A look at the new ski show

The London Ski Show has been going for 42 years now and many people say that its glory days are long behind it but I have a feeling that those days are about to return. We have high expectations of events now, we expect to be entertained and we want value for money and it seems that the organisers of the ski show have taken note and have decided to do something about it. After a few lack lustre years at Earls Court the show is on the move again and they are promising a lot more to see and do. We can only go on what the organisers are telling us but there is a definite vibe about this years show and here are some reasons why.

The Facts

Dates: 5th of November to 8th of November (times vary)
Location: Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park
Price: Full £25 – Conssesions £15 – Children £10 – Under 11’s Free
Website: london.skiandsnowboard.co.uk

The Site

This is a big change as the show is to be held at in the middle of Battersea park at the Battersea Evolution which is going to give the show indoor and outdoor areas to hold a range of activities and entrainment. The move also means that the show can escape the restrictions that have been imposed by the previous venues that have restricted the organisers ambitions in delivering exactly what they wanted to.



The truth is that the show wouldn’t exist without the “trade show” element and for many people the chance to shop for all things ski related in one place is the reason they attend. This year there are some more focused areas, France have a whole pavilion dedicated to tempting you to ski in French resorts as do the Americans. As well as that you can expect the usual mix of small and large tour operators, retailers such as Ellis Brigham and Finches Emporium, ski travel agents like our friends Alpenglowski, representatives from ski areas like the Three Valleys, Clothing and Equipment as well as the obligatory novelty helmet stand.

Skiing and Snowboarding

This year there will be more actual skiing and snowboarding as the show is bringing back the demo area. We have been promised a 50ft real snow kicker, sadly us mere mortals wont be allowed on it. What there will be is regular demo’s from the rising starts of the UK freestyle scene as well some big name pro-riders. Also the UK’s biggest on snow freestyle competition, The Brits, will be hosting regular style competitions for the pro-riders. There is also going to be meet and greets with loads of big name riders, such as Emily Sarsfield, Ben Kilner and Jan Farrell as well as Olympic athletes Jamie Nicholls and Aimee Fuller, what will you say to them?



Some things don’t change which means that there will still be a fashion show, talks about skiing from knowledgeable people and boot fitting, (not sure that counts as entertainment). But there is more, on Saturday there will be music and family entertainment on the main stage and an oompa band on Sunday.

Apres ski 

Aprés is one of the top 5 thing people consider when choosing a ski resort which is why the ski show needs to represent this part of the ski holiday. This year there will be Aprés parties hosted by Snowbombing on the Thursday and Friday nights and Alps based band Dominos playing at the weekend. It also looks as though the new venue means better bars and better atmosphere.


If you like eating then you will have been pretty disappointed at the food on offer at Earls Court the last few years. The move to a new venue looks like this may be a thing of the past with an alpine themed street food area and the upmarket opportunity to eat yet more mountain themed cuisine in a pop-up restaurant that has had a menu created by Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett.



There has always been an element of comedy at the show but this year there is a more, with full shows being put on by the Altitude comedy festival and big names performing all for free or £1.

Free Stuff

On top of all the free pens, lanyards, sweets and stickers you can get a free pass to the Hemel Hempstead indoor ski slope, which if you claim it and use it makes the entry price to the show good value for money.

We will be posting from the show and will let you know if it is an improved event. Let us know if your thoughts and if you are planning on going.





5 Reasons why we think we are the best ski company to work for.

5 Reasons why we think we are the best ski company to work for.

We have worked hard to establish our reputation in the ski industry as providers of excellent ski holidays over the last 25 years. We have many guest that comeback every year to ski with us because they like the way we do things.  One thing that is very important to us is our staff. We know that we must have the best team every year to make sure we can provide the lovely ski holidays that we want to. This means making sure we have amazing and happy chalet hosts.

1. Staff Accommodation

Jim Duncombe used to specialise in seasonal recruitment and has worked for Natives.co.uk and other ski companies, we asked him for his thoughts on our accommodation.  “Working with some of the big tour operators, I have seen a big variety of staff accommodation. I once even spent a season in a triple bunk. However I have to say that Alpine Action staff accommodation is some of the best I have ever seen and is often coveted by other resort staff.”


2. We are small and independent

Being small means that we can spend more time making sure our staff are looked after and have everything they need. It also means that we get to know all of our team well and can do as much as we can to support them and ensure they have a great season.


