Category Archives: Funny

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

7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

Picture the scene… 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 guests 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 whiteout.

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 won’t burn off 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. Lose 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 accidentally on purpose lose 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 a 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.

6. Create a story

When you get home remember no 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 losing 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.



10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding

10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding

If there was any sport that should have been recognised as an Olympic sport it is this one.  We all know that little skis are by far the superior mode of transport when on snow and it is hard to ignore the huge number of people converting to blading each year. Just take a look at  the slopes in the Three Valleys it is full of Big Feet and Mini Maxs popping 360s. Here are 10 reasons why Snowblading is better than Skiing and Snowboarding.

1. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

2. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

3. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

4. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

5. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

snowblading meribe

6. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

7. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

8. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

9. They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

10They fit in your suitcase saving you paying ski carriage fees

People who read this also read 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding, probably.

By Jim Duncombe

Click here to look at all our snowblader  friendly holidays.  



10 reasons why skiing is better that snowboarding

10 reasons why skiing is better that snowboarding

Skiing V’s Snowboarding is a more divisive topic than Scotland remaining as part of the UK. The difference is that very soon one will have a resolution on the 18th of September and one will continue to be debated forever. So in the spirit of fuelling the argument here are our top 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding.

1. Feeling Superior

We all know that Skiing is much harder to master than snowboarding. Our gear is more technical. Our Technique is more refined and when done correctly looks amazing. And the history and development of skiing is deeper, to the point that it has been part of several war efforts. Other than in James Bond you won’t see an armed snowboarder.

2. Lifts are designed for skis

How many times has a skier taken you out getting off a chairlift? How many times have you watched a snowboarder struggle with a button lift or T-bar? The reason is that lifts are designed for skiers.

3. Everything is named after us

Ski Holiday, Ski Resort, Après Ski, Ski Sunday, Ski School and the list goes on. With the exception of Board Park which has slowly been renamed Snow Park to make sure us skiers don’t feel alienated and our feelings are not hurt.

Meribel ski holiday

4. Most snowboarders can ski

Most people get their first taste of the mountains on skis. Vary rarely will you find someone that hasn’t skied before getting on a snowboard. Although the ones that deny this are probably lying.

5. Flat sections are easier

Oh no a flat section on a mountain, shall I get off my planks and walk? No need, I can just effortlessly glide to the next downhill.

6. No cold bums

I am always glad that I never have to get off a lift and sit down to strap my board to my boots and then have to do the something again half way down the run. It always seem like an endless battle between the boarder and the ability to remain attached to the board.

7. Off Piste

Sure snowboarders look effortlessly cool with their big gliding turns and huge spray and “cheeky” grabs when freeriding in the backcountry. The truth is that skiers can do that too, but that is too easy. What is much more satisfying is the challenge of looking technically proficient when tackling as steep powder filled incline. More turns are better. What is more is that accessing the inaccessible slopes is much easier, that is why you can now buy a snowboard that turns into skis.

8. Moguls

This isn’t an argument about who creates them, however I will say that moguls were around long before snowboarding.  My point is that they exist and can often be a barrier to a great run deal with them, oh you’re on a snowboard you can’t!

9. Faster

It isn’t all about speed. But sometimes it is. I have done a small experiment and the evidence suggest that when out with a group of skiers and boarders, the skiers spend a small amount of time waiting around for the snowboarders. The boarders often defend this slowness by claiming that they are gibing about or riding switch.

10. Better hire equipment

Your own boots are always a good idea no matter what you ride however I have never heard a snowboarder who is happy with the hire gear they have. Skis are always updated in hire shops and if you pay that little bit extra you will get some really good kit.

Are you a snowboarder? Then read our 10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing.

By Jim Duncombe

Click here to look at all our skier and snowboarder friendly holidays.  

10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

Ever since the first man or woman, we haven’t researched this, strapped on a snowboard there has been a debate about which is better, skiing or snowboarding. We at Alpine Action love both sports however, that doesn’t make good reading. Here are our 10 reasons that snowboarding is better than skiing.

