Espace Killy
Tuesday 5 January 1999


Perfect .. blue skies and sunlight all day.


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The moon above the lifts to the Col du Palet in the early morning

After another long night's sleep we just about crawled out of bed at 8 o'clock. Our intent was to cross over to Val d'Isère, so we headed for Tufs, which wasn't yet open and then down to Fresse which as also not open. By the time we got to the top of Bollin lift, Tufs was open so we ended up at Tovière as planned.

Creux the run down to the edge of the Val d'Isère area was groomed and a great cruise.

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Cathy, Chris and John at the top of the Borsat Express
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Cathy, Chris and John at the top of the Borsat Express
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The Rocher de Bellevarde from the top of the Borsat Express
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The green run from Borsat Express

Mont Blanc and a short steep groomed run Moutons lead us to Borsat Express, a high speed quad and a couple of runs down Col de Fresse, graded blue but with a very steep section to start with. On the second run, Chris, John and I cut off the groomed piste into some powder and the bottom of a narrow gully.

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John, Chris and Mike having a breakat the Marmottes cafe

After a brief stop for a cup of coffee, plans to go down to Val d'Isère were quickly changed because the linking lift was broken down. We set off down towards La Daille instead. The first section was the groomed green run, Verte. The rest of the way down, we followed the red run OK. At the stop it was fine, but the lower we got the worst condition the run was in with slick patches and some ice.

We didn't fancy that run again, so we took the Daille gondola and Mont Blanc back up the mountain. We took Borsat, a green cruise from the Borsat lift and one rather unpleasant blue run off Marmottes (too many slick patches) before stopping for a sandwich for lunch.

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Chris off piste on the second run down Grand Pre

After lunch we split up. Cathy stayed around Marmottes and Borsat, while I went deeper into Val d'Isère with the boys. The highlight was the off piste runs from Grand Pre lift.

On the first run, we bore right under the lift, across some small moguls into a small, steep bowl. The run out was ungroomed with various ridges. moguls and soft patches.

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John off piste on the second run down Grand Pre

On the second run, we kept even further right and went past a danger sign into a narrow chute. The top section was wide but very rocky. It narrowed into a steep chute, just a couple of moguls wide. This time, the run out was much longer across a wide expanse of powder to the foot of the Fontaine Froide lift. We took the run under the lift and then started to return to Marmotte to meet Cathy.

On the way we took Orange from the top of the lift down to the bottom of Mont Blanc, and that lift back to Marmottes. Orange was patchy; near the top there was a particularly steep slick area, where I cut off into moguls on the side for a more predictable surface.

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Looking down towars Marmottes and Borsat from the top of Mont Blanc
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Marmottes lift and runs
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Chris at the top of Moutons

There was just time for one cruise from Borsat (but the boys sat that one out .. legs beginning to feel like lead).

After a brief stop for a drink, we headed back towards Val Claret, via one of the two triple chairs that run side by side up to the summit of Tovière and then Piste 'H'.

That run proved to be pretty challenging, particularly with tired legs:

  • The short section from the lift to the run proper was heavily mogulled with some rocky patches.

  • The next section was a relatively flat, cat-track along the top of a bowl. Although mogulled, it would have been possible to ski pretty fluently, but there were too many people trying to get back to Val Claret and Tignes le Lac down a narrow run.

  • The runs to Val Claret and Tignes then split. Piste 'H' down to Val Claret was pretty steep at this point and with some bare patches to catch skis.

  • The last section before the run joined Prarfond, that down from Col de Fresse was classic intermediate cruising territory with snow in good condition.

  • From Bollin, all that remained was a traverse across Claret to the path to the apartment.

At this point, I did two more runs down Piste 'H', but the others returned to the apartment for a rest and eventually dinner at the nearby TEX-MEX restaurant.

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Mike and Chris taking a break at the Marmottes cafe
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The Gondola from Tignes le Lac (from Piste H)

John/Chris vertical : 14,489 feet

Vertical (feet)



Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs Top Intermediate Runs Advanced Runs
Bollin 361 Claret
Tufts Creux
Mont Blanc 843 Moutons
Borsat 656 Col de Fresse
Borsat 656 Col de Fresse Off Piste
Coffee Break
Verte Diabold OK
Daille 1640
Mont Blanc 843 Moutons
Borsat 656 Borsat
Marmottes 843 31
Marmottes 843 Collet
Grand Pre 735 Off Piste
Grand Pre 735 Off Piste
Fontaine Froide Fontaine Froide
Fontaine Froid 774 Orange
Mont Blanc 843 Moutons
Borsat 656 Borsat
Tommeuse I Piste 'H'
Tufs 1837 Piste 'H'
Tufs 1837 Piste 'H'
Total vertical 14758

Last updated: 03/02/99