3. Experienced Management

All of our management team have done many ski seasons and have worked for Alpine Action for a long time. This means that we know what is needed to make the winter a great experience for our team.  Ian our resort Director has lived in Meribel for over 20 years, this means that he knows a lot of people and is able to help our staff settle into their new home very easily. It also means that we have a great reputation and relationships with lots of companies in the resorts such as bars and hire shops.


4. Skiing and Snowboarding

Sometimes a week’s ski holiday isn’t long enough and that is probably why most of us go and do a ski season. Because all our management team are all passionate skiers or snowboarders we know that getting out on the mountain is a big part of being a seasonnaire.  That is why we work hard to make sure you get as much time on the mountains as possible. We will even show you around so you know where the best runs are.


5. Having fun

There is nothing worse than a boring job. Some people often leave their boring jobs to come and do ski season. During the winter we will make sure you have a great time. First of all you can be sure that the rest of the resort staff will become your new best friends and some may even stay best friends for life. I have just been the best man at my friend’s wedding, we met on a ski season 10 years ago. We also organise parties, days out and socials all throughout the season.


For more information on working for Alpine Action and to find out about all the jobs that we have please go to our recruitment page.


Please note that we can only accept applications from EU Passport holders, resident in the UK and those with a UK National Insurance number.

What’s new in Méribel for this winter

This is our round up of what is new in Méribel this winter.

Beginners Areas

This winter Méribel is making learning to ski a nicer experience by expanding its safe haven areas for children and beginners. The Altiport area has a designated “Ski Cool” zone that is for gentle and peaceful skiing it is also the home of the piste des Inuits, a nursery slope. On the other side of the valley is the “Zen Zone” and Yeti park, located on the Little Himalaya piste and is also billed as safe haven for people new to skiing and snowboarding.


Ski Lifts

The new lift is the extension of the Combes, which runs from Meribel Mottaret up towards Les Menuires. This lift now has a mid station allowing beginners to get off and access the Himalaya “Zen” area. It will also shorten the time it takes for skiers to get over to the next valley and onto the runs down to Saint Martin de Belleveille. The lift also boasts magnets as increased saftey for children wearing a special bib.

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Méribel has introduced free on piste Wifi. You can find out more about it and the locations in this article.


For many years the neighbouring resort of Courchvele has had an epic Toboggan run, this year Méribel is introducing not one but two! One run is located in up the Altiport are and the other is next to the Rhodos lift down by the Chaudanne. Sadly neither will be as epic as the one over in Courchevel, which you can watch in the video below.

Photo frames

There will be added photo opportunities this winter as Méribel will be installing a selection of giant photo frames arround the resort for you to have your photo taken with, as soon as we know the locations of these we will let you know.

The Alpine Legends Ski Pass

We wrote about the Alpine Legends pass a few weeks ago. It is a pass that allows you to ski the 3 Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski for one price. In the past there was always the option to “upgrade” for a day but this pass allows unlimited skiing in every resort, there is a challenge waiting for some adventurous people to invent, 9 Valley Rally anyone?

Click here if you want to get in contact and talk to us about booking a ski chalet holiday to Meribel.

Source : french-alps.meribel.net





How to get my non ski friends to ski


Convert your non-skiing friends! Send this post to them!

Skiing. It’s not a closed-group thing, quite the opposite actually, but if you’re a non skier it can be a little off putting coming into conversation with a bunch of regular skiers or snowboarders. “You’ve never been skiing? What do you mean you’ve never been skiing?!!” You end up either with the opinion that skiers are a bunch of incredulous idiots, or that skiing is actually worth a bash… perhaps you’ll get round to it one day…

But there are many good reasons for this wall of disbelief! Skiing is a joy, a buzz, a real thrill, and these days it’s nowhere near as pricey as it once was. So what do you mean you’ve never been skiing?!

1. Skiing is a wonderfully challenging and rewarding sport to undertake

Whether you’re a complete beginner mastering the intricacies of the snowplough turn or a seasoned expert well used to high speeds and big air jumps, there’s always somewhere to push yourself to improve. In Europe, for instance, the pistes are divided up into four colours representing their gradient; green, blue, red and black. The sense of satisfaction you experience when graduating to steeper terrain as you progress in the sport is fantastic, and really spurs you on to improve further. Equally for more advanced skiers, the buzz of landing a new jump or discovering and nailing a fresh powder field never really wears off.


2. The Great Outdoors!

The special blend of clean, fresh air and magnificent Alpine peaks is a massive draw. Ski resorts today are mountain playgrounds and it’s easy to forget how remote you actually are. But stop and think – two thousand metres up with crisp white snow all around – these are scenes of rare beauty! Drink it in!


