In celebration of International Women’s Day this week, we researched some awesome female icons in the world of Winter Sports. These incredible women, dating back to the 1800’s, set the standards in all female mountain sports, ranging from; Mountain Climbing, Figure Skating, Alpine Ski Racing, Back Country Skiing and Freestyle.
In honour of International Women’s Day, here are 10 inspirational role models, giving Girl Power with an Alpine touch.
1. Marie Paradis and Henriette d’Angeville
Marie Paradis was the first female to climb the famous Mont Blanc in 1808, during this time Chamonix was still under the reign of the Kingdom of Sardinia. This history changing female, succeeded the climb alongside mountain guide Jacques Balmat. The quirky fact in this story was the fashion… Marie Paradis did the whole thing in a dress! Thirty years later, Henriette d’Angeville was the second woman in history to climb Mont Blanc in 1883.
2. Sonja Henie
In 1924, the Winter Olympics was launched, women were only allowed to compete in one category – Figure Skating. At the young age of just 11 years old, Sonja Henie of Norway, competed alongside 13 other female competitors. In the 1928 Winter Olympics, Sonja went on to win Gold and in total won 3 Gold Medals over her Olympic career. There was controversy at the time around the length of her skirt, shorter than other competitors due to her age and size it was frowned upon. However, it is believed that a shorter skirt allowed her to incorporate more movement into her routine, such as spins and jumps. As a result, this iconic moment took Figure Skating to a new level with new attire!
3. Christl Cranz
In 1936, the Winter Olympics was transformed with a new sport for females to take part in… Alpine Skiing: Alpine Combined (Slalom and Giant Slalom).
Christl Cranz of Germany was the first female to win a Gold Medal. This was the year for female competitors with over 500 women taking part. Christl Cranz then went on to win 13 World Championship titles.
4. Marielle Goitschel
This French female was originally born in Sainte-Maxine, however, moved to Val d’isere at a young age. The Goitschel family are well known for their talents in Alpine Ski racing, making it no surprise that Marielle became the second woman after Christl Cranz to win 11 World Championship medals in Alpine Ski Racing. To this day the Goitschel family are still based in the French Alps and have ski shops named after them in the resort of Val Thorens.
5. Janica Kostelic
Born in Croatia, Janica came from humble beginnings, during her European tour funding for accommodation was not available, so she and her family slept in a tent or their car during her competitions. Janica’s determination and drive to succeed landed her 4 Olympic Gold Medals. She is the only woman to have ever won 3 Gold Medals in one Winter Olympics (2002).
6. Julia Mancuso
World renowned American ski racer Julia Mancuso is a woman who never gives up, she is said to be one of the best female Alpine Ski Racers in the world. After 7 World Cup wins in Alpine Ski Racing, standing tall on the podium in 5 World Championships, winning 3 Olympic medals including GOLD in Giant Slalom in 2006, this lady knows how to win a ski race or two. Despite a hectic ski schedule she still finds time to enjoy surfing and paddling in Hawaii and is an ambassador for the High Fives Foundation supporting injured athletes.
7. Kelly Clark
This snowboarding role model has achieved the top of her game in Freestyle Snowboarding specialising in Half Pipe. She has had over 70 career wins – more than any Man or Woman. She is a 4 time Olympian and 3 time Medallist, wining Gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics Half Pipe. Kelly now focuses on her foundation, set up in 2010, her company motto is “Success starts with an opportunity to follow your dreams” and she is enabling young aspiring snowboarders to do just that.
8. Linsey Vonn
Possibly one of the most famous Female Alpine Skiers of this era, Lindsey Vonn is always making headlines. Vonn has just been granted the title of “most successful women’s skier of all time” by the Olympic organisation, after beating the World Record for 63 FIS World Cup victories which hasn’t been achieved since 1970’s by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Pröll’s. Olympic Gold Medallist, and one of only 2 females to win the overall World Cup Championships, there really isn’t much this lady won’t do to succeed. She was awarded “Sports Woman of the year” at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2010 and despite her fair share of struggles due to injury has maintained her competitive drive and inspiring women.
