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French ski piste names

 Poster: A snowHead
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pam w wrote:
I wonder how many French ski stations have a piste called Bouquetin. Les Saisies does - a (not very difficult....) black.


see also le Chamois, les Moutons etc.

One thing you can say about ski resorts is they don't have a lot of imagination.

le Dahu - it will be a run that goes horizontally around the mountain.

l'Aigle / Aiglon etc - probably a fast schuss type run

les Marmottes - probably something fairly gentle that suits people who sleep late before skiing

There will be a run named after some former resort champion no-one remembers. The Jean Culer or somesuch.

Lavancher, Lanches, Avalanche etc - a run that never seems to be open due to the avalanche risk.

La Forêt - it will go through the woods

Le Plan - it will be flat somewhere, nightmare for boarders

Le Stade - always shut as the ski clubs are racing on it

L'ecureil - blue piste, aimed at children with modules on it

Le lac - will go by a frozen lake

and strangely everywhere seems to have an Olympic piste despite Grenoble and Alberville being the only places to have held an Olympic games.
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We used to have pistes with quaint names here until about 10 years ago. Then CdA decided to "simplify" things. Now every piste is the name of the lift serving it followed by a number, the higher the number signifying the comparative difficulty; ie Bellecombe 1-8 Shocked Simples Shocked
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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?
I think the most common name that I have seen is Edelweiss (gentle learner slope)
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davidof wrote:
... and strangely everywhere seems to have an Olympic piste despite Grenoble and Alberville being the only places to have held an Olympic games.

TBF, you can't ski in either Grenoble or Albertville. The 1992 games used a fair number of different pistes.
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And a face du something or other
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davidof wrote:

and strangely everywhere seems to have an Olympic piste despite Grenoble and Alberville being the only places to have held an Olympic games.


and Chamonix in 1924
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Claude B wrote:
davidof wrote:

and strangely everywhere seems to have an Olympic piste despite Grenoble and Alberville being the only places to have held an Olympic games.


and Chamonix in 1924


I didn't include it as it only seems to have become an Olympics sometime after the event.
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Nothing held here but why not share some of the glory Laughing
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Quote:

L'ecureil - blue piste, aimed at children with modules on it

No doubt it is aimed a children but L'Ecureil in Vallandry is a black, albeit a very easy one but it does get some impressive moguls. Many runs are named after animals -
Bellette, Ours, Aigle, Renard, gollet, lutins (I suppose these are animals of some form)
or geographical features - belvedere, combe, cachette, arpette, (bosses, fontaine)?
or plants - Lys, Myrtilles, violettes

@davidof, They may lack imagination but I can easily remember the names. much better than some places where they insist on giving their lifts and pistes numbers only. I can easliy recall that plan bois is a flat run through the trees even if I've never actually seen a lutin I imagine it as a playful little run. I don't expect things to be well run or organised on Malgovert and I have my eyes wide open on Combourciere (well that's my excuse for keep stopping and looking around, not that my legs are tired)

I have a friend who who has done a lot of first ascents rock climbing and he tells me he has difficulty thinking of sparkling names for new routes. I hate a lot of the names given to new routes these days and prefer traddional names such as "Inverted V", "Sloth" or even "green crack" you know what you are getting yourlelf into.
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There's a piste in Les Saisies called Cuberotte which, I was told by a ski instructor, was from Savoyard verbe "cuberotter" meaning to fall. It's narrow, mogully, unpisted, beside a lift - entertaining - so that figures.
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Plenty of lifts and runs called Mont Blanc Very Happy
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I agree that some of the names get a bit repetitive, but it's vastly preferable (in my opinion) to a boring number and / or letter in many other countries.

Think of memorable / famous pistes and you get things like Malgovert, La Face, Grand Couloir, Jerusalem, Flypaper, Marvel, Harakiri... but nobody remembers 38B or red 5.
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We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
A couple of French names have Inspired English ski ‘runs’ eg. ‘L’eau noir’ At Raise and ‘le Couloir Poudreuse’ at Yad Moss. Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

‘le Couloir Poudreuse’ at Yad Moss

Otherwise known as the "Le Domaine des Moutons agés"
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At Mt Buller near Melbourne one of the most popular runs is Wombat. Won't find one of them in France!
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I had to laugh at "Jean Culer". Very funny !
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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?
pam w wrote:
Quote:

‘le Couloir Poudreuse’ at Yad Moss

Otherwise known as the "Le Domaine des Moutons agés"


Perfect. If we are ever in need of an ironic alpine sounding name, that would be a good one Laughing
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Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

Pretty sure it was the piste that is now called Silence, though I think it was red, but they've upgraded several reds to black.
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T Bar wrote:
Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

Pretty sure it was the piste that is now called Silence, though I think it was red, but they've upgraded several reds to black.


How long ago was that? The only reference to Cocaine I have seen is on a decorative piste marker in Bou le le.
Silene is actually a flower (pedant alert)!
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Mt Buller in Victoria has a run called Wombat. Not many of them in France.
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T Bar wrote:
Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

Pretty sure it was the piste that is now called Silence, though I think it was red, but they've upgraded several reds to black.


le Silène.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 25-05-20 9:17; edited 1 time in total
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Crystal Dark at Ste Foy makes me smirk, sounds more like a porn star than a piste.

