Experienced skiers will find no better place for an introduction to off-piste skiing than the routes in Tignes. There are nine marked but ungroomed runs for you to explore, and most of the couloirs can be accessed with the chairlifts. Les Brévières, Tignes Le Lac, and the routes in Bellevarde are just a handful of the best. |
For the truly advanced adrenaline junkies, the resort also promises steep and open couloirs atop rocky outcrops that are sure to get your heart pumping. Le Couloir du Chardonnet and Les Oreilles de Mickey are the more challenging (but most exhilarating) runs.
Being prepared for the adventure will make a huge difference to your enjoyment. Booking a guided tour will mean you won’t get stranded or miss out on any of the most mind-blowing views on the mountain. Remember to do this at the same time you choose your catered chalet. Tignes awaits!
Skiing off-piste is a thrilling activity for advanced and experienced skiers. When the conditions are right, heading off the beaten track can be one of the most exciting things you can do on the mountain. Away from the crowds, a well-prepared skier can let loose on the powdery snow and transform the mountain into their playground.
Luckily, Tignes tends to enjoy great conditions throughout its season. There are plenty of easily accessible off-piste areas in the resort, too – there are even nine marked but ungroomed routes for those seeking an excellent introduction to skiing off-piste.
Book a Guided Tour
Before we dive into the off-piste highlights of the area, it’s important to point out that this activity is only for the experienced skier. Going off the pistes requires good preparation and an awareness of the risks. Because you’ll be skiing away from the area around your catered chalet, Tignes will look very different to the inexperienced.
You should definitely book a guided tour when going off-piste. Knowledge of the conditions will be key to your enjoyment, and being in a group with someone familiar with the mountain will prevent you from getting lost or heading into danger. Not only that, you’re also guaranteed to see the most mind-blowing views when you’re skiing with a local.
It’s a good idea to book in for your tour at the same time as you arrange your catered chalet. Tignes is a buzzing resort and guides can start to get busy calendars quickly.
On this side of the mountain you will find three renowned ungroomed routes. First, the Banana couloir with its hefty vertical drop; next, the Charvet Tour, which takes you towards a gorge, alongside a river, and into the Manchet valley; and finally, the Face du Charvet, a wide couloir riddled with steep descents that lead you back to the village.
Beware that many of the Bellevarde routes are south-facing, so they carry a high risk of snow-sliding and avalanches (especially in the afternoon).
Tignes Le Lac
Near the Palafour and Chardonnet lifts, you’ll discover plenty of powder to play in when the conditions are right. Head down the sides of the pistes and enjoy the natural runs before making your way to Les Brevières or L’Aguille Percee to continue your descent.
Les Brévières boasts some beautiful off-piste sections. You can follow the marked runs and venture out into the natural sections by the sides, or you can head straight into the action from the top of the Aiguille Percee chairlift. It’s a great option for a whiteout. Just pick a line between the rows of trees and it will be easier to keep your bearings.
This is another route where having a guide is crucial - because if you don’t plan your route carefully, you could find yourself stranded at the bottom. Les Brévières can be exhilarating off-piste, but as with any other natural ski runs it can be unforgiving too. Come prepared!
Les Oreilles de Mickey
“Mickey’s Ears” is named after the antennas at the top of the couloir that look a lot like everyone’s favourite mouse.
It’s one of the more challenging runs in the resort, but it’s sure to give you an adrenaline rush. The open couloir has a steep slope (clocking in at 48 degrees), so the drop can really get your heart pumping. As if that weren’t enough, the run is north-facing so the snow here is usually excellent. To get there, just take the Tovière lift and boot pack along the ridge for half an hour.
Le Couloir du Chardonnet
Lastly, another local favourite, the iconic Couloir du Chardonnet is not for the faint of heart. It’s steep and powdery, and requires you to climb up a rocky outcrop from the Grattalu chairlift before you can start the run. But it’s all worth it for the thrills!
From these few highlights, it’s clear to see that Tignes has a lot to offer confident skiers wanting to venture into its deep powders. When booking your trip, make sure to use a reputable ski company for both your mountain guide and the best advice on choosing a catered chalet. Tignes has plenty of options!
Tim Heal is the founder of Chaletline, a travel agency offering catered chalet accommodation in worldwide ski resorts. With an extensive knowledge of resorts and excellent post booking care, they pride themselves on the personal touch they offer to each and every client. If you're looking for a catered chalet, Tignes is just one of the superb ski resorts in which they can quickly and efficiently match you with the perfect accommodation. Catering for individuals, couples and groups up to 50, the knowledgeable Chaletline team will help you choose the right chalet in the right resort.
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