How Green is Méribel

Find out how Méribel reduces it’s environmental impact

You may be surprised to discover that Méribel is environmentally speaking considered a very green ski resort, unlike the green runs which only accounts for 9% of the resort’s pistes. The Ski Club of Great Britain has identified 7 initiatives that ski resorts should be implementing for it to be considered an environmental friendly ski resort. Only 2 resorts in Europe have the full 7 in place, and only 11 in France are implementing 6 green initiatives. Méribel is one of the 11 and is well on the way to having all 7 initiatives in place, making it the greenest resort in the 3 Valleys, although Courchevel has the most green runs.

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Why is Meribel so green

The resort, along with the whole of the 3 valleys, source the energy needed to power the lifts and cannons from renewable sources in the form of hydro electric dams  that are located throughout the local area. Local water  is also used to create the snow made by the cannons and comes from the nearby Ariondaz dam. The ski area also uses solar energy to power all radio communications that keep the slopes safe and maintained. There are also plans to ensure the ice rink and swimming pool are powered by renewable energy.

As part of its green plan Méribel encourages people to walk, which may seem a simple solution but it makes a big difference in reducing the traffic in the valleys villages. The town has invested lots of money into ensuring there are safe walkways and that they are maintained throughout the winter. Where it is clear that walking would be a bit to much the resort lays on a free bus service at a cost of 1 Million euros per season but it helps to reduce the need for private cars and local emissions so it is a worth while investment. The resort also has a policy of free open air parking or affordable underground parking.IMG_0301

Litter has always been an issue in ski resorts and we have all heard stories about the amount of rubbish and cigarette buts that appear under chairlifts as the snow melts in the spring. Méribel is very proactive in discouraging skiers and boarders from littering and educating them about the impact throwing rubbish of chairlifts has. Despite all this there still needs to be organised mountain cleans at the end of every season. The town has always had a recycling policy, just ask your chalet host how much time they spend ensuring the waste that the chalet generates gets put into the correct bin.

One of the joys of Méribel is the architecture. There are no hideous high-rises and modern monstrosities that you find in many nearby ski resorts, this is down to the strict 80 year old building code of the town. It was’t probably introduced for environmental reasons but the policy of only using stone, wood and slate for building as well as height restrictions has minimized the environmental impact the development of the resort had had on the mountain.

Can Méribel It be greener?

Of course it could be more environmentally friendly, which ski resort couldn’t be. However, Méribel is working towards it. They are close to complying with the ISO 14001 which is an international standard of environmental management. Take a look at the ISO website if you want to find out more about the ISO 14001, but in short it is good for our planet and good for Méribel.

If you want to book a ski holiday to one of Europe greenest ski resorts take a look at our chalets in Méribel.


Music to ski to

mixtapeI was looking through my wifes old CD’s and I came across this mixtape (CD) that her Ex had made. Reassuringly it must be fairly old as it is on a CD, and we all know that a portable CD player was possibly the worse thing to listen to music on when doing anything active. Misgivings about the Disckman aside I decided that this Muisc To Ski To compilation deserved a chance. So I have created a Spotify playlist, imagined myself skiing in the 3 Valleys and reviewed each tracks suitability to ski to. Let me know what you think of the Album below.

Track 1: Jacksnoville by Sufjan Stevens

This tracks mellow sound and gentle beat is probably suited for an early morning stroll to get first lifts followed by a slow warm up run on a sunny day.

Track 2: No Cars Go – Arcade Fire

I can definitely imagine sweeping down a big wide piste making massive turns that really work the legs with this track playing in my head.

Track 3: Jesus etc by Wilco

This isn’t a song that really fits any style of skiing. I would probably wouldn’t ski to this one unless I was trying to get a nap in on a chair.

Track 4: Sunday Smile by Beirut

Possibly one for the transfer coach home when you have the going home blues a bit to melancholy for a fun day on the hill.

Track 5: Old Dan Tucker by Bruce Springsteen

A nice little uplifting song that could help get you going after one of those long lunch stop that makes you feel like maybe you should skip the afternoon and go straight to Apres.

