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The view from............ Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My bad, I meant to say that I won't be able to obviously cover the entire Espace Killy, but I will have a pass for the whole area so I'd like to get the best runs from Tignes, Val D'Isere etc.

Great question about what makes a good run for me, only been skiing a few years so have never gone off piste and won't be going this time either - apart from that I love variety, never done many steeps but not afraid of them! Just want to explore as much of the area that I can

Thanks for the replies
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Is that the one above La Daille that is a carpet-based pun? Carpet diem or something like that?
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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?
well I know which lift it is, but I never knew what it was called until I looked it up!
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@Steve Angus, in answer to your question..yes, no, yes,no...can’t decide. We need to make our minds up soon as we need to book a ferry back to the UK if we are going to set off at the weekend. Yes, no, yes, no.....


Is it Pim Pam?
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Isn't it Pim Pam or something daft??

@BRi87, another run in Tignes not to miss is Grattalu, one of my faves in the EK. It's a lovely blue, and it has that perfect pitch on it with slight undulations where you can absolutely zoom down it doing your best carving and feel like you're a good skier.

Also, the black called Descent off the top off the Grand Motte is sublime. It's much less used than the adjacent red, and is therefore generally in much better condition (they are both about the same in steepness, but Descent has a steeper first pitch, which seems to put people off). It's long, absolutely vast in width and has stunningly spectacular views. Worth the considerable time to get up there. Leisse off to the side is a nice little black too.
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@lynnecha, oh I replied to Steve's photo on the previous page without seeing the other replies!
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I don't think it's Pim Pam.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Maybe it’s the other one, called Poum or something.
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Not Pim Pam as that is a double one... doesn't look like Poum location as that is on a very gentle nursery slope next to Solaise and someone in that photo is schussing! Looks too steep.

No idea !
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pim pam poum
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@mrkn, no, pim pam has 2 tracks not a single track
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The one opposite Pim Pam which goes from near the Refuge restaurant to the Solaise gondola top station - Poum
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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
OR it could be the one next the Val snow park, Carpe Diem??
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Grand motte cable car out of action currently . Has been el kaput for ages , can’t see them bothering to repair for what is left of the season . ☹️ I arrive on 21st
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Steve Angus, do you know that dates for the World Cup Slalom weekend, December 2019?

Am assuming the season will open 30th Nov.

Getting ready to book flights.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The carpet is definitely Carpe Diem. You can see the Borsat lift through the right hand side.
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I've found an old piste map where it had a different name...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
thelem - you got it
endoman - yea its one of those things its a lift that is just 'there' and 'does it have a name' - well yes it does!
lynnecha - you know you want to
HoneyBunny - good tips yes
bar shaker - I have seen it somewhere but can't find it off the top of my head sorry! But yea opening end of November
vipul - loads of problems with the lift this season!

Yes it is Carpe Diem

Stunning day

Both morning and afternoon today I had the same set of kids morning and afternoon as I have had the rest of the week! My kids at home were on fire getting dressed etc when asked which made a nice change etc!

The only problem with the start of the day was that one of the kids in my am lesson was a little late and when we finally got going the lift queue for the Olympic was huge - doh! Being a lovely sunny and warm day and possible the best day of the week weather wise everyone wanted to get up and out as early as possible.

It turned out to be a good morning although the queues for hot choc stop at the Bellevarde restaurant for break time were huge.... luckily the hot chocs there are well worth it and great value especially is you are an instructor!!!! Only €2.50 a fully loaded hot choc if you are an instructor with your kids (yummy!)

I took lunch in the sun before meeting my pm lot and we skied over to Tignes to have a really fun afternoon and the kids loved Twirly Birds... but we did plenty of skiing and technique too!

After work I headed home to collect Olivia off the school bus whilst Clare went and collected Ben. And again this evening the kids behaved themselves - yay!