9. Sarah Burke
This Canadian champion put Women’s Freestyle Skiing on the map. She campaigned for Freestyle Skiing to be in the 2014 Winter Olympics and succeeded in her cause. Four time Winter X Games Gold Medallist and World Championship skier in Half Pipe, Sarah Burke inspired thousands of women of all ages to follow their passion. Tragically Sarah Burke died during training in 2012. This devastating loss hit the Freestyle community hard, however, her legacy lives on inspiring females to take Freestyle skiing to another level. Lyndsey Dyer a creative film maker and famous Back Country skier dedicated her all female “Pretty Faces” ski film to Sarah Burke, this is a must see film for anyone who loves mountains, skiing and Girl Power.
10. Kelly Sildaru
The most recent female on our radar, Kelly Sildaru is a 14 year old Freestyle skier from Estonia. Competing in Slopestyle, Sildaru is the youngest female to win a Gold medal in the 2017 Aspen Winter X Games. If that wasn’t enough she then continued being the first female to win 2 prizes at the X Games landing a Silver medal in Big Air. This talented teenager is one to watch for future Winter Olympics.
These inspiring women have excelled in the sport they love, and have motivated us to go out and challenge ourselves on the piste. This week we are very proud to announce that out of the 11 Alpine Action female staff that participated in the “Sheride Sessions, Slope Style competition” in Meribel’s Elements Park, 8 won prizes! Congratulations ladies representing International Women’s Day and Alpine Action.
The skies are looking moody in the 3 Valleys this week, as we eagerly anticipate the next snow fall. Conditions are still very good, with on-piste skiing compact and well groomed.
As we move into February, in preparation of the school holidays the children’s fun zones are really taking shape across the 3 Valleys. The Piste Inuit in Meribel’s Altiport is now up and running with lots of fun features and activities to entertain the whole family. The NEW Elements Park at the top of the Plan de l’homme chair lift, is also starting to take shape and we are awaiting the opening.
Temperatures are varied over the next 14 days with highs of around 8 degrees and lows of -3. However, towards the weekend we are seeing temperatures plummet with highs of -7 and lows of -11. Wind chill is forecast at a body shivering -18 for Saturday – don’t forget your ski buff!
The Meribel valley currently has a reading of 23cm of snow at resort level (1450m) and 100cm at Altitude (2700m).
The Courchevel valley currently has a reading of 80cm at resort level (1850m) and 170cm at Altitude (2700m).
Avalanche risk is 2 out of 5
We want to keep you up to date with weekly events and happenings in the 3 valleys so here are some of the best bits to get you in the winter holiday spirit…
What’s on this week in Meribel
Monday 30th ♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: Jay Tamkin – 5pm
Meribar: Conor Owen – 4:30pm Evolution: Mardy Johnny Depps – 10pm
Tuesday 31st Market day in Meribel centre
Jacks Bar: Daisy B – 5pm
Lodge du Village: Bring Your Sisters – 4:30pm
Meribar: Hobo Chic – 4:30pm
Evolution: Hobo Chic – 10pm
Scotts: Sian Hayley-Smith – 10pm
Doron Pub: The Slopes 11pm
O’Sullivans: Bring Your Sisters – 12am
Wednesday 1st ♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: The Mardy Johnny Depps – 5pm & Wingmen – 6pm
Meribar: Bring Your Sisters – 4:30pm
The Rond Point: Bubble & Crisp – 5pm
Lodge du Village: Hobo Chic – 4:30pm
Doron Pub: Wingmen 11pm Thursday 2nd Himalaya by night: night sledging 5:30pm – 7:30pm Meribel Mottaret
Jacks Bar: Hobo Chic – 5pm
Meribar: Blazin Strings – 4:30pm
Lodge du Village: Rob Cross – 4:30pm
Doron Pub: Gareth & Westy – 11pm
La Taverne: Bubble & Crisp – 10pm
Lodge du Village: Two Far Cajon – 10:30pm
O’Sullivan’s: Mountain Movers – 12am
Friday 3rd ♫Live Music♫
Meribar: Wingmen – 4:30pm
What’s on this week in La Tania
Last minute availability
If you like what you see and want to escape rainy England for the snowy Alps, then check out our latest offers and availability. We have limited spaces in Meribel and La Tania from the 18th February onwards. Hopefully we will be welcoming you to the 3 Valleys soon!
