Espace Killy

Steep Off Piste Skiing- Alaska Couloir Tignes 11th April 2015

Alaska (the name that the Brits have given) couloir is an impressive couloir which is rarely skied as it is difficult steep off piste skiing and difficult to get to. It stands out and is visible from the Palafour chairlift which runs from Le Lac in Tignes. It is for the Advance/Expert skier. There are two possible entrances which are both achievable in the right conditions which involve some ski touring and boot packing up. A friend had climbed from the left side and skied into it the day before. Conditions were said to be stable.

We had decided to attempt the classic route and to boot pack up from the back of the couloir which is North facing and then to ski down the south facing pitch in the race against time before the snow conditions deteriorate, We had estimated to be skiing down at the latest 11.45am. Due to the lack of snow on the obvious ridge line to go to Alaska we were forced to take a different route. On the top of Aiguille Piercee chairlift we hiked up to the ridge and skied down on a high traverse at the top of the Sache as far as we could then skinned up the flat to the shadow of the Alaska Couloir. The skinning up was more challenging without crampons as there was a hard layer and underneath the surface, snow was breaking away. As the slope increased to more 35 degrees it was getting a lot harder to kick turn. We then we booted up for an hour breaking tracks vertically to the summit. We were behind time and in a race against time. As we boot packed up the snow was changing all the time from stable conditions to layers of depth hoar which was hard to make a foot hold in as you were sinking down to the bed surface. 5m from the summit I was confronted by a an iced corniced and without crampons and ice axe the risk was doubled. With this difficulty and behind time I decided to go on no further and to ski down the same route that we had climbed. Alaska will be there for another day.

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: alaska, basi, british female instructor, british ski instructor, Espace Killy, France, off piste, off piste courses, off piste skiing, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski lessons, ski touring, Snow, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

The British Alpine Championships Tignes 28th March 2015

Watching the ski racers doing their warm ups in lycra in the British Championships last Saturday brought me back to my racing days when I was training for the euro test to finish my ISTD International Ski Teacher Diploma. Different to most my ski racing started at the age of 27years in twin tips and baggy pants as I didn’t have any money to invest in proper gear. But what I did have was a great feel for the edge and I wastn’t scared to go fast.

British Champs Tignes 2015

British Champs Tignes 2015

British Champs Tignes 2015

Tignes British Champs
In the Espace Killy ski instructors can pay for their seasonal lift pass or you can opt for community service. I opted for the community service which involved gate control on the most sunniest day of the season on the British Men and Womens GS race. For four hours I watched closely a section of the course in the sunshine monitoring each racers line. For four hours I saw some amazing talent and great images. One picture was the amazing Cara Brown who completely dominated the field.

http://www.britishalpinechamps.com

I was inspired, maybe I should dust of my GS skis and go for some big angles?

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: british female instructor, Espace Killy, France, Ski guiding and teaching, ski lessons, Tignes

Ski Touring and Skiing Off Piste Tignes: The 3 Col’s- Col De La Grassez , Col De La Croix, Col Du Palet

Your options ski touring and skiing off piste in Tignes and the Espace Killy are endless. Time, weather,your fitness level and ski ability are the only factors that will restrict your options. Ski touring the 3 Col’s is a quiet and friendly estimated around 6 hour ski tour with some stunning views. It is such a peaceful and gentle ski tour with up to to 3 hours of touring uphill so you have to have a good fitness level but it is gentle so you don’t need to be too skill full at ski touring as kick turns are not needed.

The start of the tour is very accessible from the Grattaleu Chairlift or the Col Du Palet drag in Val Claret in Tignes where you traverse into the Col Du Palet. You then ski untracked snow into the bowl passing the Col Du Palet refuge which on your right hand side. If you keep right you then makes some great off piste turns on slight steeper terrain towards the Lac Du Grattaleu. You then put on your skins once you reach the Plan de Janin. Follow the river floor passing the Chalet des Aimes you then cross over the river and climb up to the Col Du Grassez. This section will take you around 1hr and 10mins. This spot is a great lunch spot with the view of the Grand Caisse in the background.

