Category Archives: Tips

Guests Tips – Making the most out of The 3 Vallées.

Guests Tips – Making the most out of The 3 Vallées 3valleys

We asked our Facebook fans and guests how they make the most of a ski holiday in the 3 Valleys. The best tip won a helmet and a pair of goggles thanks to our friends at the Meribel North Face ski hire. 

Winning Post – Jonny L Vacca  – The more time you spend on lifts in 3vallees the better the run down! I find if I spend a lot of time getting lifts to the very peak I can have a 30 minute run down to the bottom with varying pistes and challenges!

Chelsea Taylor – Always have a hip flask!

Joe SirDrinksalot Walbyoff – Have a couple (or more) of drinks in pub le ski lodge down in La Tania!!

Ed Dalgleish – Mountain burger.

Sophie Milne – challenge yourself to the black mogel field just above the la follie douce, 8 mins, no one on the group falls that means a cheeky beer and boogie! If someone fails back up the chair! Great way to challenge yourselves! Val T!

Bradley Michael Wigglesworth –  Don’t miss the last lift from Les Menuires to Val Thorens, did it 2 days on the trot!!!

Tony Smith – Having just come back from the 3 valleys yesterday, I’d say my top tip is get out there and enjoy yourself, if there’s someone in your group that wants to stay at the hotel bar then let them, get out on the first lift ski/board hard and go up on the last lift, make the most of it, there’s so much to see and you’ll be on your way home before you know it, but most importantly have some fun that’s what it’s all about.

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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.


Boot Room Etiquette

Boot Room Etiquettealpine action chalet holiday boot room

Boot Rooms can be a confusing place and it is hard to know what the rules are. To help you here is our guide to using a boot room and not making a fool of yourself.

  1. Always put your skis back in the same slot. This is super helpful if you have identical hire skis.
  2. Keep a pair of indoor shows in the boot room. At the end of the day the floor can get a bit wet and enjoying your afternoon tea cake is no fun if your socks are wet.
  3. Make space. if you are dressed and have all your kit on make a move outside if possible.
  4. Don’t leave your coats in the boot room hang them up in the cloakroom.
  5. If trays are provided for your equipment then pop them in. It will keep the floor dryer and help with number 2.
  6. Make sure you take advantage of the boot warmer and if you are staying in a chalet without a diligent host then make sure you turn it on to avoid the disappointment in the morning.
  7. The boot warmer is for boots, not gloves.
  8. Leave your poles with your skis. There is nothing worse than getting to the top of the hill with a childs set of sticks.
  9. Before entering the boot room check you have your ski pass. Scenario one is you have to take your boots of an go back in for it, scenario two means making your freinds wait at the bottom of the lift as you go back to the chalet, take off your boots and get it.
  10. Don’t sleep in the boot room if you can’t remember the code to get in, it is the coldest place in the chalet.

To book a chalet with a great boot room take a look at our chalets in Meribel and LaTania.


Get ski fit for your ski holiday

Get ski fit for your Alpine Action ski holiday in 4 weeks – Video

Ski for longer and ski better

10 minute ski fit workout for Alpine Action from fitness guru Bay Fitness.

Get ready for skiing and improve your muscular endurance, flexibility, strength and mobility so you can ski for longer and ski better.

Start these exercise 4 weeks before your trip and do each exercise for 1 minute everyday.

If you’re not to fit to start with you can perform each exercise for 20 seconds and build up until you can manage the full minute.

Exercise One – The Running Man
Exercise Two – Curtsey Lunge
Exercise Three – Side Step Squat
Exercise Four – Yoga Long Lunge
Exercise Five – Parallel Ski Jump
Exercise Six – Lunge and High Kick
Exercise Seven – Forward Diametric Jump
Exercise Eight – The Hindu Squat
Exercise Nine – The Dance of Warrior Two
Exercise Ten – Lunge and Rotate
Ski with www.alpineaction.co.uk

Get ski fiit with www.bayfitness.co.uk


7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

whiteout skiing7 reasons why whiteouts are fun

You wake up in your ski chalet, you look out the window and all you can see is white cloud.  You think to yourself “bugger” and you get back into bed. As you lie in bed you think about going back to sleep and having a lie in, you are on holiday after all. You can hear the chalet host setting up for breakfast and other gusts getting ready to go out. You start to feel guilty and start working out how much the lift pass costs and how much your lie in is worth.  Reluctantly you get out of bed and start dressing for the day at the same time you convince yourself that it is low cloud and that it is bright and sunny up top, probably with a light dusting of snow.

Don’t be downhearted there are lots of ways to have fun in a white out.

1. Trees

Head for the runs that carve through the tree line. There you will find plenty of shade to mark out the piste and the contours.

