It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Val d’Isère-Tignes opens for the Winter 2016/17 season in less than 48 hours. Thanks to substantial natural snowfall and low temperatures that have allowed snowmaking in November, the pistes are in great shape.
SO WHAT PISTES WILL BE OPEN?
Tignes: The sectors Grande Motte, Tovière, Aiguille Percée and Palet will be open from Saturday onwards. You can ski in and from the resort.
WHAT’S NEW IN VAL D’ISÈRE?
We’re looking forward to trying out the new-look Solaise area. The new 10-person Solaise gondola with WiFi and heated seats now provides high-speed access to two-thirds of the Val d’Isère ski area. The lift brings you up to the new Day Lodge, gateway to the Solaise and Le Fornet pistes as well as the focal point for the new beginner area. The Day Lodge, with its views of the slopes houses a warm and comfortable picnic area, complete with a microwave.
Also check out the new BMW xDrive Skimovie slalom piste where you can be filmed in action against the clock.
WHAT’S NEW IN TIGNES?
Discover skiing in Zone 1: first steps on the flat, learning to balance. Learn in Zone 2: get that slipping and sliding feeling. Progress in Zone 3: secure pistes and longer lifts.
It’s an inexpensive way to start out – the first two zones are served by free lifts. You can reach them from the different fronts de neige at Les Brevières, Les Boisses, Tignes Le Lac, and Val Claret.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND?
As part of the celebrations throughout the First Tracks Weekend you can try out the pick of the 2017 ski and snowboard gear free of charge on Solaise, courtesy of the Ski Force Winter Tour.
OPENING WEEKEND SNOW FORECAST
By Meteo Mike
We have had a lot of sleet and snow in Tignes and Val d’Isere today. It is difficult to tell how much snow there has been on high (above 2300m or so) as the wind has been strong. The pisteurs have been blasting on and off most of the day. Radio Val are reporting anywhere between 40 and 120cm. I suspect the higher figures are towards Le Fornet. Over the next 24 hours there could be a huge amount of snow at height or maybe not so much – it is a situation where the met models are not that accurate. The amounts of expected snow are swinging wildly, we will just have to wait and see. One thing is for sure the avalanche risk at height is going to be very high (formal forecasts have not yet started).
Today in Tignes was brutal, only the Funi and Tichot were open and it was only for the very brave. I suspect that there will be even less open in the morning as the winds are forecast to be stronger. With the avalanche risk so high it may well be Tichot only. The heaviest precipitation will be overnight but there will still be showers tomorrow. The snow level will not sink below 2100m all night. The wind will abate in the afternoon, but there will be a lot of avalanche work to do. Saturday looks basically OK, with a freezing level around 2100m and there may be a light shower in the afternoon. I would expect a progressive opening of the runs as the pisteurs will have a lot of work to do making them safe and making sure they are marked correctly. The next 4 days are looking similar – sunny periods with clouds on the peaks as high pressure takes over for a while. The temperatures will cool gradually – it looks like it may be cold enough from Sunday night for the snow cannons to operate at resort level (I suspect they will not be needed at height!). Just one more day to go……
THE SKI AREA IN NUMBERS
60% of slopes are above 2200m
300km of pistes
1900m vertical drop from 3450m to 1550m
10000 hectares of skiable terrain
900 snow cannons.