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Guest Blog for Tignes Direct OF HUMANS AND OTHER SNOW BEINGS

As amounts of snow vary from season to season, so do sightings of wild animals who call Tignes their home.


In this year 2022, you would have been excited to see from the Palafour chairlift, fury teddy-like creatures, in varying shades of brown, peering inquisitively out of their snowy burrows, pretending to be a rock, or calling their tumbling babies: The gorgeous and much-loved marmot heralding Spring!



In most years, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot the illusive chamois, the goat antelope, in his grey winter coat, horned head alert with stripey face - perhaps up in the gorges of Fornet or in the Sashe valley with groups of females clinging to rocky slopes where skiers don’t venture.


One time I almost bumped into a bouquetin, the alpine ibex, near the hut round from the Leisse chairlift. We sat and stared at each other, both shocked… he at this strange pink human animal in his territory, me at such a large footed, long horned, almost camel-like apparition. After a while he turned and wandered off into the sunset…


Early mornings and late evenings are the times when the earth magic is strongest and you get a sense of the beings who used to roam here.. maybe lynx, bear and wolf… Now footprints across the pistes tell merely of fox and hare… though at least one bar holds bottles of alcoholic genepy complete with the traditional snake…


But the most dangerous animal by far is the human… whizzing by with too little regard for others on our planet. Though most years a group of us send out thoughts for the peace and harmony of all beings from the top of a full moon climb up Palafour after the lifts have closed… in the cold darkened stillness.



And this year, whilst humans waged wars on other members of their species further to the north east, we gathered an international team of skiers, including Russians and Ukrainians, and carried Peace signs symbolically to the far corners of the Tignes/Val D’Isere ski area - reaching out for Peace… That all species may work, live and play together in harmony.



Indeed on my last day’s skiing at the top of the Chardonnet Lift, I had a fly past by a golden eagle, with wings as wide as a car, whispering on the wind “Farewell. May our strength, grace and wildness go with you…”


Staying amongst the beautiful Tignes mountains increases awareness of our stay on the beautiful planet Earth.. Thanks Tignes Direct for your part in making this possible.



Tess Burrows

adventure author

tessburrows.org

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