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Advice needed Tinges vs Chamonix Feb'15

Discussion in 'Europe' started by CharKool, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. CharKool

    CharKool First Runs

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    Tignes/Val D or Chamonix??

    We're thinking of catching the later half of this season, from Feb onwards, and would love some recommendations!

    Few things to take into account..

    - Terrain; we're fairly confident skiers (and keen to get better)
    - Crowds/convenience; sounds like Cham is a bit niggly with lifts etc or is that worth it for the off piste?
    - Availability of accommodation and price; how do they compare? (When to book?)
    - Après ski - we are there for a holiday after all!

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. CharKool

    CharKool First Runs

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    From what I've read...Cham has better skiing, but not as convenient to get around (ie buses etc) and not great if there's poor snow (?) plus shorter season

    Tignes, more convenient, but easier mountain, less available accom (but maybe cheaper?) better après ski (maybe?)
     
  3. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep you've got the major issues dialled.

    Cham is a superb, sublime, amazing, complete pain in the arse.

    Val d'Isere/Tignes is quite possibly the best lifted ski area in the world - from a 'sum of its parts' point of view.

    Cham's season is longer if you exclude the Tignes glacier which isn't much chop, lots to do in Cham in spring. It's also cheaper & the apres is lively.

    Also worth noting that a lot of the fun stuff in Cham is up on high alpine glaciers, which means the average aussie needs a guide. Less so in Tignes but it's still bloody dangerous there off-piste.
     
  4. tbnext

    tbnext One of Us

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    I've only been to val but Cham is like a Mecca and I will get there one day. My skiing has got better, I loved val as a high intermediate. I mean loved it- awesome. I did stay in val.

    There are so many places that it's hard to return when there is a new frontier. I'm so grateful that Cham is still on the to do list- cause I'm going to do it more justice.
     
  5. CharKool

    CharKool First Runs

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    Thanks guys,

    Leaning to a week in Cham followed by a month in Tignes? Is the snow still good early April?

    Also how hard is it to find Accom in both places? Should we be booking now?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    If you've finalised your decision and worked out the logistics, then yes, you should be booking accommodation now.
     
  7. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Good to hear. I'm a high intermediate and loved Meribel / 3 Valleys so hoping that Val D / Tignes is just as good if not better.

    Cham for me was a great place to visit / sightsee but I don't think my skiing was advanced enough to get the most out of it.
     
  8. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mine either, but I loved Cham and can't wait to get back there.

    Heinz put me onto this site which we found very helpful for accomm in Austria. I'm sure they are just as good for France.

    http://www.bergfex.com/frankreich/
     
  9. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  10. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The key difference is that Chamonix is a town in a valley, surrounded by huge peaks, which contain unlinked ski resorts. There is no "Chamonix ski resort".
    You need to travel to one of the six resorts in the valley like Grands Montets, Brevent-Flegere, Les Houches, etc. Or stay at one of those resorts. e.g. Argentiere is 10km from Chamonix, at the base of Grand Montets.

    Tignes/Val is a gigantic, linked ski megaplex that has accom at it's multiple bases, all with linked lifts to get you to all parts of the galactic area. It has challenging off-piste, but nothing like the range and steepness of the terrain in Cham.

    IMO, if you are looking for easy access, wide variety of resort skiing and a bit of off piste, then Tignes/Val is the go.
    If you're ok with daily bus/car, want a vast off-piste choice from 'moderate' to 'fall-and-die', then Chamonix is your place.

    Apres ski. Chamonix is a core mountain town. Still plenty of fun to be had,but nothing like Val D'Isere with it's heavy British influence and clientèle, big on-mountain bars, and party/drinking atmosphere in the village pubs and clubs.
     
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  11. PiedPiper

    PiedPiper One of Us

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    I don't think i know of too many people, even very confident skiers that would struggle to find challenging terrain @ tignes. The finger chutes are pretty hairy and just what you can see from the town ( or one of them). They def challenged me! I havent been to cham, but from what i understand, most of the off piste @ cham would require a guide, whereas a fair amount of the off piste @ tignes is accesible with a hike from lifts and not tooo dangerous. Still i would suggest getting a guide when you arrive to show you around and let you know what is and isn't safe to be riding.
     
  12. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Cham takes more effort, Val D/Tignes is a package deal.
     
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  13. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Zeroz has it nailed. Town vs resort. You will not be disappoint with the skiing at either.

    Cham apres finishes oddly early too, to get up early
     
  14. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    Look beyond the skiing, Tignes is a soul-less, ugly, purpose built 'ski-factory' that lacks the history, charm and culture of a traditional French alpine village/resort.
     
  15. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    T
    True, but I think Val D is different to that description. No Chamonix, but not as soulless as Tignes either.
     
  16. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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  17. CharKool

    CharKool First Runs

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    Thanks everyone, sounds like we're picking out of some great spots!!

    Is Val more expensive accommodation/living wise than Tignes?

    Also if we wanted to play it by ear and book accom over there could we? or does it really book out?

    There'll be 3-4 of us looking to stay 4-6weeks.

    Thanks
     
  18. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    I thought Val would offer more choices and a bit more feel to it too.
     
  19. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    Over Tignes.
     