3. Wonderfully hobby

Gathering a group of like minded friends for a week of challenging skiing, boozy après ski and lively banter is what some of the best memories are made of! It’s the joy of shared experiences… amazing fun with a group of mates. It’s also a great way to widen the social circle, because organising a large group of skiers almost invariably involves fresh introductions at the start of the week. Before you know it, you’re enjoying banter and laughs with friends old and new over a few refreshing après ski beers… joy!


4. Great travel opportunities 

It’s an easily overlooked point, but skiing is also a great way to see parts of the world you’d never otherwise get to visit. Despite the British bars and boozy après ski which prevails in many resorts it’s perfectly possible to step off the beaten track, make an effort with the lingo and enjoy genuine cultural enrichment. Of course, such experiences are perhaps more fulfilling in the smaller, traditional ski resorts… Woe betide the poor sap who tries to order une grande biere s’il vous plait in Jack’s Bar. But there are myriad chocolatiers, patissiers and the like in resorts across Europe who would welcome your efforts. And quite apart from any linguistic foray you may make, exploring ski resorts in different countries is also a great way to try new cuisine. Savoyarde specialities such as tartiflette and foldue are well known classics, but there are plenty more where they came from.

In short, not only is skiing a fantastically challenging and rewarding pursuit, but it’s also amazing fun! Push your boundaries and test your mettle in spectacular scenery, live to tell the tale then gather the gang, save a few quid up and do it all again next winter!

Click here to look at our ski holidays to Meribel & La Tania


Meribel Free Wifi Spots

Méribel Free WiFi Locations

The lovely people who run the Méribel valley ski area have installed WiFi hot spots in many areas on the pistes. Below is a map of the slopes and a list of where they are located.


Saulire Express – Top
Chaudanne Area
Mont Vallon – Start of the gondola
Moon Park – Top
Tougnete Chairlift – Top
Altiport Chair – Bottom

We also provide free WiFi in all our chalets!

Where do ski instructors come from?


A ski instructor is a highly skilled, highly trained and highly qualified individual they don’t just get dropped of by the ski stork pre-packaged in their instructors uniform. To become an instructor the individual must be highly motivate and incredibly committed as the cost of the training can be similar to the costs of attending university and getting a degree. As we all know there are international qualifications and there is the “French” qualification. As many of us ski and have lessons in France we have written this guide on the difference between the two systems and the route an instructor takes.

Ski Instructors from Most of the World

It may seem an oversimplification to lump everyone together but in general the qualifications follow a standard structure such as in Canada and New Zealand but for ease we will look at the UK system. The British qualification comes from the British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI), and fortunately the qualification can be obtained in other country’s. Many ski instructors holding a BASI qualification will have gained their qualifications in Scotland or in a European ski resort with many wannabe instructors opting to spend whole season training on residential ski instructor courses with companies like Basecamp, who run theirs out of Meribel.

There are generally 4 levels of instructor qualification to obtain. It should be noted that each course requires a level of skiing competence to be accepted on to the program.  Also each course covers elements of first aid and emergency procedure that is appropriate to level of instruction they will be qualified in.

Photo from Basecampgroup.com

Level 1 – This can take three weeks and the end the instructor will be qualified to teach on indoor or dry slopes, children up to the age of 12 as part of a ski school as well as run ski racing training sessions for more serious skiers.

Level 2 – This is a 7 week course and as you can imagine requires more in-depth training and focuses more on technical aspects of  ski racing as well as developing the skills of the instructors on piste coaching.

Level 3 – Is where it gets tough and moves in to international territory and the qualification needed can an be obtained from the ISIA . Before an instructor can move to level 3 they must have completed 200 hours of teaching, have a second language and passed a level 1 in a second discipline such as snowboarding. During the course they will have train in mountain safety, performance training  and a common theory course and exam. All the hard work means that they can teach most mountain styles and techniques as well as being able to take clients off piste.

Level 4 – Requires a further 200 hours teaching and 6 days of ski touring achieved before they can start the course. They are also required to take the following: Euro Speed test, a written project, endless theory courses, Level 2 in a second discipline and be subjected to a interview. But all this hard work makes them able to teach anything to anyone and go anywhere on the mountain, the dream job.

Instructors are required to take a refresher courses every three years, to make sure they are up to date with safety, first aid and technique developments.

