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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Random thoughts on snowboarders, Tignes now and then...

The Insanity of Snowboarders
As all skiers know, snowboarders are mad. However some aspects of their insanity are more annoying than  others. Their suicide wish, manifested by stopping in the centre of the piste, just on the blind side of a ridge, and then lying down, to guarantee that they can't be seen, and that they make a perfect target for any skier (or even other boarder) going fast is probably the worst symptom. The general idea that you lie down as soon as you stop could just be youthful laziness (they'd rather be in bed than on the piste). The baggy clothes, and trousers at half-mast may also just be properties of youth. However you'd think that even a boarder would work out that you're more likely to be hit if you try to make yourself invisible!
Oh well, they'll probably grow up and learn how to ski.

Changes in Tignes
I was last in Tignes in the mid-eighties. It is interesting to look at what has changed in nearly thirty years, and what hasn't.

Things that have changed:

  • The black wall into Tignes le Lac ("Trolles") is now pisted, not giant moguls
  • There are funiculars up the Grande Motte, and from La Daille up to Belvedere
  • There's a fast chair lift up to Saulire (though the cable car is still there as well)
  • There's a new building and bus interchange/car park in the centre of Tignes le Lac
  • Many other lifts are faster/better
  • They no linger advertise skiing 365 days/year, but just as "The capital of summer skiing".
Things that haven't changed:
  • Piste H is still busy and icy with traffic of all levels of ability, since it's the obvious way between Tignes le Lac and Val Claret
  • Tignes and Val Claret look almost the same, there seems to have been little additional development.
  • The scenery and runs are still great, better than Trois Vallees in my opinion, even if 3V is bigger.
  • The lift pass is still expensive (but, probably worth it for the skiing).

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