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Tignes and The Espace Killy 2016/17 (Useful links in Post 1).

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good news no one was hurt
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@franga, It is bad! There was a brief lull in the snow during the night, but it is still windy (which MF did not forecast). I expected very little to be open, hence I was clearing the balcony when the 'shout' went out.

@HoneyBunny, I think you are right! I will wait and see how much of the avalanche came on to the piste when I speak to those in the know. I suspect that people were knocked over by the pressure wave and the world disappeared in a snow storm with a lot of light snow in the air, which understandably caused mayhem.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yeah, imagine it will give all resorts pause for thought in the pressure to open stuff to keep everyone happy vs keeping them safe as possible. Tignes potentially not quite on the right side of the line today although fortunately all's well that ends well.

As skiers I think the best we can do is be understanding and respectful when decisions are taken to close lifts/pistes for safety reasons - and educating ourselves so we can share the assessment of risk...
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Once everything calms down and the storm recovery work is concluded, next week may be the week of the season.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Peter S wrote:
Once everything calms down and the storm recovery work is concluded, next week may be the week of the season.


It's set to stay windy pat the weekend and get very warm at the end of this week.

The pistes will stay good but off piste will be a very unpredicatble lot next week.
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Peter S wrote:
Once everything calms down and the storm recovery work is concluded, next week may be the week of the season.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy snowHead snowHead snowHead snowHead
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In my best BBC accent "and now for the weather!"

The snow will stop soon-ish and the wind will continue to die down. We may even get to see a star or two tonight. The sun may make an appearance just after dawn but on the whole tomorrow will be cloudy with a strong wind at altitude. it will not come as a surprise that it will be a progressive opening of the lifts tomorrow, the avalanche risk remains at Level 4, expect the highest lifts to remain closed. I will say no more. Thursday looks like being one of sunny periods, the clouds will be travelling quickly across the sky, again the high lifts may be closed. Friday will be warm and sunny, those annoying winds will still be around. Beyond that it is all a bit of a lottery, a mix of sunshine and showers on Saturday and Sunday, with a snowline around 1900m. There could be a 'retour d'est' after the weekend which could bring a lot or precipitation especially to the east of the area, more on that when the forecast firms up.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
STAY SAFE !
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Road to be closed tomorrow ( Thursday) between Tignes les Brevieres and Tignes Dam due to avalanche release from 11.00am to 1.30pm
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A day of big queues and colossal avalanches!

It was a nice bright morning, but the light faded as it clouded over and by lunchtime there was light snow in the air, thanks to the weather front coming a bit further south than we thought. Its now grey and damp in the villages.
After a couple of days of cabin fever, everyone was out this morning and with only 2 thirds of each resort open by lunchtime we had to be a bit inventive with route planning. The fresh snow was consolidating quickly lower down in the high temperatures, we will have to wait for the lighter stuff higher up until tomorrow. Of course, we had to keep an eye out for the avalanche risk, so it was gentle slopes including the lower part of the area off Grand Pre and Familial all the way down Triffolet into La Daille (the first time we have risked the skies down there this year!). However, the size of some of the avalanches was incredible. Especially the Chardonnet Bowl. The crown line was reprtedly 2.5 metres in some places and extended from above 'the side entrance' al the way past the classic couloir entry point and round the bowl to skiers left. The debris field was about 20m past the Grand Huit Chair. Shocked Shocked

Talking of avalanches, as @Mrs W, points out the road will be closed tomorrow below the Brevieres tunnel and the Dam between 1100 and 1330 hrs. They are going to blast La Combe de la Davie which eventually funnels down a gully just below the Brev tunnel (where the red lights are). So if you see a helicopter flying over the other side of the valley above Les Brevieres around 11 stop and have a look. If it goes, it will be spectacular. There are many places around the Brev sector where you could view from, the easiest to describe is to the left of the piste just below the top station of the Brev bubble (just before the piste turns 90 right).

