After seeing the fresh snow at the end of June on the peaks of La Clusaz, some friends and I were motivated to do a road trip to Tignes for a day of skiing on the glacier. We arose at 4.30am and left La Clusaz within half an hour. We took the easiest route to get there, through Albertville, stopping only for breakfast snacks from a boulangerie. Here’s what happened:
- Arrived in Tignes at 7am to find the funicular closed due to high winds on the glacier.
- Ate a second breakfast and came back for a half-day ticket at 10.30am (handy, as it’s cheaper, and the snow will have softened up).
- Funicular opened, tickets bought, high winds kept the telepherique closed, but two drag lifts open.
- On snowboards, two of us ice skated up a t-bar, while the other friend opted out and just had a hot chocolate in the sun.
- Dodged racers on skis at the second ice rink of a t-bar, and made it to the snow park that had something resembling snow (all other pistes icy).
- Friend got scared about all the cool dudes doing cool things, so we ice skated back down the piste and joined friend for hot chocolate.
- Left the resort by midday.
However, the drive home really made up for the disappointing snow. Before hitting the beautiful Barrage de Roseland — a big man-made dam that reflects the most lovely blue hues amongst the green peaks surrounding it, we came across this old hotel. Out the back was a structure made for a pool and a water slide, but neither were there. Inside, a great square-spiral staircase wound right to the top. As you can see from this photo, the façade is growing trees. Some of the windows have some glass panels in them, but most of them are now just square holes. My friend, an avid Candide Thovex fan, realised straight away that this was the building used on the Coreupt ski team website, of which Candide is now a member. Just a week earlier, she had discovered (and visited) the boulangerie used to film the short video which I wrote about here, where Candide is abducted by the Coreupt team. In case you’re wondering, it’s in le Petit Bornand. And yes, she has photos outside the boulangerie and the hotel, complete with a large grin in each picture.
So, what happened to this hotel? Was it ever finished? Or is this the shell from a hotel that was once grand and frequented by tourists? It seems odd that some of the windows have glass panels if it wasn’t ever finished, but at the same time, the structure doesn’t show any signs of decoration marks on the inside. And surely they wouldn’t have added that wooden cladding if it wasn’t near completion. Maybe the construction workers went off to sample the snow on the Tignes glacier and were so mortified at the lack of snow that they moved to Utah. What do you think?