Tag Archives: Apres Ski

First ski holiday with children : Part 3 – Playing and relaxing

How I entertained my children when we weren’t skiing.

When you plan a holiday “relaxing” would probably appear in capital letters and a bold font in your word cloud. Another highlighted word will be your choice of activity, my guess is that for many people it would be “beach”. My choice is skiing. With its hot tubs, after exercise socialising and tranquil scenery this “extreme sport” holiday is a very relaxing way to spend a week, that is until you invite your young children along for the first time.

Read Part One      –       Read Part Two

The first few days of my holiday had already involved missed flights and manic rushes to ski school, allowing me to tick off the extreme part of my vacation checklist before I had even hit the slopes. I spent some time skiing with my wife, drinking wine and eating delicious food. Relaxing box ticked. This left me with only one part of the holiday brief left to fill, “Spending time with the Family”. Luckily in Méribel there is plenty to do to entertain the children.

Sledging

Playing with Albert Action

In my head sledging involved me standing around watching my 2 and 4 year old children slide down and then gleefully running back up with the sled in tow, repeatedly until exhausted. In reality it involved an argument over the sledge colour, me towing a convoy of child laden sledges across a variety of terrain followed by the children gleefully sliding down and me running back with a full sled in tow repeatedly until exhausted.

Like many other parents we also chose not to use the allocated tobogganing area to allow our children to play in. Instead we chose a spot that was less distance to get to but ultimately more perilous. This meant that in between being a human tow, I spent my time flinching and shouting “désolé” as a fine ballet of near misses involving skiers, snowboarders and underage sledgers was performed in front of me. Untill now I have often wondered who these type of families were.

Eating

In the UK there is no trust between restaurant owners and dinners, which is why we have seen a sharp decline, almost to the point of extinction, of the humble tablecloth. In France there is little evidence of the disappearance of either trust or tablecloths. For one lunch we headed to Le Refuge a favourite restaurant of mine that is full of tables with tablecloths on and delicious pizza.

I am the sort of parent that winces at badly behaved children in restaurants, when in fact it isn’t bad behaviour it is normal behaviour in an adult environment. When it comes to my own children I tend to eat fast, over compensate with politeness, while paralysed with embarrassment. With our children inevitably under the table tugging on a table cloth with more glassware than we currently own, I ate fast, apologised profusely and left with redder cheeks then I went in with.

Skiing

Outside of ski school I wanted to do some skiing with my daughter. The experience was similar to sledging in so much as I decided to return to the same location. Unsurprisingly after only two lessons she wasn’t quite ready for that mildly challenging red despite what my bravardad feelings were telling me. I spent a very happy afternoon towing my daughter up a mild incline and watching her straight line the slope while avoiding everyone that cut across her line.

Our 2 year old had made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t happy with the lack of skiing at the nursery he was attending. To make up for this I negotiated a loan of kit from my older child. He was thrilled and much better that I expected… maybe good enough for a difficult green?

Riding the lifts

It was agreed between us that on some of the afternoons one parent would head off and go skiing leaving the other to entertain the children. Sensibly, during her turn my wife opted for cake and games in the sanctity of the chalet. I thought I would show them the mountain. My goal was a voyage of discovery through the snowy peaks on gondola ships with a final destination of La Folie Douce. As a whole family we boarded the Saulire in Méribel centre.

Once at the top the doors opened and the wind rushed in to violate the safety of the telecabine. I realised quickly that this may not be the place for a 2 year old. Especially one that has a tendency to run towards the most perilous thing in the room, or beach, or field and now mountain top. As my wife skied away I bundled the children back into the lift where we spent an hour or so going round and round while we ate a picnic and spotted mummy an incredible amount of times.

For those of you that don’t know the Saluire Express passes over the top of the Folie Douce. We passed over it at least 6 times before I decide that it wasn’t my best idea to take the children there. They seemed happy enough in the bubble lift.

