Category Archives: Tips

How to stay safe on the slopes

How to stay safe on the slopes

How many of you know that there is a code of conduct for all slope users? In 2002 the Federation International de Ski (FIS) introduced a code that all skiers, snowboarder, telemarkers and all other disciplines should follow. Take our short quiz to see how much you know.

Quick FIS ski code quiz

Question #1: Which side can you overtake on?Question #2: According to the FIS what does respect for others mean?

Question #3: Where should you not stop on a piste?

Question #4: If you witness an accident what must you do?

Question #5: Where must you look before starting to ski on a piste?

How did you get on? You really should have scored 100% in that quiz. However, whatever your score you should still refresh your memory of what is in the code of conduct for skiers and snowboarders.

Respect for others – Every mountain user must conduct them self in a manner that does not prejudice or endangers others.

Skiing or snowboarding within your ability and conditions – At all times you must be in control of your movements allowing for the conditions and traffic on the piste.

Choice of route – The person on the slope below has the right of way. This means the uphill skier or snowboarder must choose a route that does not endanger the person below.

Overtaking – Overtaking is permitted from any direction. The person that is overtaking must allow enough space should the other person perform a voluntary or involuntary movement.

Entering or starting to ski on a piste – When entering a piste or starting to ski or snowboard from a stationary position on a piste, you must look up and down the slope and make sure it is safe to move.

Stopping on the slopes – Unless it is unavoidable you must never stop in a narrow section of the piste or in a place where there is restricted visibility. Should you fall at any point you should move to the side of the run when it is safe to do so.

Walking – Should you find the need to walk up or down the mountain you should do so at the side of the slope.

Follow signs and marking – Please take notice and follow directions on all signs and information boards.

Help others – you are duty bound to assist where possible at any accident involving fellow slope users.

Identification – If you witness an accident or are involved in one you must identify yourself and exchange details.

This code will help you and others stay safe on the mountains. So please follow them and make sure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.


Tip of the week #6

Following the huge amount of snow that has fallen in the ThreeValleys we thought POWDER tips would be appropriate.

~ If you are skiing:
Make sure you make a positive pole plant in powder. It gives you timing and rhythm and is an essential part of off piste skiing.

~If you are snowboarding:
Lean back, keep the front tip out of the snow. That back leg will ache a little if you are doing it properly. Use the balls of your feet more for turning. A lot like surfing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-9A0BPhkYs

POW POW POW – enjoy and remember to always be safe!


Tip of the week #5

Safety on the slopes – Essential bits of equipment for the off piste skier or boarder.

Avalanche airbag – all airbags have a handle located on one of the shoulder straps for activating the airbag, if you are even caught in an avalanche you will pull on the handle which causes the airbag to inflate and will keep you from going under.

Transceiver – An avalanche transceiver can be used to receive a signal from a possible avalanche victim, it will allow you to quickly pinpoint their location in the snow and dig them out ASAP.

Avalanche probe – Avalanche probes help you pinpoint the exact location of an avalanche victim and to measure the burial depth.

A shovel. for off piste

We have done a little research, the best combined price we could find was around £900 

It may sound a lot but remember you can’t put a price on a life.


Tip of the week #4

How to survive a whiteout/bad visibility on the slopes this season!

When visibility is poor on the slopes, it’s not just about the nerves, you just cannot see where you are going, it can be dangerous and frightening.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: That the piste poles on the right hand side of the piste all have orange tips. So stay close and move down from one to the next, keeping to the left of these “orange” poles. If you stay to the left of the right side poles you will ALWAYS be on the piste. How do you think the experienced appear so calm, it’s not easy for anyone in poor visibility.

 whiteout


Tip of the week #3

Pre-book your ski hire online for Meribel or La Tania, when staying in one of our chalets and you can get up to 30% discount. Delivery service offered by all the companies we use. Please feel free to ask for more information.

2586347 The Skier


Tip of the week #2

When at the mountain restaurants, you will see locals and the instructors ordering and enjoying the “Plat du Jour” or the special dish of the day. It is often the best value and the freshest food on sale.We would recommend trying it yourself.

Warning: Andouillette or diots au vin blanc, (tripe sausages) this is not recommended as this is an acquired taste.

 Plat du Jour

 

 


10 things that make a great chalet holiday.

10 things that make a great chalet holiday.

Back in the year 1846 if someone suggested a ski chalet holiday you would visibly shudder. This is because way back then we associated ski holidays with cold bedrooms, no mobile signal, spaghetti bolognaise six nights a week and burnt porridge. This has changed dramatically and we now expect at least hot water. This is our guide to 10 things that make a great chalet.

En-suite – Walking down the hall in your towel and hoping that no one will see you is something that backpackers are happy to put up with. It is not something that should be endured on a ski holiday. That is why having an en-suite is a must have for most ski tourists.

Wi-Fi – We all like to think that we are highflyers and that the office just won’t be able to cope without us. This makes staying in touch essential. Well… the truth is that we want to add our photos to Facebook to prove how good our holiday is. Also, who can resist uploading a video of them skiing to Youtube, although this shouldn’t be encouraged.