(But she's a very steep porn star Shocked )
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Anyone else absolutely hopeless at remembering piste names? Even in places I ski a lot I can't remember all the piste names - probably a quarter of the pistes in Les Arcs I have to describe by reference to lifts and "follow along a bit but don't cross any other pistes".
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chocksaway wrote:
Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

How long ago was that? The only reference to Cocaine I have seen is on a decorative piste marker in Bou le le.
Silene is actually a flower (pedant alert)!


Late 80s, pre-92
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chocksaway wrote:

Silene is actually a flower (pedant alert)!


in the same vein l'Ancolie
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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.
We make our own names up in Austria. The scary clown chair in Flachauwinkl, jukebox run in schladming (it would be useful to remember its real name/number to be able to find it). After 8 years in Flachau some of us still mix up the starjet lifts and the spacejet lifts, and every trip we say stick to the '2' lift because of poor vis....and end up on the 3 which goes to the top. Lucky we know the top well so can find our way in the whiteout but not fun.
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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
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Quote:

Anyone else absolutely hopeless at remembering piste names? Even in places I ski a lot I can't remember all the piste names - probably a quarter of the pistes in Les Arcs I have to describe by reference to lifts and "follow along a bit but don't cross any other pistes".

My problem Is that I cannot remember the new piste names when they keep changing them. I still ski back to 1600 along La Source or Gollet or perhaps down Cascade and over Combourciere. My wife keeps telling me off.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mangled pronunciation, lunch time beers and our own anecdotes don’t help either when trying to explain where you went.

We have Ashtray and Rib Break Ridge in Morzine, Rabbit Garden And Roc Merlot in Courchevel
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
davidof wrote:
T Bar wrote:
Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

Pretty sure it was the piste that is now called Silence, though I think it was red, but they've upgraded several reds to black.


le Silène.

That's the one, I didn't check my post and it was autocorrected to silence
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chocksaway wrote:
T Bar wrote:
Grinning wrote:
We used to have Cocaine in Tignes. Did it disappear in a wave of political correctness?

Pretty sure it was the piste that is now called Silence, though I think it was red, but they've upgraded several reds to black.


How long ago was that? The only reference to Cocaine I have seen is on a decorative piste marker in Bou le le.
Silene is actually a flower (pedant alert)!

Don't know when it happened but it was Cocaine in the late eighties when I skied there quite a bit, hardly skied there in 90's and early noughties and noticed it had changed maybe 10-12 years ago at a guess but the actual change could have been a fair bit earlier.
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@Grinning, @T Bar, Ta, I didn't start skiing until 93, looks like it was cleaned up for the Olympics. Though, having watched some of the Ski Acro and moguls which were run in Tignes for Les JO, some of those guys must have been on something!
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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?
chocksaway wrote:
Crystal Dark at Ste Foy makes me smirk, sounds more like a porn star than a piste.

(But she's a very steep porn star Shocked )

I'm sure there must be a gravity related joke in there, but I can't just work it out. Anyone?
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Porn stars? This thread is going down hill! snowHead
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Gotta have a Crete somewhere - it will be windy as you like even on a blue bird day.
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chocksaway wrote:
Crystal Dark at Ste Foy makes me smirk, sounds more like a porn star than a piste.

(But she's a very steep porn star Shocked )


As long as you didn’t end up face down at her bottom...?
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WindOfChange wrote:
Gotta have a Crete somewhere - it will be windy as you like even on a blue bird day.


good one.

Moraine - will have rocks on it even in good snow years
Rhodos - will have bits of vegetation poking through when the snow is thin
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rob@rar wrote:
Anyone else absolutely hopeless at remembering piste names? Even in places I ski a lot I can't remember all the piste names - probably a quarter of the pistes in Les Arcs I have to describe by reference to lifts and "follow along a bit but don't cross any other pistes".

I'm pretty carp at remembering people's names and yeah this extends to pistes and lift names.
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holidayloverxx wrote:
We make our own names up in Austria. The scary clown chair in Flachauwinkl, jukebox run in schladming (it would be useful to remember its real name/number to be able to find it). After 8 years in Flachau some of us still mix up the starjet lifts and the spacejet lifts, and every trip we say stick to the '2' lift because of poor vis....and end up on the 3 which goes to the top. Lucky we know the top well so can find our way in the whiteout but not fun.


Glad I'm not the only one. I'm particuarly fond of Earth, Wind & Fire, a particular off piste line in St Anton. Others I know include Scary Woods, The Cheesegrater, Powdah Gangsta, Feckin Nightmare Punter run, Brown dirt, Sastrugi Vienetta and Grey Ice Run of Death.


The US/Canada has some more entertaining official names in places though corporate whitewashing has sanitized them to some extent e.g. AMF at Snowmass = Adios Muthafocker
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I think my favourite run name anywhere for sheer mundaneness but made to sound more exotic because it's in French is Pluviometer in Val T.
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