Just who you want share lift with!


There are loads of other things to do with your children when you are in Méribel : Ice Skating, swimming, soft play, Bowling and more. We were just too busy having our own fun to get round to doing it all.


Weekly Snow Report and Events in the 3 Valleys

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!

Credit to: Snowforecast.com
Credit to: Le Meteo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit to: Le Meteo

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

Live Music
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

♫Live Music♫
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!

 

 

 

 


First ski holiday with children : Part 2 – Guilt and Ski School

My first ski holiday with children

In my last blog about our first family ski trip I wrote about how we manage to miss the flight despite staying overnight at an airport hotel. This blog continues the story of our holiday and picks up the trip after we landed in France ready for our transfer to Méribel. 

READ PART ONE HERE

Part 2 – Guilt and Ski School

We arrived at Grenoble airport and were warmly welcomed by Alpine Action driver Eddie who my children instantly fell in love with and obsessed about during the duration of our trip. “I can’t wait to get back to see Eddie at the chalet”, “It’s kind of Eddie to let us stay at his house”, “Who are those people cooking in Eddie’s kitchen?” and “Let’s make a card to thank Eddie for letting us stay”. How much Eddie appreciated this admiration is a question for him and how much Jack and Emily, our chalet hosts, appreciated playing Carson to Eddies Earl of Grantham we may never know.

During our trip we stayed in chalet Trios Coeurs

Ski School

Once in resort there is always some pre-ski admin to do and after the flight fiasco I wasn’t expecting a successful outcome. However, getting ski hire for a 4 year old was simple, as was getting free lift passes for the children along with booking into ski school and child care. I doubt this success was down to us and the behaviour of our children so the credit should go to the wonderful resort staff that helped us along the way. As a result of my many trips to Méribel we were also spared the usual “where is my chalet” moment that we all get in a new ski resort. However my wife was determined to engineer this by repeatedly asking if I knew where I was going.

The next thing on the agenda was introducing our children to snow. The last huge snowfall in the UK was in 2009, way before my children were born, making this their first time experiencing snow. There are many things you can do with snow such as skiing, snowball fights, snowman making or even sledging. The main priority for my children during their first encounter with snow was to eat it and they were determined to sample it from as many locations as possible. Due to my children’s partiality to consuming snow we spent very little time near the resort ponies.

Children’s mealtimes were a success thanks to “Eddies staff” and I was surprised by the ease at which the children went to sleep. I was unsurprised at the time they woke up in the morning. I think the last time I was up before the chalet hosts was when I was one.  I also suspect that in some parts of the resort some people were only just heading back to their chalet. But why wouldn’t you wake up early on a ski trip, going skiing is exciting!

Even though I had been awake since 4am, when the minibus arrived to take us to the ski school we weren’t quite ready. Quite means, one child undressed with ski boots on, one child fully dressed no shoes on running around in the snow, one parent not dressed still packing children’s day bag and one parent fiddling with his snowboard while wondering why no one else is ready.

Guilt

We arrived at the children’s ski school 10 minutes late. A quick glance around told us that we weren’t the only ones. My daughter who is 4 was going into ski school for the morning and was incredibly excited about her first time on skis. My son who isn’t old enough to ski was in the creche. Prior to our holiday we had talked about going skiing, watched it on the TV and role played the holiday, which with hindsight was a bit cruel as when we dropped him off at the nursery he soon realised that he wouldn’t be doing much skiing.

They say there are no friends on a powder day. Maybe there should be a saying that implies similar when referring to offspring on a ski holiday. Shortly after 9.30 am we found ourselves on the first chairlift of the day with the sun on our faces and the combined feelings of guilt and excitement. After few runs we nipped back to the nursery slopes and replaced the last few embers of guilt with pride as we saw our daughter skiing for the first time. We didn’t check on the other one.