1. The boots

Many people think that snowboard boots are really comfy. Compared to many mid 90’s ski boot they are. However they can be just as uncomfortable as a ski boot at times.  Where they really come into their own is when you are walking around resort. Have you ever seen a snowboarder struggling to negotiate a set of stairs?


2. People think we are cool

This depends on your definition of cool. We assume that baggy clothes, bright colours and wearing a bobble hat no matter what time of the year it is means cool. If this is true then snowboarders are cool.

3. Jenny Jones

Britain’s first Olympic medal on the snow was won by a snowboarder and she achieved it in a year when the competition was tougher than ever before. Jenny Jones is a true role model for many youngsters.

4. Sitting down

It’s not because we actually need to we just like the rest.  If us snowboarders wanted to we could easily strap in quickly and get on our way. The truth is that we quite like the social chat while we eye up a jump or route.

5. Off piste is easy

Well not that easy. But in principle tackling some fresh powered is a lot less challenging than on a pair of skis. This means that even people new to the sport can get a taste of the pure enjoyment that is floating on fresh, deep snow.


6. No poles

Sure there are times when a set of poles would really help, such as long flat sections. But that is why we have skier mates to pull us along.  The up side is that we never loose our poles of a chair lift. It also frees up our hands for useful reasons such as eating on a lift and throwing snowballs.

7. Innovation of skiing

Without the fast development of snowboarding in the late 90’s skiing may have not been as quick to develop the technology used today. Imagine all you skiers could still be using 10ft long straight skis with rear entry boots.

8. It is a lot easier to get a bubble for just your group

It may seem that it is a big hassle to get a snowboard in the slot or even squeeze it into the lift. This is actually a tactic to ensure that the lift is taken up by just our mates.


9. We have better computer games

Have you ever played a good skiing game? Thought not.

10. Lots of transferable skills

Once you have mastered skiing you can only use that skill for one other sport, water skiing and everyone knows that isn’t much fun. Once you have mastered snowboarding there area endless board sports to enjoy.

Are you a skier? Then read our 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding.

Click here to look at all our skier and snowboarder friendly holidays.  


Broken bones and Hospitals in the Alps

Broken bones and Hospitals in the Alps

I am in a hospital in England, the reason is uninteresting and quite routine. I, like most people, prefer to avoid hospitals. But as member of a resort team in the Alps it can be a regular occurrence, skiing and snowboarding are not called extreme sport for nothing. And no matter how good at our chosen winter activity we think we are and no matter how many precautions we take there is a chance we could end up in L’Hôpital.

The number of occasions I have cause to attend an Alpine based medical center is probably higher than most. And at the risk of making a regrettable stament, I have yet to be the reason for those visits. So as I sit here and dwell I thought I would share some of the stories with you.

The Neck Injury

I was on the bubble up from Le Praz and as we tracked across the Courchevel snow park I saw some friends building up to a jump. One of these friends was not renowned for his jumping skills. I watch him launch down the slope, his run-in looked wobbly. Sadly I didn’t see the jump as the bubble carried me out of view. I walked over to the park to discover lots of people I knew gathered around the resluts of the jump that I didn’t get to witness, on the floor. For some reason not one person had any first aid experience and despite the fact that my friend had landed upside down on his head and in considerable pain, people were trying to move him. I quickly put a stop to this and sent someone for assistance. Help arrived and off the two of us went to hospital. A week later he was discharged sporting a upper body cast.


Three In A Day

Once again I found my self on a chair lift witnessing an injury. As I approached the top I saw the Resort Rep from a rival company standing up on her snowboard. With out moving she fell forward. When I got off the lift she was nowhere to bee seen. This particular day was a fresh powder day so I didn’t expect people to be waiting around. During that day my mate followed me down an off piste section caught an edge and broke his wrist. Like a true mate he made his way home and headed of to the hospital on his own. Later that day on a powder feild full of rollers the visibility was getting low. I had just launced off a slightly obscured lump and landed in a big pile of fluffy stuff. Behind me came another member of our group he also hit the lump. Sadly he missed the fluffy stuff and emerged with a broken collar bone. This time I knew he needed help so we got him off the mountain and headed for medical assistance. So I found my self in the waiting room with three people all with injuries that had witnessed.

