The start of the 2015/16 season wasn’t the best in terms of snowfall with many resorts being forced to postpone their opening. The lack of snow at the start of the season has highlighted how impressive the snow-making infrastructure of the Three Valleys is. While other ski resorts suffered the Three Valleys was boasting that it had 70% of runs open and they were in pretty good shape.
When the Three Valleys opened up in full on the first week in December the last snow had fallen three weeks earlier and the temperatures were not consistently low. However, on opening day Méribel looked like this.
And after two weeks they looked just as good with the run down to La Tania being one of the best maintained slopes in the area.
So why is the snow cover so good?
The Three Valles has made a huge commitment to snow making. It currently has 2186 snow cannons located across one third of it’s 327 runs, which are attend to by a 72 strong fleet of piste bashers. The snow making starts long before the lifts open for the season as the cannons get turned on as soon at the temperature drops low enough. It is also rumoured the Méribel alone spends half a million pounds a year just making snow.
When we had a chat with the manager from Méribel Alpina, the company that runs the mountain, he was keen to point out that part of their promise to skiers coming to the area is to always have the highest number of runs open in Europe. We thought we would test this by comparing 29th of December 2015 in Méribel to five of Europe’s most popular resorts and looked at the percentage of lifts they had open.
Les Arcs 46%
St Anton 74%
Val d’Isere 37%
Booking a ski holiday at the beginning of the winter season has always been a gamble and this had been reflected in the prices of December ski holidays. But the work that goes on behind the scenes at in the Three Valleys means that snow is as guaranteed as it can be throughout the season. Take a look below at our snow report from the end of December and you can see that despite there being no snow since the resort opened the piste were in pretty good shape.
Once again the 3 Valleys has delivered when it comes to sunshine! This week has been sunny with blue skies every day and the perfect weather to hit the slopes. We have had a sprinkling of snow this week that has topped up the higher runs but we are still waiting for a dump! With Christmas just around the corner we are all feeling very festive in Meribel and La Tania with vin chaud, mince pies and questionable Christmas knitwear to be enjoyed over the next week!
The snow conditions are generally good although the warm weather has left the lower runs a bit slushy. The lower you get the thinner the snow cover, there are a few patches of ice and some rocks around so slowing your speed is advised. There is plenty of good snow to be had throughout the 3 Valleys and you can ski into every resort. Most runs and lifts have opened up this week, a few are still waiting for a bit more snow (it’s coming we promise!) but as the biggest ski area in the world we still have plenty to choose from.
Advice from the ski schools is to pick your runs carefully, check your speed and just ski with a little caution when it comes to lower and busier runs. Of course over the Christmas break the slopes do get a little busier but there is plenty of pistes for all ages and abilities.
Over the next week the blue skies are set to continue with glorious sunshine expected on Christmas day. You may have to jump on a lift to get your white Christmas but you will definitely have one! We are not expecting any major snowfall in the next week but the amazing cultured snow system in the 3 Valleys will be working hard to top up the pistes. Temperatures will stay relatively high for the time of year, between 1 and 4 °C throughout the day so don’t put on too many layers!
There is all sorts on in the 3 Valleys this week for the whole family. There are carol services, torchlight descents, live music and even a few visits from the big man himself. There is no better place to spend the festive season than with us in Meribel and La Tania!
It has been a beautiful second week of the season here in Méribel and La Tania for our guests and us! Over half of the lifts and pistes have been open this week, with decent snow, mild temperatures and a lot of sunshine. Around resort you can begin to see the faint lines of goggle tans emerging, so you know the weather has been good!
With only a sprinkle of snow in the last week some of the busier runs are starting to show a little wear and tear, however thanks to the 3 Valleys trusty snow canons the pistes are being topped up with cultivated snow overnight. Half of the resorts lifts and pistes are now open with many more expected to open next week for our Christmas guests.
As we move into one of our busiest, and most magical, times of year we can expect more sunshine and mostly clear skies. There is no snow forecast for the next few days but the solid snow pack means you will be guaranteed a white Christmas! Temperatures are set to stay mild, between 2 and 5 °C with some spots of cloudiness throughout the day.
If you are coming out to join us this Christmas make sure to dig out your best Christmas jumper as there will be plenty to do in resort. Vin chaud, hot chocolate, Christmas markets and even a visit from the big guy himself, there truly isn’t a better place to spend this time of year!
An exciting week in Meribel and La Tania as we have seen the lifts open and the slopes come alive once again! Blue skies and a decent amount of snow on the pistes, has led to a very successful opening weekend. As always, only the main lifts have been open but good weather and empty slopes have made for enjoyable skiing and boarding.
The Alpine Action team managed to squeeze a welcome day on the slopes into our busy training week, showing those new to resort why the 3 Valleys ski area is one of the best in the world. Snow conditions are a huge improvement compared to this time last season, the snow is soft, well-groomed and plentiful at the summits. Plenty of corduroy to ski on, even later in the day. The 3 Valley links are all up and running so even in the first week of the season Courchevel and Val Thorens are just a couple of lifts away.