2. Guilt free lunch

That’s right. You probably wont burn of your lunch today however you can take your time over it. Without feeling guilty that you are not making the most of the perfect conditions.

3. Loose the slow ones

Sometimes you have a few slow mates that you feel duty bound to ski with. Use the flat light as camouflage to accidently on purpose loose them and have a day hooning around.

4. Imagine the adversity of others

We all know the story of  Scott of the Antarctic.  While he never had the luxury of a Folie Douce, piste patrol or chair lifts, he did have his share of poor weather conditions.  Use the whiteout to imagine what it must have been like to face the epic struggle that he went through, then go to the pub.

5. Appear knowledgeable

A whiteout is the perfect time to show your ski knowledge and tell anyone who will listen that the piste markers on with the orange tops should always be on your left to ensure you are in the middle of the piste. Or is it the right?

6. Create a story

When you get home remember know one wants to know about the blue run you skied 8 times in a row. They will be much more interested in the tale about you loosing your partner of the side of a run only for you to have to walk back up, locating them with squeals of “help I am in a hole”, which you dig them out of while laughing at their misfortune.

7. Extended apres ski

Pretty self explanatory. Remember you will regret this when tomorrow is a fresh powder day with blue skies.

 

By Jim Duncombe


5 things to lookout for during spring in the Alps

5 things to lookout for during spring in the Alps

1. Marmots

Every time you enter a souvenir shop in the Alps you will get whistled at. Sadly this is never the owner showing appreciation for your slightly faded, shell suit esque ski jacket. The whistling is coming from a toy marmot.  If you are the sort of person who doesn’t believe it is possible to get good snow during April and will only ski during January when the temperature can get as low as -20, you will have never had the chance to see a marmot. These animals hibernate so we miss them for much of the ski season, but they come out just at the end.

marmot

2. Sunburn

As a responsible ski tour operator we suggest that you lookout for sunburn, make sure you put suncream on  to stop you burning and keep your skin covered up. The suns rays are much stronger at altitude so the risk of burning is higher. And, if you follow our suggestion then you can smugly look out for other idiots that have  terrible sunburn and look stupid.

sunburn, google marks

3. Cheap stuff

 Need a new pair of skis? Want a new ski jacket? Have your snowboard trousers lost their waterproof? Why not combine a ski trip with a shopping trip?  Once the season starts to draw to an end then the shops start trying to get rid of what they havent sold. This means SALES. The discounting isn’t just on clothes and equipment. Some bars start to get rid of their excess booze too, you may even find yourself attending a “drink the bar dry” party.

meribel ski shop

4. Puddles

I know we have said that the snow is great at the end of the season. However  true it is that there can be great dumps of snow in April,  sometimes it can be a bit hot and cause a puddle or two… but puddles and skiing can be fun…

5. amazing dumps of snow

We can’t guarantee the weather but in our experience there are always a  good few dumps during the last few weeks of the season. This is often followed by a bluebird day. The sad thing is that many people choose to miss this time of year and then miss out on these amazing warm powder days. Or maybe it is a good thing as it means that only me and anyone who bothered to read to the end of this article will be out there.

 

We have a few beds left for  you to come spring skiing. http://www.alpineaction.co.uk/special-offers-last-minute.htm

 


Why you may need ski insurance

Why you may need ski insurance 

I was asked to write a piece to help promote our ski insurance partner Fogg. Tasked with writing what would be dull blog using words such as policy, certificates, claims and compensation. Not to mention the boring phrases such as multi-trip insurance and Financial conduct Authority. I must point out at this point that even though Insurance policies can be as interesting as dishwasher instructions I would suggest that you read them before you hand over your cash. And on that note I would also suggest that you read your dishwasher instructions.  So in my attempt to make this a slightly interesting article I will focus on what may cause you to need to call your insurer.

I have worked in ski resorts for many years and in those years I have seen many tourists need to call the insurance companies to help them out.  I shall start with the most obvious, breaking something. On one occasion I was sitting on a lift heading up the mountains. During my journey up I spotted a guest that was holidaying with the company I was working for. They had just strapped into their snowboard and were stood up stationary when unexpectedly they fell over, which is quite a normal occurrence for a snowboarder. Later that day I discovered that that gentle fall had resulted in a broken wrist. I have experienced many more of these sort of incidents. One fall that happened to a friend was the classic, step of the bus, slip and break collarbone.

MyLegWithPlate

In my previous life I worked as a resort manager for a large tour op. During one week a guest felt ill and went off to seek advice from a doctor. I asked a rep to check in and find out if the guest was recovering and feeling better. Later in the week we discovered the guest had caught meningitis, fortunately a full recovery was made, but a long stay in hospital followed.

