There’s no doubt winter’s arrived in Tignes. 100 km/h winds closed the glacier for the day, so I made the most of the weather and tried my hand at cross country skiing.
I’ve been interested in trying out Nordic skiing for a couple of years now, but only recently made the decision to buy the kit. I easily justified the e-bay purchase to myself, since the 230€ cost wasn’t a lot more than a season’s pass for the gym and swimming pool, it included skis, boots, bindings, poles, plus postage from Germany, and it could be enjoyed even when the ski lifts are closed.
I’d done some research on basic classic skiing technique, and figured the diagonal ‘kick and glide’ couldn’t be that different to walking. How wrong I was!
The flimsy nordic ski boot offers but a fraction of the support of a modern alpine boot, so even a bit of uneven terrain was enough to knock me off balance. Despite a few tumbles, I started to get the hang of snowplowing the descents, though I’m a mile of telemark turning.
Excited by the snow and my first chance to use my skis, I ignored the fact that the snow at village level was only a few centimeters deep. I picked up a few scratches, but hey, I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more along the way.
I plan to write a few more detailed reports on my newfound passion, but in the mean time, here’s a youtube clip of me in Tignes at 12pm today.
With the busiest week in the Autumn skiing calender looming I feared that the reduced ski area of the Tignes glacier may not cope with the hoards of British, Irish, Italian and French ski racers, among others wishing to squeeze some pre-season race training into their half term break.
In previous years both T-bars on Rossolin have been queued back, so I wondered how 3500 and Champagny would cope with the increased load. However, whether it be the economic crisis or rumors of poor snow in Tignes, the crowds stayed at home.
Though Champagny, which is only supported by one T-bar, can often be a bottle-neck, the turnaround on 3500 and the cable-car was excellent. Furthermore, skiers enjoyed a perfect 7 days of glorious sunshine, a rarity in Autumn skiing.
The sun and wind has unfortunately taken it’s toll on the snow conditions, and by the weekend glacial ice was common place. The good news is this week snowfall is forecast throughout the week, perhaps as low as 1000m on Thursday. About time!