Col de la Chal, 2550m. Click on the photo for classic ski marketing posters

Sunday, 26 October 2014


The Tour de France route for 2015 has been announced.

This blog is in an official strop, due to the continued absence of the Tarentaise.

No offence to our neighbours in the Maurienne valley, but the repeated presence of St-Jean-de-Maurienne and La Toussuire, is getting boring.

In 2010 we had St-Jean-de-Maurienne as a stage finish.  Modane was a start town in 2011.  Then we had St-Jean-de-Maurienne and La Toussuire in 2012.  And now we have St-Jean-de-Maurienne (twice), La Toussuire (again) and Modane (again).

In recent years, the Tarentaise has been restricted to the Col de la Madeleine and having Albertville as a ville départ.  Now, we know the Tour is all about business, but....

We love the Maurienne valley dearly, but we do feel it's time for a return to the cycling capital that is the Haute Tarentaise.  A stage finish on the Col de l'Iseran is mooted, so we look forward to seeing that on the 2016 parcours.

Rather than carry on moaning on about the 2015 route, therefore, we mark the announcement by publishing our favourite Tour de France maps:

The 1996 Tour was hampered by snow
in the Alpes, and notable for Miguel Indurain
running out of steam on the road to Les Arcs

The 2009 Tour saw Lance Armstrong struggle
over the border crossing between La Thuile and La Rosiere.
The riders then stayed in Les Arcs

For more on Le Tour in La Tarentaise, including epic visits to Les Arcs, La Rosiere, La Plagne, Tignes and Val d'Isere, click here.

Sunday, 19 October 2014


A round-up of what's new, 18 months on from this update on Tignes (for its wikipedia entry click here).

1. Tignespace opened: "the most innovative sports and conference centre in the Alps", according to the website.  It is an example of how Tignes is always looking to innovate and try new things.

2. The X-Games have moved back to the US - much to the  irritation of resort bosses.

3. A shiny new Aeroski lift lift opened in 2013.

4. The new upmarket development billed as Tignes 1800 also opened for the 2013/14 season.

5. The Tignes dam featured centre stage in The Returned, which featured on British TV screens during Summer 2013: a new series is coming soon.

6. And the dam features in the Telegraph this month, showcasing April's visit to the drained dam by Andrew Aird of Ski Adventures.

7. Some of our nation's finest young minds will be in resort from 13 December - aka the Sussex Snow winter ski trip.

It's a fascinating place - less attractive than Val d'Isere maybe, but with bags more character.  The history is quite something: the flooded valley, the new resort built up at Le Lac, its embracing of everything "sportif", the fresco on the side of the dam.  If you've ever got time to kill, take a look at the exhibition at the Maison de Tignes at the heart of Lac.

Before the deluge.
Paris Match, 1952
Park at Les Brevieres and make
the Sache black run or Corniche blue
your last descent of the day, taking in
the unique Aiguille Percée