(by a man with Briviires in his heart and a snowboard on his feet)
Ancient history tells us of a place where skiing was encouraged as soon as it was born. Way back in the 1920s the area welcomed the first pioneer skiers with open arms. The same warm welcome has been extended to Tignes Snowboarding enthusiasts ever since they started to appear in the mountains during the 80s.
Espace Killy offers endless opportunities to boarders, whatever kind of riding they are looking for.
Miles and miles of beautifully groomed piste is a carver's delight. You can carve all day without repeating a piste or hitting a mogul if you don't want to! The pistes are excellent for jibbing too, with kickers appearing off the sides of many pistes, the Palafour being one of the best examples.
If you want to push yourself in this direction it's the park you are headed for. Espace Killy actually has two!
The Val d'Isire park (easily accessible from both Val and Tignes) is a haven of kickers. From easy greens for everyone to try, right through to the awesome 17 metre black which is not for the fainthearted. There are also a good selection of rails and tabletops to hit here.
The Tignes park in Val Claret proudly boasts one of the biggest half-pipes in The World (comes with a health warning!) where you'll be able to join (or just admire) pros as they practice for their next comp. There is also another good selection of rolling kickers and rails here.
A boardercross track can be found on the Tignes side too, with rolling jumps, serviced by it's very own lift. Come here if you want to challenge your friends to a race, it's the perfect place!
If conditions are right Espace Killy can offer powder runs unequalled anywhere. Skiers have been coming here for so long because of this, and it is no different for snowboarders.
Running off the sides of the endless pistes is a great way to learn powder riding, and once you have a feel for that you can really start to explore. Easy open powder fields in Briviires and Boisses are the next step. In poor conditions the trees in both these villages also offer shelter and visibility to keep you enjoying the hill.
But on a clear blue day nothing beats throwing down some lines on an untracked run of powder far from the madding crowd. There are big off-piste runs from the highest parts of the resort, starting with steep narrow couloirs to get the blood pumping, running out into big snow-filled powder bowls then through trees to the bottom of the resort. Many such runs are reachable without even a walk, and the best such run starts and finishes in our beautiful little village.
The Vallon of the Sache has a piste high on one side, but off-piste riders can explore the full extent of this secluded valley which is a nature reserve. Classic riding, stunning scenery, rejoining the piste just a hundred metres above Briviires.... you can spend an hour coming down this one and still be back in time for lunch on one of the sun terraces of Brev's restaurants.
So whether you are coming to try boarding for the very first time, or you are an accomplished boarder looking for fresh runs or park practice, Espace Killy really does have it all.
Skiers and boarders alike should only venture off-piste in the right conditions, with the correct equipment, knowing how to use it. If you don't know where you're going then don't go. Never follow someone else's track. Ride off-piste at your own risk.
This narrative is dedicated to Dan Hedlund, a friend of Brev forever. Ride In Peace.
2005 copyright Ski Tignes les Briviires ... Tignes Snowboarding ; Brev for Boarders