Category Archives: La Tania

8 reason why we are looking forward to the ski season

8 things we are looking forward to this winter

There is a chill in the air, there has been no indian summer and people have started to put the heating on all of which means that it’s time to look forward to the winter season. It won’t be long before we are packing our bags and heading back to the Three Valleys, opening up our chalets in Meribel and La Tania and making sure our guest have a great ski holiday.

It has been a great summer, full of sun, sea and fun leaving us very little time to miss the mountains. Now the cold wind is blowing and our mind has started to drift to our colder happy place… here are some of the things we are looking forward to this winter.

Skiing

Of course! As soon as the temperature drops we start to think about clipping into our skis and hitting the mountains. Right now as I type I can feel the excitement of the first day on the slopes. You know that feeling, the one that makes you just want to run to the lift knowing that the wait is nearly over and how that energy will carry you through the day as you ski run after run with a stupid grin on your face.

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2016/17 Lift Pass prices for the 3 Valleys : 1 Day €60 – 6 Days €279

New in Meribel

Every year the resort works hard to make things better. This year there are no new lifts or runs to look forward too. However, there is something that we are quite excited about. In Meribel-Motteret they are introducing an indoor picnic spot, complete with sofas, kitchen, free WIFI and charging points. It sounds like the ultimate skiers common room. You can expect to find us hanging out with a Baguette at lunchtimes!

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A new ski outfit

This year it is new outfit time which is very exciting. Once you have spent ages deciding what style and colour to go for the most exciting thing is then getting to discover all the different pockets and features that you didn’t even read about, like a whistle tucked into a hidden pocket in the collar!

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Catching up

It doesn’t matter if you’re a season worker or a holiday maker returning to a resort,is a joy when you meet up with people you know from past winters. It could be your favourite waiter, chalet host or ski instructor. They will be as pleased to see you as you will be to see them.

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Early season snow

Last year the snow fell before the lifts weren’t even open yet. This didn’t stop us as we hiked out of Méribel up to the top of the Saluire to get some of the first tracks of the season. Check out the video below.

Breathing the Air

How can you not miss the cold, unpolluted, crisp air of the alps. We always look forward to walking out onto the chalet balcony, all wrapped up warm, probably with a glass of wine, to look at the stars and breath the cool night air.

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The Food

Every year our executive chef dreams up a menu full of old favourites and new dishes and we love getting to eat every one of them. It also means a trip to our favourite butcher who always makes sure we get the best local meat and treats us to some his incredible pork chops (not pictured). We also get to sample all the wines that Tom picks to accompany your chalet dinner.

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The View

To be in the mountains is to feel humble and awestruck by the might of nature! Here are some photos to remind you of what it looks like.

If you want to join us this winter then check out all our catered ski holidays to Méribel and La Tania here!


My failed winter.

I failed on the slopes again

Yep that’s right I failed again. But I fail in the same way every year and each year I promise to learn from my mistakes.

Each year I book my ski holiday or holidays if I am lucky and each time I promise myself that it is time to improve. This is the year I will get better at skiing. For too many years my ability to ski has remained the same and probably if I plotted it on a graph from year to to year we would have seen it plateau for a while. The reason lies in that ski life mirrored real life as once I was old enough to leave ski school I did and I have never been back.

This means that I have never improved and have a technique so full of flaws that I now fear a ski lesson as much as a trip to the dentist.  Which is why I have failed again this year.

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Despite promising that I would have some lessons. I didn’t. I also made other “ski resolutions” which I failed to keep.  I said to myself that this year I would hire a guide and hit the backcountry for a day. I did come close to achieving this if you count looking at the Méribel Guides website before I went on holiday.

I failed in my attempt to try the park out and see what I was missing out on. When I was younger I loved to hit the snow park. Now I stop at the the top of the park remember the thrill of “getting air” and the think about the pain it might result in. Then after those thoughts leave me, I start to pressure myself into proving that I still can do it. Psyched up I ski off towards the green kicker, I panic, swerve and ski off out of the park making out that I intended to do that all along.

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I also failed in my promise to avoid aprés ski, chalet wine and general excursions to the pub. My failure to do this probably contributed heavily to my failure all round.