  20. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    We went a year ago - had to pick up a handmade board in Chamonix so did a few days there, and have been before.
    Then went from there to Tignes for a week or so.

    We were not into the Après scene, and didn't have a heap of choice as we booked at a busy period at late notice - Tignes was where we could get accommodation (it was way down the list of places when we started looking). But we were very happy with it. Every day we were in Val for a coffee or lunch - so I'm not sure it really matters if you sleep in Val or Tignes...

    There was definitely the British party crowd around, but it didn't disturb us.

    I think both areas are places I would recommend to people. Chamonix is great. PB would move there in a heartbeat. But there is a bit of organisation required to get to the base lifts of the mountain of choice. Whereas Tignes is pretty much step outside your door and load onto the lifts.
     
  21. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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  22. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Chambre Neuf: crowd surfing at 7pm, in bed by 10pm.
     
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  23. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    L'amnesia

    Gotta take out the trash.
     
  24. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    True that!

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ha! Tuesdays are lingerie nights, if memory serves. Not that it does.....
     
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  26. Nowada

    Nowada Addicted

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    Nozawaman that link stirred some memories. I am dieing to get back to Val. A week spent there was only a taste tester, so much lift accessed ungroomed to play in.
     
  27. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    Val d'Isere is EXPENSIVE.

    Tigne is cheaper but doesn't have any of the atmosphere/night-life, charm(such as the scent of hibernating cows wafting in from the barn at the bottom of the chalet next door) blah blah blah.

    I think cheaper accommodation could be had in the La Daille village, which is the first part of the Val section of L'Espace Killy you approach as you come up the road, but its pretty ugly there with its big concrete blocks of units (the women's WC race courses finish down in this area).

    As others have suggested, and from what I've been told from close friends and relatives who have gone to both resorts (Chamonix/Espace Killy; I've only done the latter), Chamonix is pretty useless unless your only care is for massive off-piste descents of which you are an expert.

    If you are a strong intermediate and want to get into tougher terrain both on and off piste, Val/Tigne is practically unmatched for variety,quantity and accessibility of terrain.
     
  28. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    hahaha ... cows hibernating ??
     
  29. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    Sure are: yhey aren't allowed out of those barns in winter.

    You wouldnt know they were there if not for the wafts of bovine perfume and the occasional "mooooooooo".
     
  30. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I disagree.
    I'm far from hard core, but I'd go back to Chamonix.
    I've been twice.
    Loved the town.
    Loved most of the ski areas (Les Houches can bite me ;) )
    I think there is something for everyone.
     
  31. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    Sure but there's lots of commuting to be done in Chamonix whereas Espace Killy has a massive interconnected lift system that makes the whole area easily accessible from every sector.
     
  32. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's true.

    But it hardly makes Chamonix "pretty useless unless your only care is offpiste descents of which you're an expert".

    I also loved the Espace Killy region.
    Every location has plenty to offer, and these two are popular and well known for a reason.
     
  33. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My biggest complaint about Chamonix was the food on the mountain. Either exxy restaurants or fast food that was still pretty expensive for what it was. At least Meribel offered some decent mid range places and even had good creme brulee on the mountain.
     
  34. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    Well by our standards, MOST big European ski areas have PLENTY to offer. That's for sure.

    The point I was trying to make is that EK really cannot be beaten in terms of ease of access to all types of terrain, whereas Chamonix is a bit of disjointed area that is best of its sort for only for truly expert terrain.

    Places such as EK and TV will beat it hands down for everything else.
     
    #34 Adamski, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  35. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    Hahaha ... yes, cows are confined indoors for the winter season, but they certainly don't hibernate.
     
  36. Kimski

    Kimski One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The buses at Cham aren't too bad. Just don't do what I did. I kept forgetting or missing my stop and did enough walking in my ski boots to require new heels on 3 week old boots!
     
  37. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    ... and ski instructors, lift operators and ski patrollers that reek of cows ... and tractors carting trailers full of cow manure around the village
     
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  38. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Adds to the romance. Like a sleigh ride behind a pooh-ing horsie.
     
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  39. Nowada

    Nowada Addicted

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    Don't forget the yellow snow. I have never seen so many dogs in a village.
    We stayed at 4 star catered Chalet at Le Laisinait (bad spelling), between Val and Le Fornet 50m from the lift and bus stop. It was half the price of staying on snow in Australia. Go in January its low season, only because its after the xmas and new year hols, but the snow is normally good.
     
  40. samsandiford

    samsandiford First Runs

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    Hi,
    A friend and I are potentially going to be in Val d'isere from november till mid feb. Most cheap apartments require seasonal rental. If we did this, what do you think about taking the second half of the season?
     
  41. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    When i did a season in Les Arcs (round for the corner from Tignes, behind Chamonix) you got a day pass at 3 Vallees and Espace Killy every week if you had a season pass... That in itself is pretty worth while. If you could get bored with the sliding at Espace Killy, You arent trying hard enough.

    Never made it to Cham but as stated its not a resort. the real gnar isnt really for the gaper crowd though :p
     
  42. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    whilst I support that Chamonix sucks as a 'resort experience' it is still worthwhile for the punter (me!) as it is an amazing experience.
     
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  43. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd be a bit wary of Tignes. At above 2,000 metres you could get tinges of altitude sickness there !