Track 6: I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gay

A classic song that doesn’t really feel like it should be on a skiing playlist, maybe listen to it in a long cat track with some internal singing!

Track 7: Chicago by Sufjan Stevens

It may be about a big city but the big sound of this track makes you feel like you could be stood on the top of a mountain with an awesome view. I also like the thought having a big stack in some fresh powder and lying there while listening to the lyrics “I’ve made a lot of mistakes”.

Track 8: Une Année Sanse Lumiere by Arcade Fire

A rough translation of this song is A year with no light which is apt as listening to this song is a bit like what it feels like to ski in flat light. It starts out a feeling a bit faster that it actually feels, then at the end speeds right up as you come down the hill into some better light.

Track 9: Lately by David Gray

You would have to really hate skiing to put this on a music to ski to mixtape (CD).

Track 10: Frontin by Jamie Cullun

Purely from a skiing point of view, this track doesn’t work! I just can’t imagine skiing to with this in my ears. It would be even worse if it was on Disckman and skipping all the way through.

Track 10: In Repair by John Mayer

A wind down song that could ease you thorough the last run of the day back to your chalet and into the hot tub.

Track 11: Nantes by Beirut

Another one for the transfer bus home.

Track 12: Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John Bjórn

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This is a great tune to ride to. I can imagine listening to this while hooning down a freshly groomed piste and taking off on a few natural rollers while bobbing my head in-time to the music on the way!

Track 13: Let’s Get It on by Marvin Gaye

A great song. But the only time I ever envisage listening in relation to skiing is in my head during an imagined comedic scene where I get seduced by an instructor in a empty ski lift. Although I do also Imagine this to be on Graham Bell’s Music To Ski To album.

Track 14: Better Together by Jack Johnson

This is a tune for an spring ski day where it is hot, the snow is a bit slushy and all the bars are firing up the BBQs.

Track 15: Those Sweet Words by Nora Jones

Sadly, in my option, another one for the transfer bus home. This song isn’t really a song for skiing to, unless you have just broken up with you partner on your ski trip.

Track 16: Firesuite by Doves

I suppose I could ski down down a hill listening to this song but I don’t think I want to.

One line review

There really isn’t enough songs that encapsulate the feeling of skiing on this mixtape (CD) with to many down beat tracks that would work against the mood created when out in the mountains.

What are your thoughts? Could you make a better mixtape (CD)? Tell us below or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


How to look like James Bond on the slopes next season

 How to look like James Bond on the slopes this season

The latest Bond movie, Specter, goes on general release on the 6th of November 2015. There has been a lot of buzz about the latest installment of 007 in the ski industry as it is set to feature Daniel Craig performing some ski action. This will be the first time we have had a ski adventure with bond since 1999 with Pierce Brosnan in The World is Not enough which was filmed not far from the Alpine Action Méribel HQ in nearby Chamonix. We don’t know much about the new film but what we do know that Bond is cool and it would be great to look like him on the slopes this winter.

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Glasses

The sunglasses are thought to be Vuarnet Glaciers, these originate from some of the first alpine explorers and like many classics they haven’t changed much and they have just been re-released by Vuarnet. You can pick up a pair from £390.

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 In the photo above Bond is wearing a padded gilet by Moncler and is from their winter 2015 collection – Cost £580 . In other photos Craig has been seen wearing a Canad Moose Parka – Cost £650

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Base Layer

 James Bond doesn’t call it a base layer he would call it a Mock Turtle Neck Sweater. You can get the one seen in the Specter poster for £199 at npeal.com. How do we know its the correct jumper? It says so on their website.  If you think £199 is too much then you can get something similar on Amazon for £6.95.

Gloves 

 We are not sure where he gets his gloves but you will be able to get a similar pair from Hestra for betweet £80 and £200. 3

 

 

Now that you look like a Mr Bond it is time to hit the slopes and what a better place to pose than Meribel in the Three Valleys. Take a look at our ski chalets and holidays that are prefect for 007 or someone pretending to be him. 


Maggie Does Mèribel – Review

Maggie Does Mèribel – Review

This review is part of our Ski Book Club – Please join in and leave your review.