The snow will stop this evening and the wind will drop. Tomorrow will be cloudy in the morning with a hint of sunshine in the afternoon, it will be a good 3 or 4 degrees warmer than today. Friday will be sunny, the pesky wind will be back at altitude which may shut the high lifts. Saturday looks like a warm spring day, the temperature will increase again, there may be a thin veil of cloud in the afternoon. Sunday will see sunshine and showers, the snowline will be around 2000m in the morning, lowering to 1500 in the afternoon. Monday, also looks showery, we will see the sun but there could be extended heavy showers of snow down to 1400m, this theme of sunshine showers looks like continuing for a few days more.

The avalanche risk remains at Level 4, as the forecaster says at the end of the bulletin: Une grande méfiance est de rigueur (A great deal of mistrust is required).
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@chocksaway, There was an impressive avalanche on Grande Balme this morning, about 09.30, when they blasted what was left after yesterdays slide. Tichot & access to Col Palet was not opened until after the blasting had finished.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
How warm? When I woke to the sound of drips on to the velux at 7.30 this morning, I knew the temperature must be up but I hadn't realised by how much. The road was awash as I walked down to the lifts. Compounded by rain showers in the middle of the night the off piste snow has completely settled. There is some spring like snow around but the rest of it was not easily skiable. Not many off piste skiers today. The pistes are also soft, and were scuffing up a little. The avalanche work did go ahead in La Combe de La Davie, they did trigger a largish avalanche with one of the 7 blasts, but nothing too dramatic. So we missed our ace photo but the road opened an hour and a half early. I did take these pictures of the Chardonnet Bowl, the light was not great but you can see the crown line from the avalanche a couple of days ago in the classic entrance (if you know the area, if not from just below the cloud):



It propagated all round the bowl and the debris field extended to beyond the Grand Huit Chairlift:



In addition to all the natural avalanches the pisteurs in Tignes alone triggered 150 avalanches yesterday - a big box of fireworks!

The resorts progressively opened today, so the large queues did diminish; we made it up the Grand Motte Funiculaire, there is still a lot of work to did out the terrace and to get Leisses and the Cable Car going.

The weather just cannot make its mind up at the moment as the Atlantic charts are a bit chaotic so anything beyond Saturday you can take with a pinch of salt! But tomorrow will be sunny bar the odd bit of cloud flitting about in the strongish winds at altitude, the highest lifts may be closed, temperatures will be similar to today. The pistes may be a bit crisp first thing but they will soon soften. Saturday will be warmer still, the freezing level will be above the top of the Grand Motte all night so expect soft snow and bikinis on the terrace in the warm sun that will bathe Tignes and Val D'Isere all day. Sunday will be warm with sunny periods and maybe some showers towards the end of the afternoon, on the other hand they could start earlier! Monday currently looks like a day of light showers with a snow level somewhere near 2000m. Tuesday will be similar but the showers will be less frequent, if they appear at all. It should cool down a bit towards the end of next week, thankfully!
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Did the Grand Huit break down at the end of the day today? After queuing for a while for it, we were ushered away.
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You know it makes sense.
@hodgkins, Just looked at skiplan and it still says 'intervention technique' so yes!
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A spring day across Tignes and Val D'Isere today, there was a good freeze overnight so the pistes were a little firm this morning and the off piste was very crusty. Those areas in the sun soon softened up, even some of the off piste transitioned into spring snow, but you had to pick your pitch. About 95% of the resorts are now open, just the very top of the Grande Motte and Cugnai to go now, oh and Santons that famous avalanche trap where a good number of people thought they knew better that the pisteurs today. Being Friday there was a bit of Grande Motte frenzy, so we headed lower to start with and explored La Daille and then Grand Pré. Epaule de Charvet was open with large soft moguls and too many people ignoring the sign about it being reserved for good skiers......

The weather forecast is firming up a little for the next few days, most of the showers now seem to be remaining over the Massif Centrale and the 'retour d'est' I mentioned the other day has headed south. So tomorrow will be another beautiful day, a bit warmer then today and as it wont be as cold overnight the pistes should be a little softer in the morning. A layer of high altitude cloud may well appear as we all head to the pub to watch the Calcutta Cup. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be like three peas in a pod, warm with sunny periods with most of the fluffy clouds above the peaks. One or two may give a light shower. The clouds will vanish for Wednesday, as the wind will be almost non existent there may be some fog at lower levels early on.

