Category Archives: Snow Report

3 Valleys snow report 19th December 2014

FotorCreated3 Valleys snow report – 19th December 2014

The winter is here!!

The first week of the ski season 2014/2015 is almost behind us and I am happy to announce that yesterday on Wednesday, the 17th of December no less than 15cm of fresh snow has finally appeared  in Meribel and La Tania!!

As you might well know there has not been a lot of snow fall so far this winter and not all the lifts and runs have been opened. But every day we watch the pisteurs and the snow cannons in the Three Valleys working real hard to open up most of the area. Although the snow is definitely coming it is reassuring to know that the 2000 snow cannons alone can produce enough snow to cover 1/3 of the pistes . At the moment there are 69 lifts and 111 pistes open and with more likely to open for next week there is plenty of great skiing to enjoy here. It’s looking good for those of you coming for Christmas week – it seems that they have been keeping few runs closed to save them up for upcoming  festive weeks.

The first week’s guests have been out each morning catching the first lifts. Undoubtedly it took more planning and informative help from our resort reps to know what is open and how to make the best of  what is available. We have really enjoyed our time on the slopes this week especially yesterday, on our day off, as the snow came down and the pistes just got better as the day went on.

What our guest say

The Hutchings family staying in chalet Toubkal 2 this week had this to say about the conditions,  “It was occasionally icy, but surprisingly good given the time of the year. We even had some fresh powder for our family snowboarder. We’ve always been able to ski. For intermediate skiers there is plenty to ski with what is already open.”

Snow Forecast for next week

It looks like we could be getting some more snow on Saturday, followed with sunshine and colder temperatures for the rest of the week. However the weather changes so quikly in the mountains that you cant really predict more than a couple of days at a time!

The skiing is still really good out here and is set to only get better. Fingers crossed for some more snow!

piste meribel


Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 5/4/2014

Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 5/4/2014 

This last week saw the start of April, and Spring skiing is with us! A joy for boarders, if slightly harder on the legs for skiers than cold January powder. What’s more, we’re still seeing plenty of sunshine across the Three Valleys so this weeks guests should still enjoy a great week of skiing in Meribel and La Tania.

As you would expect at this time of year, as the freezing level creeps up the mountain, coverage at the lower altitudes in and around resort has thinned out, but all the key runs back into Meribel, Meribel Village and La Tania remain open. At the higher altitudes, the thick snowbase and mild temperatures are making for some great late season conditions.

Thick cloud cover over Saturday and Sunday may bring some drizzle at lower altitudes but is expected to fall as snow higher up. Skies are expected to clear as the week goes on however, meaning the best conditions are likely to come through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The lifts remain open from 9am to 5pm – as is typically the case this time of year the snow will be at its best between about 10am and 3 30pm. Have a great week skiing in the three valleys!

vista meribe, view of valley


Run report – off-piste in Meribel

Run report – off-piste in Meribel 

By Alpine Action’s Resort Rep, Rob Bartlett 

Meribel back country off pisteI’ve said before and it is as true now as at the start of the season: one of the best parts of my job is being able to share my own knowledge of the ski resort, passing on tips and suggestions of which pistes to try, where to find the best conditions and how to get the most out of a week skiing in the Three Valleys.

As befits the largest ski area in the world, there are hundreds of kilometres of pistes to enjoy for skiers and boarders of every level. However, for experienced skiers, there is a world of fun to be had beyond the marked and bashed runs.

alpine action staff off piste meribel

The rules of off piste 

Before saying any more, we need to be totally clear that skiing off-piste can be extremely dangerous. It should only be considered by experienced and confident skiers. As minimum safety precautions you should always look to go in small groups – 3 or 4 is ideal – and never alone. Be aware of the published avalanche risk, but be aware that snow conditions can change rapidly. An hour in the sun can turn safe routes into an unacceptable risk in less than an hour.

Before setting off, you should ensure your insurance covers you for going off-piste and carry and know how to use the relevant safety equipment of a transceiver, shovel and probe. We would strongly recommend engaging an instructor or a guide, and it is always worth checking with the pisteurs for their views on where is safe to go. Always remember that skiing off-piste poses a risk not just to yourself, but also to those who on the mountain around you, such as other skiers on the same slopes, or the secouristes who would conduct a rescue operation if anything went wrong. If you are at all unsure, you should not go.