Photo from www.esf-meribel.com

Ski Instructors in France

Despite what your are lead to believe being an instructor in France isn’t exclusive to the French, it just requires a bit more work as they have a different route to become a ski instructor and is similar to the systems of Italy and Austria. In France a individual wanting to be a ski instructor must first get into a ski school registered to train, get a first aid certificate, complete a two week residential and pass the notorious Test Technique, which requires an instructor to complete a slalom course within a set time.  This first step is the equivalent of Level 1 and the progress is very similar from there on with instructors to pass different levels of competence and complete 100’s of teaching hours to move up the qualifications. Once an Instrcutor has.reached the highest level then can then leave the umbrella of the ESF and set up independent ski schools such as Magic in Motion. It is possible for people from outside of France to enter the system at any stage but the Test Technique is an essential requirement as is speaking French.

This is just a summary of the levels of training an instructor has to go through just to make sure we aren’t dragging out inside edge when turning. If you are interested in finding out more about how people become ski instructors the take a look at these websites Basi.org.uk, Baseampgroup.com, isiaski.org and esf-uk.co.uk

Photo from www.magicfr.com


New lift pass to cover 3 Valleys, Paradiski and the Espace Killy

The Alpine Legends Ski Area – One Pass to Rule Them All


Have you ever thought to yourself “there just isn’t enough skiing in the 3 Valleys”? If you have then you will be please to know that there is now going to be a new mega pass. This new pass, called the Alpine Legends pass, will cover some of the worlds legendary and iconic ski resorts and areas. The 6 day ski ticket will allow you unlimited skiing in all of the 3 Valleys areas, Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel and Val Thorens which are all impressive ski areas in there own right. The pass will also include Les Arcs and La Plagne which form the amazing Paradiski and if that isn’t enough Val d’Isere and Tignes are both included, which combined makes 1325 km of pistes to explore.

The Alpine Legends lift pass is expected to cost around €340 which is only €51 more than a 3 Valleys pass, so that means you get an extra 725 km for less than the price of day pass.


How to get about 

If you are considering buying an Alpine Legends Ski Pass you will need to think about how you are going to commute around the areas as they are not all linked by lifts and runs.

Car: Probably the easiest of all the options is to do a self drive holiday  or hire a car either at the airport or in resort, then you can just drive yourself around from resort to resort each day. All resorts have car parks close to the slops and many have free parking if you are on a budget.

Bus: All these resorts are linked by a bus service of sorts. You can get from the Three Valleys to the Paradiski via a bus from Le Praz in Courchevel to Bozel at the bottom of the valley where you will have to change and catch a second bus to the small resort of Champagny that is linked to La Plagne. We have done this route many times and you can read our experience here.  If you wanted to catch public transport to and from one of the resorts in the Espace Killy you will have to make your way down to Bourg St Maurice, which you can do via the funicular in Les Arcs. From Bourg St Maurice you can get on the daily service to Val d’Isere or Tignes and will cost about €18 for a one way trip, timetables can be found at www.altibus.com.

Ski: It is possible to ski from Tignes to Les Arcs, but this is a serious mountain route and you would need to take an experienced guide with you.

Where to stay: Naturally we recommend staying in one of our ski chalet in La Tania or Méribel and either would make a great base for exploring the Alpine Legends ski area. Take a look at what have to offer.



Countdown to the Méribel ski season 2015

The countdown to start of the ski season in Méribel has begun!

Read on to find out about resort opening dates, lift pass prices, special offers on ski holidays in Méribel and La Tania and our chalets.

Méribel Ski Area Opening Dates 2015/16

5th December 2015 – 24th April 2016

Méribel Valley Lift Pass Prices 2015/16

Child 6 day pass : €194
Adult 6 day pass : €239 or €229 when booked through Alpine Action

Three Valley Lift Pass Prices 2015/16

Child 6 day pass : €234
Adult 6 day pass : €289 or €274 when booked through Alpine Action

La Tania / Courchevel Valley Lift Pass Prices 2015/16

Child 6 day pass : €196
Adult 6 day pass : €245 or €230 when booked through Alpine Action.



Special Offers : Méribel and La Tania

Click below to find out about all our special offers and last minute ski deals to Méribel and La Tania

Special Offers


Ski Chalets in Méribel and La Tania

Alpine Action has 10 chalets located throughout Méribel, take a look and see where they are located.

Méribel Chalet Locations

We also have 4 popular chalets located in the wonderful resort of La Tania, which is located in the Courchevel ski area.

