A ski holiday with children is easy if you use a Nanny service

A ski holiday with children is easy if you use a Nanny service

This blog post is by Nicole Wallbank from Meribel Nanny Services 

nanny childcare ski school meribelA day with a nanny!

Youre looking at all the things ready to put in your suitcases and wondering, how is it going to fit? And have I got everything? Going skiing with your children is a great holiday but there’s a lot of organising to be done before and after you arrive which can feel overwhelming………..

Cue your private ski nanny, she knows what the children need for the day ahead, how to get their ski boots on, where ski school drop off is, the best places to take the children to lunch and the best places for snowman building and sledging.

Having a flexible private nanny for the week can mean you really can just ski, relax and enjoy your stress free holiday.

What does the nanny actually do with the children all day?

The first day is the most hectic.Your nanny will swoop in early to make sure she has all the correct details, which of course she does as you have spoken to the childcare manager before your arrival and the nanny has even bought a toy box with lots of amazing toys, including a mass of train track pieces which you had put on your information form as a favourite toy of your sons.

Knowing there is a toy box at your chalet for the week has meant that you haven’t had to bring a whole suitcase just full of toys!

meribel la tania ski school childcareSki School

Ski school starts at 9:15 and the nanny has let you know it is best to get there for 9am on the first day to find the right class and settle the older children in. She starts to help get the children ready which is great as you also have to get ready yourself and you haven’t got a clue where your ski pants and helmet are.

She goes through the check list, thermals, fleece, ski socks, ski pants, waterproof mittens, sun cream, snood, coat, helmet and boots and ski’s oooops and not to forget a snack in their pocket plus 5 euros for a drink and that’s the children ready.

The children are in the car and ready to go as the grown up’s collect their last bits together and off we go.

Its half term and ski school can be really busy but the nanny knows exactly where to go and who to speak to, to find out who the children’s instructors are. The older two are happy to go off with their instructor but little Jack is only 4 and has never skied before. He is feeling a bit shy and unsure but the nanny reassures him and tells him she will stay with him during his lesson then after they can go for a play in the snow together.

This cheers him up and off they all go with the instructor leaving mum and dad to head to the chairlift for their first day skiing relaxed and sure that their children are in safe hands.

Once little Jack is finished his first ski lesson he and the nanny go off to do a bit of sledging, go for a play at the park and for a Crepe then at 1:15 go to pick up his older brother and sister from their lessons and get the bus back to the chalet.

Mum and Dad give the nanny a quick call to see how everything is and all the children are fine and happy.

They have a nice warm pasta lunch and build a town with a gigantic train track running through and around it a game of hide and seek before colouring a picture to stick in their holiday diaries.

Then it’s time to pop on all their layers and ski clothes and head out to play in the snow, building snow castles and a snowman the size of Jack.

Meanwhile mum and dad have had a great ski a lovely lunch and have come back to very happy busy children, a warm cup of tea and a lovely afternoon tea cake while their chalet hosts get dinner ready….. A very relaxing first day of skiing.

 Take a look at the childcare and nanny services that we recommend in Meribel and La Tania.


Get ski fit for your ski holiday

Get ski fit for your Alpine Action ski holiday in 4 weeks – Video

Ski for longer and ski better

10 minute ski fit workout for Alpine Action from fitness guru Bay Fitness.

Get ready for skiing and improve your muscular endurance, flexibility, strength and mobility so you can ski for longer and ski better.

Start these exercise 4 weeks before your trip and do each exercise for 1 minute everyday.

If you’re not to fit to start with you can perform each exercise for 20 seconds and build up until you can manage the full minute.

Exercise One – The Running Man
Exercise Two – Curtsey Lunge
Exercise Three – Side Step Squat
Exercise Four – Yoga Long Lunge
Exercise Five – Parallel Ski Jump
Exercise Six – Lunge and High Kick
Exercise Seven – Forward Diametric Jump
Exercise Eight – The Hindu Squat
Exercise Nine – The Dance of Warrior Two
Exercise Ten – Lunge and Rotate
Ski with www.alpineaction.co.uk

Get ski fiit with www.bayfitness.co.uk


Guide – off-piste in Meribel

Run report – off-piste in Meribel – By Rob Bartlett, Resort Rep

off piste meribel One of the best parts of my job is being able to share my own knowledge of the ski resort, passing on tips and suggestions of which pistes to try, where to find the best conditions and how to get the most out of a week skiing in the three valleys.

As befits the largest ski area in the world, there are hundreds of kilometres of pistes to enjoy for skiers and boarders of every level. However, for experienced skiers, there is a world of fun to be had beyond the marked and bashed runs.