With the proper precautions however, off- piste skiing can be one of the great highlights of a skiing holiday in the Alps, so where are some of the best routes in Meribel?

fresh ski tracks meribel off piste

Where to find off piste in Meribel

My advice would be to head to the Vallon and Cote Brune sectors. On the Vallon gondola you will most likely see plenty of tracks underneath the lift, which can be accessed from the corner at the top of the Combe de Vallon piste. While this is one of the more recognised and accessible off-piste routes, beware of partially covered rocks.

For those looking to go further into the backcountry, head through the gap in the rock on your left as you come out of the Vallon bubble. There is another reasonably established route straight down hereto the side of the piste, but if you keep left, a small 10 minute walk and a short traverse lead you out to some powder field coming down from the ridge. Check with the pisteurs before attempting this route as the snowpack can be unstable above you, but in the right conditions the fluffy powder, comfortable gradient and spectacular views can make this route a showstopping highlight.

A final route to try is accessed from the top of the Becca lift. In the snowbank opposite the lift you will most likely see tracks leading diagonally up to the ridge line. The top offers a spectacular view both down to Les Menuires one way and across to the Mont Vallon summit the other. Be careful of the entry point here. Traverse across the slope to the centre of the chute to avoid the treacherous rocky drops immediately below where the track up reaches the ridgeline.

The descent down from here looks clear enough but boarders in particular will want to avoid keeping too far left as they will risk being caught out by a flat section right at the bottom before regaining the piste. Equally however, head too far right and you risk being blocked by another few rocky drops, or finding yourself underneath a particularly steep section of the slope where the risk of avalanche is higher. Keep to a conservative line though and you should have a fabulous descent, with the added bonus of being able to admire your track as you head back up the Cote Brune lift.


Three Valley Snow Report – Week Ending 29/3/14

Three Valley Snow Report – Week Ending 29/3/14 

They say all good things must come to an end and so it proved at the start of this week in Meribel. After two weeks of gloriously warm temperatures and stunning sunshine, last Saturday saw the skies cloud over and the temperature plummet back to lows of around minus 10.

fresh powder, off piste in meribel
But to follow one cliché with another, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case the clouds were not just lined, but were in fact packed full of lovely fresh snow.

In total, the first days of this week just gone saw 10-12 cm of snow fall in resort, with much more than that at the top of the lifts, giving a great boost to the on-piste conditions, while also exciting the powder junkies is resort with the prospect of some great off-piste skiing in the three valleys.

The overhead conditions did clear up through the middle of the week, but temperatures stayed nice and cold helping to keep all that fresh snow in great shape. The week ended on a high with the best day of the week on Friday, when there was barely a cloud in the sky and temperatures eased just a little.

Looking ahead, conditions for the coming week on the Three Valleys  look set fair. Clouds should stay away and temperatures are expected to stay very mild, without quite climbing to the unseasonable highs we saw in previous weeks. The long range forecast suggests that there is a chance of more light snow on Thursday or Friday.


Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 22nd March

Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 22nd March

In my snow report last week I talked about how lucky our departing guests were to have had a full week of superb weather, with warm sunny days and clear skies. To have one full week like that is rare. To have two full weeks like that is a unique treat. But that is what we have had.

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Off piste snowboarding meribel.

This week’s guests have certainly enjoyed it. Many have improved their tans as much as their skiing and several have said that they have never known such good conditions in all their years of coming on chalet holidays in the Three valleys . The mountain restaurants have been doing a roaring trade, with visitors enjoying fabulous views from the deckchairs , while the daily parties on the terrace at the Folie Douce have to be experienced to be believed.

As they saying goes however, you can have too much of a good thing, and truth be told that the sun was starting to take its toll on the snow, particularly at lower altitudes. As if on cue though, more is on the way this weekend…

Forecasters are predicting 12cm of snow in resort between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, a figure that can reliably be doubled for the higher altitudes at the top of the lifts. The temperature is expected to drop sharply as well, with lows  down to minus 9 overnight, helping to keep the fresh snow in top condition.

The weather through the rest of the week will generally be overcast, with a little more snow expected late on Tuesday. Thursday looks likely to be the best day of the week with clearer skies expected that afternoon.

