GRAHAM BELL & ED LEIGH
ADDICTED TO DANGER-Guerlain Chicherit
ADVENTURE with Evolution 2 +plus
Gear Reviews, Events, Beat The Lift Queues & more
When in Tignes I always shop at Carrefour Montagne - it has everything I need and moreâ&#x20AC;Ś Open 7.30am to 10.00pm Free hire of 7 days a week fondue & raclette kits when you buy your meat & cheese, for a cosy night in! Rue de la Poste, Opposite the pharmacy, Tignes le Lac 04 79 00 99 10
OPEN ALL YEAR /tarentaisesourcemagazine
Fresh bread baked in store daily The best choice of fresh fruit and vegetables Home deliveries Home fondue/raclette kits available
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Must Dos .................................................................................... 4 Our pick of unmissable activities
Events ............................................................................................. 6
Whether you’re a first-time visitor, can’t-keep-away regular, seasonnaire or local, we hope you’ll find Source a useful resort guide and an entertaining accompaniment to your vin chaud. We’ve brought together an outstanding team of local writers, bloggers, ski and snowboard experts to share their insider knowledge and help you get more from your stay in Tignes, Val d'Isere, St Foy, La Rosiere, Les Arcs or La Plagne.
Don’t give in to Fear Of Missing Out
Jenny Jones ....................................................................... 8 Life after Sochi
Beat The Lift Queues .......................................... 12 Try our queue-jumping tricks
We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with daily snow forecasts and live lift information on our mobilefriendly website, and you can see the conditions for yourself on our webcams.
While You Were Sleeping . . ........................ 14
Our essential online Events Guide is the only place you’ll find everything that’s on across the Haute Tarentaise… from the smallest bar DJ night to some of the biggest ski competitions in the world.
How Green Is Your Holiday? . . ............ 18
We’ll be putting it all on our Facebook and Twitter pages too, and we'd love to hear from you.
Childspl ay . . ............................................................................ 20
Have an excellent stay, happy reading and we’ll see you on the piste!
The dangers faced by pisteurs
The eco revolution in the Alps
Offers and activities for your family holiday
Just Rocked Up .. ........................................................... 22 This season’s new skis
Katie Cooksey, editor Steven Downs, co-editor
Lowdown On Snowparks .......................... 24
Nous sommes ravis de vous présenter le premier numéro de Tarentaise Source Magazine, pour l’hiver 2015 ! Nous avons travaillé avec les mairies, les offices de tourisme, les commerçants, les professionnels de la glisse et les habitants afin de promouvoir nos stations auprès de la communauté anglophone. Toute l’équipe vous souhaite un excellent séjour et une bonne lecture. À bientôt sur les pistes!
Slopestyle star Kate Woods gives us a guided tour
She Who Dares .. .............................................................. 26 The women changing the extreme sports scene
Evolution 2 winter activities ....... 31 You wanted adventure?
Poles Apart .. ......................................................................... 38
CO M PE TI TI ON S win ad ve nt ur e ac tiv it y days, ge ac co mm od ati on ar , an d lo ts mo re.
O N LI N E
i % o ff sk U p to 15 se r v ic in g d n a h ir e % o ff U p to 10 e r s tr a n sf
Why have French police arrested ski instructors and guides?
on o rece ur websit ive s pecia e to and l off reso rt ne ers (no s pam g ws uara nt
Get Your Kit On ............................................................ 40 Tips on how to avoid gear fails
Addicted To Danger . . ........................................ 42 Coreupt founder turned stuntman Guerlain Chicherit
Spice Up Your Ski Week .. ................................. 46 A taste of speedriding and snowshoe hiking
by mayor Marc Bauer
by mayor Jean-Christophe Vitale
We’re proud that Val d’Isere has kept its traditional village feel, at the same time as developing such a large ski area. Now that we’ve invested in new lifts you can do a lot more skiing in a much shorter time, so we give more attention to what else is going on – street parades, the Aquasportif centre, more for young people. In the next 20 years we’ll spend €54m on lift infrastructure, improving runs and more snow cannons. And in 2016 we’ll begin our project to pedestrianise the resort with underground walkways and links, so we’re more environmentally-friendly.
I’m proud to say that all Tignards have one ambition: To make your vacation a unique and memorable experience. The recent creation of Tignespace (the largest sports complex in the Alps) shows our ambition to make this resort a benchmark for quality of service and hospitality. We are currently working on the construction of a new area for children, more facilities for beginners and even more activities (zip lines, toboggan runs, play areas) to make your stay unforgettable! After your visit we’re sure that, like us, you’ll be a TIGNADDICT!
All paper used in the printing of this magazine is obtained from sustained forestry. Please recycle this magazine when you are finished with it, or pass it on! Design and reprographics by Cuttin Edge Solutions Ltd - www.cuttin-edge.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org Printed in the United Kingdom by Trident Design With thanks to the tourist offices of Tignes, Val d’Isere, Paradiski, La Rosiere and Sainte Foy. Copyright – Origami Media Ltd Source Magazine is published in the UK by, and remains the property of Origami Media Ltd. All material in this magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved by Origami Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Dates, information and prices are believed to be correct at the time of going to print but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for omissions or errors. Any correspondence and advertising enquiries should be directed to: email@example.com
Ski Away Days ..................................................................... 48 Discover a nearby resort
Graham Bell & Ed Leigh ............................... 50 Chat snow, celebs and love in Val d’Isere
Pretend To Be A Pro ............................................ 54 Our cheat’s guide to styling it out
Look Good Feel Good ................................... 56 How to buy technical and stylish clothes
What Lies Beneath . . ................................................. 58 The ghosts of Tignes dam
Did You Know? .. .............................................................. 62
Mountain mysteries revealed
Tips From The Locals ........................................ 63 Holiday like you live here
avalanche awareness ...................................... 64 How to stay safe off piste
Summer Lovin’ .................................................................. 66 The mountains are not just for winter!
Front cover image by Tristan Shu. “The skier is Guerlain Chicherit (see his interview on pg 42) and I wanted to capture him jumping above the slope as if he’s jumping into Tignes’ Lac du Chevril (read about the history of the lake and its dam on pg 58). It was a beautiful morning, there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky and it was the first powder day of the winter.”
Face Your Fears
Top Of The World
It’s been described as more of a survival test than a downhill course, so you’ll need nerves of steel to follow in Bode Miller’s tracks down Val d’Isere’s Face de Bellevarde. The renowned 1992 Winter Olympics run is one of the steepest in the world.
Get the funiculaire from Tignes Val Claret up to the Grande Motte glacier for jaw-dropping views on the terrace at the Panoramic. Bag a deckchair and watch the world ski by. Or have a look round the restaurant’s new interior décor shop and buy a souvenir of possibly your highest ever shopping trip at 3032m.
Don’t miss Out. Here’s our handy guide to some unmissable activities in the Haute Tarentaise.
Man vs Meat Cosy restaurant 1789 is Val d’Isere’s best kept secret. We recommend the Cote de Boeuf – a huge slab of meat cooked to your taste on an open fire in front of you. Elastic-waisted pants a must.
Cool Runnings Reach speeds of up to 130km/hr on La Plagne’s Olympic bobsleigh track – one of only 7 in Europe. Drive your own Bob Raft or Speed Luge, or get in behind a professional for a faster ride. Around Christmas and in March you can even book a ride piloted by Olympic medallist and world champion Bruno Mingeon!
on the sledge
Avalanche Training Most resorts have DVA training zones, where you can practice using your avalanche safety equipment free of charge before venturing off-piste. Tignes’ ski patrol host free advice sessions – ask at their cabin on the lake under the Toviere. Les Arcs’ Avalanche Park is free to access any time and snow patrol members are on hand for advice. Check in resorts for more details.
Rediscover your inner child on the 3km-long toboggan courses at Les Arc 1800 and the Arc 2000 Rodeo Park. Or sign up at the Evolution 2 Tignes Le Lac desk for a traditional ‘paret’ sledge down the Palafour - a thrilling 45-minute ride with over 300 metres of vertical descent - after the last lift on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Practice your aerial manoeuvres on Tignes’ new Bun-J ride. Attached by a bungee cord on either side, riders speed down a runway, hit the air over a 40-metre drop and travel back down a zip wire. Wait at the bottom for your stomach to catch up with you.
Pretend you’re Jeremy Clarkson as you try to control a car at speed on an icy track. Adventure specialist Evolution 2 offer the experience in Tignes. Or visit the Val d’Isere Ice Driving School, where you have the alternative option of trying to drive a piste basher!
Frolic At The Folie Apres at the legendary Folie Douce in the hills above Val d’Isere. You’ll hear it before you see it – the party starts with cabaret, DJ, singers and even a horn section. Follow your ears and you’ll find people dancing on the tables with abandon. This is high altitude clubbing at its best and new for this season is a sparkly glass VIP area. Just don’t forget to get the last lift back!
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igloo Experience Life’s A Beach You wouldn’t usually expect to find a beach bar complete with sand, DJ and deckchairs, at over 2000 metres. But from 5-16 April, six of La Plagne’s summits will be decked out with different chilled themes, also including a Zen area with Tai Chi and Jacuzzi, and a candy-filled cabin!
Have drinks, dinner and even stay overnight in the igloo villages in Les Arcs (near 1850) and La Plagne (above Plagne Village).
Take advantage of La Rosiere’s Sainte Foy is famed for its off-piste skiing. proximity to Italy by popping over A great introduction to it is to take a guide the border for a pasta lunch. It’s and explore the stunning backcountry routes just over an hour’s fairly gentle ski through the historic farming hamlet of Le to La Thuile, in Italy’s Aosta Valley. Monal. On your way, stop off at La Clotze to savour some true Italian après as well as a great view of the Ruitor Glacier.
Take A Tour
Les Arcs’ brand new 3800sqm Aqualudique water park boasts pools, spa, waterfalls, water jets, children’s games – and a huge glass wall with a spectacular view of Mont Blanc.
Get to know La Rosiere at the start of your holiday on one of ESF ski school’s free guided tours every Sunday afternoon. A qualified instructor will tell you about snow cover, what the resort’s 160km of slopes has to offer, and where’s best to find a mulled wine.
Vertical Insanity Face the fearsome north face of Sainte Foy’s La Fogliettaz and its 1700m of vertical descent. It’s around an hour’s hike to the face from the Aiguille chairlift but when the steep 50 degree slope comes into view, you won’t regret it!
Heli-skiing From La Rosiere or Sainte Foy it’s a quick trip into Italy for heli-skiing (illegal in France). Fresh tracks guaranteed.
bensbus.co.uk LOW COST SKI TRANSFERS
DIRECT SKI TRANSFERS FROM...
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£66.50 RETURN £38 SINGLE GRENOBLE AIRPORT to... Tignes, Val d’Isere, Sainte Foy and more from only
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SPACES ARE LIMITED SO IT IS ADVISABLE TO BOOK EARLY Geneva Transfers run every Saturday for the whole season and most Sundays. Grenoble Transfers run every Saturday and Sunday mornings. Group Discounts Available. @TarentaiseMag
Critérium: Kick off the season by cheering on the world’s best downhill skiers as they compete for the FIS World Cup in the 59th Criterium on Val d’Isere’s notorious Face de Bellevarde. 12 - 14 (men’s finals) and 19 - 21 December (women’s finals) 2014, Val d’Isère
Ultimate Test Tour: With some of the most renowned brands showcasing this year’s freeriding gear, and local craftsmen featuring their original designs, Sainte Foy’s Ultimate Test Tour is the best place to try out all the latest equipment this winter. 10 & 11 January 2015, Sainte-Foy
L a Pachonnée: For all telemark lovers, the Pachonnée event in La Rosière is the perfect place to be. Join hundreds of other telemark enthusiasts to celebrate your favourite sport. 17 January 2015, L a Rosière
Linecatcher: The 7th edition of the Redbull Linecatcher will be taking place on the Fond Blanc between Les Arcs 1800 and 2000. Come and watch the 20 best freeriders in the world take on this mythical mountain face with its crazy couloirs, cliffs, and kickers. 17 - 24 January 2015, Les Arcs
Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cups: With over 20 nations participating, the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cups, held in La Plagne this year, will host some of the highest ranked competitors in the world. 26 January - 1 February, L a Pl agne
Frostgun Invitational: Celebrating its 10th edition, the Frostgun Invitational - WEurope’s only AFP platinum big air event returns to Val d’Isère. The best skiers and snowboarders in the world will be competing on the big air kicker and street fighter course. And with the athletes going bigger, the tricks getting crazier, and the music getting louder than ever before, this is an event not to miss! 10 - 12 February 2015, Val d’Isère
Mondial du Monoski: Think monoskiing is dead? Think again! With the help of the French Monoski Association and select board makers, the Mondial du Monoski is back and it’s coming to Tignes. Test out new board models with other monoski aficionados and maybe even compete in the derby, slalom, and boardercross competitions! February 28 - 1 March 2015, Tignes For a full list of events across the Haute Tarentaise keep checking the Events Guide on our website!
Image Credit - Aandy Parant
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Awe-inspiring world class competitions, spectacular shows by snowsports legends, fun introductions to new sports… Our resorts at tract some of the biggest industry events and this winter there’s something to tickle everyone’s fancy. Local events co-ordinator Justine Mulliez gives us a taste of what’s on offer:
IN TIGNES AND VAL D’ISERE
SPEND MORE TIME ON THE SLOPES and less time working to pay for it!
SFR Tour Tignes: This year, the SFR Freestyle Tour is back in Tignes - bigger and better than ever before. With an increased prize purse, a spot on the World Cup calendar, and some of the world’s best freestyle skiers competing in halfpipe and slopestyle, this is a competition worth watching!
GREAT BARGAINS FOR 7 NIGHTS CATERED ACCOMODATION (PER PERSON)
9 - 13 March 2015, Tignes
B&E Invitational: Created by legendary freestyle skiers Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon, the B&E Invitational hosts 20 of the world’s best and most creative freestyle skiers to compete on their neverbefore-seen course. A night-time session and free concert close this year’s event.
11th - 18th APRIL ROCK BOTTOM PRICES!
CHALET CHARDONS Budget Rider’s Lodge
12 - 13 March 2015, Les Arcs
Air Ladies: Brought to you by silver Olympic medalist in women’s halfpipe skiing and Tignes local, Marie Martinod, the Air Ladies event brings together the best female freestylers for an awesome show. Watch as they take on the halfpipe, raise around €15,000 for the Sarah Burke Foundation, and continue to promote and push women’s riding. 18 - 19 March 2015, Tignes
Brits: The Brits are back! Hosting the British Skiing and Snowboarding Championships in halfpipe, slopestyle, skier cross, and boarder cross, the BRITS will bring over 2,000 visitors to Tignes and hundreds of competitors, from the youngest of groms to the toughest of veterans. Contests are open to all British passport holders.
21st - 28th MARCH MARCH MEGA DEAL
CHARDONS ISABELLA & SOPHIA With Hot Tubs & Saunas
21 - 28 March 2015, Tignes
Winter Festisl ack 2015: Brought to you by the Slack’icimes Association, Les Arcs 1600 will be hosting the highest gathering of slackliners. Join them as they test their skills on slacklines at 38 metres, 48 metres, and 50 metres off the ground. Do you have what it takes to participate?
Image Credit -Tristan Shu
11 - 12 April 2015, Les Arcs
11th - 18th APRIL APRIL BARGAIN!
CHARDONS AMELIE Quality Chalet in Val D’isere
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*We sell in euros, the above prices are in GBP, based on the exchange rate on 28/09/2014
For many years Jenny Jones was known
Not many people know Jones’s career
within the snowsports communit y as the
started with a season in Tignes in the 90s.
golden girl of British snowboarding.
She was back in Tignes in 2011 to win gold
Outside that rel atively tight-knit group
at the X Games before hit ting the heady
she was pret t y much unheard of. But all
heights of olympic glory. Unsurprisingly,
that changed on February 9th 2014 when
she’s been quite busy since the games but
she became the first ever Briton to win an
we were lucky enough to catch up with her.
Olympic medal on snow at the Sochi Winter Olympics. She shot straight to star status,
Here’s what she had to say about life after
and into most people’s hearts as she cried
Sochi, and what the future holds…
tears of joy on the podium.
Firstly congratul ations. Has any of the stoke faded since the games?
Not dramatically but I do get recognised more, especially in my hometown of Bristol. The immediate months following the Olympics were quite a rollercoaster and I sat on many a breakfast show sofa and had some nice chats with various celebrity presenters.
different experience. It’s not like you’ve been trained in talking to an audience of 500 or so high school children. I was definitely nervous in the beginning but did my best to take on the challenge. It was awesome to meet so many children of different ages and talk to them about the world of snowboarding. Kids have tons of enthusiasm for snowsports and it opened my eyes to how many talented youngsters we have coming through. Every year we see more and more girls riding park. What advice can you offer to any of them who want to start competing?
