Espace Killy
Thursday 7 January 1999


Started with blue skies and sunlight all day. Some clouds started to appear during the day, the temperature dropped and the wind got up.


An eventful day which say Cathy carried off the piste on a stretcher with a twisted knee.

We started off by heading towards Val d'Isère. From the top of Tufs, we took Edelweiss which we thought would take us to the Borsat quad. Unfortunately we finished a little lower than we thought and started the day with some side-stepping uphill.

From the top of Borsat we took Génépy planning to continue down the valley to Val d'Isère. Unfortnately all of the runs down into the village were closed. We took two runs down Fontaine Froide before stopping at Marmottes for a mid-morning break.

John during the mid-morning break at Marmottes

After coffee we took three runs off the Tommeuses chairs. To get there, John Chris and I turned off Verte into a small valley and skied along the bottom.

The next two runs were challenging. From the top of Tommeuse 2, John and I took the steep, mogulled Rocs run; further down, Chris and I headed off-piste and found ourseves on a seriously steep slope with a pitch of about 55º. It took us a while to do the first turn and a couple more turns and traverses took us down to the bottom of the slope.

For the second run, I took the steeper of the two mogul runs from the top of the chair and we all skied moguls on the side of the piste.


Cathy and John in the queue for the Tommeuse 1 Lift

Cathy and John getting on to Tommeuse 1

Cathy and John on Tommeuse 1

Cathy and John on Tommeuse 1

Cathy and John getting off Tommeuse 1

John getting off Tommeuse 1

Our final run off Tommeuse 2 was the Piste 'H' cruise down to lunch.

Looking across towards Tichot and Grande Balmes from Val Claret centre

Looking towards Toviere from Val Claret centre

John wanted to get back to the apartment to some college work, so our first run after lunch was the cruise down Cairn from the top of Les Lanches and the bottom part of the black Campanules run. John turned off towards the apartment and the rest of us headed back up Les Lanches. Cathy was keen to try the T-bar lift, so we took a quick run down Grand Plan, good condition, but steep and then took Double Plan up to the bottom of the glacier. Chris and I just about managed; Cathy fell off - fall number 1.

La Face from Double M

We cut across to take the broad Double 'M' red run down. Cathy crashed at some speed and managed to get her pole caught in her jacker which resulted in a bruise - fall number 2.

We carried on down to Val Claret. Mostly the piste was in good condition but there were some slick patches. Chris and I took a couple of shortish excursions off piste.


After a coffee break, we headed up Tichot. The wind was getting up and the lift stopped several times. Despite the sun it was very cold and there were interesting vortexes that picked up powder 50 feet into the air. We should have known better after Tichot, but we took Grattalu even higher and got even colder. Cathy decided that she had had enough and just wanted to get to the bottom.

We stopped a couple of time on Grattalu just to make sure that we were all together and then headed off down Carline A. Near the turn off for Stade de Slalom, Chris and I stopped but Cathy did not arrive. After some minutes we saw her, side-slipping slowly across the piste. She was a couple of hundred metres up the slope so we were a little reluctant to climb back, but after a while realised she was in trouble and started to climb up. About two thirds of the way up, I sent Chris to the bottom with my cell phone and continued up to Cathy. She could not move. Someone had hit her ski from behind and twisted her knee and could not put any weight on it - fall number 3! I phoned Chris and he contacted Ski Patrol who arrived pretty quickly.

Cathy was strapped to a stretched and dragged down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. I returned to the apartment for some shoes and the car keys and set out to find the Centre Medical. The first task was to find the car .. it had been moved to allow the car park to be snow-ploughed. For a couple of minutes I had visions of reporting a stolen car to the police. The next task was finding the Centre Medical. I knew where it was but had to drive around Tignes three times before I found the road. When I got there, Cathy was just about done .. all that was left was paying. We had to go to the Ski Patrol Centre to pay for the rescue before we could get the skis back.

Eventually, Cathy was fitted with an elastic brace and crutches and loaded up with tablets and we got back to the apartment. We were able to go to a small restaurant in the same building as the apartment for dinner to avoid too much walking.

Vertical: 17,136 feet

Vertical (feet)



Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs Top Intermediate Runs Advanced Runs
Tufs 1837 Edelweiss
Borsat 656 Genepy
Fontaine Froide Fontaine Froide
Fontaine Froide Fontaine Froide
Fontaine Froide Diebold
Mid morning break
Tommeuse 2 1450 Creux Rocs Off piste
Tommeuse 1 1450 Creux Not named Off piste
Tommeuse 2 1450 Piste 'H'
Lunch break
Lanches 2453 Cairn, Prarfond Campanules
Lanches 2453 Grand Plan
Grand Plan Double "M"
Tichot 1194 Carline A
Grattalu 918 Grattalu, Carline A
Total vertical 13861

Last updated: 03/02/99