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Take on Tignes: An Off-Piste Guide for Daredevils

Desiree Michels
 


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In addition to its wonderful runs and catered chalets, Tignes, which is part of the Espace Killy ski area in the French Alps, is well known for its diverse array of off-piste opportunities. If you’re up for the challenge there’s plenty to keep you in thrills!

Safety First

As always when straying off the beaten track, your first concern should be personal safety. Off-piste accidents account for most of the casualties of the winter season, so while it’s a hugely enjoyable adventure, it is imperative you book one of the resort’s professional mountain guides to escort you. You’ll also need to carry the appropriate safety gear with you whenever you head off-piste. Your guide can advise on what you’ll need in your kit (and where to hire it), but the essentials are a shovel, a probe and an avalanche transceiver.

Note: If you plan on heading off-piste you’ll need to check your travel insurance covers you for the activity. In Tignes you can also upgrade your lift pass to include Carre Neige, a local resort insurance that covers accidents, rescue and medical.

So, with safety covered, there’s only one more thing you need to be concerned with while you try out some of the areas we’ve listed below - fun!

Les Brevieres

Plenty of runs in and around the small, cosy Les Brevieres offer the chances to break off the beaten track. Cut through the trees on your way down into the village, or explore the vast area from the top of the Aiguille Percée lift.

Val Claret

The highest part of the resort, Val Claret has a lot of wide-open runs with deep snow off to the sides. Beyond that, you can take the Tichot and Grattalau lifts to explore some nice steep drops, or use the funicular and chairlift to get up to the Grand Motte and its glacier, for great powder and a huge off-piste bowl.

Le Lac

Le Lac has generally high-quality powder snow, but not much else. Still, if you can bear to leave your cosy catered chalet, Tignes Le Lac offers plenty of opportunities for the adventurous skier. The Chardonnet and Palafour lifts especially lead to some interesting areas, with easy access to Les Brevieres.

Bellevarde

Finally, we come to the biggest and best off-piste area in Espace Killy. The imposing Bellevarde mountain lays out a huge array of great routes, offering adrenaline hounds more than enough to get stuck into.

First, the infamous Banana: a hugely popular steep drop-off, which is accessible via the Olympique chairlift.

Secondly, the Charvet Tour: perhaps the best-known route in the area, the Charvet Tour is south-facing, so it’s well worth getting there early to make the best of the snow before the sun strands you on slush and ice. Our advice? Get up early and get out of your catered chalet! Tignes’ off-piste opportunities are definitelyworth it.

As you can see, there’s more than enough on offer for an adventurous holiday in this fantastic resort. From the moment you walk out the door of your catered chalet, Tignes’range of excellent slopes offers more than enough to keep you entertained. This article is just a snapshot of what’s on offer; in addition to the bigger, showier areas, most of the Espace Killy runs have bumps and jumps along the side, as well as cut-throughs, mogul fields and more! Get out there!

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Tim Heal is the founder of Chaletline, a travel agency offering catered chalet accommodation in worldwide ski resorts. With an extensive knowledge of resorts and excellent post booking care, they pride themselves on the personal touch they offer to each and every client. If you're looking for a catered chalet, Tignes is just one of the superb ski resorts in which they can quickly and efficiently match you with the perfect accommodation. Catering for individuals, couples and groups up to 50, the knowledgeable Chaletline team will help you choose the right chalet in the right resort.

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