I do have one moan and gripe from today.... LIFTS AND THE POOR MANAGEMENT OF THEM.... as regular readers will know it is always something high up on my moan list... firstly with the Belgium ski racing championships that are on at the moment the Marmottes lift is somewhat busy... BUT check out the following photo (I snapped this pic at a particularly bad moment in time - really it was not like this for most of the day - this was just rush hour!) and see how many empty seats are going up on the lift compared with the amount of people in the queue - I really do think that modern big lifts like this actually dont shift people much quicker most of the time than smaller lifts... and if I was to do some sums based on how many empty seats there are on this lift I reckon that over the course of an hour thousands and thousands of extra people could be shipped up the lift thereby eliminating the queue almost entirely! GRRRRR



... and then later on this afternoon - effectively ignoring all the students and kids they were teaching... 3 members of the same ski school (as they often do and without naming names) all sitting together and letting the kids sort themselves out (read that as carnage and more empty seats go up the lift!) back in the line! Again GRRRRR



Anyway some nice photos from today!




This is a cool 'kid safety' tool you might like to look up if you worry about your kids getting lost on the mountain etc!

TTFN
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The name I found from years ago was Bozetto. Full of park rats of course.
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@BRi87,
Ski everything that is open. Start low & work your way higher, as the sun at this time of year affects the snow.
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They could learn a thing or two about lift queue management from across the pond. I was at Sunshine (Canada) at the weekend. The TeePee Town lift was stopped for 10min and a bit of a crowd build up at the bottom. The liftie went up and down the queue sorting people out into fours, calling through singles and so on, so every chair was filled. The queue was gone on just a few minutes and normal service resumed.
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steve angus wrote:
I really do think that modern big lifts like this actually don't shift people much quicker most of the time than smaller lifts..


The French could learn from the Austrians. The 'single skier' queue makes a huge difference; I really can't imagine why every lift does not have one.
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James the Last wrote:
steve angus wrote:
I really do think that modern big lifts like this actually don't shift people much quicker most of the time than smaller lifts..


The French could learn from the Austrians. The 'single skier' queue makes a huge difference; I really can't imagine why every lift does not have one.


Normally at this time of year, it makes no difference, but I would like to see this on some of the busier lifts (Marmottes, Tomeusses, etc) when queues develop. They have a singles queue for for Solaise, so why not for the big 6 and 8 man chairs.

I have to say that the biggest culprits for insisting they sit together are English families. I have told many people to "go, go go" only for them to insist they are waiting for Rory or Arabella to impossibly work their way through the solid queue of skiers behind them.

I then normally embarrass them onto the lift by pointing out all of the people they are holding up.

The only thing the French could learn from US lift companies is how to add 50% to the price of a lift pass Shocked
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I have to disagree with your first and last comments bar shaker - yes US lift pass prices are nuts but the management of lifts/empty seats and queues is on a different level. You very rarely have empty seats when busy, there is no "sharpest elbows wins" and queuing is generally a relatively pleasant experience.

I agree with Steve about the lift/empty seat situation - it is just crazy and frustrating. "Singles" lines can make a huge difference with little overhead and make the biggest difference when it is busy.
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I liked what they used to do with the Solaise chair where they had two lines, and if there weren't four people waiting at the front of a line they'd take from the other line until there was.
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In my experience, North American lift lines are largely self-organised. Skiers talk to each other and actively seek another group that will fill the chair. Where lines merge, anyone who fails to alternate will receive a swift rebuke from the crowd.

Given that most skiers on the Espace Lilly are British, it's hard to blame this on the French. It seems to me that the real culprits are most likely to be Brits.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
What impressed me most about the queue at Sunshine was how proactive the liftie was about sorting things out and ensuring every chair was filled. There was the usual singles line that was being filtered in whenever there was a group of two or three and people were being arranged into fours before the front of the queue.

Of course being Canada everyone was very polite about it all! And sharing a chairlift with a stranger is an opportunity for chat!
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@TommyJ, I hate chatting with strnagers on the chairlift. In fact the best thing is an empty lift queue and going up on my own
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@nemesys, What didn't you like about my first comment?

@mnb20, They still have a singles queue for the Solaise gondolas. It works the same and is very useful. You can normally get two people in. It's the left hand lane to board the bubbles.

