Espace Killy
Monday 4 January 1999


Bright and sunny with blue skies almost all day. Some clouds at altitude early in the mormninbg and in the late afternoon.


Excellent. The groomed slopes were soft and there was powder elsewhere.


A much better day, although when we got up it didn't look like it.

We dragged ourselves out of bed at 8 o'clock and when we looked out of the window there was cloud and fog everywhere. Within minutes the cloud started to lift and by the time we were ready to ski, the sky was blue at the peaks of the mountains were bathed in sunlight.

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The bottom of the Tichot chair
We started off with a cruise from the Tichot chair. From the queue it was obvious that there would be more people skiing. The groomed slopes were in great condition with predictable soft snow on top. Part way down we crossed onto the softer powder of Stade de Slalom.
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John, Chris and Cathy on Carline 'A'

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Crowds at the top of Tichot chair

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Two views of Grattalu chair and run from the bottom

We went back up Tichot to start moving over to the North-West area of Tignes and took the short run to the Grattalu chair and the groomed run of the same name. This was also in excelent condition but full of ski school groups, so after another ride on the Grattalu chair we started to explore runs further afield.

Piste du Lac gave us a hint of things to come. Although graded blue, it was not groomed. In places moguls were starting to form and in other places it wasn't possible to get up enough speed to keep going without some poling.

There was little choice from the bottom of the run without either a long flat section or a traverse through deep powder. So we bowed to the inevitable and took the Grand Huit lift. At the top there was a choice of a blue run or a red run. The red one looked fine so we took it. Apart from one steep section which no one had any real problem with it was pretty easy.

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Cathy on Cyclamen
So to the Aguille Percée. The only apparent run was a red one. We could see more or less all of it and decided to give it a try. [In fact there was a blue run down the other side of the hill which we took later.]

Cyclamen, the red run was great. There were alternate steeper sections where the loose snow was already starting to form up into soft bumps and less steep sections for recovery. Cathy took it very carefully but didn't have any real problems.

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Looking down towards Replat and Grand Huit from the Aiguille Percee

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Cathy on Cyclamen

We headed back up Aiguille Percee with the intention of following the blue run right down to Tignes les Brevieres for lunch. This was a mixed experience:

  • The run started off fine. The top of Corniche was in reasonable condition, not groomed but not badly cut up either. The first decision point was whether to take a black run. Staying on Corniche meant poling uphill for about 70m.

  • The next choice was between Myosotis, a red run and Rhodedendron, a blue ending in the same point. John and I took the red, which apart from one very narrow congestd section was fine. Cathy and Chris took the blue which actually turned out to be harder, ungroomed an a mixture of rocks and powder. By the bottom, Cathy's legs were aching and the rest of the run was just a matter of survival.

  • We continued onto Chardons, which, graded Blue on the map was the most difficult run we did all day! The top section was wide but mogulled. Next there was a narrow, steep section with some bare patches and too many people to be able to ski it fluently.

  • This was followed by an even steeper section with moguls. icy patches and bare sections.

  • Finally, from Tignes les Boisses to the bottom, Myrtilles was a cat-track in good condition. Apart from one section which was almost flat this was a gentle cruise all the way down to Les Brévières, almost 3800' below the starting point.

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The view down towards Tignes les Brevieres
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Restaurant Etiole des Neiges in Les Brevieres

Right at the bottom of the run, there was an excellent restaurant with outdoor tables which were perfect in the sun. Service was excellent and we all had chance to rest tired legs.

After lunch, we did one easy run from the Pitots drag lift and then started the long journey back to Val Claret up the Sache gondola and Marais run which took us back to the top of L'Aguille Percée.

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John on Pitots drag lift
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Cathy on Pitots drag lift

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The Tignes Barrage (dam)

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L'Aiguille Percee
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The bottom of the Aiguille Percee lift
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The bottom of the Aiguille Percee and the Ancolle run from Grand Huit
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Looking down into Tignes from the top of Replat
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The slopes above Tignes
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Cathy on the short run from Replat lift

Cyclamen was slightly more worn than in the morning. Near the bottom, we turned off right to the bottom of Replat lift. Replat took us across a frozen lake to the top of a short red run down to the bottom of the Merle Blanc lift. We started to feel a little cold, so hats were back on before we actually started on the lift.

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At the top of Merle Blanc the wind was stronger than at any time during the day and cloud had descended giving poor visibility for the first time during the day. We skied down to the bottom via Grattalu and Carline A and took one last ride up Bollin to get across to the apartment.

Cathy cooked Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and once again we were ready for bed very early.

Vertical (feet)



Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs Top Intermediate Runs
Tichot 1194 Carline A Stade de Slalom
Tichot 1194 Carline A
Grattalu 918 Grattalu
Grattalu 918 Piste du Lac
Grand Huit 754 Ancolie
Aiguille Percee 1043 Cyclamen
Aiguille Percee 1043 Corniche, Myrtilles, Chardons Myositis
Pitots 200 Pitots
Sache 2132
Marais 1870 Bruyeres Cyclamen
Replat 315 Merle Blanc
Merle Blanc 1164 Grattalu, Carline A
Bollin 361 Claret
Total vertical 13106

Last updated: 03/02/99