Have You Got A Gregg

My last story, of which there are more, involves a non ski related injury. During the training week of my first season in the Alps I saw a guy a guy break his leg. The injury was caused by a miss guided beer fuled rugby tackle onto concrete following a few beers in a pub. The guy was called Greg and I was not part of the tackle or had even spoken to him. All I really knew is that he didn’t turn up to training the next day. Two days later I was along with someone else I was dispatched to take Greg some of his belongings. We arrived at hospital to realise that A, we didn’t know Greg’s full name and B, our french language skill were completely inadequate for the task. ” Avez-vous une Greg?”

By Jim Duncombe

International Goggle Mark Week

International Goggle Mark Week

Can you belive our luck. We have decided to get International Goggle Mark Week up and running on what is going to be a very sunny week, in both the Three Valleys and the UK. It is probably sunny in other countries too.

What is International Goggle Mark Week?

The goggle mark or tan line is a badge of honor among many people who enjoy skiing and snowboarding it says “yes I have been in the mountains”. We have all had them at some point.  Intentionally or otherwise. International Goggle Mark Week aims to celebrate this iconic image of “a good time skiing in the sun”.


How to take part in International Goggle Mark Week

It is pretty simple. If you are in the mountains this week then work on your lines, tan ones that is. It is going to be sunny enough so it is almost unavoidable, unless you are in the anti goggle mark group and will take your goggles of at any opportunity to make sure your forehead matches your cheeks. You could work on your marks in your back garden, beach or local park. Or you could just dig out an old photo of you with a two tone face.

Then all you have to do is share a photo   of you working on your goggle marks or the end result, on your social network of choice. Use the hashtag #gogglemarkweek to help bring attention to the stamp of the mountains

Be Safe

Remember when attempting to get a decent goggle mark going that you should be protecting your self from the sun with a high factor sun cream. Remember to slip, slap, slop. Slip on your goggles, Slap on your skis or board, Slop on your suncream.

Things you don’t need to buy for this winter.

Things you don’t need to buy for this winter.

As the season approaches, your thoughts will start turning to what kit you have and if you should be buying some more. If you are among the cost conscious then you may start looking for bargains on the rails of Tk Maxx or on the pages of eBay. When we checked on eBay there was over 2000 ski related items. We have trawled through those items to find a selection of things you don’t need to buy for this winter.


We don’t like to use the C word, but that fact is that Christmas is often linked with skiing, and is therefore an unavoidable word. Now you may not be
planning on going skiing at Christmas time so why not decorate your tree with a selection of personalised tree decorations? These skiing penguins are probably one of the worst decorations you could buy, unless you like penguins that ski hanging from a tree with your name on.

If you search eBay for cheap ski clothes then you will find a mix of modern, retro and faux retro. Most of it is ok, some is comical and a small selection is awful. This ski jacket is by far the worst we have ever seen. Even now, as we witness the revival of the Onsise this stands out as an awful item of clothing. This jacket wouldn’t even get a hired in an ironic way from the surprisingly successful retro ski rental company. The ‘buy it now’ price on this is £24.99, we suggest that this is too much.

$T2eC16VHJFwFFZudUM3GBRkQMN,GIQ~~60_12We were very surprised to find these for sale. We actually quite like them but we’re not sure why. Half ski boot and half hiking boot, these size nine, Italian Army boots could be great if you thought you could get away with wearing them down the high street. Does anyone own a similar pair and if so, do you use them? We would love to hear from you.

If you like those scooter things that children use to get to school quicker,  then you will love this eBay listing. For less than the price of a CD album , (plus postage), you could be the owner of a flimsy Snow scooter. What it essentially looks like is a cheap skate board with the wheels removed and the front legs of a toy ironing board attached as handlebars. It looks unsafe at best, but could get your kids to ski school quicker, although there are no guarantees in the description for this.