Boot warmers – “Who needs heated boots, what a wussy thing to need”. These were my words before I had experienced the sensation of a heated boot. I remember how I felt the first time I slipped my feet into snug, dry and warm boots that were fresh from the heater. The experience was almost sensual and full of guilt. If you asked me to sum up boot warmers I would say they are the most essential unessential thing you will ever use.

UK TV – Ever since the advent of TV they have been put in all hotel rooms. Normally, when you are abroad this is a pointless, obsolete item in the corner, unless you happen to be fluent in the local language, or have a passion for the BBC World service. So having UK television channels when on holiday is a lot more useful. It may not have the weather for where you are, but at least you know what time the weather will be on.

DVD Player – If being able to watch Eastenders isn’t your idea of fun then maybe settling down to watch a film is. A DVD player is also for popping on a Skiing film and inspiring yourself to attempt a 720 Rodeo in the park or to hike into the back country. Maybe you haven’t seen your friends you are staying with for a while. If so this is the perfect opportunity to put on your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD.

Hot Tub – Nothing says luxury more than sharing a bubbling bath with your friends. That is why so many chalets have one. Sure it can be an awkward place to meet strangers, in your speedos, outside in the chilly night air. But once the other bubbles start fizzing into your mouth there is no better way to relax after a long day skiing.

Table Tennis – In 1994 the movie ‘Forest Gump’ hit our screens. This changed the profile of Table Tennis for ever. But what does having a Table Tennis table in your chalet say about you? It says I’m sporty and want to continue that into the evening of my holiday, but I’m not stupid, it’s cold out there. It also says, I’m staying in a chalet with space and every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.

Selection of Games – If you are one of the lucky ones and have booked to stay in a chalet that has a DVD player and a selection of games, then after your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD, you can settle down to a harmonious game of Monopoly or Jenga.  But what does booking into a chalet with a selection of board games say about you? It says, I’m staying in a chalet with not quite as much space needed for a Table Tennis table but every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.

Sauna – A Sauna is a great place to conduct meetings, everyone knows that. In fact most of the Alpine Action resort staff meetings are held in a sauna. Which explains why the minutes always come back with water drip marks and wrinkled edges. When not being used for meetings, saunas are a great way to relax and ease the pain in your muscles from mogul training. See what we did there!

Catered – No catered ski holiday would be complete without catering. Without catering it becomes a self-catered holiday and who wants that? You could always eat out but what sort of person likes to dine out on a three course meal of potatoes and cheese for seven nights in a row? Of course catering not only means that’s you don’t have to cook during your holiday, it also means that you don’t have to wash up. Unless you foolishly volunteer, some people do.

Our chalets have many of these features. All of our chalets have en-suite rooms, Wi-Fi, UK-TV, DVD players and excellent catering. To find out which of our chalets feature other luxury’s such as the Table Tennis table then go to our La Tania or Meribel chalet pages.


A to Z of Meribel

A to Z of Meribel

A is for Après Ski – One of France’s finest destinations for after skiing partying. Check out the Folie Douce and the mighty Ronnie for good times.

B is for British – Possible the most British resort you can go to. There are numerous British run bars and travel operators. You can even get a Full English if you get bored of the petit dejeuner. It was even founded by a Brit.

C is for Chalets – There are loads and loads of chalets in Meribel, which is one of the reasons that we have our chalets there.

D is for Dicks Tea Bar – If you like to drink and dance late into the night in a ski resort then you have probably been to Dicks. The name has no reflection on the sort of people that frequent the establishment.

E is for Ecureuil – One of our wonderful chalets that is located in Meribel Centre. The chalet comes complete with an outdoor hot tub as well as a sauna and steam room.

F is for Family – Meribel tries very hard to be a Family friendly resort and it succeeds very well.  It has excellent areas for all ages to learn to ski. It also holds regular free family events and offers free skiing for the under fives.

G is for Golf – In the summer Meribel has a great high altitude golf course and remains a buzzing alpine village. It also has two crazy golf courses open at the same time.

H is for Huge – Meribel is part of the Three Valleys which is probably the biggest ski area in the world.

I is for Independent – Meribel has one of the biggest collection of independent chalet companies, just like us.

J is for Jagerbombs – More Jagerbombs are sold in Meribel than any other ski resort in France. This is a made up fact but is probably true.

K is for Knitted Beanie – If you aren’t wearing one then you aren’t cool.

L is for Long – The cable car from Brides Les Bain takes 25 minutes, this is a long time to spend on a cable car. You are better off staying in one of our chalets right in the centre.

M is for Moon Park – This is Méribel’s infamous freestyle park, there are jumps, rails and boardercross areas for all abilities. You can have a go or watch the experts practice their stuff.

N is for Nightlife – I know we have mentioned après and night clubs but one of the big attractions of Meribel is the great night life.

O is for Oligarch – Well, lack of them. Unlike neighboring Courchevel, Meribel has been left alone by the Russian billionaires. However, they do ski through from time to time.

