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!
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.
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.