The Jonathan Ross Show was pretty funny and nerve-racking all at once; chatting on BBC Radio 1; trying to get at least one question right on A Question of Sport; doing my best not to laugh too much on the panel of Sky 1’s A League of Their Own with James Corden, Freddie Flintoff, Jamie Redknapp and Jack Whitehall. I also visited lots of schools and had several Q&A sessions at assemblies and sports days. It’s such a
I would say definitely give it a go, ladies. Things to think about; how to start developing your contest experience and skills, learning tactics and strategies for how to best tackle a comp and prepare for it. However, get stuck in, because the girls you’re competing against are just other girls riding a snowboard, who will most certainly be nervous and most likely quite friendly.
It’s been under a year so it’s still very new and exciting! Suddenly, you’re a household name. How has the fame changed your life?
Image Credit - Nick Atkins
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t h e girls you ’ r e c ompeti ng agai nst ar e just ot h e r g irls ri di ng a snowboard, who wi l l most ce rtai nly be nervous and most l i k e ly quit e fri endly. Who out of the next generation of riders do you think will go far? From Britain I would say Katie Ormerod and Matt McCormick. Traditionally, when a country does well in an Olympic sport, the funding and inspiration for that discipline increases. Do you think competitive snowboarding is going to snowball like cycling has and in the next 4 to 8 years and are we going to see a glorious haul of winter medals? I don't think it will be quite like cycling simply because it isn't as accessible and affordable. However, I do think there will be a general increase in participation because there has been such a huge surge of interest over the past winter. I really hope people and families stick with it, then book some trips abroad to gain a real experience of the overall feel you get from a snowboard holiday. It really is unique I
think, and people get a lot more out of it than they expect. There was a lot of talk about the safet y of Slopest yle and the size of the jumps during the Olympics. Some of those kickers were monsters. Were they too big or do you think the jump size was proportional for the biggest stage on the pl anet? Honestly, I think the jumps were massive! However, it was more the way they were built that was the difficult part; initially they needed reshaping and tweaking so that they were safer. I think once they had been changed, although they were still big, they were a lot more manageable and had more room for error - so if you went a little too big or too small there weren’t such gnarly consequences. For me though, I found the rails pretty tricky as it was such a tight course. I am not sure it showed on TV but the top rail section was so close together you had to be so accurate with your tricks, otherwise you wouldn’t be in the right position to make the next rail. @TarentaiseMag
What does the future hold for you? Who knows? All I know is that it will definitely involve everything I enjoy - snowboarding, surfing and adventures. I really hope to do the odd coaching course for those interested in improving their riding and trying freestyle. I’m really excited about this year and will keep you posted on developments. We’ve got a few quick-fire questions for you, no hesitation! Regul ar or goofy? Goofy Frontside or Backside? Frontside Tacos or Scorpions? Tacos Early mornings or l ate nights? Both, just not at the same time - I’m not that rock and roll, haha! Whiteout tree runs or slushy baby park l aps? Slushy baby park Tartiflet te or fondue? Tartiflette We are building a lit tle timeline of your rise to snowsports superstar. Could you tell us where it all began and the significant steps that led to an Olympic medal? 1999 Season in Tignes British Big Air champion 2000 Seasons in Whistler and Vail USA 2001/2 Broke onto the international contest scene: Triple Crown, Mammoth Gold and then Breckenridge Gold 2002 Invite to X-games - I was injured in training so didn't compete. Seasons in France and USA. Competing on the international circuit. Building on podium finishes over these few years 2008 Burton European Open 3rd place- this meant a lot to me as the European open is a great event & tough one to podium in.
Burton Japan Open 1st - this was my first ever win at any Open so very memorable, and so was the party in Tokyo!
Finished 2nd in the overall global open series 2009 X Games USA, Aspen, Gold. 2010 X Games USA, Aspen, Gold. 2011 X Games Europe, Tignes, Gold. 2013 First podium FIS Snowboard World Cup, silver in Slopestyle, New Zealand 2014 Olympic Bronze medal in the women's Slopestyle event in Sochi- finished third behind Jamie Anderson and Enni Rukajarvi.
That’s quite a collection of medals and trophies you’ve got there. Have you got a special cabinet for them? Haha yes it’s called my underwear draw so they don’t get scratched! I am not the cabinet type but when I stop competing I guess I will think about maybe framing some of my contest bibs and medals for memory’s sake.
www.tarentaisesourcemagazine.com Image Credit - Nick Atkins
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Do You Want more than just a Ski Lesson? Get more than just regular Ski School Get the Best Quality Ski Instruction TDCski
the development centre
Tignes Val d’Isère Book Your Ski Lessons online
Val d’Isère +33 6 15 55 31 56 Tignes +33 6 03 31 43 21 @TarentaiseMag
GET ON TRACK
Jump on the Eurostar Ski Train from London St Pancras on a Friday evening and you’ll be in Bourg Saint Maurice for 6.30am on Saturday, leaving just enough time to get to resort for first lifts. You also get to enjoy the quieter slopes and shorter queues of changeover day, while everyone else is travelling to and from the airport. And you’ll have reduced your carbon footprint by up to 90% compared to travelling by plane. Everyone’s a winner.
• To avoid a queue at the Olympique, head for the Bellevarde Express chair next door instead, then ski across to the Loyes Express. This takes you to the same spot as the Olympique and gives you a bonus guaranteed seat.
Returns from £149, for availability and booking information visit eurostar.com
SAVE TIME ONLINE
We’d all rather be notching up kilometres on the mountain than shuffling through a lift queue. With a lit tle
Gone are the days of queuing to buy your lift pass. They can now be pre-ordered through resort websites so you skip the queue to collect on arrival. Better still, get your pass posted out pre-holiday so you can swan straight onto the lifts. Online orders with STGM, STVI and Paradiski take up to 16 days for delivery to the UK. If your trip is more last minute try arranging for your pass to be delivered to your accommodation – it’s a maximum 8-day delivery within France.
clever pl anning it is
Visit skipass-tignes.com, valdiserepass.com, skilarosiere1850.com, saintefoy-ski.com, lesarcs.paradiski.com
actually possible to
GO YOUR OWN WAY
get first lifts and avoid crowds even at the busiest peak times.
Avoid peak time queues at the major lifts by taking alternative runs and routes. Here are some great queue-jumpers we’ve scoped out in the Espace Killy. Tignes • To avoid the ski school crowds at the Toviere and Palafour gondolas in Le Lac, head to nearby Lavachet for the less well-used Paquis or Chaudannes lifts. Get the bus there, or ski over the bridge to the right of the Maison de Tignes. • Try the Paquis chairlift instead of the Toviere bubble if you’re skiing to Val d’Isere. It takes you over the Trolles, from where you can ski down Crocus to the under-used Combe Folle drag. Then descend the blue Violettes into the valley beneath the Tommeuses chairlift.
Keep up with which lifts are open by checking the Source Live Lift Information page on your mobile tarentaisesourcemagazine.com/ tarentaise-lift-info
• You can usually find a crowd-free option in getting the funiculaire up to the Grande Motte glacier in Val Claret. The subway train experience is unique, the glacier itself is often less packed with skiers and the views are out of this world.
• Start your ski day in La Fornet by catching an early shuttle bus. It gives you time to take advantage of the area before everyone else has skied over from Val d’Isere.
Enjoying a baguette in a pretty spot or eating on the lift is cheaper than a restaurant - and you can enjoy quieter pistes whilst the rest of the world stuffs their face. Keep hydrated on the go with a Camelbak or water bottle in your backpack. Or for something stronger, invest in Leki Hot Shot ski poles. They have a hollow core and screw top grip so you can swig your favourite tipple on the move. TOUR MORE Armed with some extra bits of kit and a healthy dollop of stamina, you can hike to some of the most beautiful areas in the Tarentaise, without a lift or queue in sight. Skiers will need to hire or invest in touring skis - they’re lighter, and specialist bindings that allow you to free your heel from the base plate make it easier to shlep uphill. You can swap your alpine boots for touring boots, which are specially designed to have more flex when walking. And attach a set of skins to the bottom of your skis to help grip the snow. Snowboarders can try out a splitboard - essentially a snowboard that literally splits in half to become two fat ‘skis’ when you want to tackle an ascent. Use retractable poles when walking and attach them to your backpack when snowboarding. If you’re going off-piste don’t forget your avalanche gear. We’d also recommend hiring a ski school guide for a day to scope out the best and safest routes for your ability. You can avoid the major resort queues completely by visiting a smaller resort for a Ski Away Day – see page 48
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The crowds have dispersed, the lifts have drawn to a standstill and the set ting sun has cast dark shadows over the valley – but up on the hill the action is far from over. While we’re tucked up in bed, the mountain’s caretakers face danger and extreme conditions to make sure the pistes are safe and groomed for the morning. With an arsenal of grenades, guns and tanks they tackle avalanches, moguls and rescue missions so hazardous that a third are injured each year. And except for jumping at the odd bang of an explosive, most of us hardly even notice they’re there. Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the ‘invisible jobs’.
PISTEURS Most of us are sipping our first apres beer as the pisteurs make their way down the mountain, checking for anyone in trouble, after lifts close. The mountain is divided into sectors, and at the top of each sits a hut manned by a small pisteur team. They’re responsible for making sure everyone is safely off the slopes at the end of the day. Anyone who’s taken a wrong turn or been caught in a storm knows the mountain can suddenly be a scary place. If you, or a member of your group, are lost you can find an emergency number for the pisteurs on the bottom of your piste map. We’ll return to the role of the pisteur after darkness and danger descend. But for now the slopes are clear and we hand over to our next team of nightriders…
CHAUFFEURES It's usually around the time you’re wandering back from the pub ready for a warm predinner bath that the first team of chauffeurs head out on their solo missions. Driving the piste bashers - huge tank-like machines with a plough at the front - they are able to shift up to 16 tons of snow at a time. Their aim: To smooth over the lumps and bumps carved by skiers and snowboarders, leaving behind a lovely corduroy piste. Take Tignes as an example – it amounts to 154km of the Espace Killy’s 300km of vast and varying terrain. Its slopes are tended by
17 piste bashers manned by 15 chauffeurs working 6-hour shifts. In any one night they’ll groom 80% of the resort’s pistes. Their first hazard: Steep slopes. Tignes’ Trolles or the Val d’Isere Face are so steep they’re hard to ski down, never mind drive a 10-tonne machine up. This is where winches come in. All piste bashers have an in-built 1km steel cable that can be attached to static rigging points anchored into the steepest slopes. It allows them to be hoisted up hills with a gradient of up to 90% and prevents them from sliding uncontrollably back down. Piste bashers are sturdy objects but they’re not immune to avalanches. So cabins are reinforced and equipped with GPS to give chauffeurs a good chance of survival if they’re caught in one. Their second hazard: The weather. Let’s put ourselves in the driver’s seat for a minute. Imagine embarking on your upward journey into a labyrinth of deserted pistes in the cold dark of a winter’s night. A storm descends around you. All you can see is a snowy blizzard lapping at your windscreen and all you have for company is a crackly radio. Next time you’re dipping fondue while dining with friends in a cosy alpine restaurant, spare a thought for the chauffeurs! The GPS in the cabin helps drivers avoid getting lost even in zero visibility. Its other role is to measure the snow’s depth and find thinning patches of piste. On south facing slopes where the snow melts quicker in the sun, or in busy areas where snow gets scraped away, extra powder is regularly needed. Step forward…
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resto 1789 advert.pdf
Working primarily when most of us are tucked up in bed, their job is to create snow - and it’s quite a science. This man-made snow is made from a mixture of compressed air and water. When both are sprayed from static snow cannons they create an ice crystal, upon which a flake forms as it falls to the ground. No chemicals needed. But this is no easy feat – conditions must be optimal. The temperature must be below -3°c, there must be low humidity and minimal wind. A vast network of underground pipes links Tignes’ lakes with the snow cannons dotted around the mountains. Three snowmakers are employed in Tignes to manage and service these cannons. They use the man-made snow mainly at the start and end of the season - to get a base level ready for the early birds and keep the resort skiable for longer.
So next time you despair at the sight of grass and mud poking through the piste, only to return the following day and find it beautifully shiny and white again, just give a nod to the snowmakers. They created new snow, and all while you were sleeping
04 79 06 17 89
One of the best kept secrets in Val d’Isere and home to the famous Côte de Boeuf cooked on an open fire in the heart of the restaurant.
A traditional menu of local produce that caters to all tastes. Owner and local celebrity Minet, his wife Isabelle and their team create a warm and friendly atmosphere every evening.
As you turn off your 7am alarm and stretch out those sleepy limbs, the pisteurs tackle some of the mountain’s most dangerous places, with an arsenal of explosives, to make them safe.
To avoid disappointment telephone bookings can be made after 4pm every evening. The restaurant can be found down a little path between BAR XV and Baraque on the main street opposite the bus station.
To ensure there is no avalanche risk above open roads, open pistes and buildings they set off at 4am in teams of two to carry out controlled explosions. Using grenades they trigger avalanches to get rid of loose snow and prevent bigger avalanches happening naturally. So don’t be surprised if you hear a few bangs over breakfast.
Alpina Lodge Advert.pdf
4-star eco-friendly ALPINA LODGE has 44 apartments, from studios to 3 rooms all comfortable and fully equipped.
Image Credit - Luca Zesta
It's important to note that pisteurs are only responsible for ensuring open pistes are safe. This may include bombing off-piste
Right in the centre of town and only 2 steps from the slopes, get the benefits of renting an apartment while enjoying a quality hotel service. With family or friends, you’ll find the perfect place to share unforgettable moments. • Beds made on arrival – Towels provided - Daily and final cleaning included kitchen cleaning pack and welcome products • Reception area open 7days a week • Luggage room and shower room • Baby equipment and special cooking equipment available • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi access in the apartments • Breakfast on request (15,00€ / Adult and 10,00€ / Child) • Covered car park on request (105,00€ / Week) • Pets allowed (50 € / Stay) • Apartment equipment: satellite television – telephone – ceramic hob – fridge – oven – dishwasher – coffee machine – kettle – toaster – hairdryer – towel dryer – safety box – individual ski lockers Résidence ALPINA LODGE**** Rue Principale - BP 132 - 73 153 Val d'Isère cedex - FRANCE TEL: 0033.(0)220.127.116.11.00 FAX: 0033.(0)18.104.22.168.55 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.alpina-lodge.com Facebook: Residence-Alpina-Lodge-Val-dIsere
areas if they threaten ski runs or buildings like mountain restaurants, but they are not there to make off-piste areas safe - so enter there at your own risk. The pisteurs use a variet y of equipment including: • The Catex: A rudimentary cable tow used to carry an explosive into position above the area at risk, to be triggered remotely • The Gazex pipe: A fixed tap-shaped pipe you’ll see protruding from the snow, that detonates gasses to clear an area of up to100 metre radius of loose snow • The Avalancher: A compressed air gun with a 2-metre dart that can be fired into the snow to create a controlled slide • The Grenadage: A handheld grenade thrown by the pisteur - the most dangerous method but arguably the most effective • Grenadage by helicopter: This can only be done with special dispensation from the government This may sound like every young boy’s Action Man fantasy, but these explosives
are used with great care by the pisteurs. They’re working with dangerous equipment in dangerous conditions. They’re often out in extreme weather and must remain close to explosion sites to confirm the explosives have gone off and achieved the desired result. No matter how much health and safety protocol they follow, the job is a risky one. Around a third of Tignes’ pisteurs are injured each year - last season 22 of the 56 staff took the equivalent of two years of sick days due to injury. The last pisteur sadly killed in Tignes during avalanche control was in 2000. Filmmaker Steen Sundland spent last season following Tignes team for documentary ‘Pisteurs: The Invisible Job’, in which he claims that ‘1 in 5 pisteurs will not complete the season due to injury or death’. For more information on the film and a link to his trailer, see our website.
And now you’re ready to hit the slopes for another day exploring… but the pisteur’s job continues still. They remain stationed at the hut at the top of their respective sector,
always on hand to come to the rescue. Tignes employs 6 pisteurs who specialise in dog handling, working with their dog to sniff and dig people out during an avalanche rescue. The ‘meteologues’, or pisteurs who specialise in weather, are responsible for keeping the pisteside information boards up to date with avalanche risks, weather warnings, dangers and piste closures on the mountain. As you pass these boards on your way to the lifts, don’t forget take a look and stay safe, courtesy of the pisteurs. As much as we may hope we never meet one in a bind, it’s reassuring to know they are there to help. The pisteur huts are in fact open to the public so don’t be afraid to pop in, whether you’re in need of help or just to say a friendly hello. This may be the ‘invisible job’ in resort, but it’s one we should all be incredibly thankful for. It’s another day on the slopes, another après beer and another cosy night in a warm bed for us, while behind the scenes the whole process starts again...
The mountain never sleeps. Tignes slope safet y in numbers: 154km of slopes
17 piste bashers
3,700kg of explosives
352 snow cannons
56 pisteurs in 2013/14
22 pisteurs injured in 2013/14
6 rescue dogs
Amy Wardman is a ski instructor working towards her final BASI qualification with New Generation Ski & Snowboard School. She writes a blog on her life in the mountains: followmyskis.com.
I was once first on the scene to a client with very bad spinal and head injuries. He couldn’t feel his toes and I thought he wouldn’t walk again. Two years later he banged on the door of the rescue hut where I was working and asked if he could have a ski with the man who’d helped him – and we did the same run. It has happened that people dug out of avalanches have come back to say thank you with a gift or a bone for the dog that found them. It’s a real pleasure when they have a happy ending, very rewarding.
