Category Archives: Ski Sunday

What Emily Sarsfield Loves About Méribel

Emily Sarsfield is the UK’s number 1 female Ski Cross athlete, has been ranked 20th on the World Cup circuit and is a member if the British Ski and Snowboard squad. For the last 10 years Emily has lived, worked and trained in Méribel and is a big fan of the Three Valleys.  Recently we had a chance to sit down with Emily and talk to her about what she loves about our Alpine home.

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Val Thorens World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

Not only does Emily train in the Three Valleys she also runs a small ski school offering private lessons out of Méribel, this is obviously when she isn’t competing and is often during the school holidays. The reason she does this is because unlike many other athletes she doesn’t receive funding, so has to find ways to fund her own training and racing. As Emily bases herself in the Three Valleys and is always returning in Méribel, we started be asking her why she keeps coming back, her response was that the resort has a strong community, although she doesn’t behave like the usual seasonnaire and is likely to be found in the gym when everyone else is in the pub.

We then chatted about her missing out on the Winter Olympic Games and becoming a ski instructor but we soon ended up back on the subject of Méribel. One of the first thing Sarsfield mentioned was the fact that all of the resorts in America would fit into the Three Valleys before pulling out the usual but true clichés and declaring that Méribel is “postcard picture perfect”.

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Megeve World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

In the 10 years of skiing in the Three Valleys she doesn’t think she has skied every run, which is probably very true, after all the years we have been working out there we probably haven’t either. If you live somewhere for a long time you will inevitably notice the changes, one of the big things Emily has noticed is how the access to cross the entire ski area has developed and even beginner skiers can now move from resort to resort on mainly green runs.

“There is always something different” – Emily Sarsfield on the Three Valleys

Of course one of the main reason Emily loves the Three Valleys is because of the Ski Cross park in Val Thorens, which is one of the best in Europe and regularly hosts World Cup Events. Over the years she has fallen in love with off piste skiing which the the 3Vs has plenty of when the conditions are right and Sarsfield top tip is to head up the Loze chair on a bluebird for some easy access powder.

We saved our “best” question until last, when we asked her in our serious interviewer voice, what is her favourite run in the resort and the answer was the Mauduit. The run is from the top of Saluire and goes all the way down to Méribel Center, or you can choose to head down to Méribel Village. She described the run as “long, open, well groomed and a thigh burner”.

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If you would like to keep up to date with Emily then check out her Facebook or Twitter.

To book a holiday to Méribel visit our website. 

 


Meribel Alpine Skiing World Cup

Meribel Alpine Skiing World Cup

At the heart of alpine skiing world cup finals - Méribel Worldcup Finales 2014-2015.clipularThis is the week that Meribel hits the big time – Not that we arn’t saying that Meribel isn’t a big time resort. it frequently appears in top 10 ski resort list and if it doesent one of its sister resorts in the Three Valleys does. Anyhow as I was saying, this is the week that the Alpine World Cup comes to Meribel. Not only that it is this this seasons final.

When is it on?

It starts on Wednesday the 18th of March but there is practising going on from the 16th. Highlights will be the Downhill starting at 9.30 on Wednesday the 18th and the Slalom over the weekend.  Take a look at the full scheduled below.
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Who is racing?

If you follow Alpine racing avidly then you will recognise all of the names as these are the top 25 point scorers from this winter season. It is the Female 25 that has the big recognisable names in Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Tina Maze.

Is it on Ski sunday?

Sadly Ski Sunday has ended for the winter. We did hope that there would be a Meribel special due to Meribel being such a hot spot for British skiers and snowboarders. My twitter stalking suggests that the presenters arn’t in resort either.

meribel_la_piste_ski_worldcupHow can I watch it?

If you are in resort you can get a great view if the race climax down at the Chaudanne in the centre of Meribel of try and get a spot along side the race course. Or if you are at home in the UK then the event will be streamed live here http://livetv.sx/en/competitions/?c_407.

What else is on?

Lots! Every day there is a concert or ceremony to watch. Also you are in the 3 Valleys so go skiing in the worlds biggest and best ski area! There is also some pretty decent Apres Ski to enjouy, with most bars having some Alpine World Cup theme going on. And if that is not enough why not try and compleate our Alpine World Cup bingo card.


3 Valleys Snow Report – March 15th 2015

3 Valleys Snow Report – March 15th 2015

Hello and welcome to another snow report. What can I say apart from it has been a truly stunning week out here in the 3 Valleys with wall to wall sunshine for the last 7 days. The weather was very warm for the most of the week which made the slopes a bit slushy in the afternoons, then towards the end of the week temperatures dropped a bit to leave some great skiing conditions.