There are two main options for the ski down from the col. You can follow the itinerary route and ski down more of a gentle pitch in direction of the Chalet du Grand Plan or depending on snow conditions you can keep left close to the Aiguille Noire for more of a steeper off piste route. Both options will lead you to the valley floor where you then ski tour up to the Col De La Croix des Fretes then onto the Col Du Palet which can take up to 1hr 40 mins depending on your energy levels. Once you reach the Col Du Palet it is then a short traverse back onto the piste and then back to Val Claret. A perfect tour for a good level of fitness.

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: british female instructor, Espace Killy, France, off piste, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski lessons, ski touring, Snow, Tignes, Vanoise National Park

Ski Touring and Skiing Off Piste: Refuge Col Du Palet Tignes 2587m

The Refuge Col Du Palet is a great base camp or lunch spot for ski touring and skiing off piste in the Vanoise National Park in Tignes, which is very accessible from the Grattaleu chairflift and the Col Du Palet drag lift. You would need to hire a guide or instructor to take full advantage of the area as the off piste and ski touring routes to find fresh powder are endless.

After an amazing ski tour summiting to the Col Du Grassaz and skiing fresh powder tracks on our return we arrived to the refuge happy and hungry and were welcomed by Nicolas who is the guardian of the refuge. Nicolas has been the guardian for four summers in the Col Du Palet and has worked four summers in the Refuge De Leisse which is close to the Grande Motte glacier. This winter is his first winter in the Refuge Du Palet which is open Tuesday to Friday every week from the 23rd Dec 2014 to 24th of April 2015. One nights accommodation with breakfast and a delicious geerous three course dinner is very reasonable at €44.50 per head. The refuge sleeps 15 people in the winter which is one large dormitory. Duvets and blankets are provided, however you must bring a sleeping bag liner or you can rent one for €3.50. The rules of the refuge is to take away your own rubbish. The prices for drinks inside the refuge are reasonable with a glass of red wine starting at €3 and a beer at €4. You can bring your own drinks and food to the refuge but that would mean that you would have to ski tour with your supplies all day. Don’t forget to bring some cash as you can’t pay with credit card in the refuge.

Before dinner at 7pm we relaxed next to the wood burner stove discussing our adventures and looking at our photos of the day with an aperitif from the house which was made by Nicolas’s father. It was a perfect way to relax after a great day ski touring and skiing off piste. Pressed du pin which tasted very much like a sweet almond cognac. The first course was spilt pea soup which was accompanied with a slice of Tomme cheese and bread. Nicolas’s grandma Fi Fi’s slow cooked hot pot then followed which consisted potatoes,prunes and bacon which was a winter warmer after spending the day on the mountain. We were then spoilt with homemade chocolate fondant before getting an early night for the next day adventure. Breakfast was continental with homemade jam and a hot drink of your choice. Which was perfect before setting off to ski tour to the Col De Sachette then dropping off-piste into the Sache and ending up in Tignes 1800.

For further information about the refuge see http://www.vanoise-refugedupalet.com.

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com



Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: british female instructor, Espace Killy, France, off piste, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski touring, Snow, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

Off Piste Skiing Tignes: Tour De Charvet to Val D’Isere

The Tignes off-piste skiing route Tour De Charvet is one of those classic Espace Killy off piste routes where you can really enjoy the skiing in the backcountry with a small calculated avalanche risk. You start the route in Tignes descending of the back of the Grande Pre chairlift and you end up in the beautiful town of Val D’Isere.