Don’t know what to get the person who has everything? Our answer is get them something pointless and out dated. That’s right, we are talking about the retractable lift pass holder. Now that most resorts have installed electronic passes, these are completely pointless. If you feel that the price on eBay is too high, then just walk into any ski hire shop and I bet they have a box full of them that they are willing to give you.

$(KGrHqZ,!lgFC2rGW2CRBQug+pjrfg~~60_12There is a huge amount of skis for sale on the auction site. 90% of them are old school straight skis that are longer than a London bus, but with less turning ability. However we spotted this pair of wooden skis with bindings that look like a coat hanger and rubber band. They cost £31 pounds for the pair and you get a free twisted knee for that price.  If you did decide to buy a pair of wooden skis then you may want to match them with a pair of Vintage ski trousers, (I think we will stick with our pair of modern Ski pants).

Let us know what your best eBay purchase has been. Or bring it with you if you are coming on holiday with us. 


Infographic – Noises People Make In Fresh Powder

Infographic – Noises People Make In Fresh Powder


How to recreate Meribel in your home town.

How to recreate Meribel in your home town.

We love Meribel, it is possibly the greatest ski resort in the world for many, many reasons. It is those reasons that make us miss the resort when we are not there. We obviously spend much of the winter there, but it is during the summer months, when we decamp to England that we miss it most. “Why not stay there in the summer if you love it so much?”, that is not an easy answer and is probably a whole blog on its own.


If you, like us, miss Meribel then let us help you recreate the feeling of being in one of the best ski resorts in Europe. Or possibly the world. Before you start though, you should take a look at our guide on how to recreate the chalet holiday at home, as it will help you complete the experience of being on a ski holiday at home.

First things first, identify where you are going to ski or snowboard. By that we mean what is your planned activity that is similar to your chosen winter sport. Now this could be Mountain Boarding, Water skiing, Grass skiing, Sand boarding or Wakeboarding. It could even be that you may be going to a dry ski slope or an indoor one. But remember your goal is to make it feel like Meribel.

Once you have left your chalet you need to get to your activity. As we all know Meribel is a vast network of Cul-de-sacs and chalets. It is fair to say that it is not always that easy to get to the centre of town. To make it easier to get to your starting destination all good chalet companies will offer a minibus service.  So book yourself a minibus to take you to your slopes. Make sure you sling your skis in an outside rack and worry the entire journey that they will fall out, despite this very rarely happening.

Once you have reached your destination you need to make sure you get in a queue. During peak times Meribel can have a lot people trying to get up the mountains. Often there is a wait, but this is being dealt with every year by the lift operators and will soon be a thing of the past. As this is a Meribel queue you are pretending to be in, make sure you imagine that other people are skipping the line and passively complain about it.

As we are pretending that we are in Meribel it is imperative that while you are at your activity you have more fun than you have ever done before. You must imagine that you are in an extensive playground of variety and excitement. You must also feel us uncool as possible while you are surrounded by the coolest people in the world.

Next up you must stop your activity, no matter what it is, and find a pub, if you are sensible you will have planned this in advance. Make sure you eat some food that is inappropriate to the activity that you are doing. We suggest that a kilogram of melted cheese is the perfect meal to accompany an active afternoon. Then before you get back to whichever sport you are doing you should probably have a pint or two and a toffee vodka.

You are on holiday so don’t go over doing that activity and as this is Meribel that we are pretending to be in, you need to find a less strenuous activity. We recommend that you may want to find a pub. Especially one that has a loud rocky covers band. Failing that we suggest that you head to the jukebox and put on songs from the Killers, Stereophonics and Frans Ferdinand. Insist on paying twice as much for any drink that you buy in the bar.

Once you are drunk and ready for food you need to head home. As we have previously mentioned, negotiating the labyrinth of Meribel is tricky. Harder when you have had a Mutzig or three. Hopefully all you will need to do is remember where you arranged for the Minibus to meet you. If not by the time you have found your home you will be sober enough to enjoy some lovely wine.

Or alternatively you could just wait until the winter starts and just go on holiday to Meribel and do all of the above for real and in the snow.

Meribel & La Tania Holidays

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

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