Looking forward into the next week the weather is set to stay a bit colder than it has been and the possibility of some snow on Tuesday and again towards the end of the week. This week brings us the ski World Cup in Meribel with top skiers from all over the world coming to compete, so get yourself to the World Cup run and check out how the pros do it and maybe even pick up some tips to improve your own down hill skiing!

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We are nearing the end of the season but the slopes are holding up well and with the forecast of some more snow on the way it looks like we could be in for some more great skiing out here in Meribel and La Tania.

Book your Easter ski break 

 


3 Valleys Snow Report – 21st Feb 2015

skin pose alpineaction3 Valleys Snow Report – 21st Feb 2015

Hello and welcome to a weather/snow update from the 3 valleys. It has been another stunning sunny week out here in Meribel, we were predicting a decent amount of snow to arrive last Saturday but it turned out only to be a couple of centimetres which was a bit disappointing.

Considering it has been half term, the busiest week of the ski season, the snow on the pistes have held up well. It’s been good skiing in the mornings but by the afternoon the runs are becoming quite icy. Looking forward into next week the snow and colder temperatures are set to return with a significant amount of snow due to fall on Saturday night and then again on Monday in to Tuesday!

This year the forecasts haven’t really been too accurate but the snow on Saturday looks more and more like it’s going to happen. The slopes are in need of some fresh snow as it has been 2 weeks since we have had a proper snow fall. If it does dump as predicted the new snow the conditions will transform from good skiing to great skiing with help from the fantastic pistes we have out here in the 3 valleys.

We are looking forward to the next week with our fingers crossed for snow so that we can enjoy some quieter slopes after the hustle and bustle of half term week. We only have a few spaces left in our chalets at Alpine Action towards the end of the season so book up soon to avoid disappointment, We hope you enjoy your skiing!


How to watch The Jump and Ski Sunday

ski03How to watch The Jump and Ski Sunday

For many of us Ski Sunday and The Jump will be our window to the Alps, when we are not on our annual ski holiday. So lets make the most of them and watch like we really can’t wait for our next fix of snow.

Turn the Volume up!
The theme tune to Ski Sunday is arguably the best bit so turn the start of it up and imagine your racing through a tree run that is knee deep with fresh powder.

Get Dresses Up
Your ski outfit is like a wedding dress and only gets worn once a year (or is that just my wife?). Get the most out of your salopettes, goggles, etc and put them on when watching Ski Sunday or The Jump.

Make Your Sofa Into a Chairlift
Find a scaffolding pole and rest it across the arms of your settee and lock the whole family in for the show. Make sure the bar isn’t lifted until the end credits. For added realism watch the program on iPlayer and when it buffers pretend the lift has stopped.

Invite a foreign national of your choice.
Preferably invite an Austrian or French person and ask them to adhere to out of date cultural stereotypes and make small talk in your appalling accent and pigeon secondary school foreign language.

Get Drunk
Stock your fridge with Jagermeister, Red Bull, Toffee vodka and Larger and get drunk like you’re at an apres ski bar. This means drinking your normal Friday night out in two hours, for added realism be late for dinner.

Big Yourself Up
Both these programs provide you with the perfect opportunity to criticise other people’s technique while bigging up you own prouesse on skis or a snowboard. Why not go the whole hog and strap in at the top of your stairs then sideslip the whole case.

Post it on Facebook.
Make sure you take lots of photos and post them to your social media accounts to make your friends jealous of the excellent time you are having. Then make sure you pay your mobile phone provide double the amount next month to simulate data roaming charges.

If this too much for you then why not book an actual ski holiday.


The Jump 2015 Preview

5e27275d-5ef3-4048-b707-87933dde53e2The Jump 2015 Preview

Here at Alpine Action we were big fans of Channel 4’s The Jump in 2014. So we were very excited to learn that is was returning in 2015. It still has yet to have a confirmed transmission date, but we do know it will be very soon as there has been teasers released and the participants, or celebrities if you prefer, have been in training for a month or two.

The Premise

If you didn’t watch it last year here is a quick summary of the show. A group of celebrities take part in a selection of snow sports, that range from slalom to bobsled over the period of a week. The show goes out daily, making it a very tough week for our live blogger, Jim. Each day the worst performing pair of Celebrities are offered up to a public vote and have to go of a ski jump on live TV for a chance to injure themselves, or stay in the show. Oh and it is hosted by Davina Mccall and has every big name winter sport competitor the UK has produced, from the new snow queen Jenny Jones to the old guard of Eddie the Eagle, with the obligatory Graham Bell appearance too. We did suggest that the show could be improved by moving to Meribel but clearly no one listens to us.