There are varying reports of snow depth in resort, from 50-80 cm at the summits to 20 cm as you descend. Even with limited lift and piste openings this weekend there was fantastic skiing to be had, no matter your level or ability. It was something quite special to have a run to yourself, on a bluebird day, at two in the afternoon!
As the season kicks off for us at Alpine Action the weather is looking fantastic with blue skies and sunshine for the next week, except for expected snowy showers on Wednesday the 9th. Although no huge dump of snow is anticipated in the next week it will be cold enough for the snow canons to be working their magic and topping up the pistes as the week goes on.
From Saturday the 12th the rest of the lifts and resort will open up for the first wave of guests, which means all of our favourite après venues will also be opening up for the first time this season! La Folie Douce, Rond Point and Lodge Du Village in Meribel, as well as Pub Le Ski Lodge in La Tania will be throwing open their doors with live music, dancing on the tables and toffee vodka galore.
If you would like to get on the slopes next week take a look at our last minute ski deals to Meribel & La Tania from £359pp for 7 nights including flights, transfers, accommodation and our wonderful chalet food.
The excitement is growing amongst the 3 Valley locals as the ski area is due to open on Saturday the 5th of December.
But some of us can’t wait so we strap on our touring skis and start the ascent. Its all familiar faces who make the climb up the Saulire , either from Courchevel 1850 or Meribel Altiport. Ski Touring has become much more popular as the equipment is far more user friendly, light and very trendy. Its most likely the athletic fat free look of most ski tourers that has brought in the most recent converts. The rewards for the 2 hours of effort are first tracks, either on the pockets of powder or manicured piste already prepared for Saturday.
The Current Conditions
The good snowfalls on the 26th November along with ideal snow making conditions have created a fabulous base on the main pistes of all the 3 Valleys. Its a consolidated 50cm at the top with a lovely base all the way down to 1450m.
The enormous investment into the latest snow making in Meribel and La Tania is a game changer in modern Ski Resort infrastructure. Its pure science at its best. The recent low overnight temperatures and an accumulated high altitude water storage equals big snow making.
The state of the art 3m high canons produce huge mounds of fresh snow,they appear like dorsal fins on the slopes. The exterior of these mounds are usually rock hard like egg shells but with the best chalky man made inside. Prior to the big day on Saturday the piste machines will move in and distribute the stockpile on the existing base. Its left very rough initially to avoid any melting. The corduroy effect is left to the last moment and in the 3 valleys its an art form.
The end result on Saturday is first class pistes from Saulire at 2750 ms to Meribel Chaudanne at 1450m.
The East facing Tougnete side has had the same treatment. The pistes under Tougnete 2 chair look particularly good. Most of the runs are at their mid winter width. The poles were put in yesterday by the security des pistes who get to ski weeks before every else.
All the locals will benefit from the quality skiing prior to Christmas, why don’t you too ?
The snow for the 2015/16 winter season has arrived and who ever was in charge of ordering should be congratulated. At the weekend there was so much snow that may people were referring to it as Snowmaggedon and one person lost their car, although we are told that they have now found it. Then after a few days of blue skies the snow started again and is still falling as we type. There is so much snow that Courchevel has opened some of it’s lifts early which also meant that Val Thorens, who had initially postponed it’s opening date due to lack of snow, was able to get the lifts turning and people skiing.
It was reported that up to 120cm fell in some parts of the Three Valleys during the weekend leaving a base of up to 50cm in many places. In the La Tania snow report Ralph from Free Ride Republic described the conditions as “Fantastic” when they went out riding the Jardin Alpine piste. There were no words from Ian our resort director when asked to describe the off piste condition but his face in the video below says it all.
A video posted by Alpine Action 🎿🏂🚠 (@alpineactionski) on
The temperature is set to stay in the minuses which means that more artificial snow can be made to complement the exsisting snow. In the short term snow making isn’t going to be necessary as there could be another 40cm falling over the weekend.
The season is almost upon us and the snow is on its way. This weekend we could see up to 70 cm of snow in the Three Valleys and as the temperature is set to drop it means that the snow will stick around. Here is our round up of the snow forecasts for this weekend in the Alps.
This map from Snow-Forecast.com shows that the Three Valleys can expect between 40 and 70 centimetres of snow on Saturday!
Other forecasters are in agreement.
*** VERS L’ARRIVÉE DE CONDITIONS HIVERNALES ***Le temps très doux et sec qui persiste depuis le début du mois de…
Meribel is set to open on the 5th of December and Val Thorens was due to open on the 21st of November. Due to the current poor snow conditions and the massive snowfall that is predicted for this weekend Val Thorens has decided to postpone the opening until the 28th as they believe that they will need the week to prepare the slopes.
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.
It has been another sunny week here in the 3 Valleys. Up until Saturday 21st March when the weather took a slight change with cloud rolling in and snow arriving at about 1800 meters and above, unfortunately it came down as rain further down in resort.
The snow higher up has stayed well but below about 1700 meters has been a bit slushy and thin in places especially on the south and west facing slopes, there is still plenty of good skiing on pistes higher up the mountain.
This 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.
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.
How 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.