Inside Track: Tignes

Perched high in the Tarentaise Valley, Tignes forms part of the Espace Killy along with neighbouring Val d’Isere. It’s a favourite among snowboarders from all over the world with a good mixture of open pow fields, gnarly backcountry descents and gentle cruisey piste runs. It also has a decent park and a halfpipe. The resort is centred around Tignes-Le-Lac with the out-lying villages of Val Claret and Le Lavachet within walking distance.

L’Aiguille Percee: Tignes’ famous ‘eye of the needle’

One of my favourite runs is down Grande Pre on the Val d’Isere side. It’s a super quiet, mellow ride – ideal after a couple of lunchtime beers. However, you do have to come back to Le Lac via Trolles, one of the resort’s steepest, gnarliest blacks. You can get some serious speed down here though – I once did 126 kph (78mph)!

Beginners won’t take well to Génépy. It’s a fun run but there are a few killer flats towards the end. If you’re just starting out, head to the beginner slope at Le Lac, there’s less through traffic there. Palafour is the best for jibbing. You’re almost guaranteed to bump into someone to shred with, plus it’s home to everyone’s favourite Palafour lift. There’s so much love for this lift that shops even sell t-shirts and stickers saying ‘I Heart P4’. Avoid the Marais lift that takes you to the top of l’Aiguille Percee (Eye of the Needle) unless you enjoy a 20-minute battle against the elements.

If you’re looking to beat the crowds, head down Sache towards Tignes Les Brevieres. It’s nearly always quiet, great for a bit of one-on-one time with the mountain. There aren’t any runs I would say to avoid, as they are all pretty well groomed here. That said, the pistes leading back to the resort are often seriously mogulled by the end of the day.



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