I’ve written about Tignes a few times. It’s a handy place to go for some summer skiing when desperation for the white stuff kicks in. I spent four days there last week for a pre-season ski test and I think I’m finally bored with non-winter Tignes. It seems that there’s always a t-bar that’s broken down with people stuck on it for ten minutes or more while they try to restart the power. Okay, I know they stop a ski lift when someone falls, but I’m not talking about a minute or two here. I’m talking about everyone vacating the t-bar because their legs are aching so much while waiting for the lift to take them to the top.
Day one, Thursday, was an excellent day with 40cm of fresh powder off-piste and of course flattened pistes for the downhill racers who tend to take over huge areas of the glacier. If every day were like that at Tignes, I wouldn’t mind. Here’s a video taken by one of my friends (the lovely Julien):
But after much rain and wind on Friday, Saturday morning was a nightmare. We arrived just after 9am. The queue for the furnicular railway to the glacier was huge due to high winds preventing the glacier area (and furnicular) from opening on time. Apparently, the wind at the top must have affected the only working chairlift in Val Claret, which was also closed until 10am. Hmm… By 11am, we had finally reached the glacier. We queued for the telepherique which was due to open at 11am. 35 minutes later, it opened and our legs and backs were already sore after standing for more than two hours before any skiing was done. We lost almost the entire morning to queuing, but refunds are not offered even though the glacier was due to close at 3pm. Over the course of the day on the piste (the whole three hours), various lifts stopped for extended periods of time. The stopping of the chairlift that goes back to the furnicular — and to the only toilet on the glacier — was the final straw for me. The other nearby chairlift wasn’t running at all (why? Who knows), so my best option was to head down the piste to a toilet at the bottom. It’s only when you have a stomach bug that you realise just how limited the toilet facilities are on the glacier. Now in pain, I skied as fast as I could to Val Claret and to the heavenly image in my mind of a golden throne with wings, complete with the singing of angels, a roll of toilet paper and some soap. Of course, there was no soap in the toilets I found, but one of the three toilets did at least have toilet paper. No points to Tignes for toilets, nor reliability of ski lifts. I think I’m over it.