The TK 3000 returns (it’s a lift, not a bad guy from a Sci-Fi film)
The TK 3000 (aka The Tunnel Drag lift) is coming back to Val d’Isere this season. Depending on how you look at it this is either a blessing or a curse, but first let’s look a bit of history.
Originally opened way back in 1962 and in operation until 2011 the TK 3000 drag lift was the first lift that allowed skiers to get directly from the Solaise to the Fornet. You’ll notice that we say skiers – only ‘expert’ skiers were allowed to get pulled up the steep slope and snowboarders were denied access altogether. The coolest feature of the 3000 drag was – by far – the tunnel burrowed through the mountain that you had to ski through to get to the Fornet. When’s the last time you skied through something like this???
Aside from being really cool (and very-Instagrammable) the newly-renovated tunnel drag is also able to run in pretty much any weather conditions so when it gets too windy for the Lessieres Up-and-Over lift to function, you’ll still be able to get to Le Fornet with relative ease.
The drag lift also opens up a lot of accessible off-piste on the Solaise side of the Lessieres ridge, and this is why we’ve got some mixed feelings about its re-opening. The west-facing ridge is a bit rocky in places and has been know to slide in the afternoon. Although increased skier-compaction should help to stabilise it a little, it’s maybe not the best place for off-piste novices to hone their skills. That said, the Lessieres ridge does offer some amazing powder skiing and - with a relatively short walk up on touring skis or a splitboard - for the last few years it’s often been the last-bastion of (relatively) easily accessed powder for days or even weeks after a dump of snow.
With conditions in the Espace Killy already good up high we toured up under the TK 3000 for what may be the last time this past Wednesday. We’ll let you be the judge in the video below, but for us it was a pretty nice way to say goodbye to our untracked powder failsafe.
Photos via haute-tarentaise.net
By Kene from: