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Report 918: Skiing Val d'Isere and Tignes

By SeaJay from Virginia, Winter 2005

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Page 7 of 13: Tuesday, January 25 - Tignes

Finally the weather is clearing although up on the mountain it’s minus 27º C (-16º F). Today is our day to travel to Tignes and down below the dam. We expect it is the day for Carol to face her demons of our previous visit. Following our ascension up the cable car (téléphérique) to the top of Rocher de Bellevarde, (2827 m) we begin the long ski trip to Tignes.

We ski in the direction of La Daille to the Tommeuses chairlift that takes us to the Toviere peak (2704 m). Now in the valley of Tignes, we ski down to Val Claret, the small village farthest up the valley.

In the flat area of Val Claret, there is a rope tow to help you to the lift we desire. Two chairs later we crest the Col du Palet. Two more chairs and we crest the L’Aiguille Perces (2748 m) that is the location of the “Eye of the Needle”. In spite of the avalanche danger and warning flags, there is a steady line of nut cases streaming toward the eye to ski the powder on the opposite face.

We do not take the slope necessary for Carol to exorcise the demons since we are late for lunch. We come across a restaurant overlooking Tignes-le-lac, Lo Soli (The Grange, a hay/tool barn). The cafeteria is overcrowded but curiosity and hunger deposit us in the sit down restaurant and by luck of the draw directly in front of the fireplace, a great deal on this cold day. The fireplace, excellent food, and Jean-Michel (a great waiter) seduce us into a very long lunch. CJ and Carol have escallope de veau. We could have split one of the orders. The same can be said of Claude and Marine who could easily have split one of their pot a feu. Our wonderful lunch mean we must return to Val d’ Isère without making it below the dam. From this location we have a great view all the way up Tignes valley.

We ski down to Tignes-le-lac (2100 m) and take the Aéroski Tovière tram back to the Toviere peak. We decide to work our way back up to Rocher de Bellevarde that turns out to be a mistake. We find the blue runs to downtown closed forcing a return to the peak. They have a moving sidewalk to take you up the 40 or 50 vertical feet to access the Funival and L’Olympique lifts. L’Olympique, which is the direct route back to the village, has already closed for the day. Claude makes it up the moving sidewalk but Marine has difficulties. She eventually begins to slide backwards into CJ and eventually falls and goes right between his legs and off to the side past Carol. A Good Samaritan helps her back on her feet and onto the moving sidewalk. We take the Funival down, walk to the bus stop in La Daille and make our way back to the apartment.

We are not very hungry following our enormous lunch. We decide on a light dinner in the apartment. Marine gets a terrible case of hiccups. We sample the bottle of tequila we’ve carried from the U.S.

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