For the travellers tomorrow, the roads are going to be busy with 28000 leaving and 31000 vehicles arriving tomorrow, so leave resort by 7 in the morning or after 12. There will be queues in all the usual places, but at least it will be a nice day for a traffic jam. It is the first weekend for the Geneva Motor Show, which takes place in the exhibition hall near the airport. This has created jams in the past, I wouldn't leave it to the last minute if flying from GVA tomorrow. I can't foresee any problems for flying from the UK, there is a chance of a shower almost anywhere. Over here Geneva looks good, there is a slim chance of early fog patches at Grenoble and Lyon which shouldn't cause any problems if they appear. Chambery looks nice, but if the northerly wind picks up a knot or two you could be in for the more dramatic arrival as the bloke at the pointy end takes you on a tour of the town to land heading north.
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Flights booked, arrive Saturday 18th for 5 fantastic days by the sound of reports Toofy Grin wink snowHead
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Just met someone at the bus depot that was stuck on the Grand Huit on Thursday late afternoon. They were on it for an hour. On the plus side they were given a voucher for a free drink as compensation as they got off.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Another great day with just the odd bit of cloud about. The skiing was like a box of chocolates (in the words of Forrest Gump) we had everything from frozen moguls (early doors) on Aiguille Percée to compacted powder on the North Face of the Borsat and Col du Ves, to spring snow on Lognan after midday (although it could do to settle a bit more to get rid of the old tracked stuff). The slopes were also nice and quiet for a change.

There will be a bit more cloud about tonight and there will be a thin veil of cloud at high altitude, but essentially a warm spring day. Monday will be a day of sunny periods with fluffy clouds on the peaks and then its easy, 4 days of sunshine light winds and warm temperatures. It will refreeze each night, so hard pistes first thing, followed by great skiing, followed by soft pistes in the afternoon, followed by beers on the terrace until the sun goes down (and repeat!). Spring has sprung folks!!

I can't see any problems affecting flying tomorrow, but the whole of the UK will be damp dreary and drizzly, over here a spring day, what a great reason to come on holiday! (oh don't forget the traffic around Geneva will still be heavy because all the petrol heads will be at the motor show).
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Well that's myself and mrs g60 back home after an interesting 2 weeks in tignes. Had pretty much every season and every type of snow Very Happy .
Never seen it so busy for the first week in march though and we have been on the same week for pretty much the last 10 years....
Guess the recent snow and the poor start to low resorts pushed everyone up high. Very glad we know our way around and can miss most of the bottlenecks. Was so please to see a singles que that was being enforced on the new solaise gondola or that could have been a real issue.
Back to Cornwall for the start of silly season and have put the skis away for another 10 months 🙁. Will be back in January and can hopefully manage 3/4 weeks again.
Enjoy spring and the best part of the season.🌞🌞
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All packed, can't wait to get there!!
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As mentioned above, Espace Killy was rather busy this week - busiest low(ish) season week we've ever experienced. In fact a fair few runs dangerously overcrowded with speeding skiers showing flagrant disregard for other slope users. Complete to$$€rs...

Still enjoyed ourselves though - with every snow condition from powder to total mush Smile
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There was just a milky sun for most of the day, so I decided it was time for some uphill exercise and went skinning. Now normally when skinning there is a progressive removal of layers but it was so hot and humid today the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' was in grave danger of becoming 'The Full Monty'!! Needless to say this was followed by a poor impression of the Levis ad in front of the washing machine.........

I then popped out to a flea market in the Tignespace where there was a great jazz/swing band, I also had quick look at a storyboard exhibition on glaciation, all very educational.

The sky will clear around midnight and that will be all the cloud we see this week according to the current forecast. There might just be the odd bit of high altitude cloud and the occasional contrail to disturb the blue. Its going to get warmer during the week, by Thursday it will be above 10 degs in the villages. So whip out the factor 30 and enjoy spring skiing at its best.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@chocksaway, Back home in the rainy north west. Glad to cool down a bit after the crazy high temperatures of Friday and yesterday.

Not helped by a mad dash through GVA airport with all our luggage after we missed the EJ bag drop. Crashed our way to the front of the security queue (melee). And then had to leg it with all said baggage (and wearing ski jackets on what must have been the warmest day of the year so far) to Gate 86 which must be in another Canton!. 25 minutes from jumping off the coach to sitting on the plane and sweating profusely.