During one winter I remember a break-in that happened to a nearby chalet. All the equipment was taken, leaving the guest with nothing to ski with. Fortunately they were covered by their insurance and were able to hire newski kit the next day, as well as pay back the disgruntled hire shop owner.

A very surprising insurance pay out happened when I was working in a hotel in the Three Valleys. Interestingly enough this happened to a seasonnaire who was working as a chef, I also happen to know that he was insured for the season by Fogg. One afternoon, the previously mentioned chef, had done his laundry and then headed to work with his dry clean clothes. For some reason the chef carried these freshly laundered garments in a black bin bag, which he left by the back door to the kitchen. At the end of the shift they were nowhere to be found. Theft he claimed, stupidity countered the insurance company, but the reimbursed him in the end. I must confess at this point that I suspect it was me who threw them in the bin, but if you will leave a bin bag on the floor, it will get tidied up.

If you are thinking about getting insurance for your ski trip then we would like to recommend Fogg, please click here to see more facts about their insurance. Should you choose to be uninsured and leave your clothes in a bin bag then you will have a very cold holiday.


Great Gifts from the Alps

Great Gifts from the Alps

When it comes to gift buying, the reality is that some people can spot the perfect present a mile off and some cannot. I bought my mother a VHS copy of Cilla Black’s Blind Date out-takes for Christmas 1994, and thanks to the ‘International Registry’ my Dad is allegedly the proud owner of a star in the night sky. I’ll leave you to work out the physics behind that… suffice it to say that I’m pretty useless at present-buying!

My gift-buying woes fall by the wayside once or twice a year though, and are replaced by a veritable sea of inspiration! Gifts for everyone from my boyfriend to my Great Aunt abound, and even the cat gets a treat! In case you haven’t already guessed, I am of course talking about Grenoble airport’s Duty Free shopping area where, on my way home from another wonderful ski holiday each year, I am faced with one perfect gift idea after another.

Let’s say, for instance, it’s mid-February. You’re on your way home with your mates after an epic week hitting the slopes and bars of Meribel, and you know Grandma’s birthday is coming up. You’re strolling through the departure lounge wondering what to do then suddenly, like Newton with his apple or the bloke that invented the hula hoop, inspiration strikes. What could give Grandma greater joy in her dotage, what could put a broader smile on her face, than a whistling marmot toy? Listen to his whistle! It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

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What about for that special someone in your life, your boy or girlfriend, husband or wife? How can you best express the depth of your feelings towards him or her? You could certainly never tell them how strongly you feel about them… words can only do so much. Again, inspiration will strike amongst the magazines, gin and chocolate of Grenoble airport’s Duty Free lounge – a stuffed St Bernard! He may not have an in-built speaker like the marmot, but one look into his eyes will tell your girlfriend all she needs to know about how you feel.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the best of these tax-discounted gift ideas come in the form of various stuffed toys… but how wrong you’d be! Let’s say your friends have a new baby and you want to express your happiness for them – how better to do it than with a foot long bar of Toblerone?! Baby can enjoy hours of carefree fun trying to open the package and when finally he succeeds, what joy! A chocolatey treat for him to munch on! (When he gets teeth of course.)

Few culinary delights match the gentle aroma of those wonderful French cheeses, and isn’t it such a joy to be out in the Alps tasting them anew! Those petit producteurs in the Alps spend months producing and ageing their fromage to perfection, and the Grenoble airport cheese counter is the perfect place to buy your sister’s gift. “Nothing cheesey,” she said! Ha! Imagine her face when she unwraps your gift to find it’s actual cheese! You’ll be talking about that one for years, assuming the stench gets past the sniffer dogs at the other end.

You’re heading home from your March ski break with mates when suddenly you remember, Uncle Phil has just successfully completed his Alcoholics Anonymous course – he’s been off the booze for 6 full months! With family and friends around him in support, what better way to toast to his success than a refreshing bottle of Genepy?! Ahh, the spirit of the Alps in a bottle, and yours for a wonderfully discounted duty free price. He’ll be over the moon!

However you choose to mark your ski holiday, a small gift to a loved one or relative who wasn’t able to join you will show them that they were always in your mind. So next time you’re returning from a week’s skiing, remember to save a few Euros up for a spot of Duty Free shopping. With gifts as high quality as these, you’ll be the talk of the town for months!

 


Insider Tips on How to Make the Most of the Three Valleys

Insider Tips on How to Make the Most of the Three Valleys.

