Top Five Runs for Intermediates in Tignes
Updated: Mar 2, 2022
With over 40 red runs Tignes is great for intermediates. There are red runs leading down from the Grande Motte glacier if you want to experience high altitude skiing as well as into Brevieres if you fancy skiing down through the treeline. In addition there are reds back into Lavachet and Val Claret, and from the top of Aiguille Percee to Palafour in Le Lac. So which ones are the best? We'll take a look at our top five and what they each have to offer for the intermediate skier and boarder.
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1. Double M (Val Claret)
Accessed via the Lanches chairlift from Val Claret, Double M is one of the best known reds in Tignes. You can combine it with Glacier which runs from the top of the Grande Motte to give you the longest continual descent in Tignes (see number 5 below). It starts off gently with a narrow section before opening out onto a wider section from where there are great views down into Val Claret. It can been seen right in the middle of the photo below. Although often busy, the main section of the piste is wide and there's plenty of space if you stick to the far left or far right. This run is a real leg burner and the temperature between the top and the bottom can increase markedly, so it's good to know that there are great options for drinks and food down in Val Claret to help you recover.
2. Chardons (Boisses)
Chardons is partly in the treeline which makes it a great option for days when the visibility is not so good. It can be accessed from the blue runs Rhododendron and Melezes which run from the top of the Chaudannes chair lift up from Lavachet, or if you are coming from Le Lac, the Aiguille Percee combining it with the red run Myosotis. Half way down Melezes with the Boisses gondola ahead, instead of carrying on into Brevieres, branch right down the red and head into Boisses. This saves going all the way down into Brevieres but you still get the experience of skiing through the treeline and it's usually pretty quiet as most of the ski schools are on the blue runs. The Boisses gondola takes you back up the mountain to the Aiguille Rouge chair and there are rarely queues even at the end of the day. From the chair you can take red Bleuets down into Lavachet and practise your moguls if it's nearing the end of the day.
3. Cyclamen (Le Lac)
This south-facing run can be accessed via the Aiguille Percee chair lift, which is a short blue run from the top of the Palafour chair lift. Although there can be a build up of moguls in the day making it less smooth in the afternoons, it's perfect late in the day as it gets the last bit of afternoon sun when the rest of the mountain is in shade. There are great views of the "needle" and the lunar landscape surrounding it from the Aiguille Percee chair lift, which is well sheltered from prevailing winds. It's usually a quiet run as most of the ski schools stick to the blues further down or head over the back of the mountain towards Brevieres and Lavachet. Combined with blue run Combe, it can make a great last run all the way from the top of the mountain back into Le Lac.
4. Orange (Val d'Isere)
The top section of this run is often used as a slalom race and practise course and leads all the way down into La Daille in Val d'Isere. You will need an all area or Espace Killy lift pass to access the run as it is not covered by a Tignes only pass. It is accessed from the Marmottes chair lift to which you can ski down via a blue from the top of Toviere in Tignes. Often icy at the top, it's a good run for practising edging and grippy turns (or for the kids pointing the skis and heading straight down!) If you're not a fan of ice, try it later in the day when it's a little softer and more forgiving. Once over the steep section, the run continues down through the tree line and into Val d'Isere. To get back to Tignes you can take the funicular back up to the Folie Douce stopping for a drink there, and it's a short ski to the Tommeuses chair lift which takes you back to the top of Toviere.
5. Glacier (Grande Motte)
High up overlooking the resort on the Grande Motte glacier is the red run called Glacier. It is accessed either by the funicular (the world's 4th longest!) or the Lanches and Vanoise chairs, followed by the Grande Motte cable car. There is often a queue for the cable car especially on a sunny day so our top tip is to get there early to beat the queues. Once at the top you will be rewarded with fantastic views over the whole resort and towards Mount Blanc. The snow conditions are always good up on the glacier and you'll notice a difference as it is often more powdery and fluffy than on the pistes further down the mountain. The run can be seen on the far left of the photo below. Be sure to stop for a drink (or bite to eat if the budget allows!) at the renowned Panoramic Restaurant at the top of the funicular. Make sure to wrap up warm as the temperature can be noticeable colder on the glacier, even on a sunny day!
We hope you've found our insight into what intermediates might expect from Tignes useful. Look out for our next blog where we'll be looking at the 5 best runs black runs in Tignes. 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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