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Monday December 11, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It was at the centre of the huge weekend snowstorm. When the sun finally came out there was a real treat in store for PlanetSKI. NEW & UPDATED

Tuesday 12th December


Now that's more like it, Tignes!

Blue sky, sunshine and an awful lot of snow.

It's going to be a good day.

Room with a view, TignesRoom with a view - 8am

After Monday's - er - limited opening (see below), it looks like a large number of lifts will be operating, giving access to all that snow that fell over the weekend.


It's time to check it out.

The first thing to say is that it is noticeably colder than Monday  - around minus 5 Celsius and there's little wind. 

It's nothing like as chilly as it's forecast to be on Wednesday, however when it's due to be sunny and minus 15 at 2100 metres!

In TignesHappy face

All day

The snow is great and first thing there's hardly anyone around.

I'm with a small group and we appear to have the place to ourselves.

I'm torn between wanting to blast around, covering as much ground as possible and stopping to take photos of the wintry scenes.

So, I compromise and do a bit of both.

Feast your eyes.

TignesTignes, Tuesday 12th December

TignesTignes, Tuesday 12th December

TignesTignes, Tuesday 12th December

TignesTignes, Tuesday 12th December

And the verdict?

And some of the powder was on the pistes too as you can see from the video below (with apologies for the shaky camera and shaky skiing!)

As the day wore on, more clouds came in and by around 2.30pm it had begun snowing again.

Proper snow with big flakes.

None of that sleety wet stuff we had yesterday.

What a day!

You know all you lot who are coming here for Christmas?

Lucky, lucky you.

In TignesWhat a start to winter!

Monday 11th December


It's my early morning wake up call.

The pisteurs are up and out with their explosives, attempting to set off avalanches and make the pistes safe for us after around 80cm of snow fell on Sunday and overnight. 


A glance out of the window confirms that it has actually stopped snowing!

Powder, powder, everywhere?

If there is, there's fat chance of us seeing it today.

A quick check of the official lift status website talks of several "planned" openings (I've heard that before) but advises us to check back at 10.30am.

Early morning in TignesA murky early morning in Tignes



Still no news on the lifts but now I'm among a lot of hopeful people standing around in ski and snowboard gear on the snow front at Tignes 2100.

On the snowfront at TignesHanging around going nowhere


Some are topping up their caffeine dose.

Coffee in TignesCoffee time

It's so mild, there
s no danger of getting cold. 

It's so mild that it's not problem to hang around outside, even when it starts sleeting.

Yep, it's definitely sleet - not snow.


Pisteurs in TignesA huddle of pisteurs

The piste patrollers are hovering, chatting and talking over their radios to colleagues up on the mountain.

There is clearly a lot of work to be done to secure the pistes.


At last.  The lifts open.

Well, one does.

One lift openOne blob of green

Palafour liftOn your marks....

Palafour lift...and we're off

I'm finally on skis, on real snow, on a mountain for the first time this winter.

On the snowOn the mountain at last

11.45am to 12.45pm

A couple of warm-up runs to test out the legs and the new boots.

The avalanche risk is 4 out of 5 so even if we could get to it, there'll be no off-piste today.

A few people venture off the side of the run where the snow is deep.

It's also wet and heavy.

OopsI'm glad I didn't go there

A local instructor, Jean-Baptiste, tells me that athough the quality of the snow is not good today, the snowpack is already of sufficient depth to provide good skiing for at least two months.

It's great news for everyone heading out for Christmas or New Year and into January.

Today, however, I decide that it's not really worth the effort to stay out for the afternoon. 

Not least because this is what Tignes looks like when there's only one run in the whole resort open (excluding a couple of nursery slopes):


Time for a light lunch at my favourite Tignes haunt, the Jam Bar, served by owners Rocco and Delphine.

Jam BarRocco and Delphine in the Jam Bar


Off the mountain, the clear-up is continuing.

I have a chat to Regis, who owns the ski and snowboard shop, Snowpark, while he's shovelling the remains of around 80cm of freshly fallen snow from outside the shop.


They've been at it all day, but there's still work to do.

Snow clearingClearing the roof of a new building

Clearing the snowClearing the snow


It's still sleeting.  Or is it rain?

And the wind is picking up.

Time to call it a day and return to the dry and the comfort of the hotel.

The forecast for tomorrow is, I am told, better.

I do hope so.


Jane is in Tignes with Crystal, staying at the newly-renovated Hotel Tignes 2100.  Crystal Ski Holidays (020 8610 3123) offers a week's half board at the Hotel Tignes 2100 from £540 per person including flights from Gatwick and transfers, departing during January 2018.  Departures from all major UK airports available at a supplement starting from £25.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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