Daniel from Denmark writes:
Been skiing for 20 years (age 22), and I've spent many weeks in Tignes in the last 3 years. I've been staying with UCPA twice, and rented a studio apartment back in new year 14/15.
I see some who question the quality of the slopes etc but I must add to this that every single slope is almost twice as wide as regular ones in other resorts. Having to groom all of them, everywhere, would crave manpower for two resorts, and most of the slopes are actually usually in really good condition, overall. The issues happen after heavy snow falls (which occur quite often), where the slopes leading to the various town areas quickly show signs of moguls due to the heavy traffic. Lifts taking you from town will also be quite crowded in high-season but the queues move quickly and the lifts, in the upper areas, such as Le Lac and Val Claret are top notch and very efficient. I think that Tignes has some of the most well thought-through lift system out there; it just works and it's always easy to get from one end of the resort to another without having to take 5-6 lifts. That means it's easy to plan meeting points within 15-20 minutes no matter where you are, which is really nice.
Now, speaking more to the pros out there. Tignes is known for its appeal to those who like to take it outside the slopes, doing some hiking and off-piste. There are guided tours and instruction for those who want it. The truly great thing about Tignes is that the place is so huge, even in high-season there simply aren't enough people to track down all backcountry routes, and you can always, always, find fresh powder if you just reach out a few meters further than the last skier. I have never been there (spent around 8 weeks total) without being able to find absolutely great powder every time. If you can see it, you can reach and ski it!
Besides all this, there's a great sporty atmosphere around the upper towns and on the slopes, some great parks with an occasionally open half-pipe and two medium-sized snow parks on the same run close to each other which saves a lot of time not having to use more than one chairlift to access both.
If you chose to have the big ski pass for Espace Killy then Val d'Isère also features some great skiing. The steepness is generally a bit steeper, and features tree-skiing for the bad weather days, which do happen. It must be said that when it's cloudy or snowy then it's impossible to see anything in Tignes due to the lack of trees and the place being so big and open. On the other hand, when the sun shines then the whole place lights up like no other resort.
Transportation wise, the resort excels with ski busses traveling from the lowest town areas to the upper ones, free of charge. The resort has very few transport slopes, which is good news for boarders and people who like to spend time skiing rather than just trying to get from A to B.
To sum it all up, here are some pros and cons:
- Big resort with appeal to novices as well as experts.
- High altitude ensures good snow conditions even in low-season.
- Great and efficient lift layout throughout the resort.
- Possibility for skiing in Val d'Isère too.
- Always great possibilities for off piste and hiking.
- Many good snow parks.
- Good after-skiing; lovely city with much life.
- Good variety of accommodation.
- Poor visibility in bad weather due to few trees (can be sealed (ed: do you mean to say "dealt?) with by skiing in Val d'Isère).
- For many people it is not the most charming resort (I personally like it).
- Some slopes are not always groomed.
- After snow fall moguls appear quickly due to the amount of people.
- Airport transfer is somewhat expensive, but that goes for most nearby resorts.
Hope you find it helpful!