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Tignes - Black Sache run - wot's it like?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Heading to Tignes at end of Jan for 1st time and looking at the piste map, the Sache run looks a doozy - am happy skiing most stuff but would like to know exactly how challenging a black this one is ... (as my other half would be of a slightly more nervous disposition) - for example, if the snow conditions are tending towards icy, would there be any sections that would make you stay away from this run

.... any other information on preferred runs in Tignes also would be much appreciated

TY snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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The Sache is an excellent enjoyable run, but it is a black and as such has some tricky sections. IIRC about 2/3 way down there is a norrow steepish section that can develop fair sized moguls. These can be difficult if the snow cover is thin or icy or the run is crowded. I do not think there is anyway to avoid this section.

John
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cheers - looking at the piste map, it looks to the untrained eye as if it might be a little less crowded than your average run, given that it is at the outer edges of the resort or am I wrong in that assumption?
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Vallon du Sache is one of the most famous runs in Tignes and as such attracts skiers from Val d'Isere just to do it. It may be in one corner of the resort and finish in one of the quietest resorts in Espace Killy but it is still fairly popular.

The steep section can get very crowded - not quite battle of th eSomme, but the last time I went down it was quite narrow with a lot of bare earth and unconsiderate people were falling on the only bits of snow.

John
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doogo, I have done the run in great snow in the morning and it was fabulous. I have done the run at 3pm with poor snow and it was a feckin nightmare.

Hope this helps.
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johnE, that's strange. I've skied it (or bits of it) a fair amount and I would say it's a quiet run - certainly much less crowded than Trolles or the Face.

doogo, it's probably not as good a run as it looks on the map. The lower sections are sometimes not great and there's an area in the middle that's pretty flat (even uphill for a little bit). I think Frosty the Snowman makes a good point - with nice snow it's a lovely run to do early in the day. The valley it sits in is great and has some nice off-piste pitches at the top too.
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The off-piste Sache is a good morning out, best skied when the snow is good to Breviere and has a reasonably tricky couloir variant of 45 degrees if you need a challenge.
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johnE, I could forsee me being one of those people!

Frosty the Snowman, indeed it does

alan empty, where would be your top run in the espace then?
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I did it a few years ago and am an average but somewhat slow intermediate .

Great run , a red I think basically except exactly as johnE, says a couple a short steep bits and then the moguls. Looking down to the lhs is a steep drop with netting. To the rhs is a cliff .

So no way round . I managed them in spectacularly poor style .

But a great run , hardly anyone there when we diod it , and for me a sense of achievement especially as whilst on piste you are way off the other runs. And Tignes le Brevieres at the bottom has a great restaurant , half way down the main ( or only ) street ) called I think La Sachette.

I have been back several times but never done the whole thing again top to bottom as snow cover meant bits were closed.

Hoping to do it in first week of Jan when we in TlesB . I think at 13km long it is the second longest Black in Europe?

John
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As everyone has already said, great run in good snow, tricky lower down when icy / busy. The top half is a truly amazing piste. Do it as soon as you can get to it in the morning (unless rock hard after the overnight refreeze in spring).
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And don't be enviegled by the view from the top - its a blue/red - its the fourth fifth that can be a delight or you can have icy moguls the size of transit vans. There is a bail out just before the difficult bit (Arcosses). If you are unsure go down to Brev via the red route and you can look at the difficult bit from below.
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doogo, One of the best runs in Espace Killy IMO, fantastic, great mogul chute 2/3 way down, a great and pretty testing run. Toofy Grin
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doogo, Forgot to mention - do it just before lunch and then great pizzas/ salads at the place accross the bridge in Tignes Les Brev called L'Armallaie (or similar) I think.
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doogo, tricky one. I tend to ski off-piste a fair amount and even when I'm on-piste I'm not(!) since I tend to hop off the sides, so my view of the pistes is slightly distorted by that. In Tignes itself, I like Trolles a lot when it's quiet (usually at lunchtime, never at the end of the day) - although it's a black, most of the run is fairly easy but it keeps me interested. In the whole area I'd probably go for the Foret run on the far side of the Espace Killy, which runs down to to Le Fornet. I like the runs down to Le Laisinant as well.

