Tignes Opens with a Bang
After an early snowfall last week across the Alps the hordes descended on Tignes this weekend for opening day in the hope of bagging some fresh tracks. Tignes glacier opens annually in mid-October for keenos wanting to get some early season training in. Instructors in training, race teams and amateurs alike flock to the ski fields hoping to get the edge before the season starts elsewhere. Often though, early skiing at Tignes is not just restricted to the glacier with sufficient snow to open up other parts of the resort. And this year was no exception. After repeated snowfalls last week and then blue skies on Saturday opening day was a bluebird powder day and after seeing pics like this we were gutted to have missed it!
Taken by the Funky Fox team from Courchevel this picture went viral after The Boot Lab posted it and it was shared 28 times. Clearly a bit of envy was felt across Europe. And if the predictions of the approaching cold winter is anything to go by we could be in for an epic season skiing.
Sadly though, opening weekend didn’t go without a hitch with reports of an avalanche yesterday. Unconfirmed reports say it was started after a group hiked up above the Grande Motte cable car. Heavy winds and heavy snow without a real base would have meant quite unstable conditions and this was unfortunately proven. The 400m long and 300m wide avalanche went down over the pistes endangering skiers both on and off piste. The details are sketchy but it sounds as if the 70 strong team of pisteurs and trained emergency personnel were quick to react and although a number of people are reported to have been dug out no one was harmed.
Hopefully this will serve as a stark warning to those getting over excited with all the fresh snow. If you are heading to Tignes or Austria to enjoy some early season snow remember that with little or no base to bond to the snow is very unstable at present. And any time you head off piste, regardless of how close to the piste you are, make sure you’re wearing avalanche safety gear and you know how to use it. If you’re not sure if its save, don’t go. They’ll always be another day and another line.
If you do want to sharpen your skills early doors this year then our team in Tignes are available for early season training. Get in touch for more details via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 0844 770 4733.