Tignes walking routes: Aiguille Percee AKA the Eye of the needle

Posted on July 26th, 2016.

Ever thought about exploring the high alpine peaks of Tignes on foot?

Tignes has a vast alpine area to explore. Even inside the domain of the ski lifts the area seems to take on a certain serenity during the summer months as the skiing masses disperse along with the snow leaving behind lush alpine pastures and rugged mountain peaks.

For some, the retreat of the snow opens up the mountains allowing them to explore in places which they would never dare to go in the depths of winter. Seeing the terrain during the summer really gives you an appreciation of the untouched natural environment right on our doorstep here in Tignes. And there is much to see.

The mountains really come to life in the summer and the best news is they are free and easy to explore, all you need is willing souls and a sturdy pair of shoes.

We have compiled a short list of very accessible walks in Tignes.

L’AIGUILLE PERCÉE – The eye of the needle (2,778m)

Aiguille Percee pic

You will recognise this peak from many picture postcards, it is arguably one of the most famous landmarks of Tignes due to it’s unusual rock formation.

Map of the recommended circuit

Map of the recommended circuit

Starting point: Tignes le Lac (2,100m)
Climb: 705m
Duration: 3h30m approx.

Route Description: This route is clearly sign posted along the way. The path begins climbing gently from Tignes le Lac at the start of the Palafour chairlift, the path then steepens as it winds between the chairlift and the drag lift. The path then joins an old 4X4 track and continues on until it divides to follows routes of the Col de la Tourne or Aiguille Percée. Continue to climb along the ridge, you will notice there are screens along the ridge  whichb are designed to disrupt the airflow and stop the formation of slabs of snow which can cause dangerous avalanches during the winter. On reaching the flat area at the top of the Palafour chairlift, the view opens out. L’Aiguille Percée is clearly visible. To the east there are great views over the valley and the Grande Sassière Nature Reserve. There is one last effort up the winding path through the scree which will get you to the foot of l’Aiguille Percée. Below L’aiguille take the path which stays on the ridge, heading in the direction of Tignes le Lac via “les Crêtes”. The path goes between the rocks and rocky terrain of the Tignes Nature Reserve boundary, the landscape here is spectacular. Here you can choose to take the detour to the viewpoint indicator. Warning! Take extra care in steep areas. On arrival near to the top of the l’Aiguille Rouge chairlift, the path forks abruptly to the right and the descent on the mountain pasture path speeds up. After rejoining the Condus plateau and passing the avalanche barrier, rejoin the 4X4 track and you will have come full circle.

Now grab yourself plenty of mountain air, a cold beverage, and relax!