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A fantastic week of off-piste skiing in the Espace Killy

Great snow cover as we head into Easter

Featured in:

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 7th April 2017


Check out this A fantastic week of off-piste skiing in the Espace Killy

It’s been amazing how much snow we’ve received during the past four-weeks or so and our landscape has totally changed. 

Any worries about having enough snow to finish the season are long gone and to be honest, I never really worry about that because in the 35-years that I’ve been here the resort has never closed early because of lack of snow. No matter how little snow we have early on it always comes, and this season is no different. 

We have had some wonderful powder skiing of late and stunning spring skiing as well, all-in-all it has been another great season. (I’ve never had a bad one it’s just that some are better than others!) The season runs until May 1st so come out and enjoy the festive finish to the season, with great skiing, music in the streets and everyone really enjoying themselves as the season winds down and summer approaches.

On Monday we had an incredible amount of snow up at the Fornet with more than a metre of fresh snow on the Pisaillas Glacier. The glacier is fairly gentle terrain and it wasn’t steep enough to really ski properly, but lower down in the Combe du Signal, which was also deep but better protected from the wind, we had some deep, light, outstanding skiing! (See more photos above)

Tuesday was another beautiful day and I had the pleasure of my 13-year-old-daughter Millie skiing in my group and we had a fantastic day up on the Grande Motte. We had some great snow and some stunning views under La Grande Casse, which is one of the most scenic areas in Tignes .

On Tuesday evening I took my wife and two daughters to see the Killerbeez at Le Petit Danois. I’m not kidding about these boys being seriously good and if you’re in town they will be playing next Tuesday night at 5:30. This is a ‘don’t miss’ event! [Events calendar]

Wednesday was a tough day with flat-light and fog patches, but the snow was fantastic in the Sachette we had some wonderful skiing in tough conditions. Unfortunately I had a client tear his cruciate ligaments in his left knee and I had to get him off the mountain in flat-light as a helicopter wouldn’t be able to land in the fog and the pisteurs couldn’t get to us either. 

We were on our own to deal with the problem and did a long tour on the sunny-side side-slipping and traversing in perfect spring snow until we arrived back at the piste where the pisteurs could come and help us. It was flat-light and foggy but we found our way and fortunately the entire escape was right-footed, which help enormously.

After a tough day in flat-light and fog on Wednesday to was wonderful to have clear blue skies on Thursday. Because of the lack of heat and sunshine I decided to look for winter snow and give the spring slopes another day of heat and full sunshine to properly transform into spring snow. If you’re a day early you push too much snow around and it ruins the spring slopes, which should be ‘clean’ and trackless.

To find winter snow we needed to go high and north, so we headed up to the Pisaillas Glacier at the Fornet and had a fantastic morning. I had a couple of ladies in my group who are new to off-piste skiing and they did brilliantly and were extremely proud of their tracks in the Pays Desert. We then went over the Col Pers and skied some great powder followed by supporting snow before exiting through the Gorge du Malpasset. After the last couple of snowfalls the gorge has filled back in although we still needed to hike out onto the summer path at the bottom. We spotted a herd of chamois on the way out and it was a terrific morning of ‘winter’ snow, great scenery and solitude.

Sunshine is forecast for the next few days so enjoy the fabulous spring snow that will be on offer and the piste skiing should be wonderful as well. 

Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.

NB. Some of the areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable to all skiers. Wayne has 35 years experience in these mountains. If you're considering going off piste you should always take a guide with you.

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