P is for Patinoire – This is Meribel’s indoor ice rink that was built to host the 1992 Winter Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament. It is open every day from 5pm to 7pm for public skating and costs €7.5 per person

Q is for Queue – Meribel is often said to be full of lift queues especially in the centre. We can’t deny that it can get quite busy in Meribel, but the rumours are much worse than the reality.

R is for Red Runs – In Meribel there are 93 miles of piste, 30% of those runs are red. The other 70% is made up of 11% green, 12% black and 47% blue.

S is for Seasonnaire – It could be said that Meribel is the spiritual home of the British Seasonnaire. It is defiantly in the top three favourite resorts to do a season in.

T is for Train – Meribel is one of the few major resorts easily accessed by train from the UK. You can get the Eurostar direct to Moutier and from there it is only a 20 minute transfer to resort.

U is for Underground – That’s right Meribel has lots of underground parking. Which is great should you want to drive and then not have to dig your car out of all the snow at the end of the week.

V is for Vallon – Mont Vallon is Meribel’s highest ski area and opened 25 years ago.

W is for Women – This year Meribel is hosting a stage of Audi FIS Women’s Downhill World Cup.

X is for X-Games – How great would it be if the X-Games came to Meribel?

Y is for Youtube – Not been to Meribel? Then check out it’s awesomeness by having a look on Youtube. Click here for videos.

Z is for zzzz – All our chalets are so comfy and you will ski so hard that you will sleep like a chalet host on their day off.

 


The Alpine Action guide to keeping warm when skiing

The Alpine Action guide to keeping warm when skiing

Cold is a key ingredient that is needed to make a ski holiday great. It helps turn precipitation into snow and also stops the snow melting. The problem is that evolution and fashion has decided that we humans should be pretty much hairless and this makes us poorly designed to deal with extremely low temperatures.  The solution to stop getting cold is to stop skiing, but as we have already mentioned skiing is great, which means that we thrill seeking humans have developed many ways of remaining warm while sliding down mountains for recreation.  This is the Alpine Action guide on how to keep warm whilst skiing.

 Warm Clothing

According to the US army’s 1970’s survival manual 45% of your heat is lost through ur head. Science has come a long way since then. The truth is that heat is lost in equal amounts across your body. A skier going out in only ski boots will lose as much heat from his head as he will his left buttock, however he will lose up to 80% of his dignity. With this in mind it is important to dress correctly all over.

Head – Wear a hat and a neck warmer, balaclavas are available but there are very few banks to rob in ski resorts, although you may do well to hold up one of the more exclusive bars in Courchevel.

Torso – Layering is the best option for warmth. Use thin, modern, breathable layers that will reduce sweating. If you are warming up remove a layer or two. If you are sweating more than you would in your chalet sauna then the chances are that you will get cold when you are on a chair lift as the sweat starts to freeze.

Hands – Fingered gloves are good for letting aggressive snowboarders know your feelings, mittens are good for keeping your hands warm.  When choosing your gloves or mittens make sure you are buying quality and that they are waterproof. Gloves that come with liners are also worth considering for those extra cold days.

Legs – If you are a bit rubbish at skiing or a snowboarder then you will probably spend a lot of time sitting down, if this is the case then you will want to invest in lined waterproof trousers.  Also you will want to have at least one layer in the form of thermal underwear.

Feet – Many of us will suffer from cold feet when skiing. An extra pair of socks is not the answer.  This our guide within a guide on how to keep your feet warm.

  1. Snug fitting boots. Too lose they will become cold. Too tight and the blood will stop         circulating, causing your feet to freeze up.
  2. Wear proper socks. A budget pack of five for £2 from Primark will not be good enough.
  3. Always put on warm dry boots.

Another tip for warm feet is change of socks during the middle of the day, keep a pair warm and dry in your pocket and the swap them over during lunch.

Find a Warm Place

In Meribel and the rest of the Three Valleys there are lot of wonderful mountain restaurants that are warm and cosy. So when you get cold take a moment to stop and warm up. Hot drinks will warm you up and will help bring your body temperature back up. When you have stopped at a lovely mountain restaurant or bar, don’t be fooled into thinking that a quick Genepy will warm you up as it won’t, despite what the locals say.

Plan a Warm Route

If you know it is going to be one of those extremely cold, sunless days on the mountain then plan a route that will keep you warm. Look on your piste map before heading out and stick to runs that you can access from bubbles, cable cars or covered chair lifts. These will give you a break from the cold and help you maintain the heat levels that you have worked up when carving perfect turns on the last run. Also factor in warm stops that we talked about previously.

Final Warming Tips

You could keep a pair of hand warmers in your pocket. These don’t cost very much, typically €3-€5. By bending them you create a chemical reaction that produces heat and will last for  about 8 hours, you can then keep them in your gloves or pockets. There are more expensive ways stay warm. If you have the cash, then invest in heated boots and jackets. Always keep an eye on your ski buddy for white spots on exposed skin as this is a sign of frost bite. Always start the day warm, don’t put on damp or cold clothes as you will never warm up enough to keep yourself warm and dry your clothes. And finally,our top tip, don’t fall over. Falling over and rolling around in the snow will make you wet and cold!

If you have got any tips on how to keep warm you would like to share please add your comments below.


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