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Skiing and snowboarding is all about anticipation

Skiing and snowboarding is all about anticipation

I am writing this at the end of the winter ski season,  which I have been anticipating for a while. As soon as it starts you start waiting for it to end. There is only one other sport that compares to the constant longing for the next thrill that you find with skiing and snowboarding and that is surfing. In some respects surfing has a more detailed set of things to anticipate as once you have overcome the wait for good waves you have the wait for the right one.

Now as the season in the Three Valleys comes to an end I have a decision to make, wait a bit or wait a bit longer. I am of course referring to the next time I get some snow under my feet. I know I will have to wait untill December to get back out the my spiritual home of Meribel. But there are other options. I could go to New Zealand, get a job instructing at one of the indoor slopes or maybe head out to a glacial reort like Tignes for the summer?

I am a planner and I would have made these decisions long ago if I was going to do then. That means I have a summer of anticipation ahead of me. Even more so as I plan to surf as much as I can this summer. It is a good job that both these pursuits are pleasurable as the constant anticipation could wear me down.

There is lots to wait for with skiing. First is that as of spring we all now have to wait for winter. During that time there is a lots to fill the mind. There is the anticipation of the signs that the winter season is on the way, the first is the start of the UK ski shows. If any will be worth attending is hard to gauge but they have all seen improvements in the last few years. Once those are over we can start to look forward to the resorts opening.

The next wait is for the first snowfall. Many people use this as an indicator to the season ahead but often this can be a false indicator. As the British know all to well weather is unpredictable. But what ever the conditions the resorts will open at the beginning of December, the resort staff will arrive throw open the chalet shutter and welcome their first guest. And from then on all there is to do is anticipate the next epic day on the mountains, the next bluebird day, the next awesome Apres ski party and of course the end of the season.

To start to look forward to your next ski holiday check out our website, it is full of great chalets in Meribel and La Tania.

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Three Valleys Charity Day Review

Three Valleys Charity Day Review

Wednesday the 9th April saw the highlight of the end of the season for many people – the 3 Valleys charity day in Meribel Village.

The event, which has run annually since 2002, raises money for two Cancer charities: Sebastian Action Trust, based in Hampshire in the UK and France’s Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer. A veritable institution, beloved of seasonnaires and visitors alike, this year’s event was a real triumph.

After months of planning, this year’s event began in earnest in the very small hours as some of the area’s old stagers gathered to fire up the hog roast, set up the sound system and fix up the bouncy castle. They were soon joined by the Retro-rentals team with their tasteful selection of fancy dress costumes – special mention goes to the girls who donned spandex as the Jamaican bobsleigh team!

By 2pm the day was in full swing. Legendary Après band Bring your Sisters played a rousing set, backed up by The Elements, Dirty Pigeons and many others. There was a curry stand, the Snowbugs kids zone and a BBQ, with our very own Operations Manager Ben Butler manning the tongs, trying desperately to prove that he can be allowed back in an Alpine Action kitchen.

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The highlight of the day was the final live music set from headline performers the Dub Pistols. The Rond Point and the Folie Douce have had some epic parties this season, LDV and the Ski Lodge have rocked to some brilliant bands but I don’t think there has been quite such a an amazing party in all the best bars in the 3 valleys this year. Every available bench, barrier, step and floor space was packed as the sun went down behind the ridge above Olympic and everyone, young and old, had a ball by the main stage in the centre of Meribel Village.

Special thanks must go to all those who made the day such a succcess, notably Ralph from Freeride who masterminded the day, and Debbie and Tim Wall who’s support has helped make the event the success story it is. Finally, let’s all keep in mind the two great causes that will benefit greatly from the event: The Sebastian Action Trust and the Ligue National contre le Cancer.


Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 12/4/2014

Three Valleys Snow Report – Weekending 12/4/2014

Today we welcome our final group of guests of the 2013/4 season. It’s flown by so fast I can hardly believe it.

And what a season it has been. After a slow start, January and February brought some of the best skiing conditions imaginable. With the snowpack almost 2metres thick for much of the season, even low altitude runs have been a joy to ski. Meanwhile higher up, there have been enough genuine powder days to satisfy even the most committed off-piste riders. Finally the last month in particular has been virtually wall-to -wall blue skies and sunshine, meaning hours of fun relaxing on glorious mountain terraces. It’s been a real privilege.

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While high temperatures and sunshine have been the norm throughout much of the week, and road bikes have begun appearing on the mountain roads in anticipation of the summer season, we’re not yet done with skiing. Last week did deliver a further 3-4 inches of snow above around 1800m, ensuring that there is still plenty of fun to be had on the piste. As you would expect at this time of year, some of the lower runs are starting with show the strain. The Village, Raffort and Maduit pistes have now been closed for the season, but there are still miles and miles of beautiful runs to enjoy. As you pass the pisteurs this week, do show your gratitude for the great work they have done in keeping the ski area in such comparatively good condition and then head of to make the most of the last week of a truly fantastic Winter season in Meribel and La Tania.


Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 8/3/14

Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 8/3/14

They say that the 1st of March is the 1st day of Spring. For guests arriving last Saturday the old saying proved to be spot on.

