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

‘What is a marmot?’

Marmot                        marmot on his back legs

The Alpine Marmot- It wasn’t until the end of the season sharing a chairlift with some kids going up to the Tranquil ski area in Tignes was when I was asked a question about marmots that I realised how little I knew about them.

Marmots are large squirrels in the genus of Marmota, of which there are 15 species. Marmots mostly live in mountainous areas, such as the Alps and the northern Rockies. The groundhog of North America is a lowland marmot.

Marmots typically live in burrows often within rockpiles, particularly in the case of the yellow-bellied marmot), and hibernate there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social and use loud whistles to communicate with one another, especially when alarmed.

Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots, and flowers.

The etymology of the term “marmot” is uncertain. It may have arisen from the Gallo-Romance prefix marm-, meaning to mumble or murmur. Another possible origin is post-classical Latin, mus montanus, meaning “mountain mouse”.

Beginning in 2010, Alaska celebrates February 2 as “Marmot Day”, a holiday intended to observe the prevalence of marmots in that state and take the place of Groundhog Day.

During the summer, marmots gain weight in order to prepare for hibernation. They usually hibernate all winter and may lose as much as half their body weight by February. 

Russian Marmot A Russian Marmot.

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: Marmot, Vanoise National Park