Image Credit - Luca Zesta
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It’s a dangerous job but we’re trained to a high level, which makes it safer - though it doesn’t make you invincible. During avalanche control in a 5/5 avalanche risk zone in -20 degrees with 10 kilos of dynamite on my back, I’m not concerned - if I do my job properly I’ll be safe. I’m more concerned when I’m on the piste digging out snow cannons with people zooming past – pisteurs often get hit like that. I’ve had to jump out of the way of skiers on the piste while attending to an injured client. My family worry, especially when it’s stormy. But it’s just like being a firefighter, it’s the job you’re trained to do. The pisteurs have a special bond like any crew. You trust these people with your life - whether you’re dropping bombs, firing arrows of nitroglycerine, on a rescue mission or just opening the piste.
Tignes pisteur Peter Richmond explains why he’s stayed in the job for 9 years:
A ski resort might not seem so bad; it’s just a small town in the mountains after all. But when you consider the power and water usage of the chalets and hotels, the energy consumption of the lifts, the diesel in the piste bashers, tourist cars, transfer minibuses and coaches, the aviation fuel from all those Easyjetters (15,000 people flying into Geneva on the Saturday before Christmas), road clearers, medical helicopters, sewerage output from thousands of bathrooms… it all adds up. That doesn’t even include the environmental costs of building the resort in the first place - and most sprung up back in the 1960s when no-one had ever heard the phrase ‘ecofriendly’.
Greenhouse gases, global warming, climate change, flooding, drought, cyclones and tsunamis. The effect human activit y is having on the planet hits the headlines every day. Yes, you separate your recycling. Of course you don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth. You might have even bought a hybrid car, grown your own vegetables and covered your roof with solar panels. But have you thought about the environmental impact of your winter sports holiday?
Now multiply that by the number of resorts in France (over 300), and you’re starting to get one incredibly large carbon footprint. Scale it up to cover the rest of the world’s ski resorts and you’re looking at a serious level of environmental damage. You can see why the forecast is so dire: If nothing changes, in 50 years’ time the French mountains could have lost 40% of their snow at altitudes below 1400m. Wildlife and plantlife is also at risk and some endangered species could die out. Mountain Riders is the organisation behind the excellent Eco Guide To Ski Resorts. You can download the guide at mountain-riders.org to find out the effect ski areas are having on the environment and how everyone can make a difference. It also shows how resorts rank, with the Haute Tarentaise coming out in the middle of the table at around 50% eco-friendly. The group warns: “It’s urgent we act on transportation and building renovation. Today 57% of greenhouse gases come from the movement of people to and from the resort and 27% of energy consumption comes from public and private buildings.” Fortunately our resorts are already trying to clean up their act.Tignes and Val d’Isere are bringing in electric cars – Tignes has a shiny new fleet of 40 Twizys, equipped with snow tyres
and ski carriers, available for car share this winter. Both have cut down their use of salt on the roads – over 1million tonnes is spread annually in France, which can harm animals and plants and get into our drinking water. This year Val d’Isere has invested in a state-of-the-art 1,000sqm underground snow creation facility at the bottom of the Bellevarde - slashing its snow cannon power usage at the same time as creating even more of the white stuff! Old buildings pose a much greater problem. Val d’Isere is in the midst of a project to modernise and insulate all its public buildings – schools, leisure centres, Mairie, gendarmerie – after thermal imaging cameras showed a worrying picture. “It was very clear what was built in the 60s and 70s and what was built recently,” mayor Marc Bauer told us. “You could see the old buildings evaporating heat; they have hardly any insulation. We are trying to set a good example and hope private property owners will follow our lead.” Tignes has already invested in renewable energy – its new social housing developments have ground source heat pumps. And now
today 57% of greenhouse gases come from the movement of people to and from the resort that the government has wised up it’s recently brought in tough laws to make sure all new builds have as little impact on the environment as possible. These laws have forced developers to look for modern alternatives to the usual high-carbon footprint concrete method of construction - leading to a building revolution across the Alps. They’re turning to state-of-theart, sustainable timber-frame Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS), which can create homes so energy efficient they hardly need heating – even in ski resorts! They’re much kinder to the planet in construction too. The lightweight panels are precision cut in factories off-site, minimising waste. They can be put up within weeks rather than several seasons, cutting down on transport and labour - and lowering costs.
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Architect Steve Downs, of Tignes-based ECSUS (Ecological & Sustainable) Design, which specialises in the panels, explains: “Thanks to the new regulations and programmes like Grand Designs, we’re seeing a surge in ‘green’ methods of construction. People’s perception was that it’s expensive and difficult, but actually it’s more simple to construct and you save in labour, time and waste. The long-term savings on heating bills are huge and you’re also doing your bit for the planet.”
So we’re going in the right direction, but there’s much more that can be done. Respect The Mountains , a group that promotes sustainable tourism, has come up with 7 ways you can help to protect the Alps while on holiday: 1 Book Smart Research resorts that have eco credentials – you might find a hidden gem! Travel at low season if you can, for less impact on the mountain. 2 Travel Wise Try to use lower carbon transportation methods. For example, instead of flying take a bus, train or car pool with friends. When at the resort, use public transport, walk, hike, bike to get around. 3 Support Eco-friendly Businesses There are lots of businesses that are actively supporting sustainable development – look out for and choose those skiwear brands, hotels, adventure companies, travel services. Buy locally grown produce whilst at the resorts and look out for businesses using renewable energy like solar panels. 4 Be a Respectful & Responsible Mountain Tourist You may only be here a week but if you want to come back year after year everyone needs to look after the environment like it was their own home. If you see anyone disrespecting it - tell them, too. Always do your research on weather forecasts, routes and equipment before venturing into the mountains. Expensive search and rescue operations can be avoided with some thought. 5 ‘Leave no trace’ Stay on designated paths – they’re there to protect you as well as the flora, fauna and wildlife. Take all your picnic rubbish away – a plastic bottle dropped can have unforeseen consequences for an animal that might find it later. 6 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Upcycle Recycling is not something we can take a holiday from. Remember to keep reusing items and taking advantage of recycling facilities. 7 Spread the word We all love the mountains – if you’re a regular visitor why not start your own Respect the Mountains group? Get together, try to make a positive difference, lobby for change and be rewarded with results that will benefit the environment for future generations.
The best times of year to book If your school breaks up early then a sneaky holiday the week before Christmas can often deliver unbelievable conditions and empty slopes. Easter is often dismissed as too late in the season, but even when it falls late in April there’s lots of great snow cover in the higher resorts, and guaranteed if you choose one with a glacier like Tignes or Val d’Isere. Finding the right accommodation
Taking your kids on a winter holiday can seem a daunting task. Will they like skiing? Can they cope with the cold? Will I be able to get enough time on the slopes myself? But with the right planning, and a bit of insider knowledge, it can be the most rewarding holiday you’ll ever have. let me share some of the secrets I’ve learned in 10 years of being a ski instructor, nanny business owner and parent in the Tarentaise…
When to start children skiing Children can get on skis as soon as they’re steady enough to stand and walk, though most ski schools only take children in group lessons from age 3. Until then try to resist skiing your child between your legs - I’ve seen too many children with broken bones after a parent has fallen on them! Ouch. Choosing the right resort Skiing can be an expensive business so it’s worth trying a less high profile resort for better value - Sainte Foy, La Rosiere, PeiseyVallandry, Villaroger. You won’t find the same buzzing nightlife, but the villages are charming and everything is on your doorstep. If your teenager needs a new challenge check which ski schools offer teen-specific group lessons, focusing on park, pipe, off-piste and racing. New Generation and Evolution 2 have a great range. If you’re trying to please less keen skiers, lots of resorts offer exciting alternative activities. Children love trying new things and husky sledging or snowshoeing together can create some magical holiday memories.
Cutting costs doesn’t always give the best value - going self-catered can feel like you’re grappling with the same household chores just in a more challenging environment! A catered chalet holiday will make sure everyone feels pampered. If you’d rather not chance sharing a chalet with people you don’t know, get a couple of families together and share the cost of the chalet and childcare. Big parties can often get discounts on everything from the chalet and ski lessons to childcare and eating out. Consider staying within easy walking distance of the lifts – trudging with tired children in one arm, their gear and yours in the other, is no fun. The right questions to ask before booking your child into lessons • Do the instructors speak English? • How big are the group sizes? A maximum of 8 is essential. • Does the school offer a lunch club, or will you need to return from your ski tour to provide sandwiches? • Do we need to buy them a ski pass? Many resorts offer free ski passes to children under a certain age or offer free lifts for beginners so there’s no need to buy a pass until day 2 or 3. • Do they run any adult courses at the same time? Take the opportunity to learn while your kids do. What your child needs with them at ski school It’s really important children have the right kit - helmet, goggles, thermals, fleece, salopettes, ski jacket, snood, ski gloves, ski socks. Each morning your child will need a snack, money for a drink, sun cream and a note with your name and mobile number on it.
just be prepared for the fact that whatever age your child, by the end of your holiday it's likely they'll be whizzing past you on the slopes! /tarentaisesourcemagazine
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Get ting the best deal on your family’s lift passes Often the best way is to book in advance online from the official resort websites. When buying or picking up a family pass you will need your passports to prove you are a family and the ages of your children. If you ski more than once a year, many resorts now offer great loyalty cards. Tignes has launched the Pass'Tignes and InfiniTignes, which are both rechargeable online and can save you a lot of money. Visit skipass-tignes.com.
Courchevel, La Tania, Meribel, Tignes, Val d'Isere We know we are only as good as our nannies which is why we only employ the very best.
Evening childcare while you apres
Book a nanny for 6 full or half days to come to your chalet, apartment or hotel. The children will enjoy making arts and crafts and heading out to go ice skating or sledging while you enjoy the slopes and après ski.
Some tour operators offer a private nanny service or a crèche - this will not give you as much flexibility as a nanny, but is great value for money.
“t4 Nanny comes to the rescue! They are a Godsend in this region”
The cost of a private nanny can be reduced if you share it between two families, as you pay per nanny rather than per child.
“Look at t4 Nanny to hire a nanny in Val d'Isere or Tignes”
Q: Help, I can’t use my buggy in all this snow!
The Sunday Times
A: Hire an all-terrain buggy and other baby gear in resort – many private nannies have their own equipment or you can hire it separately from a service like Val Baby. Alternatively pull it backwards - it works much better.
Reservations +33(0)646 032 180 +44(0)208 144 1054 email@example.com www.t4nanny.com
Q: My child has lost their lift pass, what do I do?
Mountain Rescue Advert.pdf
A: Keep lift pass receipts separate to the passes. Should anyone lose their pass simply take the receipt to the ticket office and they will issue you a new one.
Kids activities and offers
N EED A L A ST M IN U T E A IR PO R T T R A N S FE R ? CALL US O N:+4 4 (0 ) 2 0 3 2 8 7 4 5 8 8 O R +3 3 (0 ) 6 0 3 0 5 2 2 1
Tignes: New beginner’s rider park at the Marmottons children’s ski area, with mini obstacles and magic rope for teaching snowboarding. Ages from 2½, prices from €5. Free Le Lagon and ice rink sessions with some lift passes.
INCLUDED: • Child and boosters seats • Friendly experienced drivers
Val d’Isere: Children’s zone with sledge races, snowman making and games. Free sledging area on the left of the Savonette lift. Free Snake Glisse and Airboard after lifts close.
• Comfy modern 8 seater minibuses • Flexible payment options • Ski and board carriage
La Rosiere: Free lift passes for under 5s. Beginner’s area with 4 free lifts and children’s covered ‘magic carpet’. Spring Break week is 11-18 April, with family entertainment and free child passes available.
• Shopping stops (request) • SMS departure time reminders • DVD players (request)
Sainte Foy: Children under 7 go free. Yoga snowshoe walks for mums, teatime in an igloo and the Piou Piou Mini Club with synchronised kids and adult courses are offered by various companies – check with tourist information.
La Plagne: Find bouncy castles, candy cabins, a polar village and a beach at the top of the resort’s mountains from 5-16 April. Get a child’s ski pass free with a family all-inclusive package from the resort.
sourOcCOeDE TO GET
S K Y P E : T H E M O U N TA I N R E S C U E EMAIL:
I N F O @ T H E M O U N TA I N R E C U E . C O M
Image Credit - Andy Parant
Les Arcs: New Aquafun Centre, lit toboggan experience, forest discovery piste and enclosed children’s area with igloos and obstacles. All ages ski at kid’s prices from 7-13 February.
Salomon focuses quite heavily on its Q range of backcountry skis, featuring the light and easily manoeuvrable Honeycomb Tip. A light tip can tend to chatter but Salomon use Koroyd for excellent shock absorption and increased ski-snow contact. During testing I particularly liked the Q105 as it’s light, easy to throw around and very forgiving for a ski that wide (105mm).
The 2014 Mantra was one of my favourite skis, so I was sceptical when I heard the 2015 model would be a full rockered ski rather than the previous tip only version. In fact this is not a re-jigged 2014 Mantra, it’s a totally different ski. As long as you aren’t expecting it to be just an improved version of the old benchmark, the 2015 Mantra shapes up to be another classic in a few years’ time. The full rocker means there’s virtually no camber underfoot – so this ski doesn’t charge through chopped up stuff, or hold on for grim death on ice the way the old favourite did. The payback comes in softer and deeper conditions.
Last season’s all-mountain Enduros have been replaced by the X Drives. The lower end models are pretty much last season’s skis in new clothes but the 8.0, 8.3 and 8.8 are all new skis. The 8.8 in particular is very stiff indeed so it needs a strong and technically proficient skier on board. Head
Each new season brings exciting developments in ski technology. This winter brands focus on width, weight and rocker - but how does that transl ate to your ride? Jock Dun, founder of guide2skiing.com, tells us what’s rocked up for Winter 15 Once again, this year’s skis are wider all over. New technology means that skis 100 millimetres or more underfoot are more versatile and perform bet ter on-piste. Lighter weights make all-mountain skis in particular easy to manoeuvre in softer and deeper snow. And as for rocker; you’ll have to look pret t y hard to find any thing on 2015’s ski racks that doesn’t have some element of rocker – it’s firmly here to stay..
Guide2skiing.com is a new skiing advice and information website.
Out go the MYAs and in come Head’s new range of lady skis, the Joy. From the beginner level Pure Joy, right up to the off-piste orientated Big Joy at 110mm underfoot, Head’s big focus is ‘Light Done Right’. The Joy range uses Graphene - pure carbon in a sheet so thin (just one atom thick) that it’s nearly transparent, yet 100 times stronger than steel. This makes the Joy 20% lighter than similar traditional skis. The i.Supershape range features 10% rocker in the tip only, making these high end piste carvers just a little more accessible for slightly lower level skiers too. All seven World Cup Rebels full-on race skis stick to a full traditional camber for maximum drive and power. Atomic Atomic race skis are always among the best and their range for 2015 is no exception. The main new development in the Redsters is the third-generation Doubledeck 3.0 with a new upper layer for better shock absorption. The forward contact points have been softened for quicker turn initiation, while the rear ones have been stiffened for maximum acceleration out of the turn. The top Redster, the Doubledeck 3.0 XT, has no rocker at all, while the others use a tiny 5% tip-only rocker to ease turn initiation without having a noticeably detrimental effect on anything else.
Rossignol Rossi’s new Heros look great! It’s a huge range with 15 models in total, and they all feature Prop Tech - a new technology brought down from World Cup whereby the Zicral reinforcement layer is split longitudinally in front of the bindings for more effective pressure transmission to the edges. They also all use 10% Power Turn Rocker for easy and quick turn initiation, combined with a traditional camber and tail for power, drive and rebound. The Experience and Temptation have been totally redesigned with a lighter, extended tip and a new overall profile - so now they tick all the boxes and do everything a great all-mountain ski should. Dynastar Last season’s Outlands are replaced by the Powertracks; an all-mountain ski similar in many ways to the popular Cham. The long nose of the Levitation Profile, common to the Powertracks and Chams, is certainly making an impact on all-mountain skis and is much more suitable for a proper all-mountain ski than the snubnosed style we’ve seen in recent years. Rocker at both tip and tail means great flotation in soft snow and makes even the more advanced models in the Powertrack range quite user-friendly for a less advanced skier.
Camber = the upward curve of an unweighted ski in the middle section. For precision, power and ‘pop’.
Rocker = camber in reverse; the upward curve of the tip, or tip and tail. For superior float and turn initiation particularly on wider skis.
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Tignes’ super-snowboarder Kate Wood rides parks around the world in some of the biggest competitions - notching up third pl ace in Slopest yle and Rail Jam at l ast year’s British Championships.
Here she gives us the...
