Face piste at Val D'isere - how difficult?

Face piste at Val D'isere - how difficult?
Started by Tspill in France - 25 Replies
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I would love to be able to get down the Face black piste at VDI. I can ski blues easily and get down red slopes - though I slide too much on the turns. I have also been down a few black pistes - though not many.

I have heard a lot about the face rin at vdi. Just how difficult is it? I have 3 weeks skiing under my belt and will be in vdi in late Feruary.

What makes it difficult - narrow, bumps, gradiend?

Is skiing the Face being too ambicious for me at this level of experience?

The Face is a proper black. There's a thread on here 'The 10 Toughest Runs' where it gets several mentions. It might be beyond you at the moment.

You will know you've got quite good when you look back up having skied it.

It's steep, often icy and sometimes bumpy.

But watch this and make your own mind up. But be warned once you're on it you're committed.

PS When you get down to where the video finishes, hang a left into the Banana Bar for a celebratory beer!
I've just watched the video and unfortunately it looks like a nice cruisy blue so I'd throw myself down it. Am off to Val in just under 3 weeks and am quite tempted (knowing its not actually anything like a cruisy blue).
It's not a cruisy blue, it's definitely black.
I think what catches most people out is it gets harder as you go down, the entry is no more than blue, it's not till you get past the gondola pylon that it gets to it's steepest, by which time you're getting tired.
The conditions on the video are about as good as you'll find on it.
Far Queue
These pictures don't really do it justice, but I was there in 2008 when the Circus came to town, hence the perfect pisting on La Face. They may give you an idea of what to expect.

This first two pics are the chair which takes you up halfway, you can then ski across if you wish and get another chair to the top, or you can go right up in the gondola in one hit.

This one shows the end of the run looking over the Banana Bar (bottom right), you can see the incline better on this pic.

Finally, these two are of La Face as you go up in the gondola

Is that the World Cup Super G run in Dec 08? If so I was there at the time and skied it the day after the race. A lot of snow overnight made it really 'interesting' lots of powder in places on top of an icy race prepared piste. Somewhat challenging!
Far Queue
No, it was the season before. I was there for the first week of Feb 08. It was billed as being the test for the 2009 World Championships.

La Face was off limits for most of the week, but was finally opened up on Wednesday if my memory is correct. I was staying less than 30 yards from the Banana Bar, so guess where we did most of our Apres Much shorter crawl than Dicks.
I've only ever done it when it has been really bumpy - and busy, Serious moguls, steep pitch equals a genuine black.

Not a run I'd recommend to a third or fourth week skier usually, but it's a free country......

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