Before saying any more, we need to be totally clear that skiing off-piste can be extremely dangerous. It should only be considered by experienced and confident skiers. As minimum safety precautions you should always look to go in small groups – 3 or 4 is ideal – and never alone. Be aware of the published avalanche risk, but be aware that snow conditions can change rapidly. An hour in the sun can turn safe routes into an unacceptable risk in less than an hour.

Before setting off, you should ensure your insurance covers you for going off-piste and carry and know how to use the relevant safety equipment of a transceiver, shovel and probe. We would strongly recommend engaging an instructor or a guide, and it is always worth checking with the pisteurs for their views on where is safe to go. Always remember that skiing off-piste poses a risk not just to yourself, but also to those who on the mountain around you, such as other skiers on the same slopes, or the secouristes who would conduct a rescue operation if anything went wrong. If you are at all unsure, you should not go.

With the proper precautions however, off- piste skiing can be one of the great highlights of a skiing holiday in the Alps, so where are some of the best routes in Meribel?

My advice would be to head to the Vallon and Cote Brune sectors. On the Vallon gondola you will most likely see plenty of tracks underneath the lift, which can be accessed from the corner at the top of the Combe de Vallon piste. While this is one of the more recognised and accessible off-piste routes, beware of partially covered rocks.

WP_20140326_018For those looking to go further into the backcountry, head through the gap in the rock on your left as you come out of the Vallon bubble. There is another reasonably established route straight down hereto the side of the piste, but if you keep left, a small 10 minute walk and a short traverse lead you out to some powder field coming down from the ridge. Check with the pisteurs before attempting this route as the snowpack can be unstable above you, but in the right conditions the fluffy powder, comfortable gradient and spectacular views can make this route a showstopping highlight.

A final route to try is accessed from the top of the Becca lift. In the snowbank opposite the lift you will most likely see tracks leading diagonally up to the ridge line. The top offers a spectacular view both down to Les Menuires one way and across to the Mont Vallon summit the other. Be careful of the entry point here. Traverse across the slope to the centre of the chute to avoid the treacherous rocky drops immediately below where the track up reaches the ridgeline.

The descent down from here looks clear enough but boarders in particular will want to avoid keeping too far left as they will risk being caught out by a flat section right at the bottom before regaining the piste. Equally however, head too far right and you risk being blocked by another few rocky drops, or finding yourself underneath a particularly steep section of the slope where the risk of avalanche is higher. Keep to a conservative line though and you should have a fabulous descent, with the added bonus of being able to admire your track as you head back up the Cote Brune lift.

To book a holiday to Meribel or La Tania call us on 01273 466 535 or go take a look at our chalets.


Who we would like to see on the next season of The Jump

Who we would like to see on the next season of The Jump

Channel 4’s The Jump is set to return to our screens this winter. The Jump is a TV competition where celebrities spend a week in the mountains injuring themselves while attempting various winter based activities, just like the Winter Olympics. The winner is the person who manages to complete the week without hurting themselves, not quite like the Winter Olympics. As the name suggest there is a ski jump, this forms the premise of the live show, where the two famous people that either didn’t injure themselves or performed worst in the days activity, have to go down the jump to stay in the competition. There is probably a judge and a public vote but if I am honest I can’t remember.

channel 4 the jump

Last year it was won by a celebrity that is a celebrity because he won a make me a celebrity competition in the past. Other famous faces were Marcus Brigstocke, Sinitta, an Orange Woman from Chelsea and Sir Steve Redgrave. The show was hosted by Davina and Alex Brooker with support from Graham Bell and Amy Williams.

Wikipedia FACT :- The show’s working title was The Alpine Games.It was initially taken to ITV in 2012, but was declined after it was deemed “too dangerous” by chiefs.

We loved the show so much last year that we live blogged most of the episodes.

We can’t wait for it to return and here is who we would like to see compete this winter season.

Timmy Mallet

Mr Mallet is a ski fan. I known this as he regularly stays with a friends rival ski chalet company. He also likes to paint ski scenes, which you can see on his brilliantly title website MalletsPallet.

Prince Charles

We all know HRH loves to ski, we also know that he hasn’t changed his ski outfit since the 80’s, meaning he will fit right in.

Eve Muirhead

She was on our TV twenty four seven during Sochi 2014, as she skippered the GB Curling team to a bronze medal. We don’t know if she has ever skied before but her experience on the Ice means she could secure The Jump gold.

Boris Johnson

It would just be great to see him hurt himself.

Me

I, Jim Duncombe, who is not famous, would love a go at all the sports in show, pick me Channel 4, pick me!

Clare Balding

I once saw Clare in a bar in Meribel, so she must like skiing. Book her Channel 4 just for that reason.

 

P.S

We would also like to see the show moved to Meribel, they could even stay in one of our chalets.