Tignes The snow park in Tignes improves every year and recently a separate smaller park was built near the main area. Its boxes are wide, low to the ground and built with flush take-offs so you can ride straight onto them without having to perform the more advanced jump-on. Its separation from the hustle and bustle of the main park makes it a nice chilled area for learning a new trick. The main park is long so you can hit a lot of features from top to bottom. The intermediate line is especially good here, it has a huge number of features to try including rainbow boxes, flat downs, pole jams, gap jumps, down boxes, regular boxes and a wall too. A great feature in the Tignes park is a jump with an airbag landing. Anyone can use it and park staff are on hand to help coach. It’s lots of fun to experience larger jumps and try aerial tricks. You can even try a back flip and know that the landing is soft. You have the option of taking either Grattalu or Merles chairlifts to access the park. Alternatively you can use the drag lift, which also gives access to the ski/boarder cross track with banked corners and bumps. It’s a great place to race your mates. Further down the mountain, just off the side of the 'Double M' piste, is a large and wellbuilt halfpipe. Anyone can use the pipe as long as it isn't closed off for competitions, and it's an awesome feature to have in resort as there are very few halfpipes like this in France. Val D'Isere The setup on the other side of the mountain remains pretty similar each year and is home to the huge 60ft jump, from where you can witness the pros practising their mega tricks!
The beginner/ intermediate lines have a mixture of features - though slightly less than in Tignes - as well as two separate lines of smaller jumps with a green line for complete beginners and a blue line for intermediates. There’s also a red jump line, with more technical features than those you see in Tignes, catered towards the upper intermediate to advanced level. If you’re after more air time take them on, but be warned they are a big step up and can be dangerous if your ability level doesn't match their size. You’ll find the Val d’Isere park on the back of Bellevarde - accessed by the La Daille funicular or Olympique cable car from Val d’Isere, or Toviere cable car from Tignes. The cool attraction here is a little park hut with music and deckchairs, where you can chill out eating lunch and watching the other jumpers - a great place to celebrate another feature mastered!
other side without falling in! It’s a great laugh, but be prepared to get wet and cold! La Plagne has 2 parks situated above Belle Plagne which have a variety of beginner and intermediate features, although there aren’t many advanced features and the lift access is not as direct as in Les Arcs. Like Tignes it also has a halfpipe - an awesome feature to try. L a Rosiere La Rosiere has a lot of beginner features low to the ground, which are great for learning new tricks on. It doesn’t have many more advanced features though and its variety is limited but it is easily accessed via the Poletta drag lift.
In my opinion this park caters a little more for skiers than snowboarders as its large jumps are a little whippier. But then again I’m a snowboarder and I love it!
Beg = 4 | Int = 3 | Adv = 5 | Ski = 5 | Board = 4 | Features = 4
Les Arcs park is centrally located above Arc 1600 and 1800 and has improved lots, with many more jumps and boxes. You’ll find separate beginner, intermediate and advanced jump lines, two lines of boxes and, like Tignes, an airbag jump. One fun feature in Les Arcs is the Water Splash. Towards the end of the season the resort opens up a run that goes into an artificial pond full of water. You speed down the run on your snowboard or skis and skim across the water, as if you’re water skiing or wakeboarding. The aim is to make it to the
Beg = 5 | Int = 5 | Adv = 4 | Ski = 5 | Board = 5 | Features = 5 Val d'isere
Beg = 4 | Int = 4 | Adv = 4 | Ski = 4 | Board = 4 | Features = 4 La Plagne
Beg = 4 | Int = 3 | Adv = 3 | Ski = 4 | Board = 3 | Features = 3 La Rosiere
Beg = 5 | Int = 3 | Adv = 2 | Ski = 3 | Board = 3 | Features = 3
My favourite park riding spot has to be Tignes. It has the most to offer in terms of variety of features for progression and the range of levels available. It's great if you're in a group of people with differing ability and the speed of the lift is a bonus.
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Park safety tips Be aware of where you are. Never cut across features or hang around near a jump l anding, blind spot or where riders might be speeding to the next feature. There’ll often be a queue for the next feature, so don’t go straight in cut ting people up.
If a feature’s closed it’s marked by t wo poles sticking out of the snow in front in a cross shape. It’s closed for a reason, so don’t ignore it!
Image Credit - Andy Parant
Don’t go to big too quickly. Build up your confidence slowly. Hit ting a big jump first time could l and you in hospital. Bumps are inevitable so make sure you’re wearing protective clothing – a helmet is very important. A protective bum pad, wrist guards and knee pads are also helpful if you are a snowboarder. Keep an eye on the conditions. The snow changes throughout the day and the same jump you’ve hit 10 times this morning might suddenly become slower, faster or have collected ruts, throwing you off. Kate is sponsored by Tignes Spirit – provider of qualit y ski and snowboard rentals and accommodation. See tignes-spirit.com
VAL D'ISERE TIGNES IF IT'S A GREAT TIME YOU'RE AFTER, THEN LOOK NO FURTHER, SALOON BAR IS THE PLACE TO BE. WITH A HOST OF LIVE MUSIC PLAYING EVERYDAY DURING APRES SKI, FOLLOWED BY FUN, CRAZY AND PARTY MAD NIGHTS, THE SALOON BAR DRAWS AN ELECTRIC CROWD FROM MID-AFTERNOON, RIGHT THROUGH UNTIL THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING. IT'S SUPERB!!!
• FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL STAFF • VARIETY OF COCKTAILS • LIVE APRES SKI MUSIC • FANCY DRESS PARTIES • HAPPY HOURS
THE BIGGEST AND BRIGHTEST BAR IN TOWN! @TarentaiseMag
Riding your skis faster than your car, jumping off a cliff in a winged suit, trekking the planet’s most dangerous pl aces. Once seen as macho pursuits, more and more women are taking the lead in extreme sports and changing the way they’re viewed. So why is the scene changing? And what drives these ladies to ditch the creature comforts and throw themselves headlong into a life of raw adventure?
SQUASH FALCONER Suggest jumping into a freezing lake, descending a mountain on a unicycle or anything that sounds silly to most people, and Squash is likely to say ‘why not?’ After climbing the 6th highest mountain in the world - Cho Oyu in the Himalayas - she bum boarded back down, earning the title of World’s Highest Bum Boarder. She summited the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc, and in similar style became the first British woman to fly from
the top in a paraglider. Inevitably she conquered Mount Everest, though her plans to paraglide down were sadly thwarted by winds and the -50 degree temperature.
could do it. When I give talks to schools and groups I’m trying to encourage people to do whatever they want to do, whatever that is.”
Ever heard of an Elliptigo? It’s a cross between a bike and a cross-trainer. Squash is currently Elliptigo European Champion and holds the record for the longest distance travelled on one – a 3,074-mile epic round Europe.
Squash’s love of mountain adventure was sparked in Tignes, hiking up the Solaise to paraglide down as a seasonnaire, and it’s been her preferred training ground ever since. Recently her exploits grabbed the attention of TV producers and she’s been recording her own adventure series, meeting extreme athletes in America.
“I have a can-do attitude,” the 33-year-old explains. “I just always had this belief I
“I love that I can show other women they can do it too,” she says. “I think there's a
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Skiing in Les Arcs?
The only ski hire shop right by the Bourg St Maurice - Les Arcs funicular
to all sourc ount e readers , quote â&#x20AC;&#x153;SO URCE15â&#x20AC;?
Hire the latest equipment including the new Polaire Star brand! Store your day clothes/luggage while you ski, and your ski kit overnight in our heated lockers Our state of the art servicing centre, open 7 days, is one of the best in the valley Buy gear last-minute from our accessories store - gloves, sunglasses, goggles, socks, hats, sun cream, snacks Our friendly family-run shop has been kitting out skiers andsnowboarders of all abilities since 1997. We look forward to welcoming you in English, French or Italian.
Our family run ski shop is located right by the Bourg st Maurice / Les Arcs Funiculaire @TarentaiseMag
perception that extreme sports are for men and they are better at them, and although that view is shifting, it still exists.” That’s not to say women don’t tackle extreme sports differently, or lose their femininity while they’re doing it. “People laugh at my motto ‘if your knickers are right your day goes right’,” says Squash. “You can be clean and comfortable on a mountain. There’s this macho attitude ‘I’m not having a shower or changing my underwear’ on an expedition and women don’t like that, it puts them off.” So clean knickers can power you to the top of a mountain, and bit of lipstick doesn’t go amiss either. After they were wheeled out as ‘token women’ in the Saab Salomon X-Adventure - a multi-discipline endurance event - Squash and three friends formed their own team, the Lipstick Blondes, and won an award for their ‘Spirit of Adventure’. But when you put yourself in extreme situations things can turn serious in an instant. On her Mont Blanc ascent, she and her climbing partner fell twice and only just managed to stop themselves hurtling off a
crevice. “That’s when you need an honest understanding of yourself,” Squash says. “I can pretend to be something, but then when the chips are down, if I find I don’t have those qualities I could die. As I was falling, rather than being totally terrified I had an amazing calm come over me, I managed to stop. It showed me that fear doesn’t have to paralyse you. I always say the day I’m not scared; that’s the day I stop. It means you’re gung ho.” For Squash, her quest to find her physical limits is the outward reflection of her inner search for happiness. “I don’t genuinely believe a lot of people invest any time in asking if they’re happy, then acting on the answer,” she says. “I consciously decided to figure out what happiness is and go after it. I want to keep being excited by life, never lose my ‘joie de vivre’. People aim for big things but miss all those moments that add up to that. When I’m freezing on a mountain what gets me through is thinking about being sat in the sun in a friend’s garden with a cup of tea.” Find out more about Squash at: squashfalconer.com
FELICIT Y ASTON If you’ve ever sat shivering alone on Tignes’ Borsat chairlift in a biting January blizzard, you might have experienced a tiny percentage of the conditions Felicity Aston braved when she became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone. As a meteorologist, 35-year-old Felicity has led expeditions in aid of science as well as for her own pursuit of adventure. Her first job was with the British Antarctic Survey and it was during three years living in a small research station, almost completely cut off from the outside world, that her love for such a harsh environment grew. “The reason Antarctica is special to me is because it’s so vast and empty,” she says. “There’s no human history; it’s ancient, it’s ice and rock, it was there long before humans and will be there when we’re long gone. I got a true perspective. It’s a place not many people get the opportunity to experience.” Stuck in a confined space in bad weather with
just 20 other people – “it was like Big Brother but you can’t vote anyone off” - Felicity learned a lot about group dynamics that would prove essential on later missions. “In endurance sports like polar expeditions, women perform really well as it involves stamina and psychology,” she says. “Women in the polar environment are doing really great stuff but they’re not as well-known as the guys. When you think of adventure personalities on TV, you immediately think Bear Grylls, Ben Fogle etc etc. But females on TV - Kate Humble is as adventurous as it gets.” The perception that a polar expedition requires a willingness to throw yourself into risky situations is completely wrong, Felicity explains. “It’s the other way round - it’s about eliminating unnecessary risk. You have to be really pedantic; you have to think about everything in advance, constantly weighing up the hazards. You can’t afford to take gambles when you’re somewhere like Antarctica because it could kill you.”
And when you’re several weeks into a mission, low on supplies, freezing cold and running on reserve, you realise that “guys cry as much as girls, girls smell as bad after six weeks in a tent as guys”. Felicity now lives in Iceland - an ideal base for her missions. But what makes her keep pushing herself to these feats of endurance? “Immediately after an expedition it’s the most amazing feeling of complete contentment – it’s a bit addictive” she explains. “So many people say they’ve always wanted to go on an expedition, and I wish I could sit them down and make them start planning it that minute, otherwise you suddenly find yourself 20 years down the line and you never got round to it. If there’s something you’ve always had an urge to do you have got to do it; there’s no excuse, there’ll never be a better chance.” Find out more about Felicit y at: felicit yaston.co.uk
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JOHANNA DAVIDSSON Polar bears, crevasses, vast areas marked ‘unexplored’ on the map and broken sledges were not the only problems faced by Swedish sisters Johanna and Caroline on their 230-mile kite trek across Greenland last summer. “After just a couple of hours we had a fight and I wondered if it was going to work,” 31-year-old Johanna says. But having to rely on your expedition teammate, and having them rely on you, in what could be life and death situations forms a unique bond. “We had one accident where a kite flew away and I had to try to catch it in a snow storm,” she remembers. “We lost each other in the low visibility. It could have been dangerous if we hadn’t found each other. I went with the wind, my sister knew I had gone in that direction, and she found me.” Neither were expert kiters when they decided to tackle the mission – “my sister was like ‘yes let’s do it, but what’s kiting?’ - but that didn’t hinder them.
“We had a bit of a crash course,” Johanna says. “I’m quite stubborn when I decide on something; I know when the will is there I can make it happen.” Johanna’s first mission – a solo 3,600km kayak round Sweden and Finland – started similarly. “I hadn’t kayaked a lot before so I talked to expert kayakers and asked what I should bring,” she says. “I like to have a goal, plan everything. It took me 3 months. When I finished and it all was a success it was great but I felt a bit empty – suddenly it’s all over. But mostly I was happy.” Johanna has spent every winter for the past 10 years in Tignes or Val d’Isere - coming back for a mixture of skiing, altitude training and friends. More missions in Norway, where she now lives, are in the planning and eventually more trips to the arctic: “I’ve got the arctic bug; the climate, the ice, the huge glaciers, icebergs. I love staying out in a tent in winter.” It’s not something that appeals to everyone but Johanna insists; “It can appeal to women as much as men. On a mission you have to really look after yourself - don’t do anything stupid, make sure you don’t lose anything in the wind. You have to make sure you’re warm and you’ve got food, have rest so you can go on. You can’t just lie down and be lazy. And when you manage to do it, and get to your goal, it’s amazing.”
Our team at Escale Blanche look forward to offering you our new lunch and evening menus. Discover fine dining in our traditional restaurant, contemporary bar or on our stunning sun terrace.
160 indoor covers 180 seat south facing terrace Open all year round Service non stop 11h30-22h00 Large groups welcome Takeaway pizzas Tignes le Lac, Front de neige next to Maison du Tignes Soups, salads, steaks, burgers, filet of beef, magret de canard, escargots, seafood, and of course all the Savoyarde specialites (tartiflette, raclette, fondue, pierrechaude)
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adventure - try paragliding, ice diving,
speedriding, ice climbing, dog sledding, ice driving, quad
Watch your children’s skiing
with our fun, friendly tuition.
riding or a helicopter trip.
You Wanted Adventure?
The outdoor activity specialist
Get more from your mountain. Join the snowsports
mountain thrills with our expert adult
tuition for all levels – with video analysis and Ice Bar reward!
on one of our challenging off-piste tours –
@TarentaiseMag descend 2000 metres, return by helicopter!
Adventure Activities expect more...
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Speedriding Combine the frenzy of freeriding with the rush of paragliding and you have speedriding. Use the chute to boost your air time on jumps, and ski lines impossible any other way. To accept the speedriding challenge you must be a high intermediate to advanced skier with some off-piste experience - and a lot of nerve.
Not suitable for snowboarders Half or full day options available
Flying down the mountain on skis is one thing, flying over them in a tandem paragliding flight is something else completely. The adrenalin rush of take-off, followed by the tranquility of riding the thermals 600m down the Solaise or Tovière mountains, make this an activity like no other. And it’s available to anyone from beginner level, no previous experience required.
Experience more of the mountains with this unforgettable aerial adventure. Let Mike, our British pilot, show you a whole new side to the Espace Killy/Mont Blanc from a unique birds-eye viewpoint. Spot your favourite runs, scout new off-piste routes and marvel at the untouched terrain in those places skis can’t go. You’ll never see the mountains in the same way again.
Book early in your holiday in case bad weather forces postponement
4 flight options l asting 5mins to 35mins Don’t forget your camera!
Wilderness Camp Let us transport you to a secret spot in the woods of Les Boisses for the ultimate apres or a special evening’s entertainment. You’ll be welcomed round the campfire at our authentic hunter’s yurt village with a bowl of warm soup and a Kir. A traditional Savoyard dinner washed down with a warming Genepi follows – in preparation for the 4km, 200 metre vertical descent moolit sledge ride. Return transport provided.
individual bookings Wednesdays and Thursdays. private group bookings taken
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*Available activities differ at our Tignes, Val d’Isère, La Rosière, Ste Foy & Les Arcs bases. Contact us for more details. Winter holidays have evolved. No longer are we satisfied with skiing the same runs until your legs ache. EXPECT MORE; the mountains have so much more to offer… These adventures are perfect for a non-skiing day, or if you’re really keen they don’t even
Enter a breathtaking underwater world that not many, other than penguins, ever get to see. Witness incredible ice formations and air bubbles suspended in reflected light. An activity you can do in all weathers.
Travel in a sledge powered by up to 7 huskies for an authentic arctic adventure. Take the driving seat and experience being a “musher” or sit back and let the dogs pull you round a stunning alpine setting.
No previous diving experience required
from €65 for drivers or €90 with passengers
quads & buggies
Tear around the snow like you’re not allowed to do in your local park, in our single-seat quads and two-seater buggies. Ages 10+ can drive these fun runners on a dedicated track.
Swerve and skid around an 800 metre ice track in the ultimate driving challenge. Choose a car from a Twingo to a Subaru GT, channel your inner Top Gear presenter and rev that engine.
Take a 10 or 20 minute spin
Drivers must be 16+ and able to drive licence not necessary
You may have climbed Snowdon or even Mont Blanc, but have you ever scaled a floodlit natural frozen waterfall? If you’re new to climbing on ice your high mountain guide will teach you how to use ice axes and crampons. You just need a basic fitness level to conquer the frozen wall.
