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Sunday December 4, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI reports from Espace Killy where we've had some of the best piste skiing we've ever experienced. Full cover, perfect grooming, cold temperatures with blue sky. And there's no one around.

Above 2,000m in Val d'Isère and Tignes the on piste conditions are quite simply superb.

Up to 2m of snow fell recently, though sadly it was torrential rain lower down, and now the temperatures have dropped and the groomers have been out.

PlanetSKI's Katie Bamber and James Cove have been thrashing round the slopes for the past few days.

Their weapons of choice were the Atomic Redsters - perhaps the best on piste ski currently available. 

Though be warned you need to ski it hard - it takes no prisoners.

James and his RedstersJames and his Redsters




















Katie and her RedstersKatie and her Redsters




















"I have been coming here for 20 odd years in late November and early December and I can't remember a time when the slopes were in better shape. The best area is probably up on the Val d'Isère glacier as the ice keeps the snow that little bit colder and there is hardly anyone around so you can go fast without fear of others on the slopes," said James.

"But to be honest all the slopes at altitude are excellent. There are a few people out training and instructors on courses, but we pretty much have the place to ourselves,' James added.

And here's Katie in action on the slopes - with James just about keeping up:

Check out the snow and the empty slopes.





Also out on the slopes are PlanetSKI's good friends, Ian and Mark McKeller from the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School.

They are making some instructional videos for the season ahead and are on the slopes of Tignes and Val d'Isère ahead of Avoriaz opening next weekend.

Mark in actionMark in action















"Whilst doing our photo shoot in Tignes we experienced some of the best conditions for late November for years. Anything above 2100 was good and above 2500 superb. Even some chopped up powder on the Tignes and Val glaciers," said Ian.

"The best bit was the complete lack of people, we pretty much had the sunny slopes to ourselves all week. I was so impressed that we will be running pre season clinics in Tignes next year," Ian added.

And here is the evidence of a lack of people.

Val d'Isere, FranceVal d'Isère, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















There is no snow in the immediate forecast but the temperatures will remain cold and the excellent piste conditions are expected to remain so.

The added bonus at the weekend was some World Cup racing to watch.

The Beaver Creek Downhill, Super G and Giant slalom could not be held in the US resort as there was not enough snow - so it was moved to Val d'Isère where there is plenty.

Watching some World Cup actionWatching some World Cup action
















Start of the courseStart of the course













The finishThe finish
















The only thing that will change are the numbers of people out on the slopes.

With Xmas approaching more and more people will be coming and soon the slopes will be crowded.

If you can then head out soon..... these sort of conditions do not come around very often.

Katie carving some moreKatie carving some more














James and Katie were staying with Skiworld in Tignes - see here for details of the early season offerings.

While in Val d'Isère they stayed with VIP SKI - see here for its properties in Val d'Isere and its early season offerings.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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