Find out more about the book here

I am a 34 year old male who loves sking and snowboarding and has spent a season or two in Mèribel as well as a few ski holidays there. So a book about a ski trip with Mèribel as a backdrop caught my attention. I am going to say that I don’t think I am this books target audience which I could have judged by the cover.

This being the first book I have ever read from the ‘chicklit’ genre I have nothing to compare it to. So I am choosing to review the book on how it reflects a ski holiday and how it represents our beloved Mèribel. Basically I read it for a quick alpine fix.

If you were hoping for a travelogue then you will be disappointed as the story feels like it could have been set in any ski resort. There was nothing that reminded me of my time in Mèribel as all the descriptions were very vague and non specific, which is a shame. But this quibble is more down to what I hoped would be in the book so it can not really be counted as a legitimate complaint.

The plot is as true to life as they come. As an ex-chalet host of many years I have seen and heard a lot. This story of affairs and love could easily have taken place during a weeks ski holiday and probably has. All the caractures in the book I have come across as guest at one time or another.

The pivotal moment in the book is where Maggie is abandoned at the top of the mountain after only a day of lessons, by her boyfriend who is more interested in hooning  down the piste. I have always said that a ski hoiiday can make or break a relationship and this is a prike example of why writtern down in black and white. This happens all the time.

What happens after this may not happen very often but if it was going to happen I would put money on it happening in a ski resort. I would say that I have never met a ski instructor as described in Maggie does Mèribel but that is why they call it fiction.

Over all Maggie does Meribel is a believable and nicely told story of a ski trip that doesn’t go to plan for Maggie and her boyfriend. If you are looking for a ski fix over the summer you may want to stick with the tried and tested trip to the dry slope.

Please join in our ski book club and leave your review below.


A ski resort can be a bit like a zoo!

A ski resort can be a bit like a zoo!

We spend a lot of our time in a ski resort, probably 6 months every year.  We spend less time at the Zoo. On a recent trip to a Zoo we were surprised by the similarity that we found.

The Fashion is the same as Courchevel

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The art is the same
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There are Snowboarders

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There are Snowbladers

The runs have the same names

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Goggle Marks

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To find out if a ski resort is like a Zoo then you could book a ski holiday to Méribel and find out!


Alpine Action Book Club – Maggie does Meribel

imageAlpine Action Book club – Maggie does Meribel

A book about Mèribel has recently come to our attention so we thought we could all read it together and discuss it. The book is called Maggie Does Meribel by Nichola Doherty and is available as an e-Book on Amazon or Google Books for only £1.49.

You have until Monday the 8th of June to read Maggie does Meribel. Then we will be sharing our review and asking for yours on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Use #skibookclub to stay in touch.

Will it ring true with experiences we have had on ski holidays? Will it make us pine even more for another ski holiday/season? Will we recognise the Méribel we know and love? Will it tempt you to book a ski holiday to Méribel next winter?

Here is a brief summary of the book from Amazon…

“Maggie can’t wait for her first ever skiing holiday. New Year’s Eve in the French Alps with her boyfriend Leo and two other couples: what could be more romantic? She’s picturing hot chocolate, romantic snowball fights and evenings snuggled together in front of the log fire. What she didn’t picture is near-death experiences on the mountains, falling out with Leo and sharing a chalet with the unbearable Jenny. When she meets Sylvain, a gorgeous ski instructor, the line between harmless flirting and full-on misbehaviour becomes … well, blurry. Will Maggie stay on the nursery slopes, or go seriously off-piste?”

We look forward to finding out what you think next week.


Albert Action’s 2015 Winter Season

Albert Action’s 2015 Winter Season

This winter ski season was Albert Action’s first and what a great time he had. At the begin of your ski holiday Albert asked you to show him a good time and share your experiences on twitter using #AlbertAction, which you did.

This season Albert has been skiing and snowboarding all over the three valleys, he event went Heli skiing. Albert also got drunk, had some great chalet dinners, got lost and found. At one point it seems that Albert was so extreme that he had to got to hospital.