The Tarentaise is fast becoming the most popular destination for adventure stag and hen dos with an endless variety of summer activities: Rafting, Hydrospeeding, Canyoning, VTT downhill mountain biking, Paintballing, Paragliding, Via ferrata, Rock climbing, High ropes adventure course
from €93 Stags and Hens – New for 2015!
Must be over 14 years old
Let us tailor your perfect getaway. @TarentaiseMag
firstname.lastname@example.org | +33 (0)4 79 00 77 29 - val d'isere
have to eat into your powder time…some are great alternatives for whiteout days or evenings.
Children's group Ski evolve more... YETI academy -
Our fun Yeti learning system will enable your child to EVOLVE MORE - into a better, safer, happier skier.
FRIENDLY TUITION: maximum group sizes of 6-8 FLEXIBILITY: we group children based on ability and move them between groups as they progress at different rates
email@example.com | +33 (0)4 79 08 35 29 - tignes
FUN: we use games like a Yeti Hunt to assess children, rather than scary tests REWARDS: children ‘graduate’ with free medals at an end of week ceremony
1 week experience
Complete beginners. Introduction to snowplough turns, stopping and how to use chair and button lifts.
3 - 4 weeks experience
Able to snowplough on gentle green runs. Develop snowplough turns on green and blue slopes, stem turns on gentle slopes and introduction of poles.
Able to parallel ski on blue and easy reds. Refine both short and long parallel turns on blue and red slopes on varied terrain.
2-3 weeks experience
5 - 6 weeks experience
Able to snowplough on blue runs. Progress onto parallel turns on green and blue slopes and develop long radius turns.
Able to comfortably parallel ski on reds. Refine short parallel turns on black and steep slopes, moguls and variable snow conditions.
JUNIOR ACADEMY or COMPETITION
14-18 years with 9+ weeks experience
9-14 years with 7+ weeks experience
You’re already powering down any slope, on all types of snow and terrain, and always the winner in the race to the Folie Douce for lunch. So what next? You need our Extreme course to develop off-piste technique, mountain safety and awareness. We’ll show you how to bravely ski where no-one has skied before (since the previous evening), enabling you to get so much more from your mountain.
If you’re paralleling confidently on any slope you’re ready to start the first of our three academy levels. We’ll push you to improve your technique on steep slopes and moguls, develop your freestyle expression with snowpark and skicross experience, and open up a whole new world of powder with an introduction to off-piste. Or serious racers with a need for speed can work through our three competition levels – from slalom to giant slalom.
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* Send your questions into Source via Facebook, Twitter or email and our instructors will answer them in their weekly online Q&A session
Adult's Group Ski experience more... Q: “I’m a competent skier and used to enjoy leading my children
Q: “When I did my season I could give Bode Miller a run for his
down most runs, but suddenly the kids are whizzing ahead and on
money. But several years on I’d like to check I’ve still got it rather
their third Fruit Shoot by the time I arrive down for lunch. What
than book straight onto a tour and risk bringing up the rear. Can
should I do?” Frustrated, Bognor.
you help?” Mountain Mogul, Kent.
A: “It’s tempting to keep the Fruit Shoots on your person and make
A: “Even Bode Miller sometimes needs to check his ski legs,
the children ski with you in order to get one, but a better way to
especially after a big night on the piste. Get yourself to our Fine
deal with this problem is to improve your own skiing to keep up
Skills Clinic and we’ll refine your technique.”
with your children. Try one of our Perfecting Parallels courses and you’ll soon be up to speed.”
Q: I’ve never skied but my new partner is a pro and wants a mountain trip for his 50th. I’d like to learn so I could join him on
Q: “I haven’t managed to get to the mountains for the last few years
the odd blue, but I don’t want to feel silly if I’m the oldest and
and now I find I’m shattered by 3pm and heading for an early bath.
slowest in a class…” Old Dog, Bournemouth.
Is this a sign of age?” Weary, Essex. A: “So many adult beginners tell us they’ve been put off booking A: “Don’t worry, you probably don’t need to start using your ski
lessons for that very reason, which just goes to show how many are
poles as walking sticks just yet. Tiredness is a sign your technique
in the same boat! Our Learn2Turn course sticks to small group sizes
needs work, especially if you’ve not skied for a while. You could
and we move people round as some progress faster than others. The
benefit from our Check-up Clinic to brush up your skills.”
emphasis is on developing technique and, importantly, having fun!”
Fine Skills Clinic
Develop snowplough turns, control speed and stop in control on green runs
Try before you commit to a lesson plan
Master a controlled falling leaf and basic front side and back side turns
Beginner+ to Intermediate+
Go from smooth parallel turns on green runs to refined turns on red and bl ack slopes and tackling moguls. Groups created based on level.
Master a controlled falling leaf and basic front side and back side turns
Develop skills for offpiste, including carving, bumps and final off-piste day
Beginner+ to Intermediate+
From smooth linked turns on green slopes to learning how to carve on reds
Develop parallel turns on blue and easy red runs
Develop skills required for off-piste; course includes a final off-piste day
Included: Group maximum of 8 people Video analysis for you to keep End of week trip to our mountain Ice Bar
open to children from 8 years old
"The instructor was exceptionally
"The best ski school I've
"My wife had been nervously snowploughing
ideas into simple actions - I did my
instructor was perfect,
was (nearly) making parallel turns, able to
good at breaking down complex
first ever ski jumps in the snow
park. I would never have dared to try them alone!" Fred from London
ever used. Our Italian
praising everyone's good technique and helping us correct our faults." Andrea from Newcastle
green runs… after two hours with Jeff she
gain and control her speed on her first blue
run. For the first time she had a smile on her face following a day on the slopes." Angus from Birmingham
firstname.lastname@example.org | +33 (0)4 79 00 77 29 - val d'isere
Our instructors are always on hand to answer your snow-related questions - and help you EXPERIENCE MORE mountain thrills.
Off-piste tours explore more... Away from the bustle of the lift queues lie virgin slopes –long uninterrupted descents covered in untouched snow, waiting for your skis to make their first tracks. And if it requires a helicopter to get back to resort afterwards, so be it! Join one of our tours to EXPLORE MORE of the mountain and experience the unrivalled feeling of freedom from going off-piste Included: • Transceiver • Avalanche rescue pack (usually an ABS), probe and shovel • Ski equipment check / advice on appropriate skis or snowboard
€99 per person
Tovière to Chevril
for Skiers and snowboarders Half day
Drop in through one of numerous couloirs leading off La Pointe du Lavachet, across the Tovière pass and down through the Bois de la Laye to the Lac du Chevril. Over 1000m vertical descent and helicopter return to resort.
€99 per person
Espace Killy Tour
for Skiers and snowboarders full day
Sample some of the classic routes around the resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isère, with the entire 25,000 acres of the Espace Killy at your disposal including one of the Freeride World Tour Qualifier routes.
€150 per person
for Skiers only full day
An epic day of backcountry exploring through the Vanoise National Park and the ski resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs including a final run into Villaroger. Face the 40°+ north face of the Bellecôte, and a 2000m vertical descent of the Aiguille Rouge.
from €279 per person
for Skiers only full day
Tour begins on the Pisaillas glacier, takes you over the Col de l’Ouille Noire and down into the Maurienne Valley to the village of Bonneval sur Arcs. Stunning helicopter return over the Vanoise National Park.
€1300 for 1 – 4 people
for Skiers and snowboarders full day
Ski across the Franco-Italian border from La Rosière to the waiting helicopter. Get dropped at the summit of a mountain in Italy, where the day is then spent. Final descent back into France. Minibus to and from your resort.
Whether you need help to improve technique, or want a fully qualified guide to show you safely round the expanse of the Espace Killy, private sessions offer reassurance and peace of mind.
Book a private instructor/guide for anything from a couple of hours to a full day.
Discover the area’s classic routes or work on off-piste technique.
Groups of up to 6 friends of similar ability can share the session - and the cost. Private tuition is available for ski, snowboard, telemark, cross-country and ski touring. /tarentaisesourcemagazine
From €52/hr (depending on group size) Lunchtime offer: 12-1.30pm. Take advantage of quiet pistes, short lift queues and no ski schools around – and get more time on the slope.
From €180 for half a day (the total cost for a group of up to 6 people). Includes all necessary avalanche protection gear. @Evo2Tignes @Evo2VDI
Find us in Val d'Isere, Tignes, La Rosiere, st foy & Les Arcs. See back page for details.
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Training Snowsports Instructors Worldwide www.basi.org.uk/content/basi-businesspartners.aspx
Your fast track route to becoming a qualified Snowsports Instructor BOOK NOW for 2014 / 15! Switzerland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Andorra, Canada, & Argentina • 2 week • 4 week • 5 week • 6 week • 10 week courses available
BASI Business Partners 2014 / 15
Photo credit : © ICE, Val d’Isere, www.icesi.org
Skier : Dave Cowell
It’s the hot topic in the mountains, it’s hit international headlines and resulted in people losing their jobs, being arrested and taken to court. Just who should be able to teach skiing/ snowboarding, and guide groups on the mountain, in France? In most countries, instructors can get by with a British Level 2 (of 4) instructor qualification. Anything above that allows you to teach more advanced skiers and snowboarders - and usually earn more money. France, however, is sticking to a much stricter system which doesn’t allow anyone without the top qualification to teach – unless you’re being trained by an approved school to become fully qualified. This system is backed up by law and, the country has made clear, enforced by police. Things came to a head when ski school owner Simon Butler, who has instructed in France for over 30 years, was arrested in February 2014. His school employed English instructors that weren’t qualified to Level 4, nor were they in the French system as trainees or ‘stagieres’ - and there were questions over whether Butler’s own qualifications met current French standards. Butler claimed European law on the free movement of labour supports instructors’ rights to teach anywhere on the continent using their British qualifications. The headlines in Britain accused France of waging a ‘piste war’ on foreign instructors, and even London mayor Boris Johnson waded in describing the arrest as a ‘shameless and unrepentant breach, by France, of the principles of the European Single Market’. Butler lost the case, was fined €30,000 by the French court and faced 200 days jail time if he failed to pay up. On top of that he was told by the judge that he might like to try working in Switzerland, where the qualification level is much lower. Ouch. He’s now preparing to take his case to the higher European Court. /tarentaisesourcemagazine
So just what does it take to teach skiing and snowboarding in France? As well as having to achieve the top instructing qualification, since 2004 skiers also need to pass the notorious Eurotest (also known as the speed test). This means they must complete a Giant Slalom course in 18% (24% for women) of the time of a world championship racer. Snowboarders face similar tests – they must earn a certain amount of FIS (Federation International du Ski) points through either racing or freestyle to prove their ability. Recent events have prompted the question of French snowsports authorities: Why so serious? Is it necessary for instructors to pass gruelling (and expensive) exams to become semi-professional racers when they’ll spend most of their time teaching children how to snowplough?
Is it necessary for instructors to become semi-professional racers when they’ll spend most of their time teaching children how to snowplough? Most instructors in resort will tell you it is. The fact that they all have to reach the high technical level it takes to complete the Eurotest means pupils of all abilities can be assured of the best tuition, they argue. BASI (the British Association of Snowsport Instructors) agrees: “No matter what level is being taught, having a more knowledgeable, skilled and highly qualified instructor will
make the learning experience more enjoyable and effective. There are industry figures suggesting that many first time skiers do not return to the sport, so having more highly qualified instructors teaching complete beginners is possibly a good way to keep them involved.” But is a Eurotest pass the best way to choose instructors? Most people who book in for lessons are not hoping to be taught by someone who can reach 130kph on a pair of skis – but someone who can encourage them to feel confident, explain technique well and make it fun. After all, does a faster instructor really make a better instructor? The best skier in the world is not guaranteed to make a good teacher - helping people reach their potential is an entirely different skill to haring down The Face. The problem is that the French system is all or nothing; stagieres have to pass the Eurotest within 4 years or lose their training place. There’s no room for a sudden influx of Europeans working to their own, less strict qualifications, though you'll find many British ski schools doing it by the French book and thriving here. Whether you agree with it or not, it's currently the law. To make their position clear, BASI removed Butler’s membership of the association for flouting French law and putting his staff in danger of prosecution. However, it’s not just instructors that French police are cracking down on here in the mountains. Ever been shown around the piste by a friendly chalet host? Unless they were a fully qualified ski instructor, they could have been breaking the law. Many holiday
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They feared it was an accident waiting to happen – having untrained seasonnaires responsible for people on the hill, making onthe-spot decisions that could lead them into danger.
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PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SKI BOOTS?
FEET HURTING? FOOT SPECIALIST MICHEL RICHERMOZ AND HIS TEAM AT SKISET VAL CLARET CAN HELP
NO MATTER WHAT PROBLEMS YOU HAVE WITH YOUR SKI BOOTS WE WILL FIND A SOLUTION companies, as well as the Ski Club of Great Britain, used to offer a ski guide’s services for free – someone local to show people new to the area a few good routes and the best places to stop for a hot chocolate. But they’ve had to stop after the French courts banned anyone other than fully qualified instructors leading organised groups around the mountain.
does a faster instructor really make a bet ter instructor? They feared it was an accident waiting to happen – having untrained seasonnaires responsible for people on the hill, making on-the-spot decisions that could lead them into danger. On the other hand; as most people won’t be too keen on paying instructors’ prices essentially for someone to point them in the right direction, the consequence is that more holiday skiers will venture out unaccompanied. Guides brought valuable local knowledge of routes and snow conditions – so does the French ban on them really make groups safer? Or could there be a compromise to be made by creating a regulated
training system, teaching essential skills like mountain awareness and rescue techniques? France may end up having to compromise on this, as guiding was such a popular service it’s possible the ban will sway holidaymakers into choosing other destinations in countries that do allow it. Ski Sunday presenter Graham Bell says: “I fully support the fact that you need to be fully qualified if you’re going to instruct and obey the qualification process in place for the country you intend to work in; it’s only fair. I’m less convinced about the hosting regulations and think it’s going to hurt the industry. There’s a big difference between skiing socially with a guide and trying to teach people to ski and improve their technique. No-one’s ever said ski guides and hosts are instructors.” Tour operators are appealing the judges’ decision and, as all these issues are thrashed out though the courts and in the media, we’re all left to form our own opinions. We can only hope the fallout in the meantime doesn’t cost us talented instructors or put people off holidaying in some of the best resorts in the world here in France.
OVER 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN INDIVIDUALLY FITTING BOOTS
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It’s a bluebird sky, the powder’s fresh and a full day of slope-time beckons. It couldn’t get any bet ter. Except your feet are aching in your boots, you’re squinting through foggy goggles and your fingers - well, you're not sure because you can no longer feel them. If you don't get your gear exactly right, it can ruin your day. Not only are equipment problems the cause of many a bad mood, they can also lead to accident and injury. Fortunately, experts Snowberry are here to answer your questions on how to avoid holiday kit hell. What can I do to stop my feet getting so cold? It’s really painful!
It’s not just my feet, my hands get really cold and sore too…
How can I stop my goggles from constantly fogging up?
I’ve got the latest goggles but can’t see a thing in flat light - why?
In the cold your body’s natural reaction is to redirect warm blood to the vital core area, leaving less for your extremities. The blood supply to your toes will be even less if your boots are cutting off the circulation, and if you start off with any moisture round your foot it will quickly freeze. Use our tips to help avoid frosty feet:
Many a camera has been dropped and smashed by shivering skiers fumbling with freezing fingers. Cold hands can make you miserable but with the right type of glove you can avoid painfully stiff digits:
It's no fun for anyone if you're falling over small children every two minutes because your vision’s impaired by foggy goggles. You can’t guarantee completely clear goggles, but there's a lot you can do to prevent or get rid of fog:
• Too-tight gloves won’t trap enough warm air to keep you toasty. Consider mittens - the larger pocket area traps more warm air. • Glove liners provide extra insulation and move sweat away from your skin. • Look for gloves which are both waterproof and breathable - otherwise when your sweat freezes so do your hands! • Look for good insulation down, Primaloft and other good quality synthetics. Contrary to what some people think, Gore-tex and similar waterproof breathables won’t keep you warm.
• Good ventilation sweeps moist air away from the lens before it can settle. Look for a combination of frame and lens ventilation. • Double-lensed goggles work like double-glazed windows - they're more effective than single lenses as the sealed air space insulates the inner lens. • Never rub the inside of the lens - you could damage the anti-fog coating • Don't put your goggles on your head when you stop - the sweat funnels right in. • In some conditions it's impossible to prevent fogging when you stop. But the anti-fog features kicks in once you’re moving to clear them quickly.
Different lens colours reflect light differently, and lenses vary in colour density from 1 (lightest) to 4 (darkest). For very bad weather you need a yellow, light orange or blue lens in category 1 - this will let as much light in as possible and enhance light and shadow.
• Don’t over-tighten your boots and unclip them when you stop. • Dirty socks absorb more sweat so make sure they’re clean but avoid fabric softeners as they can make your feet sweat more. • Two pairs of socks are not better than one. The extra thickness restricts blood flow and the socks rub against each other causing friction. • Try spraying your feet with anti-perspirant (not deodorant). • Invest in chemical foot-heating pads or if the problem’s more serious, go for batteryoperated boot warmers /tarentaisesourcemagazine
Grey and brown lenses are more suitable for very bright weather, while orange or pinks are allround options. Lenses meant for brighter weather will allow less light through to reduce glare, squinting and headaches and usually have category 2-4 colour density.