Just before lunch we returned to collect the two children for an afternoon of sledging and hot chocolate drinking. One was over the moon that she had mastered skiing and loved every second of her time. The other was less impressed and greeted us with the opening remark  “Go skiing now?”.

Coming up in part 3 we relieve our guilt of spending the mornings skiing by attempting to do far to much stuff as a family in the afternoon.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and the Alpine Action blog to find out how we got on during the rest of our ski holiday. To make sure you don’t miss the next instalment sign up to the Alpine Action Newsletter.


Christmas festivities in Meribel and La Tania

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the 3 Valleys, with twinkling lights on every street and Christmas trees up in all our chalets. There really is no place more festive than the French Alps at Christmas.

Meribel Village
Meribel Village

Chalet guests are currently enjoying an Alpine Christmas, spending their days carving up the pistes, followed by a spot of Apres Ski. Then heading back to their beautiful chalet to refuel with a home cooked dinner. Evenings are spent snuggled up on the sofa next to the warmth of a roaring log fire and playing board games with their family and friends.

Resort entertainment is in full swing this time of year and we have brought you the lowdown on what events and activities are happening in and around the resorts of Meribel and La Tania.

 

Meribel

Meribel has got a huge schedule of activities so we have plucked the very best to keep you in the know…

Saturday 24th

Father Christmas will be cruising around town in his sleigh, starting at La Chaudanne from 4:30pm and finishing up in the centre of town next to the tourism office. Christmas Carols will be sung in the same location from 5:30pm onwards.

Vin Chaud: credit to Savoie Mont Blanc
Vin Chaud: credit to Savoie Mont Blanc

 

 

Free Vin Chaud and Hot Chocolate will be handed out to all who attend.

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening there will be a Christmas Mass held at the Olympic Ice Rink, doors will open from 6pm – don’t forget to wrap up warm!

If you want to boogie your way into Christmas day… Evolution bar and restaurant will be featuring “The Mardy Johnny Depps” from 10pm and Jack’s Bar will be hosting “Shameless” from 10:30pm.

Sunday 25th CHRISTMAS DAY!

From 4:30pm Father Christmas will be saying his farewells and a magical torch lit decent will light up the piste down at La Chaudanne – free hot drinks will be served to keep you warm.

Meribel Chapel: credit to Merinet.com
Meribel Chapel: credit to Merinet.com

 

 

An English speaking church service will be held at the beautiful Notre-Dame des Neiges chapel at 6pm.

 

 

 

 

If you can pull yourselves off the sofa after a fine Christmas feast, then Evolution will be hosting an open mic night at 10pm.

Doron Pub will have DJ Kaya dropping some beats for any Christmas Day ravers and O’Sullivans will be starting off Boxing day with the “Slope” from 12am.

Boxing Day

Himalaya by night, tobogganing: sledging at night up in Meribel Mottaret, 5 euros for one go or 10 euros for the evening, this is a lovely family activity.

Jack’s Bar will be hosting Monday Apres Ski with “Rob Cross” and Evolutions will be featuring “The Mardy Johnny Depps” from 10pm.


La Tania

Saturday 24th

Families can arrange for Father Christmas to visit their chalets by registering the chalet at the Tourism office in the centre of La Tania.

Father Christmas: Credit to Courchevel.com
Father Christmas: Credit to Courchevel.com

Pub Le Ski Lodge, will be celebrating Christmas Eve with live music from LES DEUX ROUES at 10pm.

Sunday 25th December

8.30-10am – Father Christmas continues his chalet visits around La Tania don’t forget to register at the Tourism Office.

5.20pm – Christmas Evening, a Children’s torch lit decent will commence down into the centre of La Tania. If your child would like to participate, head down to the Tourism Office to register.

During the evening festivities you can warm up with FREE Vin Chaud and hot chocolate in front of Tourism Office.

The evening celebrations will continue with local ski instructors performing their own torchlight descent at 6pm.