But do you know what. I had a good time it was probably one of the best ski holidays I have had.

There is always next years ski holiday.


The future of skiing and life after Brexit

Brexit was voted for and we will have to wait to see what the exit of Britain from Europe will look like. One thing the referendum has done is make us think about the future and how skiing and snowboarding might change over the next 50 years.

Snow and Climate Change

There is a big move for ski resorts to become more responsible for sourcing their energy as it is an industry that feel the affects of climate change directly. One example is our winter home of Méribel where all the energy that powers the lifts and snow cannons are powered by hydroelectricity. Other resorts are installing wind turbines and solar powered technology. You can expect most ski resorts to be self sufficient and 100% powered by renewable energy in the near future.

Find out how green Méribel actually is.

With climate change we may well see less snow and a shift in the seasons so we predict a huge rise in snow making. All the big resorts are investing in snowmaking equipment some are even making it part of their marketing. For example the 3 Valleys is boasting about the 2189 cannons it has covering 50% of its ski area. Maybe one day it will be 100%.

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Cost

Since the the UK voted in the referendum the pound has dropped meaning that we currently get less euros to the pound. To help put into perspective the lowest cost of a € during the following winter seasons looked like this: 2013 – £1.14 : 2014 – £1.18 : 2015 – £1.26 .

FreeCurrencyRates.com



We haven’t heard of a single tour operator currently looking to increase the cost of their ski holidays based on the referendum results and as you pay in sterling your holiday won’t cost any more.

However the cost of a lift pass is likely to creep up every year as the cost of maintaining and improving ski areas becomes more costly. But there is some good news as a handful of experts believe that the cost new chairlifts are coming down so maybe the yearly lift pass price hike won’t be as much in the future.

Tech

One thing that is sure to change is ski and snowboard technology. The fundamental design of skis probably won’t change very much so it is likely that it will be the boot that sees the biggest changes with fully mouldable outers and inners. According to Mike Hatrrtup from K2 we will probably also see a change in bindings with a move to magnetic systems in a bid to save weight.

The hoverboard could ruin everything if its is invented as that is because if they did create Back to the Future type hoverboard technology it would be like cruising down a powder field!

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Quieter slopes

Currently the number of people skiing globally are decreasing and many in the industry are saying that the uptake of the younger generation is much lower and few people take it up later on in life. This could mean that ski resorts are quieter in 50 years time which is great news for people taking the sport up now.

Don’t worry about the future if going skiing or snowboarding makes you happy go to the mountains and enjoy yourself.

Check out our ski chalets in the 3 Valleys 


The Meribel Bucket list

If you are planning a trip to Méribel then make sure you tick these things off your to do list.

Ski all 8 villages

If you are in the world’s biggest ski area you really should explore. One way to do that is to ski into every village in the 3 Valleys. You can do it in a day if you are quick enough! Try it in this order – Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel, Brides-les-Bains, Saint Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, and Orelle.

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Aprés ski in La Folie Douce and the Ronnie

There are two great places to Aprés in Méribel and the best thing is that you don’t have to choose between them as you can do both. First ski to the Folie Douce and enjoy the mountain, beer, music and atmosphere. Then when it is time to leave you can ski straight down to the Ronnie for a more British aprés ski experience with some of the best covers bands in the Alps. An added bonus is that if you’re in a chalet with a driver service they will pick you up from just outside.

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Eat fondue

Only a fool or a person with lactose intolerance goes to the Alps and doesn’t have fondue. For the best melting pot of cheese in town we recommend that you go to La Fromagerie.

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Go to Courchevel and look at the house prices

A must on everyone’s list should be to ski over to Courchevel and look in an estate agent’s window and involuntarily shout “how much?”. If only you had followed up on that dream of owning a chalet in the Alps back in the 90’s!

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Ski the Bartevalle runs

Don’t be put of by the fact that Roc de Tougne is a drag lift like many other people do. The drag lift means that the Bartevalle runs are often quiet and always great fun. This is also our go to spot on a powder day (shhhhh).