Susan is a director of Snowberry ski hire shop in Val d’Isere
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Guerlain Chicherit, founder of cult ski brand Coreupt, is such a legend in Tignes he has a ski route named after him. Of course, it’s one of the most challenging off-pistes in resort – which is fit ting for a man who’s made it to the top of not one but three of the world’s most dangerous sports. After winning his fourth world title in freeriding – a discipline so extreme he lost 10 friends to it during his career – Chicherit suddenly quit to try ‘a new challenge’. Throwing himself into rally driving he won the French Rally Cup, FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, and several stages of the Dakar - the toughest endurance rally in the world Moving on to stunt driving, he pushed the limits of his nerve, precision and determination to complete the world’s first unassisted backflip in a car, in Tignes in February 2013. The following month, again in Tignes, he spectacularly crashed at tempting the world’s longest car jump. He emerged miraculously unscathed - only to start planning his next at tempt in the ambulance..
The 37-year-old is somewhat of a celebrity in France, but not well known outside it - yet. So let me put you straight. If you’re imagining a cocky swagger, macho air and slightly unhinged demeanour; you’re way off. The man I interview is quiet, thoughtful and down-toearth. After he matter-of-factly lists his deathdefying exploits I’m on the edge of my seat. Doesn’t he feel any fear? ‘Yes’ he says; that anything should happen to his baby daughter. Now that he has a family – wife Lauren, her 5-year-old daughter Marley, and their baby Charlie - he says he thinks ‘a bit more’ about /tarentaisesourcemagazine
the risks he takes. Though he’s still planning another attempt at the world car jump record in 2015, another world-first aerial car stunt the following year, and another crack at winning the Dakar rally. “I like this feeling - to play with gravity,” he explains. “I think I need this like someone needs to smoke, someone needs to drink or needs drugs; I need to have my adrenalin. I’m addicted.” Though he’s careful to add, “I don’t think I play with my life. I do something because I know I can do it. I’m not playing Russian Roulette.” Perfecting his work is an obsession for
Chicherit. He spent 4 years preparing for the backflip; tweaking the angle of the ramp, the engine, building the car. In that time he had many crashes including three that put him in hospital. The worst was landing on the roof from a height of 17 metres.
I think I need this like someone needs to smoke, someone needs to drink or needs drugs; I need to have my adrenalin. I’m addicted.
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“When you really want something you have to work hard” he tells me. “That’s the only way you can do something really well. You need to be really calm, think a lot and be well organised with everything. You can’t be crazy – if you are crazy you don’t feel the danger. I really feel the danger; I’m scared but I like to be able to control it.” His energy and determination to push the boundaries was evident as a child. “I have been
When you accomplish your dream you need to find a new goal. His decision to quit skiing at the height of his career came as a shock to friends as well as the industry. But Chicherit
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world champion because I work ten times more than the other guys,” he insists. “When I was a kid we would finish training at 12:00, then we’d have sport at 17:00. All the other kids went home to rest and watch TV; I stayed on my skis. I’d have my sandwiches in my backpack, eat them on the lift, keep skiing until 16:30 then go straight to sport. I never stopped – skiing, running, biking. When I was skiing I was always doing the highest jump, the steepest line; I’ve always been like this.”
shrugs, “When you accomplish your dream you need to find a new goal. The decision was quite easy but people were surprised. I was getting good sponsors, I was really well paid. I decided I wanted to stop skiing and drive, so I quit all my contracts and started again from zero. It was a new challenge. I won the French rally cup and signed more contracts.” The risk level ramped up with the Dakar rally – 3 weeks of driving up to 15 hours a day, in
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That’s the first time she realised and understood it could be bad 60 degree heat. The terrain was so harsh that the impact of landing the car twisted vertebrae in his spine and on one occasion he finished the race with two broken wrists. “That’s what you have to do if you want to win," says Chicherit. But even he was powerless to carry on after his car set on fire and exploded seconds after he managed to jump out, blowing the tyres 30 metres into the sky. The near-miss only fuelled Chicherit’s ambition to win the race - hopefully in 2015. When that’s achieved “maybe it will be something else… I’m quite into dirt bikes”. But first, plans are already in full swing for his second car jump record attempt in Los Angeles, America. So what went wrong the first time? “I understood really quickly it wouldn’t work,” he says. “I heard and felt the back of the car touch the ramp and knew it couldn’t land. In that moment I was scared but knew it was going to be OK. I knew I would roll, but rally cars are built for that. I wasn’t thinking ‘I’m going to die’.” After, a film was released which showed his wife and her daughter’s terrified reaction as they witnessed the car roll and break up. “That’s the first time she realised and understood it could be bad” he sighs. “It was a big panic for everybody. For her, to imagine me inside, she imagined I’m dead. That’s what everyone was thinking. But that’s my job, so my wife accepts that.” Incredibly, he spent just one night in hospital feeling “really annoyed I didn’t do it. I felt I had failed.
When I was in the ambulance 5 minutes afterwards I was already thinking of rebuilding the car and jumping again.” He may not feel fear for himself, but what if Charlie wanted to follow in his footsteps in a few years? “I will say do what you want. I never accept someone telling me what I have to do. If she wants to drive she’s going to drive. If she wants to ski she’s going to ski. For sure I will not like it. I will really not like it. But I will never say no. Now she’s starting to walk and I’m always stressed when she falls - but I let her. I have my eyes on her for sure; I let her try, and cry, and try again. That’s what makes you stronger.” Chicherit’s house reflects in equal parts his creativity and preoccupation with boy’s toys - and it’s a messy testament to the family life he loves. A twisted piece of metal from the remains of his last Dakar car hangs in his house – round the neck of a giant red plastic penguin. The motorbike ridden by Vin Diesel in the film Babylon perches on a stand in the living room. Original art pieces dot the rooms (see it for yourself in the video on our website). Nominated for the World’s Best Ski Chalet competition, he designed the luxury pad in Les Brevieres himself. After his ski brand Coreupt publically failed, going into liquidation at the height of its popularity in 2012 due to cash flow problems, Chicherit is training his business brain on property development. He plans to build a similarly glamourous chalet in Val d’Isere - this time the novelty feature will be a slide from the top floor to the exit. I couldn’t imagine building a normal house,” he says. “If I do something I have to be different, I have to be crazy.” Property is a very different type of risk but a risk nonetheless, I observe. Even if I lose everything and start from zero I really don’t care, I don’t get stressed,” he smiles. “That’s OK, that’s the game."
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NEED FOR SPEED? Ever looked wistfully at a perfect descent – except for that cliff in the way? Despair no longer - the sport of speedriding is designed to solve that problem. Merely attach a kite to your back, ski off the drop and fly down to continue your line further on. It’s rapidly gained popularity over the last few years and Les Arcs has become one of Europe’s leading resorts for the sport. The Les Arcs Speedriding School opened its doors 8 years ago and now teaches 200 pupils each winter.
there’s an obstacle, you just fly over it; it makes you feel light,” says founder Arnaud Baumy. “Skiing fast becomes easy. The faster you go the more lift you get - after 35-40kph it totally lifts you. Sometimes you think you’re on the snow but you’re flying.” The kite itself is smaller than a paraglider and designed to follow the ground so you can land and ski off smoothly. The technical part is “quite easy”, Baumy insists: “On the first lesson you’ll take off, the second day you’ll be 6 metres high.”
“It’s like driving a car – that can be dangerous in the wrong hands,” says Baumy. “Before, people didn’t know what to expect. It’s a huge adrenalin rush and it’s hard to control yourself; you want to push a bit more. It’s important to control that and do what you’re able to do. You can do it in a very safe way.” In fact, the school has never had a serious accident.
As the sport’s pioneers experimented in its early days, there were a frightening number of reports of people being killed or injured. But safety improved dramatically after governing
Les Arcs is the perfect spot to try the sport, according to Baumy: “It’s protected from the wind, not many skiers so no collisions, very nice beginners slopes and it’s also great for very advanced.”
bodies were set up, equipment was modified and speedriding has now ‘taken off’ in the mainstream.
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SNOW DESERT DISCOVERY Discover the untouched beauty of the mountains on a snowshoe walk. Why walk when you can ski or snowboard, I hear you ask? Well, a raquette (snowshoe) guide will take you off the beaten track to places skis can’t go. Donning your tennis racket-like snowshoes, visit a landscape of huge rolling snow dunes, like a bright white desert of pristine powder. You can even dive straight in. It’s the perfect way to unwind and an activity enjoyed by the whole family, with trails selected to suit levels of fitness and ability. When there’s a whiteout at the top of the mountain you’ll often find it’s the perfect condition to explore the forests on foot. Several adventure/activity companies offer snowshoe treks and your guide will show you how to recognise animal prints and different species of mountain plants. He'll usually give you a history of the area too. Some will even make you a fondue and hot drink in a picture-perfect snowscape.
Mountain guru Daniel Truel lives in La Plagne and leads treks around there (see raquette.info) and in the Himalayas. He’s passionate about showing holidaymakers a different side to the mountains: “I love sharing my knowledge of the mountain environment - and there is a growing demand to go off the beaten track, away from the piste. The land near La Plagne is of great diversity, it’s a large landscape of environmental interest.” There are lots of options for a snowshoe trip – from a night walk ending at an isolated cottage or igloo for a meal, or a weekend-long trek overnighting in a refuge. Truel offers a minibus collection service to pick groups up from Tignes, Val d’Isere and nearby resorts. Equipment hire is included in the prices, which start from €15.
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Transparent pricing Simply pay depending on your size of operation and the level of service that you offer. From just €0.79 per room per month. With no fixed contract or upfront costs.
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For a completely different skiing experience, spend a day discovering your neighbouring resorts. It’s easier than you might think to access some nearby hidden gems – and get ting out of your usual ski area can feel like a mini-holiday in itself. Presenting your valid Espace Killy or Paradiski pass will even get you discounts or free lifts.
so here are some tips to get you exploring! FROM ESPACE KILLY Sainte Foy Don’t be fooled by the family-friendly label - it’s because most people in resort stick to the piste that Sainte Foy can offer some great skiing for those willing to venture off it. Since the off-piste is left for the experts, snow can stay fresh for hours and you can keep making those first tracks. In Sainte Foy many off-piste routes are easily accessible but to really take advantage of your day out, and stay safe, Linges des Alpes Advert.pdf
go with a guide who knows where to go and what the snow conditions are like. One of my favourites involves taking the traverse to get around the back of the Col du Granier and end up in La Masure, where you can then get the free inter-villages navette (bus) back into Sainte Foy resort. You’re set for some fairly easy first descents on various snow fields and then for a thrilling run back through a trail in the woods, passing
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a summer farming village. Be sure to get the correct bus timetable from the tourist office for your trip back or you could be waiting a long time. A skipass is best purchased by showing your 6-day Espace Killy pass and receipt. This will give you access to Sainte Foy for €15.50. If you don’t have a ski pass, try to get your hands on a receipt from Super U in Bourg Saint Maurice.
HOTEL**- RESTAURANT - BAR/SNACK situated at the foot of the nursery slopes this is the ideal meeting place for lunch or evening meals. The restaurant has a great family atmosphere in a true alpine setting serving traditional cuisine and mountain specialties.
Fournisseur: Linge de Maison, lits, chaises, fauteuils (peau de vache). Distributeur: Crèmes de soins, savon… Spécialiste International: Hôtelier, tour-opérateur et particuliers.
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La Relais Du Petit Saint Bernard - La Rosière
Situated at the foot of the slopes in the heart of St Foy this beautifully restored former farmhouse possesses the best food and location in town. Offering a range of Savoyarde classics catering to everyone’s tastes. The affordable lunch menu makes this the perfect place to meet after lessons but be sure to book in the evenings.
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La Maison a Colonnes - ST foy
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A discount coupon on the back will give you a reduced rate on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From Tignes or Val d’Isère you can get the public bus to Sainte Foy main village and then get the inter-villages navette up to resort. La Rosière/Espace San Bernardo A daytrip to La Rosière typically means a ski over the border to Italy. The Espace San Bernardo ski pass is priced at €41.50, compared to a La Rosière pass at €36.70, and it’s definitely worth the difference. Worth noting is that if you’re on a 6-day ski pass in your own resort you’ll get the discounted tariff of €27, so remember to bring your lift pass and the receipt that came with it! Going to Italy also means you can take advantage of heli-skiing; something which isn’t allowed on the French side of the border. The ski schools in La Rosière can help you organise a spectacular day out.
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Once you’ve made it down to the charming town of La Thuile and had pasta for lunch, just make sure you leave enough time to get across the long traverse back to the Chardonnet lift that’ll take you back to La Rosière and France before 4pm. Les Arcs & L a Pl agne The Paradiski area is also easily accessible from Val d’Isère and Tignes. Catch the bus down to Bourg Saint Maurice and then the funiculaire up to Les Arcs for quick access to a whole different kind of resort. Les Arcs is a great alternative on a whiteout day as the tree skiing is more abundant than in the Espace Killy. The Paradiski area includes Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry, and the three resorts together make a vast ski area with so many possible routes to explore you won’t have to ski the same piste twice. The best part of this ski away area is that you can get a free day pass if you show your valid 6-day Espace Killy pass and receipt. A day pass for one adult is normally priced at €55.50, so It would be a shame to not take advantage!
FROM PARADISKI If you’re staying in Les Arcs or La Plagne, you can get similar discounts and free lifts in nearby resorts using your Paradiski pass. The funiculaire in Arc 1600 gives easy access to the transport hub of Bourg Saint Maurice, so you can easily catch a bus up to the Espace Killy, La Rosière and Sainte Foy for a great day out. If you do head up to the Espace Killy, you’ll benefit from the free day pass deal when showing your 6-day ski pass and receipt. If you’re feeling up for the challenge, a good way to see both Val d’Isère and Tignes is to ski the four corners. This can be done in a day if you’ve got the legs for it. The four corners are Les Brevières, Grande Motte Glacier, Le Fornet and Glacier du Pisaillas.
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A trainee ski instructor with Oxygene, Linda Stridh writes a blog entitled ‘random is a very useful expression’ about her alpine lifest yle – lindastridh.blogspot.com
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It’s 16 years since 8-times British Ski Champion Graham Bell stepped off the racing piste and in front of the camera but don’t accuse him of slowing down. He’s a regul ar ironman competitor and currently training for 6 marathons in 5 days in the heat of the Moroccan desert for charit y.
You both reached high levels in your sports before moving into T V. Do you miss competing? Graham: Sochi was my fifth Olympics as a reporter and I did five as an athlete, so now I’ve spent almost as much time commentating as I did competing. I didn’t miss it when I quit; I much prefer what I do now. I think I’m a better commentator and reporter than I ever was a ski racer. It’s easy to forget how much hard work and dedication goes into being a professional sportsman and more is required all the time. Ed: By injuring myself and then looking at the sport from outside as a journalist I was able to enjoy it a lot more. Now my work’s in the mountains, I have an excuse to be here all the time. I’d break my knee again every time. Graham, you’re filming a second series of The Jump, but l ast time so many contestants had to quit due to injury you almost ran out before the final. Do you think the show is good for the snowsports industry? Graham: There was a big difference in skill levels. Some that started at a low level got quite good, and were pushing it quite hard - that could be a reason there were so many injuries. Everyone was taking a lot of risks to get through. Darren Gough didn’t tell anyone about breaking his ribs because he knew they wouldn’t allow him to carry on; it was only when he was
…she bent d own an d I pushed her face into t he trif l e /tarentaisesourcemagazine
Ski Sunday co-presenter Ed Leigh is ploughing his boundless energy into T V projects aimed at inspiring people to take up extreme sports. He still snowboards 8 weeks a year, though these days he saves his best lines for the commentary box. And injury has ruled him out of defending his Air Guitar Champion title…
knocked out that he went to hospital. What we asked the celebrities to do wasn’t what you would do on your skiing holiday. However, the show did bring home how dangerous winter sports are unless you’re trained. That’s what makes them so good - the adrenalin and high risk. I hope we made people want to have a go. Fans of Amy Childs (The Only Way Is Essex), who wouldn’t necessarily have considered going skiing, saw her going from complete Ground Zero to being able to do a giant slalom course - and she really enjoyed it. It’s a great advert for the sport. Viewers who wouldn’t have watched otherwise may have watched Sochi off the back of it and even taken it up. So what were the celebrities really like? Graham: Steve Redgrave was the most competitive person I’ve ever met. It’s a shame he crashed. He was pernickety; he became the shop steward of the celebrities. Competing at Olympic level you need to know the rules, what you can and can’t do when you’re trying everything you can to win. But we had to make changes due to the weather and circumstances, so we had to put in a Steve Redgrave Clause – that the producers reserved the right to adapt the rules at any time. Donal MacIntyre was like the crash test dummy. He would throw himself down anything. He had this inner sense that everything would be alright, and lots of the time it wouldn’t be alright! He had no self-preservation instinct at all, which is quite refreshing. The best pupil was Kimberley Wyatt, the Pussycat Doll. Very enthusiastic, very keen to learn, and easy to coach and instruct. She went from complete beginner through to a pretty good intermediate to advanced skier in 6 weeks. Sinitta; she was scared most of the time about most things but
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she didn’t let that fear stop her. I used to tell her that actually makes her the bravest person there. If you’re almost petrified with fear then you conquer that and do it anyway, that deserves much more respect than someone who had no fear in the first place. Ed, has your at titude to safet y in snowsports changed with age and accidents like Schumacher’s? Ed: Schumacher was tremendously unlucky. For me, it depends what day it is. I always wear a helmet when I’m riding with my kids but some other days I don’t. Some days I feel reckless, and on those days you learn not to push yourself. Some people could level an accusation of irresponsibility at me as a parent but I have a very high threshold for adrenalin. There are days when I feel it and I’m confident in myself and in the conditions and I think “you know what, I can do it today”. You were both Sochi commentators - what was it like to be involved in such a gamechanging success story? Graham: It was great to watch the guys I’ve seen come through – Woodsy [James Woods] I’ve known since a kid jumping at the ski show. The fact that we did so well at slopestyle has changed the outlook of skiing and snowboarding in the UK. The money coming in from the lottery will make a massive difference to slopestyle and hopefully that programme will increase. We’ve got 4 years to win another medal. It’s pretty brutal, UK sports policy on medals, you have to deliver or the money goes again. The pressure is now even greater and the next Olympics will be the most important. Ed, how do you feel looking back at the controversy over your “hysterical” commentary on the Jenny Jones final? Ed: The Olympics was a situation that was out of my control. I was really worried about Jenny winning the medal because we’ve been friends for 20 plus years, she’s close to family and it was the first medal I was close to. I started thinking “oh god, if she medals I don’t know if I’m going to be able to not cry”, which is probably the worst thing you can do as a broadcaster.