The Three Valleys ski area sits in the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps, and is home to some of the country’s finest ski resorts. From Courchevel in the east, through la Tania, Meribel, Mottaret, St Martin de Belleville, les Menuires and then Val Thorens, the Three Valleys boasts the largest lift-linked ski area in Europe and is quite simply some of the most exciting terrain you could ever hope to ski.

From complete beginners through to world-class skiers and snowboarders, the Three Valleys has slopes suitable for all, and with so many resorts to explore the range of accommodation options here is spectacular. But the question is, whether you’re there for just a week’s holiday or you’re working there the entire winter ski season, how can you make the most of the mighty Three Valleys?!

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Pistes for all Levels

 Beginner skiers in the Three Valleys can find a number of areas which are perfect for comfortable progression. Meribel’s Altiport takes pride of place as the single best part of the Three Valleys for learner skiers. Gently rolling, broad, sheltered and long, it’s just the most fantastic place to master those all-important first turns. Aside from that, Courchevel 1850 and the nursery slope under Val Thorens town centre are also superb.

Intermediates looking for long, undulating terrain can focus on the area between Courchevel 1850 and Moriond, where the pistes flow down between the pines and exploration is a joy. The Meribel valley is well suited to intermediate cruising as well, especially on the Saulire side. The approach down into Mottaret is steeper, the perfect place to push yourself. The fantastic selection of blue and red pistes around the les Menuires and Val Thorens end of the Three Valleys are also ideally suited to intermediate skiers and boarders. In

Advanced skiers looking to get real mileage under their skis can challenge themselves to ski lift-to-lift and get right across the Three Valleys and back in time for après ski. Although it’s perfectly doable if you’re quick enough, you don’t want to get caught out the wrong side of a ridge as those taxis are pricey! Highlights include the red Jerusalem piste down towards St Martin and the Folyeres run down into La Tania. If you want a real challenge, try skiing from the Saulire peak all the way to either Courchevel le Praz or Meribel Village non-stop!

Off Piste; the Highlights

First things first – if you’re going off piste then pack a probe and transceiver and hire a guide! That said, read on. Everybody who knows the Three Valleys well will have their own favourite spots to head to when the powder is fresh, and this is a huge ski area so few people know them all!

A highlight from this writer involves starting at the Saulire peak and heading down the steep couloir above Meribel. Once through the couloir, stay right and stay high – you can traverse the entire mountainside off piste all the way down to the point where it re-joins the piste.

Another great of piste track starts at the Tougnete peak – in fresh snow you can drop in near there and bounce though fluffy powder all the way to St Martin! This run has its pitfalls though and a guide is highly recommended.

Over in Val Thorens, one spectacular bit of back country is accessed from the top of the Boismint chair. Once you reach the top, climb up and over the ridge in front of you and drop in. Following the valley along its natural course, you pop out at the bottom and can head off to the right to catch the base of the Plan de l’Eau chairlift.

Back in the Meribel valley, from the top of the Saulire gondola you can ski to the enormous rock that sits on the Courchevel/Meribel border, take a right and traverse past the edge of the piste. From here you can pick your line carefully and ride down the mountain off piste all the way to Meribel Mottaret!

Terrain Parks

In a nutshell, there are two outstanding parks in the Meribel Valley; the Moon Park and the DC Area 43 Snowpark. Both offer a superb range of hits and kickers, though the Moon Park is slightly smaller. Both parks are within easy reach of Meribel Centre, heading in the direction of les Menuires.

There’s also a fantastic snow park in Val Thorens, located under the Plateau lift.

Après ski and Nightlife

The best après ski and nightlife in the Three Valleys is found in Meribel centre, Courchevel Moriond and Val Thorens. Apres ski bars such as the Folie Douce in Val Thorens or the infamous Rond Point in Meribel are perfect places to enjoy a drink and a dance at the end of your ski day.

For late night partying, Malaysia nightclub in Val Thorens and Dicks Tea Bar in Meribel are highlights, with regular sets from international DJs as well as various club nights throughout the week.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a bit of peace and tranquillity, villages such as Courchevel le Praz, la Tania and St Martin have very little of the nightlife of their noisier neighbours and are the perfect antidote to all that silly dancing!

Ski Schools

In general, the level of tuition you can expect in the Three Valleys is very good. With the ESF operating across the board and an excellent selection of international ski schools to choose from as well, classes for all levels and pursuits are readily available. Whether you’re looking for beginner lessons in the hope of learning the basics or hoping to progress to parallel turns on skis, keen to master mogul fields on your board or push yourself past your plateau, the sheer range of tuition options in the Three Valleys means you’ll find the right classes to meet requirements.

Overall however, the two resorts offering the highest quality tuition are Courchevel and Meribel. It’s in these resorts that the best beginner slopes can be found, and it’s here that the best of the best ski schools are based.


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