Albert would like to show his appreciation for the fun he had. So he is going to give a prize to the most liked photo in his Facebook album. CLICK TO VOTE


How to tell if you are a ski geek

unnamedHow to tell if you are a ski geek.*

*nb: In this article ski can be substituted for snowboard in most instances and as the ski v’s snowboard things is getting old we are just using the word ski because a). there are more skiers, and b). ski is a shorter word than snowboard. Any real ski geek may want to dispute this, please do so in the comments below.

 

Can you remember every ski holiday you have ever been on?

A true ski geek can remember more than if they just had a good time. They should be able to remember the exact dates, who went on holiday with them, which ski resort they went to, the flight times, the exchange rate at the time and the chalets hosts name.

Do you own your own skis?

Most experienced skiers will at the very least have their own boots, which is sensible and comfortable. But the true ski nerd will have their own pair of skis, preferably two, a set for normal conditions and a wide pair for powder days. They must also own a pair of ski poles.

Can you pack everything into your ski bag?

A proud ski geek should be able to proudly inform you that they can pack all they need for a ski holiday into their ski bag, thus making a saving on excess luggage. For extra kudos they should have a story about being told off by an airline for this, with the story concluding “anyway they let me on and they said don’t do it next time”.

Do you have a second “budget” ski holiday every year?

The best ski geeks will take a second ski holiday every year. However, this trip must be so cheap that it doesn’t sound any fun. The holiday must include some of the following; a coach trip from the UK with three or more stops: hostel style accommodation; two hour commute to the slopes each day; no free wine; other ski geeks; no eating out; hitch-hiking; homemade fondu; booking every aspect online separately.

Can you name every run in resort?

For most people a simple “I will meet you at the bottom of that run yesterday next to the bar we like” is all we need to arrange to meet up. For the ski nerd you must you use the piste name as well as give a recommended route and call each lift by name.

Have you ever been on a ski holiday on your own?

If you love skiing so much that you are prepared to leave your loved ones at home so that you can ski all day where you want and apres as late as you want, not get first lifts if you don’t want, drink as much at lunch as you want, then…. errm…. why don’t we all ski alone?

Do you have a collection of lift passes?

Most ski geeks will have at least one electronic lift pass in their wallet at all times. They will also have a collection of passes from all past ski trips. Attached to their ski trousers must be at least one day ticket from a snow dome or obscure ski resort. The older skier must also be able to produce a photo id ski pass from the good old days.

Is your facebook/twitter profile a picture of you skiing?

All true ski nerds live ski all year round on their social media pages. That is until they get married, then they will change their profile to a photo of them getting married, this will last a week then it will be back to a picture of them in hat and goggles, or of them getting some air, or a snow covered mountain range.

Have you ever had an argument about which is the best ski resort?

This is similar to an argument about which football team is better, the only difference here is that they will be using examples of black runs as opposed to formation strategy.

 

Why not unleash your inner ski geek and give us a call to discuss your next ski holiday 01273 466 535 or take a look at our chalets in Meribel and La Tania.


