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A snowHead
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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Val D'Isere
Country: Hopefully you'll also know which country you were in!
Domain: Espace Killy
Author: SkiKing4

Date: 4/6-4/11
Our holiday: First time to ski in France, second time to Alps. Previous trip in Kitzbuhel. Family ski trip, me being 14.
Website : www.valdisere.com/
Basics : Plane from Gatwick to Chambery, took a 2.5 hour bus to the town of Val D'Isere but was only 2 hours back to Chambery when returning
Lift system : I got no problem with surface lifts, but felt there was a bit too many. Otherwise, 80% of the chair lifts were detachable high speed and there were also a bunch of cable cars. Top lift system pretty much as I found it also very easy to move around the area.
The terrain : I found the pistes too have weak grading, such as greens harder than blues and my family feels like they randomly assigned some blues to be greens. But being an expert skier, unlike my recent trip in February to Kitzbuhel, I found the expert pistes to be a lot and much more challenging than the Kitzbuhel area (also thought almost all of the blacks at Kitzbuhel were reds at Val D'Isere). Most of the blacks aren't groomed. The pistes are generally wide and above tree line. My favorite pistes were The Face in Val D'Isere (massive vertical and feels long too, steep and straight down the fall line in the end) and the one off the Tignes Glacier (awesome snow), Descente (awesome snow with no body on it), and German Mattis (my only pow run of the week).
The snow : Icy in the morning, slushy in the afternoons. The village level had almost no snow though, and many locals think that the resort might not make it to it's May 3rd closing date. There was about 10 cm the last day, but it was over BLUE ice. With the shutting of many lifts, it was hard to get to where all the pow wasn't windblown and I kept hearing all these amazing pow stories on the lifts about Signal Bowl, but Leisseres lift was closed so I couldn't make it over there. But I did get pow one run (first run of the day) on some freshies on German Mattis.
Off-piste : Off piste free for all? Many tracks in extremely gnarly 50 degree couloirs. Most of my off piste skiing was done off the Tommeuses lift and in the Tignes area. Thought that off piste is pretty BIG in the Espace Killy.
The resort : Not as big as Kitzbuhel. Didn't really explore the village, so no comment.
Food : No where is really good to eat because the pricing is RIDICULOUS.
Accommodation : Stayed in the Hotel Ducs de la Savoie, by Esprit Ski. Great for youngsters, but my family was way too old for the children services. Dinner at 5:15 was annoying, so I skipped it some times Very Happy
Costs: EXPENSIVE
Conclusion: Needs snow. Great lift system. Crazy off piste. Challenging pistes. Huge area.

And some pics:

1) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16698/ppuser/1226
The Solaise pistes coming down to Val D'Isere. Bottom run is Rhone Alpes (easier black), middle run is Piste M (harder red), mogul field is Piste S (harder black).

2) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16597/ppuser/1226
About 30 degree couloirish sort of off piste thing to the side of The Face.

3) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16596/ppuser/1226
The Oeillet piste (average black), which is the mogul field in the center of the picture, in Tignes and the Palafour lift.

4) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16595/ppuser/1226
The Silene piste (average black) and the Marais lift in Tignes.

5) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16584/ppuser/1226
The Barsot express in Val D'Isere (services beginner pistes).

6) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16585/ppuser/1226
Off piste above the Barsot piste.

7) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16594/ppuser/1226
Scenery who knows where.

Cool http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16583/ppuser/1226
Fontaine Froide lift in the foreground with Grand Pre on the mountain opposite in the shadows and some more scenery Very Happy .

9) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16582/ppuser/1226
The Funival in La Daille.

10) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16581/ppuser/1226
Looking down Piste S.

11) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16580/ppuser/1226
An avalanche in every chute? This is the Banane I believe and the Face and Loyes Express in Val D'Isere are on the right hand side of the photo.

12) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16579/ppuser/1226
Epaule Du Charvet (harder black) directly in the middle and Saltons (never skied it but it's a blue) in the gully to the right of it. Looks like a painting!

13) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16578/ppuser/1226
Epaule Du Charvet from the side.

14) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16577/ppuser/1226
Looking down Epaule Du Charvet.

15) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16576/ppuser/1226
The infamous Les Marmottes off piste area.

16) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16575/ppuser/1226
The Barsot piste with the lift in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

17) ttp://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16574/ppuser/1226
More of the Barsot piste.

1Cool http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16573/ppuser/1226
Barsot piste with scenery behind it.

19) http://www.snowmediazone.com/the_zone/showphoto.php/photo/16572/ppuser/1226
Some more Barsot and the lift. With scenery behind it. rolling eyes It's a pretty run!

And here's a video of me skiing:

http://vimeo.com/4130780[/url]

Val D'Isere Resort Report Feedback Thread

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