It's a great resort - I'll be there at New Year for my 8th or 9th consecutive year - but it took me a while to warm to it for some reason.
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Quote:

about 2/3 way down there is a norrow steepish section that can develop fair sized moguls. These can be difficult if the snow cover is thin or icy or the run is crowded. I do not think there is anyway to avoid this section.


I know which bit you mean, way back in my crazy days in the 80's, there is another way which we found by following a couple of the other GB freestyle nuts, just before you get to the section in question and if I remember correctly you turn right off piste inbetween the trees and there is a nice cliff drop which brings you out further down the sache, only ever did this once as it was almost a brown pant moment Embarassed Embarassed
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 Poster: A snowHead
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alan empty, Hop off into my favourite just off Rossett "le lievre blanc" steep, trees and a need of wits to get out before the river, not skied a lot and a real tick for the book
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Cynic, is that just beyond Le Laisinant? What's Rossett?
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Lads, great replies - esp happy about the food options in les beef - now I can sell it to the missus!!
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Probably my favourite piste. Most likely as it feels like you are off piste and away from everything most of the time.

I had to call out the pisteurs to lower a couple of panicking English guys down the last steep section earlier this year. They were really not up to being there. That said, I had a moderately good three week skier with me at the time and she had no trouble with it whatsoever.
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alan empty, I meant just off Germain Mattis, I was in the wrong resort for a moment, must be the drugs
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As someone already said, the tricky last 1/5th can be bypassed by going right along a path, as large numbers do.
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Cynic, OK, so you'd hop off to skier's right and then work you way back to the Laisinant lift? I've never tried that - I usually ski the off-piste on the other side of the run which ends up on Piste L. Thanks for the tip - I'll check it out next trip hopefully.
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alan empty, I forgot never! be the first to ski it, on the right is unstable rock slabs, if possible go with someone who knows it well for the first time. It lives up to it's name "the white hare" as it darts through the trees and rock faces.
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Lievre Blanc is nice, you can even cut right across to finish in le Fornet and go on to do some laps of the Fornet trees - both great white-out day options.

On piste in the Espace? No thanks.
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stevomcd, On piste in the Espace? No thanks. If it hasnt snowed for a while nothing like La Face de bellevarde on an off-piste ski say 110 min under foot, real workout for one's Test de Cap skills.
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I love the Sache, it's one of my favourite pistes but I must disagree with the comments above suggesting it is like a blue/red run: IMV it is not.

It is, I believe the 2nd longest black piste in Europe (the world?), the longest, technically, being the Sarenne in Alpe d'Huez however, while the Sarenne is steep at the top, the majority of it's length is a gentle run-out section at the bottom.
The Sache OTOH, is consistently interesting throughout its length.
In some places steep, in some narrow, some areas are prone to large moguls forming and as mentioned, one specific short section has all three. There are points where you need quite a speed to save polling. Further, an aspect many people forget when commenting that a run is 'not so black' and one that often adds to the difficulty experienced by a less able skier is that in many sections, the run's direction does not match the fall-line.

Yes, most of the Sache is usually quite quiet but that steep, narrow, mogulled section tends to stack people up and, being narrow, doesn't need many for it to feel crowded. Under sime conditions, many people might take 10 minutes to negotiate that 100m or so and 10 people 'crowding' it really only represents an average of one skier per minute - anywhere else on the piste, that would seem very quiet snowHead

All in all, I'd say it's a 'must do' and if you're nervous about taking your wife down it, it's a great excuse to do it twice as you'll need to check it out for her Wink
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admin, Nice Toofy Grin , for all those off to the PSB in Tignes, have a blast!!!
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doogo, Thanks, but I don't think we'll be doing Sache this time, unless we can hire some grass skis.
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Resurrecting a thread that is nearly 7 years old, at what point does this run become really very moguly.

Putting it another way are the large moguls before the red chop out or after? My wife still hasn't forgiven me for taking her down M's at Courcheval on a pair of cheap rental skis.......
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Great run, big pizza at the place in le Brev after. Best with fresh snow, challenging if big moguls and ice. @FrediKanoute, the moguls are the best feature but red alternative dooable for all but timid skiers i'd say.
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@FrediKanoute, After the red run out - but check it (the red) is open first as it is very avalanche prone otherwise 'there may be trouble ahead!'
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If you are staying at Les Melezes, you can see the nights that Sache gets piste bashed. Without the moguls, it's an awesome blast from top to bottom. The moguls can make it very hard work otherwise.

