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Happy New Year from The Alps! - James Cove, Tignes
Saturday December 31, 2011 - Email this article to a friend

Midnight passed with celebrations in ski resorts across The Alps. PlanetSKI is in the French resort of Tignes where more than 10,000 people saw in the New Year with fireworks, DJs and the odd glass of champagne. James Cove reports

It is one of the the biggest New Year celebrations in The Alps as over 10,000 people flocked to the main ski square in Tignes Le Lac.

24 hours earlier it was chucking it down with snow but on New Year's Eve the snow eased off slightly, but quite frankly the crowd probably wouldn't have noticed.

They were out to party. Tignes is gaining quite a reputation as THE place to be with internationally famous DJs and an excellent atmosphere.

You will normally find me in the Place Central in Verbier on New Year's Eve but this year I am with a bunch of friends in Tignes.

We are staying at Crystal's Riders Lodge a new concept in ski and snowboard holidays as they cater for the freeride market - judging by first impressions it is a good idea, but I will be telling you more about it later in the week here on PlanetSKI.

Beer and nachos rather than tea and cakes, ski gurus instead of chalet hosts with X-boxes and pool tables rather than cards and monopoly. Oh, and there is free internet access too, but it is slow!

But I barely saw The Riders Lodge though as soon after we arrived it was off to the centre of Tignes.

As we walked round the lake there were hundreds of figures streaming across the frozen lake to Tignes le Lac from Val Claret. They looked like Lowry matchstick figures huddled against the driving snow. Drawn, zombie like, to the forthcoming midnight fireworks.

They were not to be disappointed.

They lit up the alpine night sky for a full 20 minutes. Best of al there was no cheesy torchlight syncro-skiing display by the local ESF.  There was no hint of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody slightly out of sync with the pyrotechnics or classical music that could not be heard well. It wasn't set off by the local mayor and assembled dignitaries.

It was just a great display with a DJ spinning some good, thick drum 'n' bass. And thousands of people dancing. It was a party.

I am more used to Verbier but to be honest not much happens except loads of people flood to the Place Central, a countdown is done, a few drunken people take their clothes off and climb up the lampposts and, er, that's about it.

It's a great atmosphere, but not much in the way of entertainment.

In Verbier the firework displays are provided by the posh people up the hill trying to outdo each other as hey show off their wealth, but they are a way away.

The resort puts on little.

Tignes pushes the boat out a bit.

After a spectacular firework display with flashes and explosions echoing around the mountains it was time for a very important decision.

Bed or party?

I arrived in the resort on Saturday evening after a long, long journey disrputed by the heavy snow, as has been reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI.  

New Year's Day promised to be a powder day with almost a metre of snow having fallen in the last 24 hours.

Did I want to be on one of the first lifts with a clear(ish) head on New Year's Day and the slopes pretty much to myself or lieing in bed feeling sorry for myself with a bad hangover?

No brainer for me. Bedtime. Though there are a few bars on the way home so temptation will rear its head.

I am feeling strong willed though.

James will be updating this story later on New Year's Day and hopefully he made it to bed and had a great powder day.

Check back to find out and we will be brining you a few pictures and reports from our readers and reporters across the mountains at other New Year celebrations.

Happy 2012 to all our readers. Smile

UPDATE, JANUARY 1st 2012 - Well James avoided the bars on his way home and was in bed by 1.30am and up at 8am. He says the slopes were deserted first thing especially as the visibility was poor but by lunchtime the sun had broken through  and the slopes crowded.

"It was a great way to start 2012 with plenty of fresh snow, though it was very warm and the powder was wet and heavy off piste. Not perfect powder by any means but lots of fun. We are due to get a bit more snow on Monday and then blue sky on Tuesday so Tignes is most certainly a pretty good place to be at the moment," he said.

He will be sending a video report from Tignes later this week so do check back for that.

For some photos of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day from Tignes check out the PlanetSKI photo gallery on the home page.

Below is a You Tube video of the event. Now we must confess that it doesn't give much of an imression of the night and seems more like an advert for the DJ, but you get the idea!

For the spirit of the mountains

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