What can you expect

Based on last year and this year so far, you can expect lots of injured Celebrities. Last year the competition was won by Joe McElderry who was the Stand-in’s, Stand-in. This year so far the show has claimed the knee of Ola Jordan and the ribs of Sally Bercow. You can also expect the desire to want to take part in most of the shows apart from the ski jumping as well as a feeling of jealousy as everyone taking part look like they are have a great time.

Who is in it

Prepare to be underwhelmed, confused and disappointed at the star quality of the Celebrity participants. Which is understandable as based on the risk involved and the injury rate last year you need to be pretty certain that you have a clear schedule for the next few months. Here are the names, which I have divided up into two categories those that I have heard of and those that I haven’t. Have – Heather Mills, Jodie Kidd, Steve-O, Stacey Solomon, Phil Tufnell. Haven’t – Louise Thompson,Mike Tindall,Ashley Roberts, Jack Ass star Steve-O, socialite Lady Victoria Hervey, JB Gill, Jon-Allan Butterworth, Chloe Madeley, Louie Spence, Dom Parker, Louise Hazel and Joey Essex. Ok so when I say I haven’t heard of Louie Spence I mean pretending I haven’t for my own sanity. For now shall not pass on any further judgment of the contestants as I will save that for our Live Blog of the series.

When is it on

As we said we don’t really know but it will happen soon, maybe they are waiting for that next big dump of snow like the rest of us.

 


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?

READ OUR GUIDE ON WHERE TO SNOWBOARD IN THE 3 VALLEYS

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.

READ OUR GUIDE TO OFF PISTE RIDING IN THE VALLEYS

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.

 READ MORE : THE BEST SKI AND SNOWBOARD MOVIES TO STREAM

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.  

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Our top 5 favourite people from Sochi 2014

Our top 5 favourite people from Sochi 2014

The Winter Olympics is over. All we have now is memories and YouTube clips to remind us of the happy times. And the thought of our next holiday to Meribel, where I can pretend to be Bode Miller, when in fact I am not even a Vanessa Mae, to keep us going. Oh and of course this top 5 list of our favourite people from Sochi 2014…

Jenny Jones

The woman who took a bronze medal by being very sensible in a reckless sport. In the finals of the slope style she saw that everyone else in the completion was going big, but not landing everything. So she went a little less big than everyone else and put in a perfect run. She then waited, and waited and waited. She was rewarded with a Bronze Medal, which she very much deserves.

Graham Bell

I have to be honest I have never been the biggest Graham Bell fan. I don’t think I understood him. When presenting he always comes across as a bit steely and seriouse. During this winter Olympics the BBC ran some segments about when he used to compete, these films helped me understand him better as a person. To compeat in downhill you need to be arrogant, determined, competitive and ruthless. I think it may be me, I always want him to be someone else on TV and he isn’t. What these games have shown is that he is incredibly knowledgeable and reliable as ski expert and that is what he is. He isn’t a personality as such he is a professional and very good he is too.

Eve Muirhead

Ok so I have a bit of a crush on Eve. Despite thinking she was called Gwen for 5 days, but let’s not tell her that. It takes guts to ski fast, it takes bravery to jump high and it takes nerves of steel to throw yourself down an icy chute. But in these self-conscious times that we live in, it takes all of those traits and more to decide, at the age of 16, to become a curler. Possibly the least trendy sport of the Olympics, if not the world. But Eve overcome all those internal conflicts to become a Bronze medallist and sex symbol at 23.

Jamaican Bob Egg

It must be tough being in the Jamaican bobsleigh team. Not only do you have the obvious issues associated with training for winter sports on a tropical island to contend with. You also have a hit cult comedy movie following you around like a celebrity sex tape. There are two ways to deal with it, one ignore it and hope it goes away, which it won’t as it will always be dragged up at every moment by the popular press. Or two,  you can tackle it head on with a dose of good humour.  Which is exactly what Marvin Dixon did when he kissed his lucky egg.

Steve Cram

We enjoyed the curling. One thing that helped me enjoy it more was the commentary by Steve Cram a man with only two weeks more curling watching experience than you or I. Steve was a silver medallist in the 1984 Olympics. His discipline was running and the medal was in 1500m. Since then he has become a commentator for Athletics. Then one day he was asked if he fancied going to the winter Olympics on Vancouver and the rest is history. Steve deserves a gold medal for this year’s commentating. Not only has it been very good, He, unlike us, didn’t have the opportunity of flicking over and not watching the curling.


Ski Sunday – Live Blog – Episode 4 – Season 36

Ski Sunday – Live Blog – Episode 4 – Season 36


Ski Sunday – Live Blog – Episode 3 – Season 36

Ski Sunday – Live Blog – Episode 3 – Season 36


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