Article by Jim Duncombe

 


Abandoned Ski Resorts

Abandoned Ski Resorts

Many things in life get abandoned, such as ski gloves on piste markers, Chat magazine in your chalet accommodation or that 4th apres Jager bomb that you never wanted in the first place. One thing that we never thought might get abandoned is a ski resort. Maybe because we only visit working ski resorts, the main reason for this is because we go to a ski resort for the ski lifts. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t derelict ski resorts out there. These resorts have closed due to climate change, finance or technological advancement. Here are few ski resorts that have been abandond.

Sarajevo

These days the buzz word for Olympic games is “Legacy”. This probably wasn’t on the minds of the 1984 Winter Olympic hosts. Nore was it on the mind of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean who won gold in the figure skating. Today the olympic infrastructure exists as a collection of derelict sites, overgrown and graffitied.

Sarajevo ski jump enhanced-buzz-wide-24069-1392801787-18

Japan

Not quite a ski resort, this is the Azuma ski lodge near Fukushima in Japan. The lodge has been abandoned long before the nuclear incident in 2010.

article-2604840-1D19EE8E00000578-921_964x632 2062fafc98d1185296b33b85c059d5da

 

Bolivia

Climate change was the factor that contributed to the closure of the Chacaltaya Ski Resort. At one point in its history it was the highest ski resort in the world. Sadly the retreat of the glacier overtime forced the resort to be abandoned.

1cba1c6e6e9f53065a817a7848aceb4f (1)

France

France has some of the best ski resorts in the world, with a thriving industry at work so it comes as a mild shock to find an abandoned resort a bit closer to home. This is the abandoned ski project of Saint-Honoré 1500, which due to financial problems the developers were forced to put down tools and abandon the build in 1993. It could have been the next Meribel Mottaret.

dsc_0110

America

The Rainbow Basin ski resort was open for 11 years, when in 1991, due to money problems it had to close. Owner Jack Pickett blamed the weather saying about the lack of snowfall that “It wouldn’t cooperate”.  People still visit it today for Scooby Doo type thrills.

 

Fortunately the resort of Meribel in the 3 Valleys is still going strong, full or great chalets like ours. To book a ski hoiliday to a non-abandond ski resort go to www.alpineaction.co.uk

Article byJim Duncombe

 


MERIBEL – What it really means

MERIBEL – What it really means 

Todays blog is brought to you be the letters M E R I B E L and the number 3.

M. M is for massive ski area. Thanks to the joining up of the 3 Valleys many years ago Meribel is part of the biggest ski area in the world. Some say that a week isn’t long enough to ski every run and others claim that you couldn’t ski all the backcountry in a lifetime.

E. E is for English.  Of all the resorts in the Alps, Meribel is probably the most British. It still retains the french charm that lured us there all those years ago, but we love the UK run bars and pubs that make the Apres so much fun.

R. R is for Rad, short for Radical and Radiliciouse. Rad may hark back to 80′s but used correctly it is a great word. Rad describes Meribel perfectly. The atmosphere is rad, the resort is rad, the people are rad, the skiing is rad and most people come back saying they have had a rad time.

I. I is for Ice Hockey. Sometimes skiing and getting drunk can get a bit, you know, erm… anyway if you do want something else to do then the ice rink often host some big Ice Hockey games that are well worth a watch. Be prepared to be confused about the rules and wince at the aggression.  Also this isnt just any old ice rink this one hosted the Olympic finals in 1992.

B.  B is for Bad, see R.

E. E is for everyone.  Meribel really  does cater for all people. There are great runs and schools for beginners, a generous helping of intermediate skiing as well as plenty of Blacks and accessible off piste for the hardcore. There is also lots to do for the non-skier. And Meribel can cater for any budget.

L. L is for Lift. There are 180 lifts in the 3 Valleys. Just imagine the fun to be had at the top of all of those chairs, gondolas and bubbles. Lifts help fulfil your ski dreams quicker.

By Jim Duncombe


7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

whiteout skiing7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

You wake up in your ski chalet, you look out the window and all you can see is white cloud.  You think to yourself “bugger” and you get back into bed. As you lie in bed you think about going back to sleep and having a lie in, you are on holiday after all. You can hear the chalet host setting up for breakfast and other gusts getting ready to go out. You start to feel guilty and start working out how much the lift pass costs and how much your lie in is worth.  Reluctantly you get out of bed and start dressing for the day at the same time you convince yourself that it is low cloud and that it is bright and sunny up top, probably with a light dusting of snow.

Don’t be downhearted there are lots of ways to have fun in a white out.

1. Trees

Head for the runs that carve through the tree line. There you will find plenty of shade to mark out the piste and the contours.

2. Guilt free lunch

That’s right. You probably wont burn of your lunch today however you can take your time over it. Without feeling guilty that you are not making the most of the perfect conditions.