A note of caution to any Snowheads who have or are booking transfers. It took almost 6hrs to get from Tignes to GVA on Saturday in fine weather. Despite warnings of the Motor Show possibly causing delays Geneva was the only place that we weren't delayed.

Thanks again Chocksaway for your financial aid(disruption of the debit card support system causing temporary financial embarrassment at the bar), tea & biscuits, splendid dinner and all round assistance to two refugees from the Northern Poorhouse wink

Same goes to Mr & Mrs W. Great to ski together again. Special thanks to Mrs W for the treatment on the calf muscle. Worked wonders Very Happy .

All in all a week of extremes.... high winds, 3 days of near non-stop snow and then really warm temps at the end of the week. Avalanches, knee deep snow, some downtime but the first time in about 15 years that we completely lost a days skiing. We were actually having a transceiver practice when the slide hit the Carline piste Shocked .
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@GeorgeVII, You are always welcome with your essential supplies Very Happy
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@GeorgeVII, White Rose glad to be of service wink

Glad you made it - sounds a bit fraught. We don't seem to be having a quiet week or 2 in March this year, everybody catching up on missing Xmas/NY maybe?
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Not being watching this thread as close as most years in the past as was not sure if I was doing the usual end of season deal at melezes. But have booked now so checking in daily for news.
Have caught the main tignes news through the season via steve Angus periscope, but not been into the detail like I normally am.
Heading out in Easter Sunday for 5 days. Is the snow depth the same as most years? Never had a problem skiing in April before so not expecting one this year. I am taking it that the recent dumps have given a top up that will last now till the end of the season.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@chocksaway, @stewart woodward, sorry to interrupt the thread but I've been offered some accommodation in Les Brev's for a quick weekend at the end of the month at Chalet de Bullou run by Smallwonders, do you have any feedback on the chalet or company that you can share. I presume that I will still be able to ski down there by the 23rd March when I would arrive?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@stevew, Sorry I don't have any info on Smallwonders but will do some digging and let you know.

Should not be a problem skiing back to Brev on 23rd March.
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You know it makes sense.
Steve w......we stayed with small wonders at Ste Foy at half term...., generally pretty good.

Only negative for us were small portions of food at meals times.
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@smagsmith, Snow depths are currently above the average by 'a bit', they will drop this week in the heat. But next week (no promises) looks a lot cooler and snowier. Lower resorts may be suffering at the moment but we look like being OK until Easter (short of being hit by a meteorite).

@stevew, No experience of them, sorry
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@chocksaway,
Cheers
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@stewart woodward, @chocksaway, @stefoy4me, thanks for the feedback will probably book this when I get home tonight
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A question for GeorgeVII: How were you allowed through GVA security/to the departure gate with all your luggage?

Did you have skis/boards too Puzzled
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There was just a faint bit of haze between us and the sun today, just taking a little bit of the sting out of the sun's heat. So it was a day for searching for spring snow on areas which were not chopped up from the tracks after last week's storm. We were a little early up on the Grand Motte, off piste up there was a bit like high speed piste skiing. They are still digging the Leisse chair out though. I noticed that someone had come within metres of the edge of the cliffs off La Peties Balmes (looking right from the Fresse Chair), with about a turn and a half of falling they had turned back, a long walk out!! Then we decided on a trip to Cugnai (the exit to Charvet is still a bit prone to avalanche risk). We found a bit of everything including the perfect and elusive spring snow. And to cap it all the Refuge was open for lunch on the terrace in the sun.

It will be sunny until Friday. It will be a degree or so warmer on Tuesday and then 3 or 4 more degrees warmer for the rest of the week. There may be a light breeze at times to ruffle the flags. So hard pistes on a morning, progressively softening. From late Friday there will be a battle between cooler and unsettled weather to the north and warm and settled weather to the south. Tignes and Val D'Isere will be under the battle field, which side is going to win? Heads you win, tails you lose!
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@mountainaddict, EJ staff at the bag drop area told us to take all our luggage to Security. There was a huge queue (not surprising....Geneva at weekend). We ducked under the lane "tapes" offering our apologies as we pushed to the front of the queue. A member of the security staff tried to prevent us getting to the screening area, but after a couple of minutes of pleading/telling him our tale of woe/ and telling him for the umpteenth time that we had been sent there he eventually just shrugged and walked away.

