Since the last blog not a great deal has happened; sure, we’ve had the occasional Guy Wednesday (Including a GW on a Tuesday!) and the skiing has been great but there’s nothing that has happened this week that you haven’t read several times over in my fifteen Tignes blogs so far; except, perhaps, Karen causing a kitchen fire by making toast.
I was hoping to be able to tell you about a trip that would have undoubtedly been one of the highlights of the season, the Tarantaise Tour, in which we would ski with a guide off piste through several other resorts. The map, below, sums it up. Wo would start bottom right in Tignes and work our way clockwise through the resorts of Champagny, La Plagne, Peisey, Les Arcs & Villaroger before getting the bus back to Tignes.
It would have been a gruelling day of 8 hours straight skiing covering a phenomenal distance but, alas, the conditions over the last week or so have been too warm and the snow is starting to deteriorate in some of the lower resorts we would go through Champagny is only 950m).
So, nothing’s happened, although I have had my only bout of man-flu of the season. Nic, the owner of Brasero both me and a friend of his in Oz posted on Facebook that they had man-flu – he wanted to alert the WHO of a clear worldwide epidemic!
Right, Tignes, what can I tell you about it that differs from other resorts? Well, resorts such as Meribel and neighbouring Val d’Isere rightly have an party reputation but folk over here don’t mind that. I can’t speak for the French but certainly over the last few years there has been a British invasion of bars and clubs that are kept in business by the huge number of Brits that come here for the entire season – the French don’t like it as they like the dichotomy between the resorts of Val d’Isere & Tignes: the theory being Val can have their party nights and we’ll take the mountain seriously. However, people in Tignes know better and are quite smug knowing that we have the best skiing and a cracking tubing venue to boot. This all means we don’t get the wanky clubbing types that Val gets – the atmosphere in this resort is far more laid back than Val or Meribel and I am really going to miss it!
We have one of the highest resorts in the Alps at 2100m and Europe’s highest pisted skiing at 3456m, this means that when other resorts shut down in mid-April, we keep on going right through to mid-May and thr glacier stays open for skiing ten months of the year, closing only for maintenance in July & August.
Tignes was originally a town around 1500m above sea level, just down the valley from Val d’Isere but after the war it was decided that France needed it’s own power and the position of the mountains around Tignes made it perfect for the erection of a HUGE hyro-electric dam. This was built in the 50s and resulted in the old town of Tignes being completely drowned. A new town was built up the neighbouring valley and in the 60s the decision was made to develop the town as a ski resort and heavy investment has taken place to ensure the lifts are quick and the snow is good (I swear I have never seen so many snow cannons in any other resort!)
To sum up, we’ve spent the last 5 months in a resort that offers quality skiing, superb drinking and a phenomenally laid back attitude. We leave here in 19 days, it’s going to be missed! Oh, and the radio is brilliant!