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Skiing Val d'Isere

Skiing Val d'Isere and l'Espace Killy

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Skiing Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere

Copyright Mike Doyle
The mountains around Val d'Isere and Tignes, in France, are collectively known as l'Espace Killy. L'Espace Killy contains over 90 lifts serving almost 200 miles of defined and marked runs. The village sits at about 6,000' and the top of the area is about 11,300' giving plenty of 3,000' verticals all over mountain.

Skiing Off-Piste in Val d'Isere
Any mention about off-piste skiing in Europe, or anywhere that you don't know the terrain, should begin with the fact that you will be using a professional guide. Even if you know the terrain you are about to ski, but are not schooled in judging the stability of the snow a guide or avalanche trained member of the party should be in order.

Skiing La Grande Motte Glacier, L'Espace Killy
Rare is that one day, beginning to end, that long after I still remember pretty much from walking to the lift to hoisting my skis on my shoulder and walking home into my long, end of day shadow. One of those memorable days happened when I went with Marty Heckelman to ski La Grande Motte glacier on the l'Espace Killy.

A Guided Ski Tour - L'Espace Killy
The third day in Val d'Isere I intended to test the expanse of the 25 thousand acres of snow covered mountains that mnke up Espace Killy - lift to lift, east to west, or maybe it was north to south. Of course, I had no intentions of doing it by myself.

Val d'Isere Village
While the name Val d'Isere has taken on mythical properties as to terrain and snow conditions, during my visit the reality was snow at night and powder mornings. Val d'Isere village, tucked in at the base of the mountains, is built in centuries old tradition of wood and stone and is as steeped in tradition as the skiing.

Val d'Isere Ski Shops
As you might imagine in a place as famous for its skiing as Val d'Isere, there are many ski rental and sales stores. If you include sports apparel shops, you are talking about over fifty establishments. To rent skis you don't have to look very far from any point in the village center or the surrounding communities.

Val d'Isere Restaurants
You can stroll through the Val d'Isere village and find restaurants that stand out for their uniqueness in architecture, food quality, presentation, fun places to eat, or quiet intimate dining.

Val d'Isere Mountain Restaurants
Skiing and dining in Europe go hand in hand as skis and ski poles - you wouldn't consider one without the other. There are restaurants all over L'Espace Killy and for the most part reservations for lunch are mandatory. That is, unless you are prepared to wait, and wait you will, because there is no rushing this mid-day respite.

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