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Grand Couloir

If you are going to ski in the Three Valleys then the GC is the thing you have to attempt. We know it is in Courchevel but it’s worth it. It isn’t as scary as it sounds in fact getting to it is probably the scary bit.


Have a burger

No Méribel bucket list would be complete if you didn’t tick off eating the Montagne Burger in Mottaret. This can be found next to the supermarket in the centre of Méribel Mottaret. The burger is so big you may need to bring a friend. Oh and it is only €7.50!

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Méribel has 2 serious snow parks, the Moon Park and the DC park they both cater for pros and amateurs. Even if you don’t feel that you can attempt the baby jumps it is still worth riding over to watch the locals hit the big stuff.

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End of the day

Unlike many resort the last run of the day in Méribel isn’t a nightmare. Skiing down from the top of the Saulire you will find that most of the runs are in as good shape as they would have been if you had caught first lifts. We recommend a long thy burner down to Méribel Village for a pint in Lodge du Village.

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Click here for more information on ski holidays to Méribel, La Tania or The Three Valleys.


What does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts?

What does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts? 

Spring is in the mountains and that means many things. Things such as drink the bar dry nights, increased sightings of marmots, stones appearing on the piste, increased worry about getting your deposit back on your hire skis and of course the end of the winter ski season. But what does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts?

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Our staff will be starting to realise what this means very soon. To them it will seem a distant memory when they filled out their application form and then came and had an interview for a ski job with us. Since then, the potential we spotted in them will have been realised and they will now be developed professional caterers. Never, during playground chat, will they have thought that making a bed and cleaning bathrooms would be a path they would take and they definitely wouldn’t have considered the rewards it would also lead to.

Now as the last few weeks of guest arrive and depart and the chalets are prepared for a lonely summer, our chalet host will be starting to have one of two feelings. For some it will be Joy, for others it will be dread and some it will be both.

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The feeling of joy will come from the feeling of relief that they did it. It is hard to underestimate the pressure a chalet host is under. Many people take the job with mixed emotions of trepidation and excitement because is it far outside their comfort zone.  So to have completed a winter season in a ski chalet having cooked and cleaned for 200 people 6 nights a week is a massive achievement, especially when you have got consistently good reviews as our staff have done this season.

Joy will also be because they are looking forward to going home, for quite a few of our chalet host this will have been the first time that they have left everyone behind. When they do return they may have not seen their parents or partners for 6 months.

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But there is that feeling of dread too. In some jobs you work, then you go home, then you have a weekend and then you go on holiday. Working and living in a ski resort as a chalet host is all of those things in a day, every day, twice. It is a completely absorbing environment to be in. For many it will be the most intense few months of their lives. In some cases it is addictive and can lead to a whole life in the mountains.

When we reflect on the friend we have made and how far they will be away when we return home. When we consider the epic days we have had in the hills and how suddenly we won’t be skiing fresh tracks 30 minutes after getting that cake out of the oven. We will even reflect back at the great guests we have had, from the party animals to the clean freaks, and how we have enjoyed having them all to stay. When you consider all this you start to get a feeling of dread. Suddenly it will all be gone.

Still there is always next season…

Find out what its like to work for us.

Working for Alpine Action from Alpine Action on Vimeo.


Countdown to the Start of the Méribel Ski Season 16/17

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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 snowboard equivalent to grass skiing. Expect to sit down quiet a bit.

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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 –  It’s like skiing without skis or snow. 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 until 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, Canada or America 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.

Click for or more information on our latest offers to Méribel & La Tania 

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21. Book a ski holiday for next year – And that should probably be a ski holiday to Meribel or La Tania.
22. Go and see a covers band – This will be like every aprés ski session you have ever been to.
23. Hunt for snow in Scotland – You can find it even in the summer as it is always cold up there.
24. Make a snow globe – It looks pretty easy.
25. Subscribe to a ski magazine – Suggestions please.
26. Buy some new kit – Go and spend your cash in Snow and Rock or Ellis Brigham. You know 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 a picture of 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.

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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.

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42. Watch repeats of Ski Sunday – Dust of the VHS player.
43. Practice your journey to the airport – You can never be too 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 – SSX 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.

