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Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Europe and Asia, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
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Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 11, 2018

Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:46 pm

The snow on Tuesday stopped about 2PM and totaled 4-7 inches. That was too late for us to gear up and get out, but while walking to dinner at 7:15PM we saw some fresh tracks above Laisinant and Fornet.
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Wednesday was a heavy overcast day like Monday, but we headed out expecting improved snow surfaces and maybe even a little powder. Having surveyed the area in good weather Friday-Sunday, I could make educated guesses about what to check out today.
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From Bellevarde we skied to Tommeuses, which has wide open off piste under the lift. Unfortunately it was windy, worsening visibility leaving an exposed icy surface up top, so we stayed on piste and rode Mont Blanc to Borsat. From Borsat we had entered Tignes via the Fresse piste, but this time I stepped up from the chair unloading and traversed high into the same north facing bowl I had entered low on Friday. Visibility was poor, so I was lining up a couple of rocks to use as reference points when the clouds thinned enough to illuminate the surface. So I hit the 500 or so vertical nonstop while I had the light. View back up of my tracks in the relatively decent visibility:
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The snow here was windpacked, but that also kept me off the icy subsurface that was prevalent at Tommeuses. Liz stayed on piste but got a decent enough view for future reference. We skied to Val Claret, and even though the chairs were running we chose to use the funicular again to stay out of the wind.
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As on Sunday we skied Genepy, and again the top was wind stripped hardpack. But this time the off piste starting about 9,500 feet down had some windsift so we skied that, again with a slight thinning of cloud.
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The weather socked in so we stayed on piste below about 8,500 to Val Claret. It was now obvious to stay low, and we needed to cross most of Val d’Isere to reach any powder possibilities at Laisinant or Fornet. But first we rode Marmottes and skied the Bellevarde Face downhill. The new snow had mixed in for mostly pleasant surface conditions, and at 1PM it was not that crowded. However we did notice these two possible escapees from the French penal system!
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So we next needed to take the Solaise gondola. The liftee had trouble loading Liz’ Armada tail rockered powder skis and so placed them in separate slots. When the gondola emerged above tree line, a blast of wind blew her skis out of their slots and they fell to the ground below. Fortunately they were maybe 50 feet off piste and about 200 feet above tree line as good reference points. Liz went into a lounge at the top while I skied down the Plan piste. A couple of French guys offered to help, and one of them was with the skis when I arrived. I had a traverse back to the piste and skied the lower half of 2,300 vertical Plan piste carrying the skis. I forgot to take pictures at the scene, but riding back up here's the view of the approximate spot circled.
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And here are our skis loaded properly.
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Liz and I left Solaise west into ferocious wind. It must have been a tough day for the beginners up higher, but we were going lower. The bowl below Germain Mattis piste was only lightly tracked cream cheese snow so we dropped in. Liz first on upper half:
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Then me:
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And Liz on lower half:
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Le Laisinant’s chair was not running due to the wind up high, which probably explains why we got fresh tracks at 2PM. Nonetheless we were content to call it a day as we are guided the next 3 days, presumably with more new snow that started around 3PM. Le Laisinant is on the every 5 minute Le Fornet to la Daille bus circuit so we were soon back at the hotel pool and spa. I skied 5,400 vertical at Tignes and 13,200 at Val d’Isere.

Re: Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 11, 2018

Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:29 am

With the new snow and the guide, you should be in business today.
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