From stepping out of the arrivals hall on Saturday through to the journey back today, we have had 4.5 days of the best weather imaginable, with just enough snow over Monday and Tuesday to keep the pistes in the best condition. In fact, conditions on Thursday and Friday were so good that those with weary legs towards the end of the week were as likely to be found sunning themselves on the terrace at one of the mountain restaurants as they were to be carving their way down the pistes.
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Great as those kind of conditions are, they can sometimes be slightly bittersweet for those who come the following week. In the mountains in Winter, you know that overcast periods and snow will return sooner or later. Fortunately for those arriving today, forecasters predict that it will be later.

In fact, as things stand we are predicted to have a whole week of blue skies and sunshine ahead of us. Temperatures will be unseasonably mild during the day but still cold overnight . Beautiful.

If you fancy having a play in this snow check out our website for all our latest offers. www.alpineaction.co.uk. On some holidays we are offering up to 50% off.

This weeks report was written by our Resort Rep Rob Barttlet.


The Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 15/2/14

The Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 15/2/14

Last week I talked about how skiers always want Jekyll and Hyde weather: a mix of howling snowstorms to lay down powder – preferably overnight – and warm sunny days to enjoy on the piste. Last week duly delivered both those extremes, with very little else in between.

Saturday saw a heavy snowfall, which continued into Sunday and laid down a great base for the week. Once our guests had found their ski legs, Tuesday and Wednesday delivered the kind of conditions that make for magazine covers, with brilliant white powder dazzling under the deep blue skies that seem limitless. The sun had everyone slapping on the Factor 30. Thursday went to the other end of the scale as strong winds and low hanging cloud made in a day for lots of layers and hardy temperaments, before Friday brought fresh snow to provide a fun end to the week.

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Looking ahead for those arriving today for February half term week, it should be a case of a nice happy medium. Conditions are predicted to stay overcast, with temperatures just above freezing by day and just below by night. Light snow is expected on Saturday night and through the day on Sunday. The wind should remain light throughout the week with the sun most likely to come through on Tuesday and Thursday.


Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 11/01/14

Three Valleys Snow Report – Week Ending 11/01/14

Over the last week our guests were very lucky. Saturday night and Sunday morning saw a 10-15 centimeters of snow in resort with more at higher altitudes. However, the clouds cleared away through Sunday afternoon to set up a full week of blue skies. With fewer crowds after the busy Christmas and New Year period meaning virtually no queues at all at the lifts, our departing guests have enjoyed arguably the best conditions of the season so far.

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Inevitably a week’s use has taken a toll on some of the lower slopes. However, with more fine weather predicted for the week ahead, guests arriving today can look forward to a great week ahead. To really make the most of the week, we would recommend a 3 Valley pass which not only allows you to enjoy the best skiing in Meribel, but also to seek out the best snow in Courchevel, especially around the Signal, Pyramide and Chanrossa lifts which enjoy the best of the morning and early afternoon sun. For those looking to push themselves a little more, Val Thorens is also easily accessible, where the thicker snowpack at higher altitudes offers some great opportunities to head off-piste.

Over the week ahead, more snow is predicted on both Monday and Thursday nights. The forecast suggests both snowfalls will deliver 10-12 cm, helping to keep the pistes fresh throughout the week ahead.

Rob Bartlett


Shoreham-by-Sea twinned with Meribel

Shoreham-by-Sea twined with Meribel.

How did this get included you may ask? Other than the links that we will detail shortly, it was at the insistence of the boss. This is where we are based and where we work hard to make sure that every Alpine Action holiday you go on is the best holiday you take. In effect our office is a little part of Meribel in England. Our walls are adorned with posters of Meribel and full of Meribel memorabilia, piste maps and old lift passes.

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During the winter months, when we are not in resort, there is an open line to the resort. We get information about the weather in  the mountains and they get a weather update about Shoreham-by-Sea. The resort staff inform us about the piste conditions and we feedback the state of the high street traffic.

Meribel is famous for it’s chocolate box architecture and traditional buildings, it is one of the few major resorts to have predominantly chalet style accommodation. Shoreham-by-Sea mirrors this as there is a large amount of beautiful houses and the architecture is wonderful.

Every elite location needs a small private airfield and Meribel and Shoreham-by-Sea are no exceptions. While you can’t fly direct from the two on a chartered plane, you probably could if you had a billion pounds and a private jet. Oh, and an experienced pilot that is happy to land on snow. These are sadly things that are just dreams for Alpine Action. But it’s nice to know the option is there should we ever win the Euromillons or marry a footballer.

What other reason do you need to consider that this is a great option for our twining mission? Meribel needs a twin which compliments it. Shoreham-by-Sea is, as the name suggests, by the sea. Isn’t it everyone’s dream to spend the winter in the mountains and the summer by the ocean? During the winter you can ski or snowboard all day long then in the summer you can stay at your twin town and spend your time making sandcastles, messing about on boats and trying to catch your dinner.

 

 


Tip of the week #7

Take a gangway with one “adaptor plug” to be able to plug in your all your needs in your bedroom, chargers, phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, hair-dryers, hair straighteners the list is endless!

 

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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.


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