Grenoble Life ski reporter Christa Gimblett has some good news for those of us sweltering in the valley: there is still some snow left to ski.
All right everyone, it’s a good two months since you all went skiing, I know you’re missing it already. Don’t deny it.
Well the good news is that you don’t have to wait until December for your next fix of the white stuff because both 2Alpes and Tignes are open even as we speak, and offering more summer skiing than we’ve seen in years. All right, Tignes is a long drive for a bit of glacier skiing, but come on, 2Alpes is virtually on the doorstep.
Usually restricted to the summer park and the glacier runs above 3200m, this year the resort is open and skiable down to midstation at 2600m. There’s even a fair bit of off-piste and plenty of snow on the closed areas for those who know what they’re doing and are prepared to hike for it.
I’m not going to tell you that summer skiing is anything other than expensive – it isn’t. But your pass buys you a whole lot of other activities as well, so if you’re happy to make skiing just one part of a day out or a mountain weekend you’ll get good value.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to get up there first thing to make the most of it (unless you like boiler plate ice, in which case be my guest). Your best plan is to get to resort for 09:30 and buy a half day pass, which lets you ski until lunchtime. Start with the runs below 3200m, which will have softened up nicely by this time, then when you’ve done that a few times, move up to the top.
The only way off the glacier at the end of the morning is by the main lift, so expect to queue – or alternatively have a beer on the restaurant terrace, leave the scrum to the race teams and descend at your leisure.
The half day pass gives you access to the rest of resort until close of play at 18:00, so you can spend the afternoon mountain biking (100km of marked trails plus a bike park), ice skating (included with your pass) or just riding the lifts, admiring the views and doing a bit of walking. If you want to make a weekend of it, a two-day ski/VTT ticket also gives you unlimited swimming and skating, and a bit of tennis and summer luge to boot.
The mountain biking and other activities go from strength to strength over the summer, but if you want to make the most of the skiing, do it soon – the snow won’t hang around until August in this weather, and who knows when we’ll see another season like this one? So get yourself up there now, while you still can.
Christa Gimblett left the UK for a seasonal job in Europe in the recession of the early 90s and forgot to go home again, spending nearly 15 years working for UK tour operators up various mountains. Now living in Bourg d’Oisans with no cash, two cats, a man with a broken foot and a car which looks like a frog.