Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 15, 2018

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Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 15, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:13 pm

Our last ski day in Val d’Isere figured to be similar to our first, two days after the last snowfall with only a few bits of winter snow remaining after a couple of warm days.
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The weather was overall not as nice, with the sunny breaks mainly early and late in the day. During the early one we got a great view of Mont Blanc from Toviere.
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This is the Italian side as Val d’Isere is just west of the border which runs on a north/south line south of Mont Blanc.

We followed the same route as on tour with Wayne of Alpine Experience a week earlier, first descending to Tignes 2100. The bottom pitch of west facing Trollec is solid bulletproof early in the morning of a spring day.
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As on Sunday we ascended Palafour and Aiguille Perce, getting a great view of the needle during a sunny break.
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Traversing west here’s a view down to a steeper entry to Vallon de la Sachette.
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We continued traversing on the same route as Sunday.
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Liz on top of the short step up to the second traverse into the wider, lower angle bowl we skied before.
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Traversing into Vallon de la Sachette:
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Liz skiing the upper section:
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Then me:
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The second pitch, first me, then Liz:
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On the picture above, notice Liz skiing near my long radius track next to the group of disciplined French tracks.

View of small hanging glacier from Vallon de la Sachette:
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Soon the light got flatter so I decided to be conservative and start traversing right toward the Sache piste.
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We got to it at 7,600 feet, about 300 feet higher than on Wayne’s tour a week ago. The snow on piste was still a touch firm there so we decided to ski all the way down to Tignes 1550. The piste was not groomed below the intersection to 1800 but the moguls had soft snow as we went lower.

As on our first day we ascended a series of lifts from Tignes’ lowest point to its highest at Grand Motte, using the funicular this time. In the overcast weather there was no wait for the Grand Motte tram. The skier’s left piste I skied with Chris the day before is in a bit of a gully where light looked flat, but the right side piste had adequate visibility. These pistes are 1,500 vertical with good pitch, better skiing than the much flatter glacier at the top of Zermatt. So I would definitely recommend Grand Motte for summer skiing, even though it was marginal during Patrick’s visit in 2011. But that visit was late summer in a lean snow year. Liz is at the bottom of the Grand Motte pistes with Rosolin summer surface lift behind her.
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Chris led us off piste the day before on the other side of Rosolin.

Shortly below we saw this guy riding a ski scooter.
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We still have 3,300 vertical to go until Val Claret. The snow remained packed powder to just below the Vanoise chair at 9,000 feet with good spring snow the rest of the way.

We rode Fresse and skied to Marmottes. We decided to check out the Grand Prix chair, and while riding we got the late sunny break and so posed here at the top.
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The view is south off the backside. The tour de Charvet starts just out of the picture to the left. We also had the Mont Blanc view to the north as at Toviere in the morning.

We skied the blue piste under Grand Prix which merged into Epaule de Charvet. I tested the spring snow above the piste and it seemed smooth and supportable. So lower down we dropped off skier’s left below here.
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That is the Santons piste in the gully below.

Liz skiing lower down in Santons:
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Here’s the view back from the runout into the Val d’Isere base.
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The prominent peak is Rocher du Charvet. Santons is in a gully below the diagonal line of trees. Epaule du Charvet is the steep mogul run above the trees. We skied 6,200 vertical in Val d’Isere and 13,300 in Tignes Sunday.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 15, 2018

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:06 pm

So I counted eight ski days and two down days? That's a decent percentage including a few Top 10s.
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Re: Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 15, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:01 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:So I counted eight ski days and two down days? That's a decent percentage including a few Top 10s.

It seems to be fairly typical for these longer trips.
January 2013: 12 ski days, 4 down days: one possible day missed at the start due to delayed arrival, one relocation day, 2 weather days at the end.
January 2017: 16 ski days, 5 other days: one for the Hahnenkamm, 4 for Venice.
January 2018: 12 ski days, 4 down days: two for weather/relocation, two for my being sick.
April 2018: 8 ski days, 3 down days: two for weather, one at the end.
So skiing has been 3/4 of possible days in the Alps. As a retiree I'm OK with that. There are often interesting things to do on non-ski days. And it's good to be rested for the big powder days.

Predicted weather on Monday was not good, so we indulged for our final dinner Sunday night.
ChrisC wrote:Our guide was able to get us into a the very small bistro of 2-Michelin star restaurant for lunch at Restaurant l'Atelier d'Edmond. They had a very reasonable for quality/price 25 Euro 3-course lunch.

I had forgotten about this, but when we looked up top dining options in Val d'Isere, no surprise l'Atelier d'Edmond is at the top of the list. So that's where we dined Sunday night.

The 11 course tasting menu:
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There were at least 5 more items not mentioned explicitly. We also had the wine pairing, of which there were nine.

Crayfish:
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Scallops:
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Pigeon:
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Cheeses:
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Ice cream, maple caramel:
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At least half the wines were under-the-radar local wines from Savoie. The objective is synergy with the food, and to no surprise the sommelier at a 2-star Michelin restaurant is passionate about his job and all the selections worked magnificently with the courses.

We were at dinner for 4 hours and needless to say not motivated to ski Monday even though weather was decent, as we also had to be in Geneva that night.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9820
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Val d’Isere/Tignes, France, April 15, 2018

Postby Tignes » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:14 am

Wow the meal you had just looked incredibly good that makes us salivate in front of our screens :D (vacances à tignes)
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