With changeable conditions expected, it is at this point in the season when the 3 valley lift pass most clearly shows its worth. As the largest ski area in the world, with an incredibly well-planned and efficient lift system, it is easy to move around to get above or below any cloud cover and find the best snow conditions. While this week’s guests may not enjoy the same number of bluebird days as today’s departing visitors, the fresh powder will ensure that everyone is set to enjoy another great week’s skiing in the 3 valleys.


Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 15/3/2014

Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 15/3/2014

What to say about a week like that? It was, quite simply, awesome.

Wall to wall sunshine, brilliant blue skies, mild temperatures for the season, all for 6 solid days. Skiing simply does not get any better than that!

However, the obvious question after such a spell of mild conditions then becomes how has the snow held up to the sunshine and warm weather. Guests arriving today though have no need to worry: there is still plenty of great snow to ski throughout the Three Valleys.

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Off piste in Meribel. Alpine Action staff

In fact, listening to experienced riders and instructors this week , they will say that the period between 10 30 and 3 on such sunny days – after the early morning chill has dissipated but before the lower slopes show too many signs of wear at the end of the day – offers some of the best conditions possible as the snow allows you to have confidence to go right onto your edges. And with the huge area of the three valleys, including the higher altitudes of the Burgin and Cote Brune sectors, and especially the VT valley, there is still great runs to be discovered for skiers of all abilities.

Amazingly, the great weather is set to continue into next week. While not quite hitting the heights of the last few days, those arriving today will still see plenty of sunshine through the early part of the week, with snow predicted for Thursday or Friday to top up the base again. It should be another great week of skiing in Meribel.


What’s on in Méribel and La Tania – March 2014

What’s on in Méribel and La Tania – March 2014

What a month February was! Jam packed with Olympic action. How will March be able to match it? In previous years we could have consoled ourselves with the arrival of the Winter X-Games in Val d’Isere, sadly this is not going ahead this year. But don’t be glum if you are heading to Méribel or La Tania this month there is still a lot to look forward to and that is on top of excellent snow conditions.

3rd of March – La Tania – Peroni Tour, The Ski Lodge

Part of a trip to the Alps is the drinking of lager. Even the most hardened Ale drinker will be forced to drink fizzy amber nectar, mainly Amstel or Kronenbourg, both of which aren’t very French. I remember as seasonnaire I would splash out on a Stella, as a treat. So it is with much joy that we can get Peroni in The Ski Lodge. Even better it will be an extended happy hour too. Get there now!

4th of March – Meribel – Afternoon Party

If you didn’t get enough of that Peroni feeling in La Tania the day before then head to the Café del Mott in Méribel Motteret for another Peroni fuelled party. Expect a BBQ, Peroni and DJs. If anyone from Peroni is reading this and wanted to thank us for the number of times that we have mentioned Peroni in this article, please feel free to post some to our office!

4th of March – In your Alpine Action Chalet – Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday or as it is often known as, “test you chalet host cooking skills day”. That’s right expect your hosts to be flipping away and serving up a tasty pancake with various fillings. If they do fail to provide you with one then be sure to pop into a local Crêperi.

7th March – Sochi/Channel 4 – Paralympic Winter Games

The 2014 Paralympic Winter Olympics start today. That is providing we aren’t all at war with Russia or everyone has decided to boycott the games. If all that doesn’t happen then you should be able gorge yourself on more televised snow sports, unless you have to work or are out on the slopes of the Three Valleys carving it up.

18th March to 24th March   – Méribel – French Alpine Ski Championships

If you enjoy the racing bit on Ski Sunday and the Downhill skiing part of the Olympics then take some time to go and watch this. France’s best racers will be competing to be “Le Best”. You can expect free mulled wine, exciting racing and commentary in French.

20th March to 22nd March – Courchevel – Film Festival

If you like films then this could be the event for you. 5 different films will be screened and you can go and watch them for free. To find out what the films are go to the official website. If you do go please email us your reviews.

24th March – Méribel – Poetry Week

According to Latania.co.uk, there is a Poetry week on in Méribel. We have not been able to find any evidence to support this. However we are very taken with this idea, please contact us if you have any more info. In the meantime here is our entry.