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Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 11

It’s one of the busiest weeks of the season in Meribel, half term! The slopes are full of snaking lines of ski schools and the pubs are a lot quieter (not a bad thing!). However we have found lovely empty runs coming down from the Tougnette 2, the amount of choice up there means if you go for the furthermost runs, Cretes and Blaireau in particular, you can really enjoy the amazing snow we have had over the last couple of weeks.

Check out all our March availability and pricing

Weather
The clouds have finally broken and the sun is shining through! For the last two weeks in Meribel and La Tania we have been under a blanket of thick cloud, snow and rain but the weather is on the move and pockets of blue sky are starting to appear! The rest of this week is looking promising with light snowy showers and sunny spells, perfect half term weather. The temperatures are set to get milder towards the weekend and the skies are going to clear completely.


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The snow in the three valleys is in amazing shape! The snow pack is 2 metres at the top of the lifts and 1 metre at the bottom. The snow itself is soft and light with some icy patches as you head back into resort. Our advice would be to stick to the higher runs to get the best snow and avoid the busy lift areas and tracked out runs back into resort, and when you do descend if things are looking a bit busy consider skiing down into a quieter area such as Morel or Meribel Village and use the free bus service to get you home.

Believe it or not we are over halfway through the season, after a shaky start snow-wise it has turned out to be a great season. Fantastic snow, the sun is coming out and we have good few weeks of great skiing ahead of us!

Alpine Action | Quality Catered Chalet Holidays from Alpine Action on Vimeo.


Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 10

Bonjour from a windy and wild Meribel and La Tania! The snow is falling, the clouds have come in and visibility is low but we are still out there enjoying the fresh powder and a good few vin chaud stops throughout the day. In the last week we have had just about every kind of weather thrown our way; rain, snow, sleet, wind and even some blue skies poking through! The weather has changed every 5 minutes so we’ve been carrying around a whole load of extra layers just in case.

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Right now the snow is hurtling down at resort level, we have had over 20cm in the last couple of days. Up on the mountain this has resulted in a lovely fresh layer of powder to top up the mixed snow conditions from last week. Visibility has been as mixed as the weather this week, we have had moments of the clouds breaking and blue skies poking through but eventually the clouds have rolled back in and more snow is pouring down!

In the next 5 days we are expecting snow every day! Over half a metre of fresh powder is anticipated which will make for fantastic half term skiing, the heaviest snow is expected for Saturday with some breaks in the cloud on Thursday and Friday. Our best advice for low visibility skiing is to stick to the tree-lined runs, there are plenty of options around Courchevel and La Tania, and be aware of lift openings as you don’t want to end up stuck in the wrong valley with a very expensive taxi bill!

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With half term just around the corner the Meribel and La Tania are going to full of smaller skiers and there are plenty of activities for families to get up to on and off the slopes! The family friendly areas such as the Inuit piste in the Altiport sector and the Yeti Park in Meribel Mottaret have a range of fun and games including meeting huskies so stop by and check it out!


Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 9

It has definitely been a mixed-bag of a week in Méribel and La Tania! We have gone from blue skies and springtime warmth to resort-level rain and back again in a matter of days. The weather doesn’t seem to be making its mind up anytime soon, so be prepared for all conditions out on the slopes!

Check out all our latest offer to Méribel & La Tania – Prices start at £499pp

Watch our Snow Report 

Weather

Temperatures have been unseasonably mild in the last week and as the snow clouds have rolled in it’s been falling a little damper than we prefer in resort and on lower runs however we have had 30cm of fresh snow at the top of the lifts. When the clouds have cleared the weather is almost March-like with us ditching our mid-layers, and even jackets at some points!

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Snow Conditions

The snow conditions are just as mixed as the weather, we’ve got a bit of ice, a bit of slush and everything in between. Up on the higher runs the snow is still in good condition so our advice would be go high and stay there! We skied the higher runs in and out of St Martin and Les Menuires this afternoon and they were really good!

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Forecast

We are expecting a drop in temperatures and snowy showers later in the week, which should top up the mountain nicely, and then more blue skies as we head towards the weekend. Next week is looking great with fresh snow and colder temperatures so we can put out t-shirts away!


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