anyway, tooling around with this cool feature of picture 'Preview' on a MacBook, traced our travels on Day 1 on the map - have to click on the map to see it - We started in Tignes Val Claret, headed East to the highest and farthest point in-bounds in Val D'SIsere, the top of the Pissaillas Glacier, then skied back to Tignes Val Claret for lunch, and then headed West to the Western Corner - the start of L'Espace Killy, the lowest point Les Brevieres and then back to Tignes Val Claret. It was a shade over 7 hours of skiing on Day 1 - the body hurt, the knees were ripped (Well 12 yo almost took out Dad's knees)...anyway, the map:

 

Color Coding:

  • Yellow route to East End ; Pink Route back to Lunch-Val Claret
  • Khaki Green route to West End post lunch; Light purple route return to Val Claret
  • Lifts used marked with 'arrows' or things that resemble arrows on them...am no fine artist. 

 


Edited by dustyfog - 5/2/15 at 9:04am
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 

Video finally : Some quick notes/caveats/guide:

  1. It's long, almost 15 minutes as there is so much terrain to cover and this is a chronicle of some classic off piste routes in Tignes-Val D'Isere. 
  2. For interested viewers, tourists, afficionados, you will find terrain filmed which this chronicler did not find anywhere else, and it's kids skiing it.
  3. Quick approximate key: On-Piste
    • Face 0'31" to 1'26"
    • The  Leissieres chair intro: 1'32"-1'36"
    • East end Pissailas Glacier 1'40"-1'50"
    • West end Aiguilles Percee 2'06"-2-25"
  4. Off-Piste:
    • Chardonnet shoulder: 2'41"- 3'13"
    • Vallon de la Sache 3'15"-8'55"
    • Grand Vallon 9'32" - 10'44"
    • Tour of Charvet 10'45"-12'34"
    • Cugnai (Stills only) 12'32"-12'55"

 

Enjoy..it's a home movie after all, and the terrain, the place is worthy of it's legend...we did and sharing the pure exhilaration

 

 

post #35 of 41
Incredible, thanks for sharing!
post #36 of 41

I am not at all jealous of the fact that you were skiing powder a couple of weeks after I was skiing slush.

 

Not one bit.

post #37 of 41

Pretty Cool! Thanks for making it. Love the Vallon Sache and the Cugnai Couloir.

Gorgeous area. We never went to those places.

post #38 of 41
Thread Starter 

With the help of Apple Maps - managed to create an aerial terrain view of Tignes-Val D'Isere and provide a birds-eye view of the off-piste 12 year old skied and is on our home-video chronicle above: As I always wanted to see where others are skiing and often am frustrated with the lack of info on that front (Directions with words have to suffice, and I provide them myself and find them to be not very helpful as a guide)...so here is that aerial map, if interested, click on it to enlarge it

 

 

Now if you do go to the video in the post above : http://www.epicski.com/t/134457/a-12-year-olds-seven-days-of-exploring-val-disere-and-tignes-commonly-known-as-lespace-killy-in-the-french-alps/30#post_1873277, I would humbly suggest the map should serve as a handy reference. On relative steepness, Tignes: the entrance face to the Vallon de la Sache was the steepest I can recall , top part is over 40 degrees, and Val D'Isere:  the Grand Vallon face is just sheer steeps. It struck me how friendly snow is to humans as these faces without snow are best left to the hawks, mountain lions, mountain goats, or rock climbing fraternity...it's rock-climbing-rope-belay-hoist-swing territory without snow.

post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post
 

Video finally : Some quick notes/caveats/guide:

  1. It's long, almost 15 minutes as there is so much terrain to cover and this is a chronicle of some classic off piste routes in Tignes-Val D'Isere. 
  2. For interested viewers, tourists, afficionados, you will find terrain filmed which this chronicler did not find anywhere else, and it's kids skiing it.
  3. Quick approximate key: On-Piste
    • Face 0'31" to 1'26"
    • The  Leissieres chair intro: 1'32"-1'36"
    • East end Pissailas Glacier 1'40"-1'50"
    • West end Aiguilles Percee 2'06"-2-25"
  4. Off-Piste:
    • Chardonnet shoulder: 2'41"- 3'13"
    • Vallon de la Sache 3'15"-8'55"
    • Grand Vallon 9'32" - 10'44"
    • Tour of Charvet 10'45"-12'34"
    • Cugnai (Stills only) 12'32"-12'55"

 

Enjoy..it's a home movie after all, and the terrain, the place is worthy of it's legend...we did and sharing the pure exhilaration

 

 

Someone had asked, so with additional help from iMovie, a bit of keyboard slicing and dicing, made a stand-alone clip of the off-piste adventure through the Vallon de la Sache, a few more maps, a bit more skiing etc. It's mercifully 6 mins long, whereas in the original video record above, it was a solid 14+ minutes, but 12 year old did ski a ton of terrain, just captured bits and pieces, often GoPro was off as terrain got scary and so on.

 

 

post #40 of 41

Interesting just remembered about this report so just went back to read it, booked Val for New Years and already cant wait...

 

what was the thing with the gondolas??? never knew about that...

 

never done the Glattier area... interesting though but would have to be lots of snow to be worth it...

 

so funny with the Gorge... i have done that numerous times... the bit leading into it is so nice then suddenly stop and traverse out... last time i forgot about it some Norwegians were following me and a friend and they didn't listen at me shouting and almost went off it... i know that last exit too well...

 

funny its been 2 years since i was last there, longest i have not been there is 30 years.... been going there since i was 4...

 

dam you were one of those folk who slide onto the steep bit on the face that makes it sheet ice... looked an epic first run...

 

the narrow chutes into chardonnet are worth the mini hike... you should have tried it... to me in fresh snow its one of the best runs then go skiers left and the bowls over there...

 

never done the bonchet to manchet - doesnt look worth it...

 

loved the review and certainly got me looking forward to december 26th 240pm when i fly out from Edinburgh...

post #41 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydonald View Post
 

 

 

dam you were one of those folk who slide onto the steep bit on the face that makes it sheet ice... looked an epic first run...the sliders on the Hairpin on the Face, were two clearly expert skiers who did not see it coming, I just happened to capture it on camera, as they stopped often to watch the 12 year old, and I saw them, they were clearly very good skiers, just slid on the hairpin, as probably did not know it was there, saw us stopped (GoPro was rolling), and hit the hairpin too fast, and yes under that foot or so of powder, it was rock hard. I found out, how steep and hard, on another day when it was sheet rock under skis, no fresh snow, and frozen hard via spring freeze, when I decided to attempt GS type turns, too damn fast on the straightaway, and was launched off the first rollover, managed to stay on my feet as slope fell away otherwise, would not have been a pretty finale!

 

the narrow chutes into chardonnet are worth the mini hike... you should have tried it... to me in fresh snow its one of the best runs then go skiers left and the bowls over there...You are right, but the hike was tough for us older folks I think, and a lot of the terrain was steep enough, already going over the shoulder down into the bowl and over the lake. 

 

never done the bonchet to manchet - doesnt look worth it...Tour du Charvet, is fun, though guy like you probably made the left turn, hiked the Rocher du Charvet, and did the pisteurs; while the 12 year old could have done it, but his instructor said , not all in the group were ready for it. As for old man, think that is a bit beyond the 'mental ability scale', maybe with more miles on less challenging couloirs one day perhaps.

 

loved the review and certainly got me looking forward to december 26th 240pm when i fly out from Edinburgh...You are a lucky man, from the age of 4 that is!!

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