@holidayloverxx, LOL Laughing
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@bar shaker, I thought you were saying that at this time of year singles queues make no difference? Maybe I misunderstood? Ah - I think I see re-reading it. You are maybe saying it isn't that busy so make little difference? In which case I agree that when it isn't busy then it won't make a lot of difference. It seemed pretty busy from Steve's photo though.
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I've found that American resorts tend to be busier relative to lift capacity than French resorts, possibly because weekend and holiday visitors make up a higher proportion of their customers (if they had weekend visitor numbers all week then they would be able to invest in more lift capacity). I figure this means Americans are more used to queuing, so the resorts are well practised at best using their lift capacity and skiers are used to doing their best to fill the chairs. In France skiers can become used to quiet lifts, so many are in the habit of not caring if they let a chair or two go empty while their friend sorts themselves out. The example that annoys me most is when half a group skis right up to the gates at a quiet lift then turns round and waits for their friends to arrive. If you want to share a chair then how hard is it to wait out of the way until your whole group is there.

I think Val d'Isere could do a much better job with the Olympique at peak times. The design of the loading area is such that the gondola is already turning towards the exit when people start to load, so by the time the gondola is half full the next one is already near the loading area. On the similar lift in Val Thorens the gondola stays in the station for a while after most people have loaded. That means as you arrive into the loading area you normally have an obvious choice between a big queue for an empty gondola or grabbing one of the last seats in the gondola that's about to leave. Therefore the gondolas leave fuller.
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I would have to agree that if you don’t like talking to people of chairs then perhaps Canada isn’t the place for you! Although most times in the week you could easily have a chair to yourself. I half jokingly suspect that lift prices are so high because with so few skiers mid week they’d go bust if any cheaper!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
thelem wrote:
...The example that annoys me most is when half a group skis right up to the gates at a quiet lift then turns round and waits for their friends to arrive. If you want to share a chair then how hard is it to wait out of the way until your whole group is there.

I think Val d'Isere could do a much better job with the Olympique at peak times. The design of the loading area is such that the gondola is already turning towards the exit when people start to load, so by the time the gondola is half full the next one is already near the loading area. On the similar lift in Val Thorens the gondola stays in the station for a while after most people have loaded. That means as you arrive into the loading area you normally have an obvious choice between a big queue for an empty gondola or grabbing one of the last seats in the gondola that's about to leave. Therefore the gondolas leave fuller.


Some very good points there... I always encourage people I'm skiing with to move forward in a pre formed 'line' if we want to sit together BUT I always encourage gaps to be filed.

endoman - Mattieu Bazzeto was / is a famous freestyle snowboarder (Olympic medalist) from Val.
Kenzie - yes perhaps but bear in mind the orientation of the piste you're on with that plan!

Hmmm didnt turn out nice again!

Well it was not quite so stressful getting the kids out the house this morning in a rush as Olivia only had to get to the Village des Enfants for 9am and Ben as normal to creche - so that meant it was not a mega fast start to the day.

Anyway Clare took Ben to creche and I got Olivia sorted so we were on the bus in no time... going up slightly later I forget how busy the buses can be in school hols. Anyway at the Village I got Olivia into her ski stuff and set her off on her way... I actually bumped into her by accident getting on the Marmottes lift - she was on fine form!

So I met my guys at 0915 and off we went... we skied some of the usual spots on the Bellevarde side and had a good morning in glorious weather! It was really fun. I sensed the kids are getting a little tired though and its only mid week - oh dear! Anyway I dropped them off at 1215 at Bananas and had a very short lunch break before meeting my pm lot (again they seemed mighty tired the kids but since the parents dont want them to have a break then we had to plod on (yes it is the parents prerogative but still I think it would be beneficial for the kids - ho hum). Anyway we skied around and had lots of fun - ultimately finishing with a descent down the Face to finish - lots of stopping for tired legs for the kids!

Anyway the Monoski World Champs going on in the snowpack the afternoon and with the clouds moving in and the snow starting again it was an interesting mix / vibe in the air!

I collected Ben and got him home. When Olivia got home it was obvious that she was beyond tired so it was fast forward to get some dinner down here and into bed! Phew thank goodness that is over!

So we are expecting more snow tonight and into tomorrow but it might be falling as rain lower down - lets hope not eh!

In local news I am reading that there was a brawl in town last night in the early hours of the morning and someone got stabbed - I really cant believe it but that is what Radio Val are saying - I am really shocked if that is the case! Ill try and find out some more info if I can!


Piste in great shape...... STARTER FOR 10..... which piste is that then?


Love the Pique Nique area at the bottom of the Toviere lift in Tignes - vending machines, microwaves to heat your lunch up, loos etc - its brilliant - wish we had one in Val really!