One of the best things about a Chalet Holiday is coming back to your warm cosy Chalet after a day on the slopes and tucking into a freshly baked afternoon tea cake. Our guests are always asking for our recipes, so after much persuasion, our brilliant Resort Manager Tom let us in on his trade secrets and has allowed us to publish his recipes.
This week it’s a firm favourite… CHOCOLATE CAKE!
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 to 40 minutes
Ingredients: * 1 pot plain yoghurt
* 1 pot sugar
* 3 eggs
* ¾ pot vegetable oil
* 2 pots raising flour
* 1 pot cocoa powder
* 1 tsp raising agent
For the icing: * 70g icing sugar, sifted
* 30g cocoa powder
* 3 tbsp warm water
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4.
2. Brush a round cake tin with melted butter and dust with flour.
3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl & whisk, ensuring that the mixture is very smooth.
4. Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes in the oven.
5. Allow to cool slightly and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
6. For the icing place the coco and icing sugar add the water a little at time mixing until smooth then spread over the cake.
7. Dust with icing sugar or decorate like our fabulous Chalet Host Chloe from Chalet Chez Menor did for Christmas.
As 2016 comes to a close we are looking ahead to the New Year and eagerly anticipating snow. The snow and weather conditions in the 3 Valleys at present are the best in the French Alps. The team looking after the pistes really are performing miracles with the aid of cold temperatures and numerous snow canons.
We have been zooming around the 3 Valleys ski area this week to get you some footage and live information on what the pistes are actually like. Yesterday we skied the new blue run “Lory” snaking its’ way down to Orelle (the 4th hidden Valley) and it was fantastic! Well maintained, plenty of snow cover and quiet, this run drops in from the top of Thorens gondola, a beautiful hidden gem for cutting the lift queues to Orelle.
Our chosen route started by dropping into the Val Thorens valley and taking the new Stade chair lift up to the top, we hung a sharp left to join “Lauzes”. At the bottom, we took the Portette chair lift up, hoped on the 3-car gondola “Thorens” and took a left down “Lory”.
The 3 Valleys zip wire also goes across this little valley and gives you the perfect view of all the dare devils zipping their way across a shear drop!
On our way, back to Meribel we stopped to take in the sunset at the top of the Pas du lac chair lift. From here you can access the Creux dropping down into Courchevel. This run is fabulous at the moment and continues down to the bottom of the Aiguille du Fruit chair lift between 1650 and 1850.
Snow/weather forecast for the week…
Temperatures are at a high of minus 3 degrees and lows of minus 5, winds are at a high of 10kmph making the wind chill as low as minus 9. We have clear skies until Monday, where the clouds will slowly start to move in, Le Meteo are predicting light snow from Friday the 6th.
The Meribel valley currently has a reading of 15cm of snow at 1800m and 72cm of snow at 2700m.
The Courchevel Valley currently has a reading of 11cm at 1800m and 69cm at 2700m.
Avalanche risk is still 2/5 please remain on the piste due to the thin snow coverage and rocks off piste.
Credit to: Snowforecast.com
What’s on this week NYE count down…
Saturday 31st December
You’re so 2017: Follie Douce all day party
5:30 – 7:30pm: 70th Birthday of ESF – La Chaudanne
6 pm to 7.30pm: Meribel and Meribel Village Torch-light descent and firework display
COUNT DOWN TO THE NEW YEAR!
10pm – 1.30 am: Olympic Centre Ice-Rink Disco including 3 DJs
10pm: La Taverne – Bubble and Crisp
Scott’s Bar – Sian Hayley Smith
10:30pm: Olympic Centre Ice Rink – Audible 1, DJ Danz, DJ Kaya
11pm: Doron Pub – Wingmen, DJ Kaya Jack’s Bar – DJ Kaya, Audible 1, DJ Danz
1:30am: Evolution – Hobo Chic
NEW YEARS EVE
Torch lit decent for children – register at the Tourism office to join in.
Free Vin Chaud and hot chocolate available, followed by another torch lit decent performed by the local ski instructors.
