Tignes Off Piste!

Do NOT attempt any of these routes. You WILL die. This guide is purely for my own memories and future reference. Do NOT try and follow them. If you are going Off Piste only do so with all the appropriate training and a guide who knows what he is doing. And even then you might die!

Tignes and the Val D’isere ski valleys or the Espace Killy as it is collectively known is a haven for off piste skiing. Having been there for three weeks in total now I have still barely scratched the surface of what is out there. Below are some of the off piste runs I’ve done (excluding the off piste which is immediately accessible from the side of the groomed slopes or under the lifts.

Some of these were found from the links below, and some from a day out with a guide from the ESF. This is a very affordable way to get shown around bits of the mountain you wouldn’t otherwise dare to reach!

Sache Valley


We did a couple of routes into the Sache Valley. These are easily accessable and very doable runs. Something to remember here is when the valley flattens out try to keep the piste in view to your right. When you spot the ski patrol hut, head back over to the piste. This may be a difficult trek but the bottom half of the valley is not really worth the effort and dumps you on a horrible walk-out to rejoin the piste further down with a scary looking drop into a frozen waterfall!

So anyway, the access to the start of these routes is simple – at the top of the Aiguille Percee and Marais chair lifts, take the small hike up to the right of you (as sat on the Marais chair) or directly in front and to the left of the Percee chair – you’ll see it – it’s obvious. There are two options. Head left at the top and you can drop in around the back of the valley into a wide open, not massively steep bowl, or head right and tackle one of the coulouis. The first couple will scare the pants off you, but if you go far enough, you’ll find one which has a bit of a narrow, steep drop in, but quickly opens up into a huge bowl. You can’t go too far wrong once you get to the bottom of these drop-ins, though as above – if you can head back to the piste to avoid the second half of the valley and the dodgy walk out.



Accessible with a short walk from the top of the Chaudennes chair lift it is possible to drop into the Glattier valley (shown on the piste map) crossing over the blue piste and down into the valley. You can drop through the trees at the end of the run and will eventually pop out on to the road where there is a bus stop where you can pick up the free shuttle back to the main resort areas.



Again, only a very short walk required from the top of the Merles chair. Drop in to the area marked “Lognan” on the piste map. There is a large area to explore here just in between the pistes marked on the map. You’ll end up on the road with a short walk back to Tignes le Lac or Val Claret.

Palafour Corridors


As you look up at the mountain face at the Palafour lift, you will see a number of corridors dropping down on the right hand side. These are accessible with a short walk from the top of the Palafour lift. As you get to the top of the Palafour lift, you will see a short section of avalanche barriers. Walk on the inside (downhill side) of these barriers towards the corridors. Once you are done, you will drop back on to the red “Blouets” run which you can take to head back to the village.

More Tignes / Val D’isere Off Piste info

As  I say, I have barely scratched the surface here, I hear there is some great stuff off the Montet and Signal drag lifts in Le Fornet, and up Grand Pre in Bellevarde – so something to explore next time I go 😉

Here are some further links





As I said though, don’t do any of this or you will DIE.


I’ve just got back from another fab trip to Tignes. We stayed in Chalet Chardons – the slightly more hostel-like sister to Chalet Hattiers that we have stayed in before. A bit less chilled out at times, but still good food and friendly staff. This week was all about the boarding so not much in the way of apres to report. I’ve come away wanting to go back again though. There’s still so much to explore that I haven’t even touched yet. March/April maybe..?! We’ll see!

Bluebird day – Beautiful blue skys today. Kept it mostly on piste in and around Tignes, with a few off piste ventures. Unseasonably warm, more like a spring day!

Did Grand Motte today. Should have done it on Sunday – view was non-existent!!

Snowed nearly all day so visibility not great. Took the bus to Le Fornet at the far end of the valley and then rode all the way back via Val D’Isere, La Daille and Tignes and lifts Fornet, Vallon, Leissures, Lac, Datcha, Manchet Express, Olympique, Tommeuses and Chaudennes. Basically covered a lot of ground in one day! Did an incredible tree run off the bottom of the Vallon gondola, just after the start of the marked (but closed) Foret run.

Another gorgeous day, explored some off piste in the Sache valley, hiking up off the top of the Aguile Percee lift. Some great runs, very remote, and some tricky, tough walk-outs! Don’t mention the fire road!! Argh!

Snowed most of the day so not great visibility. Again stuck mostly around the Tignes area. Rode switch most of the day! Booked an off piste guide for the Friday so took it largely quite easy.

Guided Off Piste with David! Though the visibility was worryingly awful to begin with, it was a brilliant morning with some hiking in to areas we would never found on our own. Fresh tracks in DEEP powder all morning, an interesting tree run and generally much grinning! I’ll post separately some of the off piste routes taken!
On the evening we took the boards back to the slope for a sledging session shared with our table-mates in the chalet which was also much fun, if probably the most dangeorous thing we did all week 🙂

Rented a pair of ski’s for the morning and took to the button lift in Les Brevs to polish up our expert skiing skills. I actually really felt I was getting the hang of it though. Maybe it’s time to switch allegiances….. maybe not 😉

Photos – A video to follow… sometime..!

New house!

So perhaps the most major event of my life so far is missing from my blog! Best put that right!

As of June 16th 2013, I have been enjoying the life of being a home owner having unexpectedly made the break from the place I was renting in Meadowfiled road.

Having only started to think about looking at what was available at the end of April, I really didn’t expect to find somewhere so quick, let alone be moved in by the middle of June, but it was just a case of right place right price and right time so everything fell into place pretty quickly thereafter. The house is a new-build property, one of the last which were still unsold on the Pastures development near the Skerne park area of Darlington.

I got some great help and advice from Mortgage advisers – Safeguard Financial Services (http://www.safeguardfinancialservices.co.uk/) who made the process smooth and simple and I would recommend them to anyone going through the mortgage application process!

Anyways, 6 months or so on and I’m just about sorted. My brother has helped my put a shower in the bathroom and thanks to a little help from my friends, a small patio and shed has been put in the back garden. I’m really happy in my new home. Now just to find someone to share it with 😉

Here’s some piccies!

New House Pictures

Patio Project!

The Bathroom Project!

Christmas 2013 / New Year 2014

Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014 were a bit of a mixed bag. The lead up to Christmas was all pretty manic. Winding down for Christmas isn’t something our customers seem to believe in anymore, and as per usual despite all best plans, Christmas shopping was all left until the last minute again!

There was a timely poker win, a christmas film night in Durham, boarding session in Castleford pre-Christmas, a good night out with friends and one with work colleagues (I even won the christmas jumper competition!) and a trip to Leeds to finish off the shopping efforts.

Christmas day itself was a family affair, with my brother and his family down to visit. Christmas dinner was done at my new pad, prepared and cooked by my goodself. Check out the menu:

Starters: Smoked salmon, & cranberry roulade oatcakes, melon & grape fruit cocktail

Main: Turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts (and sprouts cooked with bacon), new potatoes, roast sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip, red onion and garlic, and lashings of Yorkshire puddings and gravy!

Dessert: Chocolate Yule log & Cream, Christmas Pudding & Rum Sauce!

New years eve, a planned quiet affair all got a bit rowdy when Pictionary got involved, but was drunkenly fun none-the-less!

Some photos 🙂