51 Things to do until your next ski holiday

51 things to do until your next ski holiday

1. Try wake boarding – It is like snowboarding!
2. Try grass skiing  – It sounds rubbish, and probably is. There must be a reason you don’t get grass skiing resorts.
3. Try water skiing – It is like skiing but harder, wetter and even more expensive.
4. Go in-line skating  – It might be similar to snow blading but you don’t admit to doing that either.
5. Head out to the Alps and go skiing on a Glacier – There are several to choose from and are open all year round like the Grand Motte in Tignes.
6. Go riding Down Under – There is plenty of skiing and boarding to be done in Australia or New Zealand.
7. Try a snow dome – You have 5 to choose from in the UK.
8. Dry slope skiing Over 50 dry slopes in the UK, so there should be one near you.
9. Ride the Emirates – This is massive waste of money cable car in central London.
10. Give mountain boarding a go – Don’t be fooled by the name this is mainly done on hills. It is the board equivalent to grass skiing. Expect to sit down quiet a bit.
11. Go Surfing – The wet equivalent to mountain boarding an much, much cooler.
12. Sit on a chairlift – There are many located across the UK from the Isle of White to Scotland.
13. Nordic Walking –  Lets face it you wouldn’t go cross country skiing. www.nordicwalking.co.uk
14. Watch Ski or Boarding Movies – There is a great selection on Netflix.
15. Go to a ski show – You will have to wait untill October but there is one in Scotland, Manchester and London.
16. Recreate a chalet holiday at home Click here for our handy guide.
17. Look up ski fails on YouTube – We have done it for you. Click for ski fails.
18. Get fit for your next ski holiday – Our friends at BayFitness have made a great video to help you.
19. Learn the Language – Unless you ski in Scotland the language is different so why not learn it.
20. Drink a half larger – Just like the Europeans do. Why not stick some peach syrup in it.
21. Go and see a covers band – This will be like every apres ski session you have ever been to.
22. Hunt for snow in Scotland – You can find it even in the summer as it is always cold up there.
23. Book a ski holiday for next year – And that should probably be a ski holiday to Meribel or La Tania.
24. Make a snow globe – It looks pretty easy.
25. Subscribe to a ski magazine – Suggestions please.
26. Buy some new kit – Go on spend your cash in Snow and Rock or Ellis Brigham, you need a new jacket.
27. Bore someone with you ski stories – Someone will listen.
28. Wax & edge your skis or board – You can always get the hire shop to do it properly when you get to resort.
29. Draw your nearest hill and add some runs
3o. Read a book about skiing – I am going to read Maggie does Meribel.
31. Drool over winter photos on Facebook – Our Facebook page will be posting plenty.
32. Play Golf – Mainly because many ski resorts are golf courses.
33. Wear your ski jacket to the pub – Great way to do number 27.
34. Give skateboarding a go – Do this months before you have booked your ski holiday as you will need the time to heal.
35. Go on a Chalet Cookery Course – Learn the trick of the trade.
36. Think about buying a chalet in the Alps – Then realise you can only afford one 5 miles away from a ski resort you have never heard of and book a ski holiday instead.
37. Go Trampolining  – We are not sure why but all the winter Olympians do it.
38. Have a fondue party
39. Make Croissants – How hard can it be?~
40. Design a snow park – Send us your designs we would love to see them, maybe we could build it next winter.
41. Plan a back-country ski tour – That you will never go on.
42. Watch repeats of Ski Sunday – Dust of the VHS player.
43. Practice your journey to the airport – You can never be to prepared.
44. Knit a hat – It is trendy to have a hat the looks like you made it.
45. Pack – See 43.
46. Play snowboard games – SFX is good apparently.
47. Apply for a ski job You can apply here.
48. Become a ski instructor – You can do courses at your nearest indoor or dry slope.
49. Become a cheese connoisseur  – Just because cheese is great.
50. Run a marathon in ski boots – If you do it I will sponsor you.
51. Make your own list – The chances are that it will be better than this one.


3 Valleys Snow Report – 29th March 2015

3 Valleys Snow Report – 29th March 2015

The report comes from our lovely La Tania Chalet hosts in Chalet Toubkal.

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Here is a little update on the snow and weather conditions out here in the 3 Valleys. Over the last week we have had a mixture of snow and sunshine with snow even down to resort level in La Tania.

We started of with a few centimetres of snow on Saturday night which was followed by sunny spells up until Wednesday afternoon, then overnight there was another few centimetres of snow. This was followed by snow on Friday morning which gave way to sunshine in the afternoon and into Saturday, it was even cold enough on Saturday morning that the snow cannons where working down in La Tania.

The weather for the week ahead is promising with heavy snowfall on Sunday night at around 1700m and above which is forecasted to become lighter but continue for most of Monday and even Tuesday morning, then the sun is set to return for a couple of days before more snow at the end of the week!

The forecast is looking like it could be a snowy end to the season so even if your not out until the last week there should still be plenty of snow for everyone out here on a ski holiday enjoy.

Click here to book a ski holiday to Meribel or La Tania next winter.


Meribel & La Tania Holidays

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

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