Also, it is much more fun on skis than a board. I have only once made the flat section past the rescue hut without have to unclip from a board. This was after a terrifying speed on a newly waxed board. On skis, the flat seems much easier to 'make'.
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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?
So on that basis I am hoping for snow, but not too much snow so the red cut out is available and relying on the Snowheads who are staying in Les Melezes to update on the piste bashing activities!

Thanks guys!
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@doogo, a must do run Sache. I think @admin sums it up perfectly.

A challenging piste with plenty variety. I’d never describe it as ‘only a red’. Test it out before your more nervous partner tackles it is good advice.

Obviously conditions are highly variable but my experience of EK is that Sache is much tougher than Trolles, more challenging than Face de Bellevarde and Epaule de Charvet but not quite as hard as Foret.
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I hope nobody minds if I repeat my Sache "Tall Tail", as it seems appropriate to the discussion....and shows that you can cut across to the easier path down, bypassing the section with the big moguls:

As the snow was good that holiday, we decided to head over to Brevieres for lunch. I knew as soon as we set off, that the current Mrs Fartbag was in one of her pricklier moods. Anyway, we made it to the top of the Saches...and during the decent, there are places where a schuss is advisable. I politely suggested she removed her peaked hat (a splendid navy blue jobbie, with Courchevel emblazoned on the front and "old man" ear flaps that unfold when cold). My reply was one of those looks that you don't argue with.

The first schuss resulted in the cap blowing off......and me stumping back the 200 yards to pick it up.

There comes a point on the Sache, where you can cut across a bit of stubbly off piste and join the easier run into Brevieres, thus avoiding the worst moguly bit of the Sache. Given I wanted to live through this experience, this is the route I took.

While making the few turns before dropping down the lip onto the path, I could tell from the scolding behind me, that Mrs Farbag was becoming less happy and more agitated with every minute that passed. As she tried to negotiate the drop down onto the path, she subsided right in the mouth of it, blocking any further exit. This wouldn't have been a problem per se, but a class of very wobbly intermediates had followed us down.

Their instructor kindly came over to see if herself was OK (and because she was blocking the only easy access to the piste)....but herself wasn't in the mood for help, even from chivalrous French Ski Instructors, so he got short shrift....and Mrs F continued to block the exit. This meant that the class had no easy way down and had to navigate a much more difficult drop onto the piste (about 10 feet from where Mrs F was lying).

Well it was as good as a pantomime. One by one, like ducklings, over the edge they came....and fell on their heads. Each one that fell, caused more trepidation in the one following....until the whole class were a jumble of skis and poles strewn across the ground. Also, as each one fell, I could see Mrs F's mood lightening, as she saw the funny side. By the end, we were both in fits of laughter....and I have to say (thank goodness), the class also saw the funny side and as nobody was hurt, it was an amicable parting.

It was just what the Doctor ordered. Mrs F's spirits were lifted, so the rest of the day went splendidly.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 9-11-18 20:56; edited 1 time in total
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@FrediKanoute, I think the Tignes website shows each morning which pistes have been bashed the night before??
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Most of it is fine, but the steep, mogully bit near the bottom can be anything from manageable to horrendous. Last time I did it the moguls were huge and icy and it was horrible. The time before they were also huge but it was OK.

It's so worth doing for the feeling of isolation and the well-deserved lunch and beer at the bottom.

I thought Epaule du Charvet in Val was steeper though.
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Do they groom [bash] the Sache nowadays?

A few years back they did not so if a couple of hundred had gone before you it was a pleasant red with a steep bit and a narrow bit.

If you were laying fresh tracks after a foot ot more of fresh snow it could be a bit of an adventure.

But it is still a great run.
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Quote:

I thought Epaule du Charvet in Val was steeper though.

Maybe, but the steep bits are not blocked by hordes of beginners terrified because they have come across a mogul field.
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@johnE, Very Happy I agree and steepness is one element of overall difficulty, along with width, camber, aspect, trees, rocks, etc.

Epaule du Charvet not to be under estimated but overall I’d say less challenging than Sache.
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