Tin, White Valley
Selection of a resort: after visiting French Chamonix in February 2004, it was intended in 2005 to restrict myself to something like Dombai or Krasnaya Polyana. But having visited Elbrus in the summer, by climbing the northern slope of the eastern summit under the direction of Yu. Roshchina from Kislovodsk, I decided to see at the same time how the material basis of the cableways in Terskol was.The rise to Barrels instantly made me refuse to tempt fate and unobtrusive Russian service. And as the winter season approached, the desire to go back to the Alps increased exponentially. Knowing how much skiing rest is tied to the presence of snow, they were looking for a resort quite high, with a glacier. Considered Austria, but the choice was stopped on France. We know the language, in France they have always noted a friendly and friendly attitude on the part of service workers and just French travelers. When you read that there is no service and the attitude is bad, you are surprised. I think people overstate the requirements for the price that the average tourist pays. Tinh was chosen not by chance: high mountains, glacier. The main argument was 550 euros for 10 days in the apartments Rock Blanc and the neighborhood of Val D’Isere. Our expectations were met by 5 plus. Tinh was a very nice village. Everything is very compact and in close proximity to the slopes and cable cars. In this respect, our Rock Blanc is one of the best: a few wheelchairs, a yoke and a special metro station on the glacier. All this is, indeed, 20 meters from the hotel. Small, but filled with everything necessary, the Sherpa supermarket is located right at the entrance. Rooms are unpretentious, but have everything you need and in good condition. I didn’t catch a big difference from the hotel Croix Blanche in Chamonix, and the price is two times lower. If you are not an oligarch, it is enough to go after skiing in Sherpa, it’s good to “pack up” and a great evening of après-ski is guaranteed. Prices – as in Russia, and French wines, even much cheaper. I must say that Rock Blanc is located in the upper part of Tignes (Val Claret). It seemed to us the most comfortable. A small central street filled with shops and restaurants is lively in the evening. I specifically started with a description of accommodation, because it is really important for a normal rest. After all, the rest in the mountains attracts many today, not just super skiers, who, having thrown things, rush up the mountain immediately upon arrival. Personally, I prefer to relax every 2-3 days, go on excursions, but then ride with high quality and pleasure, feeling that my legs are not clogged. Therefore, now, choosing a resort, I will definitely consider the possibility of renting a car and traveling on excursions in 2-3 directions. Meanwhile, the Tignes area is really good for skiing. All stations are easily accessible directly from hotels. There is a slalom stadium with a measurement of the time of descent (2 euros per descent). Very well-ironed slope, you can arrange your mini competitions. For lovers of raid – the impressive Fas highway and the Tarentaise tour offered by local guides, passing through several stations and returning by car. But due to the lack of snow it was not possible to try. The disadvantages include the fact that the French almost do not prepare the tracks. Despite the announced abundance of snow cannons, the results of their work in the form of well-prepared slopes are imperceptible. You have to count only on the weather. Therefore, the period of January 8-20 is not very reliable, despite the very reasonable prices. But in Chamonix in February 2004, despite the peak season and the highest prices, most of the slopes were also extremely hard and icy. Only after the snowfall could one enjoy soft skiing in all zones. Mountains are mountains, you need to adapt. In Chamonix, this is the upper part of the Grands Montets and a nice northern slope in Col de Balme. In all reference books much attention is paid to Le Brévent – a large ski area on the southern slope. We immediately climbed there, but the ice and hard snow hammered in, although sunbathing is, of course, best on Le Brévent. We disobeyed that we should start with Le Tour, we can warm up well. There is a serious red trail on the Col de Balme, and you can go down to Switzerland. After a warm-up day, until you are tired, if there is no fresh snow, you should immediately tear into Courmayeur, another significant plus of Chamonix. There the tracks are well prepared, varied, interesting, you can work on the technique and take a ride in pleasure. But the town seemed to us uninteresting and boring. In Chamonix, the evening party is much more fun, there is a good sports center with a swimming pool. Now, having experience, you understand that with a rented car you can, while living in Chamonix, ride in Courmayeur, Megève, Les Houches, Saint-Gervais, make excursions to Milan, Turin, Lyon. In the same Sant Gervais, a very pleasant SPA center on thermal waters, located in a beautiful old park, women will really like. Public transport also works fine: buses and trains. The general impression of the French slopes: they are left for fans of off-piste, but I think everyone will still find where to go.
The unique White Valley (Vallée Blanche). If the weather is favorable, you must definitely visit this place. There will be a lot of impressions, but do not forget to grab warm clothes in a backpack, it is rather cold at the top and a strong wind blows first. Not the fact that the French Alps – the best in terms of skiing. We heard good reviews about Austria and Italy, be sure to visit there. But the stay in Chamonix and Tignes left only pleasant impressions.