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ESCAPADE 2024: Half Term and Soft Snow, but Kev and Josh Succeed

20 February 2024

Congratulations to Kev and Josh

My son and I are staying in La Tania with my wife and daughter. My wife and I have skied all four valleys in a day several times (normally at quieter times such as January), but never quite to the extent of the Escapade with all the lower villages – normally we’d try to stay high as we worked our way across. 

I’d seen the Escapade online before we came out, so after a couple of days to rediscover our ski legs today seems like the day to try as the forecast seems worse for the rest of the week. 

Given the very “Easter” snow conditions, and the half term queues, we were not confident we’d manage it but wanted to give it a try. We were aiming to get to the first lift for 8:45 but at breakfast our chalet host warned us the queues would be awful for half term, so we got there earlier…. 8:25. Nobody else arrived until 8:45! We chatted to another group in the queue who were also attempting (unfortunately they ran out of time – trickier as they had 2 skiers and 2 boarders). 

We got the first lift at 9:01 and were please to find 2-3cm fresh snow. We got to St Martin at 10:07. Big queues for La Masse, but we got to the summit at 11:15. Again, big queues for Reberty chair. I think we were on Bruyers2 at 11:55.  Queues were bad again for Funitel Peclet in VT, but not as bad as La Masse. After that, things went well until Mont Vallon, which was poor visibility and very chopped up. Creux also pretty similar with poor light and chopped/bumps. From there onwards it is just determination. Sometimes you think there is no chance to make it, then an lift or run goes well and it seems achievable again.

We had a good run from Altiport to Courchevel Villages, but then the red down to La Praz was truly awful (like Easter). We got to the bottom of the Forêt lift at 4:23pm. So then it was a relaxed zoom down Folyeres for a very welcome beer or two back at the pub!

Thanks again for the detailed maps and lift lists. 

ESCAPADE 2024 – What’s this all about…

The 3 Valleys Escapade was the lift company promotion of visiting (originally in 2006) 14 points across the Three Valleys and gaining a certificate & badge over the period of your holiday – doing it in a day was a bit tricky though!

It all started out as a late night “is it possible?” discussion – the history and our original route from 2006 are here

Originally punch cards had to be stamped at each check point until electronic passes arrived and then the use of a lift was recorded – now we use Apps such as Ski Tracks or Relive to prove our route.

Note that the Escapade is no longer officially promoted by Les 3 Vallees from Winter 2017 but we still record successful tracks for anyone who is interested in being in the sought after La Tania Escapade Hall of Fame

The original Escapade took 30 lifts, around 13000m vertical with 70km length and by 2016 reached 34 lifts, 17000m vertical (twice the height of Everest) and around 80km skiing (140km total distance). With the newer, longer, faster lifts we’re back down to 30 lifts and the age range for successful completion is from 8 to 76 years old! The latest ESCAPADE route

This is NOT a race

ALWAYS CONTROL YOUR SPEED. You do this entirely at your own risk, act responsibly, take full ownership for your own actions and all of those with you, respect other people (& the mountain), ski & ride within your limits, always obey the skiers & snowboarders code, observe all signs, pay attention to all notices, advice & instructions from Pisteurs, only ski off piste if fully equipped & knowledgeable, it’s not a race (you won’t be insured), think about the safety of others as well as yourself but above all, think of other people, take care, don’t wreck things for others & don’t even think of blaming anyone else if it all goes wrong…..

ESCAPADE 2024 – The 12 villages and 12 perimeters/peaks used as checkpoints

Changes through the years
2006 – First year and cards with hole punches stationed at lifties huts are used.
2008 – Electronic lift analysis is now used – no use hiking out the 4th Valley now!
2010 – The piste map did not include the top of the 4th Valley and the Col lift in Val Thorens.
2011 – The X-Wing Discovery was launched but only had 10 check points and doesn’t count!
2012 – Peclet included and Biollay / Vizelle used for Saulire access.
2015 – Foret used instead of La Tania gondola.
2016 – Mont Vallon is included for the first time plus the Montaulever drag lift.
2017 – Chapelets replaced by Petite Boss drag and La Tania’s Bouc Blanc chair replaces Tovets.
2018 – The new Roc de Tougne chair replaces the drag lift of the same name.
2019 – Legends replaces Roc de Fer and the Montaulever drag in Les Menuires has been removed.
2020 – Cime Caron now back in use.
2022 – New Pointe de la Masse and Orelle-Caron Gondolas (for example) could be used.
2023 – Using the new lifts, we ski all the resorts, all the perimeters and classic peaks – ESCAPADE 2023
2024 – No changes to 2023 route!

ESCAPADE 2024 – A suggested route. Click on the images for the full size pics

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