Tignes – Val d'isère (1550m – 3450m) - Grande dislivello (Ski Magazine, HS 13)
The 1 900 metres mentioned are only a theoretical altitude difference, as in fact it is almost impossible to do the whole descent without taking a lift. But as Guerlain Chicherit himself has put together a route leaving from the summit and finishing at the bottom we would be foolish not to follow it as this former freeriding world champion should know what he’s talking about. For him, the best line is directly in the north face of the Grande Motte, among the crevasses, to the slope beneath the lip of the glacier which enables you to reach the bottom of Les Lanches without really going onto the runs. The slope and the crevasses are such that you may wish to take a guide. As a bonus, the last section includes the area where the X-Games are held, but don’t get too excited, you won’t be able to try out any of the stratospheric modules. Once back at Val Claret at 2 100 metres, having descended 1 350 metres, Guerlain suggests taking the Tufs chairlift to go back up to 2700 m. From there, the Tufs corridors or Les Trolles run take you to the lake where the Chaudannes chairlift will carry you in four minutes to 2 500 m for a final descent to Les Brévières, the lowest point of the Espace Killy at 1 550 m. With this last descent, either along the winding run or through the forest, you will have finished with a total elevation loss of 2 900 m.
The large Espace Killy ski area offers a number of other options. One good way of enjoying the fresh slopes away from the crowds is to do it in the morning, before everyone else. The resort offers this possibility with “Fresh Tracks” sessions, on Mondays and Wednesdays: a descent of the “Double M”, from the Grande Motte down to the resort, before the runs are open to the public, with the blessing of the piste groomers!