Méribel, full of snow
Méribel, full of chalets
Méribel l, I want to go
If I could ski, I would choose you

Méribel, full of fun
Méribel, full of skiers
Méribel, have you been
If you ski, you should go

March 30th – Méribel – The British Alpine Ski Championships

This goes on for a week. More details can be found here. And more details will be in next month’s What’s on in Méribel and La Tania

 

Sources – http://www.latania.co.uk/http://www.meribel.net/http://www.merinet.com/

 

 

 


Three Valley Snow Report Week Ending – 1/3/2014

Three Valley Snow Report Week Ending – 1/3/2014

One of the best things about skiing in the 3 valleys is that it is snow-sure, yet low enough to generally allow you to get on the mountain, even on bad weather days. No one ever goes home from a chalet holiday in Meribel without at least 2/3 good skiing days.

However, this being the Alps, there are also very few who go home having enjoyed weather quite as good as we have had this last week.

After a nice dusting of fresh powder on Saturday night, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday brought the kind of days to bring out the brochure photographers. Beautifully groomed pistes, down through  trees laden with brilliant white snow, reflecting a vibrant azure sky and without a cloud to be seen. A pleasant ambient temperature meant that only a light T-shirt was needed under ski jackets, and the deckchairs of the stunning mountain restaurants were just as popular for sunbathing as for resting weary legs. Skiing simply does not get any better than that.

On Wednesday the weather came in just enough to add a fresh coating of powder, but aside from a few small pockets of low cloud, visibility remained good. Thursday was overcast, but the heavy overnight snowfall had the powder junkies salivating, especially as it was further added to on Friday.

That means that for those guests arriving today, there is 20-30 cm of fresh snow waiting for them when they get out on the mountain for what is predicted to be another blue-skies-and-sunshine day on Sunday.

For the rest of the week, the outlook is less clear. Forecasters differ over whether the cloud predicted on Monday will clear away for Tuesday and Wednesday or deliver more snow. We will be listening to Radio Meribel each morning for their English -language weather and piste reports to make sure our guests know where to head for the best


Three Valleys Snow Reort – Week Ending 22/2/2014

Three Valleys Snow Reort – Week Ending 22/2/2014

Obviously we hope for good weather every week, but fingers were especially tightly crossed last week. Half-term week brought thousands of wide-eyed youngsters to the 3 Valleys, eager to experience both the thrill of seeing fresh snow all around and the rush of then gliding across it as they learnt their snow ploughs and parallel turns. A few brilliant days on the mountain now can nurture a lifelong love of the mountain.

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Last week got off to a great start as heavy snowfalls on Saturday night and Sunday morning left tonnes of fresh powder for Monday when burning sunshine and the deepest of deep blue skies made for the kind of conditions that we all dream about. The kids didn’t have it all their own way as Wednesday and Friday both brought overcast skies and low-hanging cloud. However another magazine -cover day on Thursday ensured that the children sitting with me on the transfer back to Grenoble this morning are absolutely buzzing about what a brilliant week they have had skiing in the 3 Valleys.

For those arriving this week, the good news is that forecasters are predicting much of the same to come. We have had fresh snow on the ground again this Saturday morning, with more scheduled in the second half of the week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Sunshine is expected throughout the day on Sunday, Monday and Thursday, with cold temperatures throughout the week to help keep the snow in the best shape. Perfect for everyone arriving for their chalet holidays


Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 08/02/14

Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 08/02/14

Everybody loves skiing when there is sun and blue skies, but everyone knows that mild temperatures and cloudless skies don’t make for the best snow conditions. Every so often you need the weather to close in and the mercury to drop if you want to be skiing on powder.

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That is exactly what happened last week. On Wednesday an overcast morning developed into light snow in the afternoon and by the time everyone was enjoying afternoon tea by the fire – or in some cases a great set by Codfish during Après at LDV – a full on blanket dump was leaving about 6 inches in resort and even more at the top of the lifts. A real bluebird Thursday gave everyone a chance to enjoy the fresh snow before a second load hammered down a further 4-6 inches in resort on Friday morning.

This means that the snow coverage is now thicker than it has been all season, meaning that those who are coming skiing in the three valleys this week have some amazing conditions to look forward to. And not only will the snow be in great shape for their arrival, but further snow is forecast through the week to keep the pistes fresh.

Light snow is currently predicted for Saturday afternoon as well as on Monday and Tuesday night as well as a heavier snowfall through Thursday. Temperatures are expected to stay low – with highs barely above freezing and lows down to minus nine some nights. Perfect for keeping the powder in top condition!

By Rob Bartlett


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