Two members of the security staff then set about checking all our luggage. Two cabin bags, 1 backpack, 2 full size and on the weight limit cases. All tech stuff out, opened and scanned. Oversize containers in the main suitcases binned. We ended up with about 8 or 9 trays of stuff plus the 4 cases and backpack being put through the scanner. Re-packed double quick and legged it into the departure hall.

On finally arriving at gate 86 the staff there just tagged our 4 bags and we were told to take them out to the aircraft and leave them at the bottom of the steps on the apron.

Fortunately we weren't lugging skis. I think that would have been game over. We would never have covered the distance in time with them even if we'd been allowed to!

We were lucky. We had checked en-route for later flight availability. Nothing available until Sunday p.m. Around 300 euros each one way + overnight hotel = what could have been a very expensive weeks skiing rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes
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May not be the right thread so apologies, but is the current snow cover looking supportive of the resort staying open until 1st May as predicted on the website? Considering a final bank holiday weekend foray to top the year off, but unsure how likely it is that we will be able to ski.
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Northernhills wrote:
May not be the right thread so apologies, but is the current snow cover looking supportive of the resort staying open until 1st May as predicted on the website? Considering a final bank holiday weekend foray to top the year off, but unsure how likely it is that we will be able to ski.


Tignes closes on the 8th May 2017. The EK links close on the 1st may 2017. Normally lots of snow cover until well past these dates. The current snow cover is looking good to provide skiing until these dates.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Northernhills, We still have just above the average snow depths for the time of year. So, unless we have some unseen cataclysm, I am sure the resort will be open until 8 May (Tignes only). Of course lower parts will close but then you will have the place almost to yourself so it won't matter. Early May skiing can be ace, there are often heavy showers which means powder on the Glacier (but only for a couple of hours).

Another day of spring skiing, there were a few cirrus clouds about this morning which delayed the thaw a bit but all in all another great day. The Grand Motte was very busy so we had a couple of runs around Familial and Borsat. We did see a load of work going on around the base station of Leisse, it looks about ready but they have had to drive all the equipment up the valley below Piste Genepy as they can't get machines down on the piste - quite an undertaking. There seemed to be some kind of electrical failure at the top of the Tov over lunchtime as both chairs and the Gondy closed and could be seen inching up the mountain on the auxiliary engines.

The nest 3 days forecast is easy, sun light winds and two degrees warmer than today. Scorchio. After that its still all a bit tricky, as I mentioned yesterday. The storm that stopped Angela flying to meet her 'bessy mate' Donald on the East Coast of the US will arrive in Europe late Friday, just how far south it comes is open to debate and the computer models are struggling. So it might be snowy or it might be sunny. After that the trend is too cool down a little and become showery, the giboulées (the French version of April/Spring showers) may be on their way.
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There was a bit if high cloud about this morning, which evaporated after lunch. A proper spring day, today was a charge round the pistes with a couple of secret sHs. We launched down to La Daille and a bus to the Centre of Val t avoid Face de B. The Solaise Gondola was still a bun fight in the queue, why oh why can they not see we need to be boarding before the gondolas turn the final corner. Then it was up and over to Le Fornet. The pistes on the glacier were in great condition, so we did 4 laps just to make sure. After lunch at Ouilette we returned to Tignes via Piste henri which was very soft and bumpy by 4pm.

Tomorrow will be pretty much like today, only 2 degrees warmer. Friday morning will be similar but the wind will increase in the afternoon and it will start to cloud over. Just keep half an eye on the links. For Saturday, we are still unsure, the major weather system is just to the north so some forecasts are saying light snow and cloud others sunny periods. Take your pick! however it will be windy closing some high lifts. Sunday looks like being a mix of sunny periods and showers but its really too uncertain to be sure.
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Well we managed to get sorted for Tignes this Saturday & the best bit is we'll be able to have a last drink @ the Alpaka Toofy Grin Laughing

End of an era Crying or Very sad Embarassed
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