This is part II of the blog series Spring Skiing in Tignes. If you missed part I click here and you can catch up before reading the second part…

Sunshine over MountainsAfter a delicious dinner followed by a much needed early night, the first full day was upon us! Eager to get out on the slopes as soon as possible, we made it down for breakfast before any of the other guests. The variety of food on offer was more then we could have asked for: fruit, cereal, porridge, pancakes, meats and cheeses, croissants and toast. We of course opted in for a fry up, a trend we followed all week. Getting ready for the slopes had taken slightly longer then planned, the boyfriend had picked up the new name ‘Captain Faff’ taking an hour and a half to do what the rest of us did in 20 minutes, but by 11am we had slipped on our boots (which we picked up from the ski hire shop the day before) and made our way to the fresh powder that had fallen overnight.

I had my lesson at 2pm (with Evolution 2) giving me a few hours to try out my skis for the very first time, it was a success. I was sliding around with ease, the slopes were busy as it was French half term but I managed to avoid knocking over any little skiers. Ok, so maybe I was shuffling around at the bottom of the run on a gradient that was… well, nonexistent, but I stayed on my feet which was all that mattered! With an hour to go until my lesson, my eyes wandered over to the Rosset chairlift, a slow moving lift taking you to the top of the nursery slope. Before I knew it; me, my friend Steph and an unfortunate stranger were heading for the top, my confidence slowly evaporating with every metre the chairlift moved.

View of Tignes

Disembarking the lift was actually a doddle (probably helped by the fact I am a boarder), I inched my way round to the top of slope to find what might as well have been a vertical drop. I glanced over at my friend and muttered the three words he could have done without hearing, “Steph… I’m stuck.” There was no way I was getting down. The little skiers that I had avoided so well now had to put their skills to the test to avoid me, Steph tried to teach me what he thought he remembered from a ski lesson 20 years ago, hopeless, my legs were flailing in every direction. An extremely kind stranger helped me up from the ground but nervously scurried off after I ‘joked’ about jumping on his back and getting a lift down.

By this time, Captain Faff had caught up. After having an unhelpful laugh at the situation he boarded off, leaving me to fend for myself, I’ve put this abandonment down to his ‘first day excitement’ (and the fact I was at the top of a nursery slope, not Mount Everest.) After a long 20 minutes of contemplating I decided to take off my skis and walk down; it was a long, demoralizing walk that left me with little energy and determination to succeed in my lesson, I had started to think that maybe I was a cross country skier as this downhill lark seemed tricky, however as soon as I arrived at the meeting point my instructor greeted me with a huge smile and we got off to a great start. The ski school was brilliant; each group had a maximum number of 8 people meaning the instructors were able to spend time with everyone.


My lesson was a triumph and I shared my stories of snow ploughs and turns over some heavenly cake back at the Chalet Hotel Rosset, I hadn’t quite mastered the art of stopping (arguably the most important skill) but I was delighted with my achievements nevertheless.

Lesson of the day; ‘don’t run before you can walk’, or rather ‘don’t get on a chairlift before you can ski.’

The fourth member of our group, Doug, had been to his first snowboarding lesson and instantly progressed in to the intermediate class; it was a good afternoon all round.

Dinner, for all the guests staying at the Chalet Hotel, was a highlight of the whole trip! Each evening the head chef and his team consistently provided meals fit for any high end restaurant. Faultless! After the first day we were understandably excitable and upon demolishing a few bottles of Merlot at dinner, made a group decision to check out the local nightlife. The night was too young in our eyes and we were on our way to Loop Bar in no time, a decision that would sadly end my skiing career and any hope of me making it to the next world champs!

Written by: Sam Duke

night out

Would you like to book your own Tignes Chalet Holiday? Visit out Tignes site on our website or give our friendly reservation department a call on 01483 791 933.