Anyway folks - one more full day tomorrow before a half day Friday (boy I need that) and then we are into the weekend (more work) and then finally next week it really calms down! Yay!

TTFN
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I think that's somewhere in the green triangle. Bottom of Mont Blanc?
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Near the top of Borsat? Just after the left turn when you come down from the top of the lift?
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@Steve Angus,
True, but I thought a reasonable general suggestion for someone new to EK at this time of year - for the compass orientation of the slopes you need a bit more local knowledge, or a local to show you around.
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Diebold.
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also be going for Diebold, just as it gets steeper above the Folie??
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Life is precious

Well it was a late night for me in the end... I fell asleep in front of the TV attempting to keep abreast of what was happening in Brussels but I should have gotten to bed earlier... However I am also quite lucky in that I can sleep well pretty much anywhere so even though I was on the sofa I did sleep very well before finally getting into bed later than planned! Whoops!

Anyway it was back to normal getting Olivia on the school bus and Ben to creche but it was a grey day out there. Some vague signs of some snow on the mountainside but with thick cloud / fog lingering about about 2500 - 3000m (wrong altitude) it was going to be a tricky morning!

There I was yesterday saying how tired I thought the kids were getting and it proved so today as one of the kids didnt ski. It was a good decision - not the best day of the week that is for sure! Anyway we made the most of the morning and headed up the Solaise side and had a really fun morning and the 2 kids skied really really well! In fact we were joined by one of the dads right at the end of the lesson and I was rather happy to see the kids pulled it out the bag when the going mattered - yay!

thelem - not a bad guess (BTW I dont think the green triangle doesn't go down as far as Mont Blanc IMO)
HoneyBunny - again good choice but no
Kenzie - yay fair point!
endoman - spot on.... but nemesys got in there first. Its just above the Folie before it gets steeper yes... you can also see on the top right hand side one of the lift pylons of the snowpark drag lifts!

Anyway back to today... the day was going really really well until I got a call from Clare who in turn had had a call from school... Olivia had been taking part in her gym lesson and managed to fall head first off the horse... initial reports were that she needed to go to the doctors for a check up - no blood or anything. So the last part of the lesson and mainly during lunch time there were lots of phone calls going around... ultimately our friend Kellie came to the rescue (in school hols there is no slack in our timetables really) and took Olivia to the doc's and then home with here and played with her. Ultimately she was OK just some mild concussion - phew!

So that was lunchtime taken out by sorting that out... so my social media has been poor today!

Anyway in the afternoon I took one of the girls out that I have been teaching all season long - young J and being her last day we had a fun blast about... including the snowpark, crocodile alley as well as a hot choc break... it was a pleasant afternoon and I hope she enjoyed her last session with me! However by the end of the day the weather (having moved in and out somewhat during the day) was well and truly back in again... in fact it was raining in town and snowing up high... this trend is set to continue overnight so it will be interesting to see what we have in the morning to play with!


The fun faces of those taking part in the Monoski World Champs yesterday!

Anyway finally for today Radio Val are reporting (I actually saw with my own eyes the chopper come in for this one yesterday afternoon) the crazy and scary story from up the Solaise. It looks like a 10 year old (not sure with or without what supervision and HOW exactly it came about) boy and his 2.5 year old (sister I'm guessing) sister somehow managed to take one of the rubber rings (well one of them) from the Val Kids play area atop the Solaise and tobogganed down the off piste in the Super S area!!!!!!!!!!! YES I KNOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE THE MOST LUDICROUS STORY EVER WHICH IT IS. Ultimately there was a large crash and the 2.5 year old broke her lower leg badly - to be honest thank goodness it was no worse than that! Anyway some amazing pics here from the Val pisteurs!!!!! Now that is a crazy story eh!



https://www.facebook.com/pisteurval/videos/641457772971495/

Again my utmost respect for the pisteurs and the PGHM in situations like this; 'Chapeau' as the French would say!


Thick fog and cloud at the 'wrong' altitude today hampered things for much of the day!

TTFN
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Quote:
thelem - not a bad guess (BTW I dont think the green triangle doesn't go down as far as Mont Blanc IMO)


I should clarify I meant the Mont Blanc piste rather than the lift. Unusual to have a piste and a lift so close share the same name but not run parallel.
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