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Tignes - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Skiing in Tignes
Tignes - Ski Resort in Espace Killy, French Alps - 150km of Piste (1550m to 3450m)
Tignes shares the huge and wonderful Espace Killy with Val D'Isere, but the underground funicular accessed Grand Motte glacier officially belongs to Tignes. The glacier no longer offers skiing 365 days a year (but is open in all four seasons and in total for nearly 10 months). For eight months a vertical drop of 1400 metres is maintained, with the aid of snow-making if neccessary. The resort has five different base areas, the main one being Val Clartet with Le Lac and Le Lavachet nearby. Lower down the mountain is Les Boisses and a renovated old village Les Brevieres, at the lowest point in the system - 1550 metres (higher than many ski areas end, but with 2000 metres above it!). Night life is limited for such a large ski resort. Tignes is owned by the same Japanese company which formerly owned Steamboat in Colorado and Sahoro in Japan.
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Tignes Ski Facts
|25||Black Pistes (21km)|
|46||Red Pistes (58km)|
|61||Blue Pistes (100km)|
|22||Green Pistes (121km)|
|20km||Cross Country Pistes|
The French ski resort of Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski area with access to 300km of downhill skiing, with 308 individual pistes, served by 90 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Tignes itself (150km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Espace Killy ski resort of Val d'Isère. Tignes is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Val d'Isère.
The ski resort itself is above 1500m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- Tignes is able to augment natural snow, on 50km of ski runs, with 216 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 47 Ski Lifts of Tignes are able to uplift 75,500 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There is an airport within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Tignes are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Tignes
Many regard L'Espace Killy as one of the best ski areas in Europe, and some regard it as definitively THE best. The 300km (187 miles) of trails include seemingly endless snowy motorways for intermediates to cruise around on, whilst experts will find more to entertain here than almost anywhere else on the continent, both on and off the slopes. The maximum skiable vertical of 1900m (6234 feet) is one of the largest in the world and the lowest lift height of 1550m (4085 feet) is high enough to ensure top-to-bottom skiing for a bigger chunk of the winter season than at other centres claiming similar or larger verticals but to much lower bases. The 216 snow cannons are a help too.
Beginners might not be able to appreciate the skiing heaven that is all about them, but they at least have five free lifts to choose from down at the resort. There's therefore no need for a lift ticket for the first few days, and with the resort altitude you don't need to go up the mountain to find the snow. When you do gain confidence, however, a trip on the high-speed, hi-tec underground funicular will take you up to the Grande Motte glacier where there are plenty of wide gentle trails, as well as spectacular views when you're taking a breather. Intermediates have the most to enjoy whizzing around between Tignes and Val d'Isère on the 100 blue or red runs aided by largely ultra-modern lift infrastructure to get you back to the downhills quickly and efficiently.
Recent investment in six-pac chairs includes a new link from Val Claret improving a key link over to Val.
It's the experts who will most appreciate what L'Espace Killy has to offer however, simply because it is they who rapidly run out of options at many lesser resorts. Black trail options are excellent, whilst off-piste opportunities are possibly unmatched anywhere. Legendary runs include 'The Wall' and the 'Double M' whilst the Tovière mogul runs are regarded by connoisseurs as the toughest in Europe and probably the world! The Aiguille Percée descents also boast a fearsome reputation.
Apart from normal piste and local off-piste skiing in the company of ski school or mountain guides, Tignes has many special itineraries available including ski-safaris to other resorts in the Haute Tarentaise area of the French Alps; or less strenuous helicopter pick ups for the return journey to Tignes after a long descent through the trees.
The ski school organises weekly courses with competitions in giant slalom, special slalom, ski jump, downhill and speed skiing on the flying kilometre. All take place in high season.
Telemark and carving skiing tuition is offered and there are over 50km (30miles)of marked cross-country trails.
Snowboarding in Tignes
Tignes has expanded its long standing reputation for skiing by succeeding in offering the best of all forms of winter sports - including snowboarding.
The Palafour Comb offers the biggest snowboarding area in Europe, with a dedicated terrain area over a 600 metre vertical (just under 2000 feet). This remarkable area includes jumps, half pipe, and a free ride zone. Apart from the 'fixed asset' of the snowboard park with half pipe,
Tignes has three dedicated snowboarding schools - The Snocool, Kebra surfing...and Surf feeling, offering off-piste, heli-surf and free riding courses as well as video analysis. The ESF, Evolution 2 and the International Ski school also have snowboarding divisions.
Tignes Aprés Ski
The resort does not have the reputation of Chamonix or St Anton for non-stop hedonistic nightlife, but none the less there's plenty to be found if you want to keep partying through the night. Le Lac and Le Val Claret are the liveliest areas. Popular haunts include Harri's Bar and the Crowded House with the Blue Girl Disco and Les Caves Du Lac disco in Le Lac running through in to the small hours. Other favourites for northern Europeans are Harry's Bar and Grotte du Yeti.
Apart from the main sporting and fitness alternatives listed in the 'Other activities' section below, the resort's facilities include cinema showing two films daily - some films in English, some French, and Europe's highest bowling alley, with ten lanes.
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Tignes in brief
Tignes Ski Resort is:
Excellent for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Good for Beginners.
Excellent for Snowboarding.
Opened : September 29, 2012
Closed : May 11, 2013
Opening Subject To Snow Conditions.
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Map of TignesFull Page Map of Tignes
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