Amy Fuller is a really good friend but I knew I wouldn’t be able to control her in the commentary box. She just blazed in with the excitement levels. When the backlash came I was angry - it’s me who takes the flack. The BBC got 300 complaints, but the next day they had 2000 complaints about the fact that they’d apologised. Within 4 days I had 2 more TV series and another on the backburner. I got some incredible abuse, especially on social media, but many more compliments. As low as it went and as disappointed as I was that people got so upset, I feel we stayed true to the sport and for the majority of people that passion was something they enjoyed. I probably align my commentary style closest with Murray Walker – shrill, uneducated at times, but passionate. Commentary style hasn’t @TarentaiseMag
changed in 50 or 60 years and there’s an appetite for a different style, especially in action sports. Grans now know what a double grab is because of my commentary and I’m proud of that. You both have emotional at tachments to Val d’Isere – what keeps you coming back? Graham: I raced the British championships on the downhill OK course, at age 15 when I first raced the Premiere Neige there. It was the first stop on the World Cup tour and there were so many Brits it was like a home race to start the season. Val d’Isere has very good lifts, very accessible off piste… there’s just so much of it. You’ve got to take it day by day - Sache to Brev can be the best run ever or a slushy mogully
moment that happens you think OK the next one will be a hit so I’m going home. Resorts are transient towns where the bulk of the population changes each year. My Val d’Isere was between 1994 and 1999. In the season that you’re in a resort, that town belongs to you. Now it’s such a different place for me. I watch the kids getting drunk and I laugh because I think I’m going to get first tracks as they won’t be getting up in the morning.
I broke my knee trying to backflip off a stage in Dick’s trying to impress a girl
We hear both of you met your wives in Val d’Isere. We assume you wooed them with your sporting prowess and the beautiful surroundings?
Ed, we believe you went on to much greater stage performance success?
Graham: Sarah was a chalet girl and she’d never skied before. I was racing the Premiere Neige. We’d gone a bit early to do some training in Val and we were staying in her
experience, so you’ve got to judge the conditions. But when you get good powder it’s one of the best runs anywhere.
chalet, but Sarah had been warned by one of the skiing guides not to talk to us because we weren’t trustworthy. I spent two or three days trying to talk to her, she wasn’t having any of it. I made a last ditch attempt when she served up a trifle for dessert with lots of cream on top. I said the cream smelt off. She got really angry and insisted it was fresh that morning. I told her she should smell it, she bent down and I pushed her face into the trifle. Either she would really hate me or finally start talking to me, and fortunately it was the latter.
Ed: Val d’Isere has one of the highest tree lines in Europe and my favourite kind of riding is really thick, heavy snowy days. Just getting into the trees and there’s enough snow to cover your tracks – you can go and do the same run again and again and not bump into anyone. The snow kills all the sound and you’re on your own for 5 or 6 hours before you have a near miss with a tree - and the
Ed: I told my sponsors that I broke my knee doing a cliff drop on my board but I actually broke it trying to back flip off the stage in Dick’s Tea Bar to impress a girl, who’s now my wife. She laughed at me whilst I was holding back the tears with my wallet gripped between my teeth. She said “that was cool I’ll see you around” and went off, and I didn’t see her again for 5 years.
I strapped a firework to my crotch and won the title
I entered my first Air Guitar Championships because a friend had to do a write-up and asked me to come in case it was really boring. I wore an Evel Knievel outfit I’d made and ended up stripping naked and coming joint first. After that I thought “I’m not sharing the
title, next year I’m going to win this.” So I invented an alter ego, built an outfit, strapped a firework to my crotch and won. The next year I thought “oh god I’ve got to do better” and I took 3 months to build a 9ft papier mache phallus rigged up to a fire extinguisher that squirted 3 big jets all over the crowd once I finished “Whole Lotta Love”. My mum was in the audience and was genuinely so proud. After that I broke my clavicles and couldn’t headbang so I had to bow out. Graham, we hear we might be seeing a lot more of you in Val d’Isere? I’m about to finish my BASI Level 4, then I will be able to teach in France. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll base myself in Val d’Isere for the winter or the year. I plan to teach and take ski clinics - do a season!
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Le Petit Danois
The No.1 Party Bar in Val d'Isere. Scandi staff, Scandi beer, Scandi welcome. Live apres music everyday, Live DJ's every night & 2 happy hours! Come and join the crazy Scandinavians at Le Petit Danois, Val d'Isere. Home of the best Full English in town.
Known as the friendliest bar in town its lively atmosphere plays host to open mic nights, live music, and beer pong comps. The 9 HD flat screens make it the perfect place to watch any big match. With a great selection of British beers and ciders on draught it’s easy to see why people just keep coming back.
Find us behind the bus station
Situated at the foot of the Olympic Face, the infamous venue is a great place to après, eat and party. Happy hour from 6.30pm to 8.30pm offers half price beer, shots and great cocktails. The popular restaurant serves a mix of Tex Mex and Indian food, as well as some of the Savoyarde classics catering to everyone’s tastes!
The XV is your authentic friendly pub with a beautiful sunny terrace! Come and enjoy the warm atmosphere and savour one of our 8 cool beers. Rugby is our game but we also show all major sporting events (Football, Grand Prix, etc). Coralie and her team are here to welcome you every day from 9am to 2am. E-mail: email@example.com
in the centre of town.
Beneath the Barme Restaurant
just after the Tourist Office
73150 Val d’Isere
Tel: 04 79 06 27 97
Tel: +33 (0) 4 79 06 29 19
Tel: +33 (0) 479 060423
Tel: 04 79 41 90 55
Enjoy the ambience and relax on our south facing terrace with stunning views of the glacier. Offering great Savoyarde specialties, Morrocan tajines or pizzas & burgers. All dishes are homemade with fresh local ingredients. Available to take away or delivered free to your home. Lunchtime menu including drink €15.90 or dish of the day €12.90 Open everyday 12 - 1pm and 6 - 10pm.
The Underground Bar in Tignes Le Lac is the best place to get the party started before hitting the late night clubs!
Restaurant La Montagne
For a relaxed informal atmosphere where there is always party potential, with live music and DJs, late night snacks and one of the most reasonably priced drinks menus in Tignes. Flat Screen TV - Sky Sports.
A beautifully refined small bar, located at the foot of the Palafour chairlift. Rocco & Delphine invite you to discover the flavours of Italian cuisine created with a variety of fresh local ingredients. Open for lunch and dinner and offering real Italian coffee, cappuccinos and the infamous bombardinos!! Happy Hour from 4pm to 6pm - Live music every Monday night.
Welcome to La Montagne, our warm and friendly restaurant in Tignes Le Lac. We offer traditional crepes and galettes or a la carte menu: plat du jour, homemade soups, salads, great hamburgers and pasta dishes as well as Savoyarde specialties: tartiflette, raclette, pierrade and cheese or meat fondue. Food served all day from 12pm to 9.30pm.
Rue de l a poste - Tignes le l ac
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tel: 04 79 06 49 75 / 07 70 64 66 58
Tel: 06 27 59 38 04
Tel : 04 79 00 21 05
Tel: 04 79 06 31 30/06 07 73 26 48
Yves Taxis Should you need a lift SOS Pizza
If hunger is getting the better of you send out an SOS for Pizza! Fantastic selection of pizzas to take away or have them delivered to your door. Order 7 pizzas and receive a free bottle of wine. Centrally located in Tignes Val Claret and Le Lac, open from 11am - 2pm and 6pm - 2am,
TC’s Bar is the perfect local’s hangout with regular live DJ sets and themed nights. Great value food menu, amazing burgers and a fantastic All Day Full English on a Saturday make this the perfect place to watch the big match or throw some arrows! Situated in the heart of La Lavachet ask anyone and they’ll point you to TC’s!
A cosy restaurant in the heart of Val Claret offering traditional French fayre and Savoyarde specialties. Discover our tasty pizzas, stunning homemade desserts and varied wine list to suit the most discerning palate. Open everyday for lunch and dinner.
then give Yves a call:
+33 (0)6 09 43 90 60 email@example.com www.yves-taxi-tignes.fr
Instagram: tc's bar tignes E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
home after a night out
T wit ter: @tcs_bar
Le Lac: 04 79 06 08 08
Le Grand Tichot, Val Claret
Val Claret: 04 79 40 09 09
Tel: 04 79 06 46 46
Tel: 04 79 06 52 97
73700 Bourg st maurcie
As much as we may protest otherwise, a ski holiday is as much about st yle as substance. If you look good - and you haven’t got your gear the wrong way round - it’s easy to convince yourself and others that you’re a much bet ter skier than in fact you are. Our cheat’s guide sets out the dos and don’ts we wish we’d learned earlier, to help you st yle it out under any circumstances. Written by
Veteran seasonnaire Loulou Baylis is co-editor
Don’t Tuck In To avoid the misery of getting snow in your socks and giving your feet an ice bath, it’s a good idea to wear salopettes - including the snow gaiter - over your boots. Tucking them in makes it harder to feel your shin against the front of your boot, and leaning forward onto all that material can cause painful bruising. If you accidentally fall foul of this rule, say you were channelling the Hesh movement of hipster alternative skiwear, which features skin-tight tucked-in pants.
of St yleAltitude.com and writer for Surfdome
Out with Onesies It was funny the first time a tiger performed a triple back flip a few years ago, but wearing a onesie now is the equivalent of standing on top of a hill screaming ‘I’ve never been on a skiing holiday before!’ Although retro attire can become rad when worn ironically, for example at a party by Retro Rentals.
Loose Boots Undone boot buckles and laces dragging in the snow are a major cause of trips and falls. You’re better advised to merely loosen your boots while walking round resort so your ties don’t fan out behind you, whipping people off their feet. Being responsible for someone’s face-plant isn’t going to win friends. GoPro No No If you want a scenic video memento of your day on the hill, don’t mount your GoPro on your helmet. When learning, the tendency is to stare down at your skis or snowboard until you get them under control; so a helmet mounted camera is only likely to capture footage of your feet. Instead, be creative and mount the GoPro on the end of your ski/board, pointing ahead for speed shots or angled up at you on the action. If you really want to go all out, get yourself a quadcopter or drone and literally take your filming to a whole new level.
No Brainer Look at any pro and a helmet’s on their head. It’s a no brainer to protect your brain. If you want to avoid helmet hair, have a beanie at the ready for après. Ski App Yawn You might be excited at the record time you skied Sache to Brev, but unfortunately showing everyone your on-screen route map, mileage and speedo will only induce yawns. They’re also thinking about the fool that cut them up at 100mph earlier and wondering… Mind The Gap
Shoulder Holder Carrying your skis like you’re cradling a doll is both unwieldy and a bit strange to watch. Think fireman’s lift rather than fetching firewood. Over the shoulder with the bindings behind your head gives easier weight distribution. However, be careful of people’s heads when you swing round to check out a dayglow onesie – unfortunately not everyone’s heard the message about wearing helmets.
One rookie error to steer well clear of is leaving a gap between your goggles and helmet. After a day in the mountain sun that exposed strip of forehead will be sporting one heck of a tan line. A lobster-red stripe across your forehead is funny in the apres bar, but less funny back in the office the following week. All Agog Ironically, those laughing in the bar may well be proudly displaying the goggle tan. Weeks of sunny skiing turns the lower face brown and leaves goggle-shaped white circles around the eyes. On first glance a goggle-tanned girl can be mistaken for having a beard. In an attempt to pass themselves off as a pro skier, it has been known for people to go to the lengths of getting a goggle spray tan.
Zip Up Your new jacket might normally be bangon-trend technical outerwear, but riding unzipped turns it into an impractical and uncontrollable cape. Once you get up some speed it starts flapping – in your face, in the faces of those near to you - and you risk ending up with the contents of your pockets spread all over the slope. /tarentaisesourcemagazine
Bl ades – do a runner If you’re on blades instead of a snowboard or pair of skis then none of the above tips will help.
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Not that long ago, buying a piece of technical outerwear would have meant buying a piece of clothing that said ‘look at me! I’m a piece of technical outerwear!’ I’m talking garishly bright colours, contrasting taped seams and salopet tes that are just that bit too short. The kind of thing in which you could only be taken seriously when in a bar in Val d’Isere with a leathery face, chapped lips and a demi, telling a group of sl ack jawed holiday makers how wingsuiting lets you feel ‘at one with the elements’. But fear not, thankfully all our favourite brands have realised that people want to look good, as well as be protected from the elements. In this issue of Source we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding the best technical outerwear and base layers that you can...not feel like an idiot in. If you’re not sure what to look for when buying new riding clothes, Gore-Tex is a good place to start. It’s the most waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric on the planet. Plus, Gore Fabrics is an environmentally responsible company and is a founding
member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, meaning you can shop with peace of mind. There are a number of other fabrics designed to be waterproof and windproof and they are ranked in the form of waterproofing / breathability. The highest quality garments are 20k/20k, meaning that the fabric can stand up to or above 20,000mm of water pressure before it starts to leak through, and let out 20,000g of water vapour (ie. your sweat). Breathability is often confused with how much wind can get into
a fabric, but it’s actually how well it allows your sweat to get out, which keeps your body warm and dry. So if you find a nice jacket that’s 5k/5k, chances are you’ll be soaked either from the snow or your own sweat by lunchtime. When buying base layers, it’s important to remember to NEVER wear cotton, and that includes cotton/polyester mixes. Unlike thermal fabrics, cotton absorbs your sweat and doesn’t do anything with it, meaning it sits against your skin and makes you cold. Other thermal fabrics ‘wick’ moisture away from your skin which allows your body to regulate your core temperature and stay warm. Look out for merino when shopping for base layers. It’s a specific type of wool that’s durable, naturally elastic, fire resistant and odour repellent, so you can make do with one for an entire holiday, and won’t have to worry about getting too close to the logburner. It keeps you really warm, too. Also look out for merino socks to save your ski or snowboard boots from offending your friends and family. It may be a bit more expensive to buy good quality gear, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’re warm and dry in the midst of a blizzard, or five years down the
line when you’ve still got a coat that’s in near perfect condition and that you’re happy to wear in real life as well. For those on a budget, look for last season’s clothes on sale, or eBay for second hand stuff; items that have only been worn a few times can be found for a fraction of their retail value. When buying outerwear it’s important to think about how you’re going to wear it; what you’re going to wear it with and what you’re going to wear underneath it. Most brands have a system of zips or poppers to attach jackets to pants but if you like to mix up your brands make sure you have a good snow skirt to stop the white stuff from going where it’s not supposed to. Bib pants or a onesie will be sure to keep the snow out, just watch out for wet and suspicious looking toilet floors…
We asked the gear experts at Precision Ski for their pick of what’s best - for on the mountain as well as for dayto-day life.
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Picture Organic Feeling 2 Jacket
This jacket is partly made of recycled polyester, it's waterproof, extremely breathable and lightly insul ated to keep you nice and toast y.
With Recco® avalanche rescue system and OSMO® fabric technology, it boasts one of the most advanced packages available in ski jackets.
399.99€ Picture Organic Feeling 2 pant
Picture produces st ylish technical clothing with minimal impact to the environment. These pants feature fully taped seams, vented zippers and they can be at tached to the matching jacket keeping out unwanted powder
Spyder Monterosa Jacket
Spyder Nordwand Pant
These pants are built using a 3 layer waterproof and breathable construction to provide maximum protection from the elements. They also have a built-in Recco® aval anche rescue system, which is not to be confused with the more advanced avalanche safet y equipment and should only be used as a secondary system alongside a transceiver.
