Tignes Val Claret, taken from slopes of the Grande Motte mountain
|Area1||81.63 km2 (31.52 sq mi)|
|• Density||31/km2 (79/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||73296 / 73320|
|Elevation||1,440–3,747 m (4,724–12,293 ft)
(avg. 1,810 m or 5,940 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Tignes (French pronunciation: [tiɲ]) is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.
It is best known as a ski resort. Together with nearby Val d'Isère, it forms the "Espace Killy" ski area. Tignes was the freestyle skiing venue for the 1992 Winter Olympics and co-host city for the 1992 Winter Paralympics.
Tignes comprises 5 Villages; Val Claret, Tignes le Lac, Le Lavachet, Tignes Les Boisses and Tignes-les-Brévières. The first three are close together at 2100 m and Les Boisses and Les Brevieres are further down the valley, above and below the dam respectively. Les Brévières is an old village whereas all the others were created as part of the Dam construction or development of the ski resort. All the villages are part of the ski resort known as Tignes.
Dam (barrage de Tignes)
The original village of Tignes was in the Isère valley below Val d'Isère. After the second world war, France needed electricity and it was decided to build the hydro-electric Tignes Dam in the Isère valley. Whilst this was a great achievement for French engineering and was for the greater good of France, it meant that the old village of Tignes was drowned. The dam was completed and the village was submerged in 1952. A replica of the original church was created in Tignes les Boisses. Once every 10 years the lake behind the dam (Lac du Chevril) is drained for maintenance work and the remains of the old village becomes visible.
The dam was painted with a fresco of Hercules in 1989 by Jean-Marie Pierret with the help of eight mountain climbers. The fresco is considered one of the largest in the world. The portrait of Hercules was added and funded by private corporations interested in boosting the Olympic appeal during the winter games of 1992 which took place in nearby Albertville, France.
After the loss of the old village it was decided to develop a ski resort at the higher lake (Le Lac). This was surrounded by a bowl that is ideal for skiing and is headed by the Grand Motte glacier. The resort was developed largely during the 1960s and the building style reflects what was regarded as good building design at that time. In recent years the town has worked to improve the look of the new villages with some success.
The lifts of Tignes have been managed since 1967 by the company STGM (The Société des Téléphériques de la Grande Motte). Many lifts are fast 6 or 8 person chairlifts and there are 113 snow cannons which produce 450,000 m2 of artificial snow each year. The ski area is linked with the resort of Val-d'Isère and the entire ski area is called Espace Killy. At 4.2 km, Tignes boasts the 4th longest funicular in the world. Ski trails in Tignes reach a height of 3456 m making it the perfect choice for snow sure skiing.
There are 56 ski patrollers covering the resort of Tignes. There are 15 snow cats to maintain the quality of the pistes, 4 of these are equipped with winches for working steep slopes and 1 for shaping the half pipe. Around 60% of the slopes are groomed each evening.
Grande Motte glacier
Due to presence of the Grande Motte glacier, Tignes used to offer year-round skiing. However, the glacier has been receding over the last decades and now closes for a few weeks each year. As of 2005[update] the glacier had shrunk by around 25 vertical metres (80 feet) compared to a 1982 survey. It seems likely that the glacier will eventually be split into two by the rock spurs which are starting to become visible.
Tarentaise Valley skiing
Within the Tarentaise Valley is the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs & La Plagne) and Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens and more). There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.
- "WORKS IN PROGRESS; That Dammed Hercules By Bruce Weber". The New York Times. 1989-11-05. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Tignes: From Past to Present
- http://www.tignes.net/GB_STGM.html STGM Tignes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tignes.|
- Tignes website
- Photo gallery of Tignes
- Profile of climb
- Panoramic photo of dog sledding on Tignes Lake