After a quick check of our transceivers on the electronic device on the post at the top of the chair lift, Susie, Rich and myself nipped under the rope at the top of Grand Pre to start our off piste route. Knowing the route very well, I anticipated the first pitch to be affected by the wind with little snow so there was no great surprise when I was trying to keep balance on windblown snow with variable depths of crust. Being able to see the ridge wind scoured we kept our height and traversed to the right where we choose to ski down one of the gullies to the river Ruisseau which was gushing with water. Normally the river is frozen so you can ski across it, but not this time! Today with roaring temperatures and unusual lack of snow I choose the safer option of keeping left of the river and using the few ski tracks in front of me to navigate between the rocks and to join the footpath. With the knowledge that the Manchet chair lift was close (normally your escape route out of the area) we kept to the footpath keeping our eyes peeled for any avalanche danger above. We then cruised through the valley floor to the restuarant Clochetons which was a fine coffee stop before winding through the sleepy back streets of Val D’Isere to the famous Les Olympiques cable car.

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: Espace Killy, France, off piste, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski lessons, Snow, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

Looking forward to next winter in Tignes 2014/15

[youtube=http://youtu.be/QdKQ0zBLHzE]

With the drop in temperature and the nights getting shorter I can’t stop feeling that next winter is not too far away. Thoughts come into my mind as I have time to reflect.  I ponder on ideas of how I can improve on last winters ski teaching and guiding in the Espace Killy! How can I improve on my ski lessons? Which courses to run? Popup chalets?This video is just a few of my fond memories of ski teaching in Tignes,Val D’Isere and Sainte Foy last season 2013/14 and the ski lessons that I had with some great people .

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: Espace Killy, France, Heli skiing, Marmot, off piste, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski touring, Snow, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

Ski touring up to Pointe De La Sana 3436m Tignes/Val D’Isere – 1st of May 2014

[youtube=http://youtu.be/KzU0ht3Iezc]

I actually saw you last year in February at the top of the Grand Pre chairlift when I took a short day trip to Val D’Isere to visit my family. You stood out from the rest of the peaks in the area with your beauty and your height. All winter I have been admiring your elegance from a far, from chairlifts and pistes whilst I have been teaching and on fairway pistes where I have been giving ski lessons. Since after February 8th I have seen ski tracks up to your summit wishing that they were mine. I never had the time of or the weather window to climb you!Until yesterday, It was now or next season.

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Thanks to Ali and Rab who came with me they made the climb possible. I had calculated the distance of 7.5k = vertical 846m 
= 7.5 x 15 = 113 mins + 90 mins = 203mins = 3.3 hrs to climb up Sana.  It could be nearer four hours if we had to make new tracks so that would be between 1-1.30pm before we would summit, making it late and a race against time as a new front with bad light and snow was beckoning. We traversed off piste from the Borsat chairlift keeping as high as we could into the backcountry with Sana insight. We then put our skins on and started the climb. In no time at all skinning on a flat traverse with a small gradient Sana was getting closer. The most entertaining part was then skiing down in touring mode with skins on our skis for a section of 60m. All style and finess had disappeared where balance and survial turns had to come into play. I did laugh out loud when I saw Rab going over the handle bars and shortly after Ali doing the same thing.

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It was great to be away in the back country again. I feel so alive and lucky to be there, with no crowds,no idoits hurtling pass you or going into you. Just the peacefulness and the beauty with the occasional meet of another ski tourer. 

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After an hour in of the journey we then started to climb this time gaining some vertical height as we were still only the same height of the top of the Borsat chair lift at 2778m. The scenery and vastness was breathtaking. I often stopped to gain my breath and to admire the surroundings. We finally reached the col of La Sana 3047m after 2hrs and 20mins of ski touring. In my head I had always planned to summit in the boys mind the touring up was over.

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With the summit still in view we knew we would have time to conquer it, taking on more fluids and after discussion we pushed towards the summit. Digging deep for energy and strength the final push to the summit took 1hr and 5mins ski touring with kick turns to the top. It was the hardest part of the journey. We made it and summited at 1.22pm on schedule and then it was all about the race to ski down before the weather really came in.

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Now next winter I can smile and admire your beauty and understanding with a sense of achievement.

Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]

www.freefloski.com
www.freefloski.com

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: british female instructor, Espace Killy, France, off piste, ski, Ski guiding and teaching, ski lessons, ski touring, Snow, Tignes, Val D'Isere