The haunting sight of Tignes’ L ac du Chevril shrouded in mist makes it easy to believe in the presence of ghosts. The silence. The stillness of the water. The looming dam. The knowledge that deep on the l ake bed lies the remains of a submerged town. This is a pl ace with an eerie atmosphere all of its own. No wonder, then, it was the perfect set ting for spooky French T V drama The Returned (Les Revenants). The fictional town of the series lies next to a dam, which is inexplicably draining. As the water level drops, it reveals unsettling scenes of dead animals and a church steeple. At the same time strange things are happening. Teenager Camille casually walks into her home 5 years after being killed in a coach crash - and apologises for being late. Simon, a bridegroom who seems to have killed himself on his wedding day, and Victor, a small boy who was murdered by burglars, wander into town. Strange marks start to appear on the bodies of the living and the dead, as gradually everyone realises what’s happening. As more and more people from the past arrive, it becomes clear they want to take something from the living. If you were to dismiss the plot as just another zombie tale, you’d be wrong. The show is as subtle, atmospheric and stunning as its location. It’s a stylish, realistic and intensely creepy thriller, beautifully shot and accompanied by a mesmerising soundtrack by Scottish band Mogwai. When it first aired on Channel 4 in 2013, sending shivers down everyone’s spines despite it being summer, the programme immediately became a cult hit. One of the most memorable scenes filmed in Tignes sees two characters trying to drive away from the town with a young boy in danger. But each time they exit a tunnel they find themselves in the same spot on the road over the dam, a mob of fixed-eyed undead trudging towards them. Taking the same road at night as the fog swirls around you, and a group of lost drunken souls pass by trying finding their way home, it’s not hard to imagine how they felt. Now a second series of The Returned is in production; filming took place around the dam in October. To further blur the lines of fact and fiction, dozens of locals were chosen to play the parts of extras, so you may spot some familiar faces as well as locations. Much of the plot is a closely-guarded secret, but it takes us to six months after the dead have disappeared. Police now protect the town but don’t believe the locals’ stories about who the invaders were. Relatives are still looking for their missing loved ones when
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a strange man called Berg arrives in town. He seems to be hiding something – then comes a new wave of resurrections. Filming finishes in March and the new series is eagerly anticipated late in 2015. The fictional story of a dam revealing its secrets echoes the reallife history of Tignes’ own dam, created by the flooding of the old town of Tignes in 1952. For centuries it had been a close-knit farming community and the 76 families living there fought against their homes being submerged right up until the last moment, when water started pouring in. During the 5 years it took to build, resentment grew at living under the increasingly large shadow of the thing that would eventually claim their homes. Engineers’ equipment was sabotaged and bulldozers broken. Police were brought in to evacuate families and their homes were blown up so they couldn’t return. Constructing the dam – still the highest in France, towering 160 metres above Les Brevieres – was difficult and dangerous, and 52 workers died. Many more met an untimely end digging out the tunnels linking the dam to its power stations further down the valley. With so much death, anger and violence surrounding the dam’s creation, the suggestion in The Returned that “they will have their revenge” doesn’t seem so far-fetched. The dam is drained for maintenance works every 10 years and depending on the snow melt it can empty in summer, uncovering the remains of the town. Last summer the mud revealed a surreal scene of destroyed homes, trees and bridges. As the water slowly ebbed away it could have been a scene right out of the TV series. Fortunately, there were no such sinister consequences. But next time you’re near the dam and spot someone walking slowly towards you out of the mist, you’d be forgiven for holding your breath – just in case.
THE MARMOT ARMS YOUR favourite local... Over 3 years The Marmot Arms has established itself as THE place to be for holiday-makers and seasonnaires. Whether you need a full English brekkie before hitting the slopes, amazing burgers for lunch or dinner, a lively and revitalizing après-ski session, a thumping night-time DJ set, or just a place to while away the hours on a white-out day, we have everything you need and more. Perfectly situated at the bottom of the Palafour chairlift, inside our doors you’ll find: • A cosy, Alpine pub • Your favourite beers and spiritual tipples • Young’s London ale (a touch of home) • The infamous Marmot Happy Hour from 4-6pm
Famed handcrafted, home-made, gourmet 6oz burgers using the best cuts of meat minced ‘sur place’: • Traditional hamburgers • Cheeseburgers (choose your cheese)
duch altitude / twinner rue
maison de tignes
THE snowpark MARMOT shop ARMS
• Stonking DJ parties in the downstairs Burrow Bar
• The ‘Hail Caesar’ for chicken lovers • The world-famous ‘Marmot burger’
• Pool table & Fussball table
• Veggie burgers
• ‘Big Buck Hunter’ arcade machine
• All served with generous portions of rosemary and garlic seasoned chips and homemade coleslaw – yum!
• 3 ginormous TV screens and Sky Sports
le lavachet les almes
• American burgers
• Fantastic live après-ski music
le bec rouge rue de la poste val claret
lac de tignes
The Marmoteers await you
“When you go down there the first thing you notice is a forest of tree stumps, which looks strange straight away. It covers one side all the way down to the old bridge that crosses the Isere River, as it comes through the gorge from Val d’Isere. From the bridge you get a decent view across the dried up lake bed, and the remains of the village, all the way over to the dam towering out of the mud in the distance.
Al an Bell, of Tignes-based transfer firm Savoie Fare, shot these pictures of the l ake when it was drained.
Following the path down, you start to stumble across the old abandoned buildings, the majority of which are now nothing more than mounds of deposited mud with sinkholes where the roofs have collapsed. There were a few that you could still get inside and have a look round. It was pretty eerie; creeping about in dark, damp mud-filled buildings that used to be people’s homes. The occasional crumbling wall juts out creepily along the side of path. You can still walk over the old town bridge, and the old bachal is still on the side of the road. It’s amazing how much is actually preserved down there.”
“I saw the ruins of the old town when EDF drained the dam and it was an emotional experience. I couldn’t help but imagine what it must have been like for the Tignards who were forced to leave their homes and watch, helpless, as the water level rose day after day. After seeing that it was quite surreal to be involved in filming both series’ of The Returned as an extra. One of the first scenes we shot was on the dam - I was one of a group of people who come back to life after 30 years to find their village has been flooded. It’s interesting when you think about the history of Tignes: What would people who lived in the old town 70 years ago think if they came back today and saw a huge lake where their village used to be?” Cecile Sellier, of Above & Beyond Language Services in Tignes, pl ayed a zombie in The Returned.
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AMY WARDMAN …how piste markers can come to your rescue? Everyone knows the colour of piste markers tells you the difficulty level of a run - but have you noticed their numbers? They count down from the top of the run, finishing with 1 at the bottom, so you can work out how high you are – and find your friends more easily if you get separated. The same markers can also come to your rescue if you’re disorientated in bad weather. Usually the coloured pole on the right has a large orange strip at the top, and the pole on the left has no strip at all (this can vary in different resorts). Stick to the correct side of the markers and let them guide you home! …how snow is farmed?
Gavin, of TDC Ski school: “I’ve used them in a major white out and it helped reassure my clients that we weren't lost, when I expl ained how they could use the different markings to ensure they didn’t stray off the piste.”
Two piste bashers are employed full time over winter to maintain the ice cap and farm its snow – to help keep the effects of global warming at bay. It’s predicted that by 2050 many of the Alps’ glaciers will have disappeared; some are retreating by as much as 3% each year. Part of the snow farming role is to create merlons - walls of snow moulded into ridges. Snow that’s blown between these walls is trapped and protected from the wind. Then it’s compacted and stored ready to be moved and groomed at a later date. …how aval anche barriers work? Those looming metal fences you see standing in rows on the mountain, often jutting out of steeper slopes at an angle, are the avalanche barriers. They may look precariously positioned but actually they’re anchored deep into the ground on avalanche prone slopes, above areas where there are usually lots of people – like lifts, pistes or buildings. They work by stopping snow creeping forward; a major cause of slab avalanches. The barriers stop the avalanche at the potential start point, rather than ‘catch’ it lower down.
Joe Cain, of New Generation Ski School in Tignes: “I’m regul arly asked to expl ain the barriers – but I think kids prefer it when I tell them the fences are for catching mountain goats!”
UP YOUR GAME AND EXPLORE THE MOUNTAIN Top quality coaching and local knowledge Les Arcs
Tignes Val d’Isère
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VAL D’ISERE Name: Kim Rippin Time in Val d’Isere: 16 years Position: Owner of specialist accommodation agent Simply Val d’Isere “Everyone associates Val d’Isere with being very English, but there are places you can go to get that authentic French atmosphere. Coins des Amis in the old town is a compact but very cosy French wine bar, as is Bar XV. I’m also a big fan of the British-owned Blue Note bar, near the Ormelune Hotel. You’d never find it if you didn’t know about it, which can be a good thing in a busy resort!” Name: Piers Williams Time in Val d’Isere: 39 years Position: Director of accommodation company Pierdor “A great tip for dinner is to visit 'the chicken man' on Monday market day - he has his stall right outside the Morris pub and does fantastic rotisserie chicken and potatoes cooked in the juices. If you go for fondue, our favourite is Le Lodge - good value, great atmosphere and delicious food.” TIGNES Name: Stephie Dijkman Time in Tignes: 15 years Position: Town councillor, Evolution 2 manager “Traditionally apres has always been along Val Claret and the main strip in Le Lac, centring on Loop bar. But with a couple of new bars coming, I think this season nearby Le Lavachet will be the place to be. Scotty’s is re-opening as La Queue de Cochon fine dining and public house. Brasero’s has been taken over by the owners of Loop, so expect it to be popular. Lavachet has some lovely, friendly bars so try it out for a real taste of Tignes.” Name: Lucy Miller Time in Tignes: 26 years Position: Town councillor and president of the SOLEA (Solidarité et Actions) association. “Everyone is very welcome to see what we’ve got going on at SOLEA while they’re in Tignes. We organise cultural and sports activities for all ages including pilates, choral group, art classes, yoga, senior gym for adults and baby gym, art classes and lots more. And we raise money for the Léon-Bérard Cancer Hospital in Lyon - so if you see one of our events advertised do come along! Find more details on the Tignes Mairie website www.mairie-tignes.fr, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 06 03 34 52 25.” @TarentaiseMag
AVALANCHE AWARENESS When faced with crowds on a slushy afternoon slope, the lure away from the piste can be strong. But do you have the knowledge, equipment and experience to stay safe, away from protected areas? Around 30 people a year are killed by aval anches in France alone, so it’s vital you have all the facts before deciding to venture off. Henry Schniewind, a mountain and aval anche safet y expert, runs Henry’s Off-Piste courses and Henry’s Aval anche Talks in Val d’Isère through the winter.
Off-piste skiing doesn’t have to be any more risky than everyday activities like driving a car or road cycling, Henry insists, as long as you’re prepared. And, as 90% of avalanches are triggered by the person involved or a member of their group, they can almost always be avoided. the danger signs to look out for? • Slope angles: It’s very rare that a slab avalanche will release on a slope of less than 30 degrees, which is just about the steepness of a black run. BUT even on a lower slope it’s possible to trigger an avalanche on a steeper slope above you – especially when there’s a High risk rating. • Recent aval anche activit y: This indicates instability in the snowpack on certain slope orientations and at certain altitudes. Talk to the piste patrol and check the warning level on a board at the top of every main lift. • Wind: It blows the snow and ‘loads’ certain slopes, making them unstable. • Slope orientation and time of year: The vast majority of off-piste avalanche accidents happen on north facing slopes between December and February. You’ll also need the right equipment - a good helmet, ABS pack, Avalung and extra Recco tags - and the knowledge of how to use it properly. It’s a good idea to try out the resort’s designated ‘freeride zones’ first – they’re blasted and patrolled, but safety equipment is still necessary. Always make sure you’re with friends who’ll look out for you, and a trained and qualified guide will be able to find you the best, and safest, powder riding.
AVALANCHE RISK LEVELS
1 – Low risk – Snow is generally well bonded and stable. Triggering is possible on a few steep slopes. Small natural avalanches possible. Be sensible and you’ll most likely to be safe
2 – Moderate Risk – Snow is less well bonded on some steep slopes. Triggering is possible on steep slopes. Large natural avalanches possible. Proceed with caution, use correct avalanche awareness techniques and you’ll enjoy some nice powder today
3 – Considerable Risk – Moderate to weakly bonded snow on many steep slopes, Triggering is possible, even by individual skiers on moderately steep slopes. Medium and large natural avalanches likely. Snowpack is sketchy in places. Avoid steep slopes. You’d be better sticking to the piste
4 – High Risk – Snow is weakly bonded in most places Triggering is likely, even with single skiers on many slopes. Frequent medium or large avalanches possible Do not venture from the marked runs
5 – Very High Risk / Extreme. Weakly bonded snow and largely unstable. Numerous large avalanches likely, even on moderately steep terrain. Piste and lift closures likely. Don’t even think about it!
GOT YOU COVERED It’s important you’re covered by insurance in case of accident or injury. But with so many policies, options and reams of Terms & Conditions, making sure you tick the right boxes can be tricky.
So we asked Michael Pettifer, managing director of MPI Brokers (winner of the World Snow Award for Best Snowsports Insurance Provider in 2012 and 2013) for his expert advice. Michael is a BASI instructor and Ski Club rep, so he has a wealth of experience and practical knowledge of the sport - and French resorts. Not only that, his late father John wrote the first travel insurance policy for skiers in the early 1950s – so if anyone can help guide us through the policy minefield, it’s him! are you insured? do you have the correct cover? visit tarentaisesourcemagazine.com for more info.
MPI tips on how to approach ski insurance: • Buy it when you book your trip, so you’re covered for cancellation • Get cover for all the activities you’re planning • Get personal liability cover in case you accidentally injure someone else • If you’re booking a ski trip for yourself and others, you should hold personal liability in case you’re held responsible for damage to property caused by members of your party • Read the policy conditions carefully before you buy MPI's specialist insurance covers • Skiers skiing on and off-piste, with or without a guide • Snowboarding in snow parks, ski racing and several other wintersports activities • Skis left outside a restaurant • People with certain medical conditions that many other insurers regard as reason to decline insurance outright.
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Just because the snow melts, it doesn’t mean the mountain fun’s over. Come back in summer and you’ll be amazed at the mountain’s transformation – from bl anket white to a lush green marmot’s paradise with waterfalls and turquoise l akes to dip in. Resorts re-open June to October for summer shenanigans and a huge variet y of activities.
Here are our top 7 reasons to return in summer.
skiing on the gl acier If you’re really missing your skiing or snowboarding fix, the Grande Motte is open for 6 weeks around July. You can ski 20km of piste, brush up your tricks for winter in the snowpark, go cross-country skiing and sunbathe on the Panoramic restaurant terrace. Bring your ski boots for the morning and your flip flops for the afternoon! Climbing Many resorts have treetop adventure playgrounds with courses for children and adults to climb, swing, jump and crawl through. For something to really get the adrenalin pumping try a ‘via ferrata’ – hire the helmet, ropes and harnesses for about €15, clip on to the iron rungs and scale a cliff face. Different resorts have courses of differing ability levels and heights. Biking Pistes are turned into bike runs with a similar range of ability levels. Chairlifts are adapted to hold bikes – and completely free to use in the Espace Killy. The downhill biking is legendary – don your full-face helmet and pads, and head out with a picnic for a stunning mountaintop spot. Paradiski also offers hundreds of kilometres of trails with 2,000 metres of vertical drops, though lift passes are not free.
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When the snow melts ... the fun starts. Adventure weekends in Tignes - the adrenalin capital of the French Alps!
Hiking Many of Tignes’ and Val d’Isere’s chairlifts run all summer and they’re free (just sign up for a wristband at Tourist Information). So if you’re staying in and around the resorts there’s a huge selection of hikes available from your doorstep. If you want to get right back to nature on a real expedition, you can stay overnight in refuges – some are completely isolated, others you can reach by road or track. They’re basic but the friendly hosts will cook your evening meal and revive you with plenty of wine. Aerial excitement The views over miles of green mountains and blue lakes is breathtaking from a paraglider. The Haute Tarentaise has many stunning take-off points and schools that will equip you for an unforgettable float on the mountain thermals. Helicopter tours on offer in most resorts give a unique perspective on the alpine scenery. Watersports Tignes is the place to visit for an amazing line-up of summer activities. Many are free with the Sportignes card you’re given if you stay in resort, and perfect for an active group holiday or stag/hen do. Try some aerial flips (and not a belly flop) as you’re fired into the air from the lake slide or ‘blob jump’ - a giant air cushion on the water. Strap a water jetpack to your feet and have a go at flyboarding. Zorbing, paddle boarding, pedalos, kayaking are all free too, and on offer at Tignes Le Lac. Most resorts offer white water rafting, canyoning and hydrospeeding nearby. Events Expect a spectacular events calendar for 2015 – last year’s included stuntmen diving from helicopters and gondolas into the lake and specially-built pools, and a daredevil freestyle motocross show in Tignes. In Val d’Isere we love the weekly music concerts in the square, fetes and parades. Wine and beer festivals, street markets with local produce, fireworks concerts and long sunny outdoor lunches - a perfect summer!
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