La Tania Chalet Locations 


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10 reasons why Méribel is better than Courchevel or Val Thorens!


The resort of Méribel sits in the Tarentaise valley of the French Alps. It’s a vibrant ski resort with an international following, popular across the winter ski season as well as the more relaxing summer climbing and hiking months. But with two such illustrious neighbours as Courchevel to the east and Val Thorens to the west sharing the mighty Three Valleys ski area, we got to wondering what puts Méribel so far ahead of the competition! Well, we’ve taken pen to paper and made a list of exactly why Méribel beats Courchevel and Val Thorens. Are you all sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.


Méribel takes pride of place in the centre of the Three Valleys and no other resort in the area offers such easy access to all corners of the ski area. With the Saulire gondola swinging rapidly up to its namesake peak for skiing over in Courchevel, and the Tougnete lift winging people swiftly up towards les Menuires and beyond, Méribel wins hands down in this category. You could argue that Méribel-Mottaret is the actual winner here, being closest to the true centre of the Three Valleys, but Mottaret is part of the Méribel Valley!

Best après ski

Méribel’s après ski scene used to be good. Now it’s excellent. The Rond Point has been a favourite amongst seasonnaires and visitors for years and remains a wonderfully popular venue. But these days competition from the new Folie Douce bar gives us all two epic venues to choose from and puts Méribel firmly at the top of the après ski tree in the Three Valleys.



Best beginners’ area

Anybody mastering their first turns on the snow, whether on skis, board or blades, needs to head to one very specific and very beautiful part of the valley: the Altiport. This long, rolling, green run is simply ideal for learners and the trees on either side sheltering skiers from the elements are the icing on the cake.

Best nightlife

Whilst it’s true that Courchevel Moriond and Val Thorens have good nightlife, neither of them can compete with the proximity of great bars to be found in Méribel town centre. And when they close, Dicks Tea Bar down the road is on hand to welcome revellers into the wee small hours. Val Thorens’ Malaysia nightclub offers strong competition but the overall winner has to be Méribel!

Prettiest resort centre

This is really a two horse race between Courchevel and Méribel – Val Thorens doesn’t get a look in here. Courchevel 1850 is pretty enough, and so are Moriond and le Praz, but none of them match the lovely Savoyard wood and stone to be found across Méribel, and charming, traditional villages in the Méribel valley such as les Allues complete the picture.

Best range of accommodation quality/price

Courchevel dominates the luxury market and Val Thorens is often a great resort choice for the budget conscious, especially in the last minute market, but none of them offer such a spectacular range of chalets, hotels and apartments from basic 2* properties all the way up to top-end 6* opulence. Again, Méribel trumps the competition.

Best ski schools

This category is open to debate, because many of Méribel’s best ski schools also operate in Courchevel and some in Val Thorens as well. But the fact remains that Méribel offers some of the finest tuition of any resort in Europe, with classes, courses and clinics for every pursuit and every level imaginable.

Best non-ski activities

Where better to be if bad weather keeps you off the snow than Méribel? The resort offers ice rink with ice hockey league matches to watch, climbing wall, swimming pool and cinema. Courchevel and Val Thorens have some of these facilities between them, but neither of them have the full list.

Best range of restaurants

With the same range of basic burger joints as you’ll find in Val Thorens and the same quality (although perhaps not quantity) of Michelin starred restaurants as Courchevel, Méribel really is a foodie’s paradise. The resort offers cuisine to suit all tastes and budgets, and although prices can be high, the quality of the restaurants in Méribel means value for money is very good.

Best off piste

This is another contentious point as both Courchevel and Val Thorens boast spectacular off piste in the right conditions. But with so many lines to choose from running down from the Saulire peak into Méribel Mottaret as well as the open powder fields to be found on the Mont Vallon, to name but two, Méribel is the best part of the Three Valleys to find yourself in when the skies have opened and fresh powder has fallen.

Of course this is all hugely subjective and Courchevel and Val Thorens have just as many die-hard fans as Méribel does, and with good reason. One of the most wonderful things about the Three Valleys is the range and variety of the resorts, pistes and amenities found therein. That said, Méribel is still the best…!

If you would like to go on a ski holiday to Méribel then give us a call on 01273 466535 or go to www.AlpineAction.co.uk

Meribel & La Tania Holidays

Find out more about our holidays to Méribel or La Tania.

Contact Us

If you would like to chat about holidays to Méribel or La Tania please get in touch via one of the methods on our contact page.

Alpine Action Chalets


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