3. Loose the slow ones

Sometimes you have a few slow mates that you feel duty bound to ski with. Use the flat light as camouflage to accidently on purpose loose them and have a day hooning around.

4. Imagine the adversity of others

We all know the story of  Scott of the Antarctic.  While he never had the luxury of a Folie Douce, piste patrol or chair lifts, he did have his share of poor weather conditions.  Use the whiteout to imagine what it must have been like to face the epic struggle that he went through, then go to the pub.

5. Appear knowledgeable

A whiteout is the perfect time to show your ski knowledge and tell anyone who will listen that the piste markers on with the orange tops should always be on your left to ensure you are in the middle of the piste. Or is it the right?

6. Create a story

When you get home remember know one wants to know about the blue run you skied 8 times in a row. They will be much more interested in the tale about you loosing your partner of the side of a run only for you to have to walk back up, locating them with squeals of “help I am in a hole”, which you dig them out of while laughing at their misfortune.

7. Extended apres ski

Pretty self explanatory. Remember you will regret this when tomorrow is a fresh powder day with blue skies.

 

By Jim Duncombe


Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number. This may be something to do with Pythagoras or Del La Soul however it is not the reason why three is the magic number for us. Three is our magic number for lots of reasons and here they are.

3 Valleys

The biggest ski area in the world, is the 3 Valleys. It has 600 km of piste which is served by 183 lifts. It is regarded as one of the best ski areas in the world. The name comes from the three valleys that the resorts and ski areas are located in, Saint-Bon, Allues, and Belleville. The 3 Valleys is also home to the Alpine Action ski program.

3 valleys logo

3 Great Resorts

Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania are all world class ski resorts houses in the 3 Valleys. Each resort has its own individual vibe and famous for different reasons. There are lots of other resorts that help make up the area, such as La Tania where we also have chalets.

€3

This is the usual price for a demis of beer in most French bars in the Alps.

3 Planks

Many say that when raising a family the ultimate is to have one girl and one boy. I say that when on the mountain it is good to ride with an even ratio of skiers and boarders. 2 skis plus 1 board = 3 planks.

3 Years

It is the best age to start skiing.

3 Layers

I like to wear 3 layers when on the mountain. A good thermal base layer followed by a warm jumper or fleece then a good quality windproof ski coat.

3 Meters

Any fresh powder is good but our favourite is a massive 3 meter dump. Although I am struggling to remember ever experiencing a 3 meter deep powder day but I bet it would be amazing.

3 Chalets in La TaniaChalet Toubkal La Tania, Ski Holiday

Not quite true as we have 4, but one, the Chalet Toubkal can be booked as two separate chalets or as one.

By Jim Duncombe

 


5 Ways to get your Summer Ski Fix

5 Ways to get your Summer Ski Fix
By Jim Duncombe

It is a long wait between ski seasons in Europe. The wait is almost bearable if you’re are a resort worker. But for most of us who can only fit in a one week holiday it is 51 long weeks. So what can you do to get your winter sport fix during the long hot summer months?

1. Indoor and Dry Slopes

There are 100’s of these dotted around the UK, some big and some very small. You can find a full list of slopes on the Ski Club of Great Britain web site. There will be one close to you and they should have a small range of ski hire equipment to. In fact why you are at it you may as well take some non-skiing friends along and try and tempt them into taking it. A double bonus is that if you can then convince them to come on your next holiday you will get a bigger group discount, which is time well spent.

Chairlifts meribel La Tania

2. Water Skiing and Wakeboarding

Admittedly it isn’t the same. For a novice it can be a bit like spending time on a slush drag lift. And a it can work out to cost a lot more than a week’s skiing. And you get wet. But if all that doesn’t put you off then it is a good way to feel that comforting leg burn that you get after a good day hooning around the slopes.

3. Head Down Under

You could probably fit the whole of Australia’s and New Zealand’s ski runs into the Three Valleys, (not an actual fact). Sadly we don’t offer catered ski holidays there and there is a long flight to consider. But that shouldn’t put you off. The skiing is actually very good in both countries. What more could you want from a bit of summer skiing than to be carving down the mountains of Mordor with a tinny instead of a Demis.

4. Create a Ski Holiday at Home

For more information on how to create a ski holiday at home read this handy guide.

5. Find a Glacier in Europe

There are some wonderful glaciers that are open for skiing during the summer. You could even pop over for the weekend. Our favourite is located just down the road from our spiritual home of Meribel, in Tignes. There is also a great one in Zermatt although it will take you about an hour to get to it from the resort.

Or you could just spend the summer reading Ski Magazines, watching Snowboarding Videos and deciding which chalet you will stay in this winter.

 

 

 

 


Our Favorite Topics

Subscribe

To sign up for our newletter please enter your email address below: