Top Five Black Runs in Tignes
Updated: Mar 2
Tignes is often described as a great resort for intermediates, so does that mean it's not so good for advanced skiers and boarders? The answer is a definite no! With 26 awesome black runs there are no shortage of thrills for those seeking adventure. In this blog we'll look at our top five recommended black runs and what they have to offer.
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Johan Clarey (Le Lac)
Accessed from the top of the Toviere gondola, Johan Clarey (formally named Trolles) is named after a French World Cup alpine ski racer. It is one of the main pistes back down into Le Lac. Looks can be deceptive as this run starts off fairly wide and gentle then narrows to a bottleneck before the final descent. The bottleneck can get busy but there is a short mogul section to the right if you want to avoid the crowds. The final descent is wide and steep but even if it's busy you will have plenty of slope to choose from on your way down. There is a ridge before this final section where you can stop to work out your route. It's steeper to the left where you can go off-piste and gentler to the right where you have the option to bi-pass the last section and ski down via the blue under the Rosset chair. In icy conditions this piste runs very fast and there is a schuss on the final section back to the gondola. The run is often full of moguls particularly at the end of the day and you will definitely deserve that apres-ski drink once back in resort! If you are feeling brave you can extend this run by tagging on Paquerettes which runs right under the top section of the Toviere gondola. A very steep mogul-ridden descent, this run offers great views down into Le Lac.
Leisse (Grande Motte)
Leisse is the kind of run which you want to do again and again. It's rarely busy and there are lots of different routes down. To the far right and just to the left there are off-piste sections, while the main piste is usually full of moguls. After fresh snow it is often ungroomed so check conditions before setting off. It can be combined with Descente which runs from the top of the Grande Motte cable car or you can get there by taking either the funicular or the 2 chair lifts up from Val Claret. There is rarely a queue for the short chair lift back up to the Panoramic restaurant and the snow conditions are often great up here on the glacier. Luckily the chair is usually sheltered from the prevailing winds as it does not have a cover. This run can often be closed due to unsuitable weather conditions so take the opportunity to try it out if conditions allow.
Sache (Les Brevieres)
The longest and possibly the most challenging black run in Tignes, Sache is not for the faint hearted. You can get to it from the top of the Aiguille Percee chair lift, following the blue run Corniche and then branching off to the left. There are mogul sections, a schuss half way down and steep icy sections to challenge even the most advanced skier. It can be great after fresh snow and offers fine views of the surrounding area. The last section of the run is the trickiest as it comprises a steep mogul section which can often be icy. There is an escape route before you get to this last section via a red run called Acrosses but be warned that it is rarely open. To get to the Brevieres gondola at the bottom is via a red run called Pavot giving tired legs the chance to rest! There are also toilets and a picnic area here too.
Pramecou (Val Claret/Le Lac)
Situated it the lesser know area called the Spot and accessed via the Col de Ves chair lift, this is a great run for practising moguls. The area is ungroomed but Pramecou runs more like a piste than other areas in this sector. Be warned that the Col de Ves chair is one of the slowest in resort and takes 22 minutes to get to the top. However, you will be rewarded with quiet runs at the top and lots of choices down if you don't want to follow Pramecou. The run snakes around the top of the mountain before turning left and continuing down the mountain. This area is often closed due to adverse weather conditions so do take the chance to ski it if it is open. In good weather you will often see microlight sight-seeing planes taking off just to the left of the Col de Ves chair.
Aiguille Percee (Le Lac)
This is an ungroomed piste accessed from the top of the Aiguille Percee chair lift. There are great views from the chair and plenty of opportunity to plan your route down. To get to the run you will need to traverse past the back of the needle and then side step up onto the ridge. Sometimes if there is not much snow on this section you might have to take your skis off and put them back on once on the other side of the ridge. The first section is pretty steep and it's sometimes tricky to get that first turn in without a bit of a traverse first. There are great views and it gets easier once you get going. There can be big moguls on this top section before it levels out further down. You can also ski off to the right where there is often deep powder after a fresh snow fall. The run is south-facing so can get slushy towards the end of the day particularly towards the end of the season. It does however make a great final run down into resort. Do not attempt it too early in the day as the moguls will be hard and icy. Once off the top section, the run widens out and forms a slight pipe before joining the blue run Bruyeres where you can either go back to the Aiguille chair, continue down into Le Lac or catch the Merles chair lift towards Val Claret.
We hope you've found our blog on advanced runs in Tignes useful. For a full range of accommodation ideas as well as prices for kit hire and lessons visit our website www.tignesdirect.com
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