10pm: Le Ski Lodge – BRING YOUR SISTERS
10.30pm – 1am : SNOW PARTY In front of the tourist office finishing with Fireworks.
Sunday 1st January
2pm – 4.30pm:
Complementary Hot Chocolate at La Chaudanne
5pm: Jack’s Bar – Twin Kill
6pm: English speaking Church service at Notre-Dame des Neiges Mussillon
Live Music 10pm: Evolution – Wingmen
10:30pm: Jack’s Bar – Shamless
11pm: Doron Pub – DJ Kaya
4.30 – 5.30pm: Free Beaufort cheese and hot chocolate in front of the tourist office.Live Music
10pm: Live wire unplugged – la Taïga
Monday 2nd January
8pm – 11 pm: Ice Hockey – Gala Match, Meribel vs USA University at the Olympic Ice-Rink.
Adult: 15 €, Child: 10 €.10pm: Evolution – The Mardy Johnny Depps
O’Sullivans – The Slopes
JRBB at Chrome Bar
5pm: Real Relish – la Taïga
Tuesday 3rd January
10am – 4pm: Initiation to Biathlon – opportunity to try out Biathlon for free on the Altiport snow front.Live Music 5pm: Jack’s Bar – Daisy B10pm: Evolution – Hobo ChicScott’s Bar – Alex Davies
Doron Pub – The Slopes
10.30am – 12pm
YOGA at the Performance hall. 16 € session.
Live Music 5pm: Freddy Fingers – La Taïga
10pm: The Money – Le Ski Lodge
Wednesday 4th January
9am – 5pm: Seasonaire Squad – an all day party for Seasonaires.
5pm: Jack’s Bar – The Mardy Johnny Depps
Rond Point – Bubble & Crisps
11pm: Doron Pub – Wingmen
Live Music 5pm: Le Ski Lodge – The Sean Jackson Band10pm: La Taïga – Al Jones
Thursday 5th January
Mountain Movers AUDIBLE 15pm: Jack’s Bar – Thrill Collins
Welcome to your weekly weather report and resort update direct from the Alpine Action Team in Meribel and La Tania. We are pleased to announce the 3 Valleys is officially open and our first guests of the season are arriving tomorrow. Connecting links across the ski area are operating with 153 lifts open today.
The weather has been wonderful with sun shining every day and that crisp cold air that makes you want to wrap up warm in your Winter woollies. The lowest recorded temperature is a chilling -5 degrees, reaching a high of 7 degrees in the daytime.
These chilling conditions have enabled the 3 Valleys fairies to keep working their magic and maintain a promise of guaranteed skiing throughout the Winter Season with plenty of snow making 24/7.
The Meribel valley currently has a reading of 14cm of snow at resort level (1800m) and 60cm at Altitude (2700m).
The Courchevel valley currently has a reading of 14cm of snow at resort level (1800m) and 61cm at Altitude (2700m)
Avalanche risk is between 1-2 out of 5
Below are the most recent readings from SnowForecast.com
We want to keep you up to date with weekly events and happenings in the 3 valleys so here are some of the best bits to get you in the winter holiday spirit…
What’s on this week
Week: 12 – 17th
Evolution Bar featuring:
Hobo Chic and Max Le Sax 10pm
Ski lodge: High Jives 10pm
Ice hockey – Olympic centre: 8:30pm
Le Rond Point featuring:
DJs Bubble and Crisp
Jacks Bar featuring:
Wingmen + The Mardy Jonny Depps
Apres at Ski Lodge with the Killerbeez 5pm
Giant Slalom with ESF Ski School 1pm at Stade de l’Aigle
Lodge du Village featuring:
Bring Your Sisters, 10pm
Mountain Movers event Jack Beats playing live.
Apres with bring Your Sisters 5pm
Open mic night 10pm with
Daisy B and Tom
Apres with The Marivaux 5pm
Evolution: 10pm Open mic night with Bring Your Sisters and co
It is never too late to book a ski holiday and if you fancy clipping into your skis or strapping on your board then check out our website Alpine Action for more information on our chalets and services. If you fancy a spontaneous last minute Christmas trip enabling you to ski your socks off on Christmas day, check out our Meribel tab for more information.