Christmas celebrations will end with some fabulous FIREWORKS to light up the resort.

Keep checking our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @AlpineActionSki and @AlbertAction for what our staff and guests are getting up to over the holiday period – don’t forget to join in by liking our pages, following us and sharing the fun!

From all the Alpine Action team in the UK, Meribel and La Tania we wish you a VERY MERRY and (fingers crossed) SNOWY CHRISTMAS!


Albert Action – Snow Dog

Bonjour,  Je m’appelle Albert Action, 6556584924676096

I am a St Bernard dog and I live in your chalet, I hope you don’t mind if I hang out with you on your chalet holiday. You will be pleased to know that I am chalet and chairlift trained. I also love playing with children of all ages. I enjoy making new friends and having adventures.

It would be great if I can come on some of your adventures? I would hate to miss out. I can guarantee that we will have a good time.

I am a big poser and love having my photo taken when I am doing cool stuff. I have lots of friends all over the world and they like to see what I am up to. It would be great if you could share our adventures on-line using the hashtag #AlbertAction.

You can also see what other adventures I have been on by searching #AlbertAction or by following me on Twitter @AlbertActionSki as I like to share my photos with my friends.

10404112_975810132430765_8709051424696891455_nAlberts list of things I like doing…

Skiing and Snowboarding

Sledging

Making Snowmen

Eating Cheese

Barking

Ice skating

Most other extreme sports

Being stroked

 

Alberts list of things I don’t like doing…

Going in Washing Machines

Hanging out with cats

Hot tubs

Going home

Button Lifts

I am looking forward meeting you this winter . I think we will have a great time.

PawPrints-AC-E96

 

 

 

 

A.Action

 


3 Valleys Season Preview

The 2016/17 winter season is here. Find out what to expect in Méribel &  The Three Valleys in our pre-season preview.

Skiing started in the Three Valleys on the the 19th of November when Val Thorens turned on its lifts and welcomed skiers and boarders earlier than expected due to some seriously heavy November snow. Courchevel was also able to open some of its runs early due to the 120cm of snow that fell across the Alps. All that happend before the season truly kicked off, so what has this winter got in store for the 3 valleys? Lets find out…

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Snow

As we said there has been loads of snow already and all that snow has laid down a great base for the season and the temperatures are staying low according to the long term forecast.  That coupled with the 3 Valleys’ amazing ability to make snow this could be a great season. Méribel opens its doors for skiing on the 10th of December opening up the whole of the 3 Valleys for skiing until late April.

We couldn’t wait to get up on mountain so we went hiking on the 17th of November.

Let us take care of you this Christmas – Ski and come home to a traditional meal with all the trimmings
Christmas holidays from only £549 for an adult and £466.65 for a child from Gatwick

What’s New In The Three Valleys

You can save €10 per lift pass if you are buying more than one as part of the new Duo Lift pass, you must be purchasing a 6 day pass for a valley or the whole area to get the discount.
Tubing in Mottaret is opening this winter meaning that you can spend your evening flying down the slopes in a rubber ring.
If you like to picnic on the slopes then there is good news as Méribel has opened some indoor lunch lounges complete with microwaves. These can be found in Méribel and Mottaret main lift stations.
There are also new lifts in Val Thorens, the Roc and Stades drag lifts are now a shiny new 6 seater chairlift and the Boismint has also been upgraded to take more passengers.

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8 THINGS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WINTER

Events – What’s on on the Three Valleys 2016/17

There is lots to look forward to in the 3 Valleys this season from the Ski Cross world cup in Val Thorens on the 5th of December for 5 days to the end of the season mega party that is the 3 Valleys charity day. Here are few to look out for…

December

December is a busy month with opening parties as well as Christmas and New Year celebrations all going on. But there is also the the FIS Ladies Alpine World Cup being held in Courchevel from the the 20th December. lindsey-vonn-2015-audi-fis-alpine-ski-world-cup-womens-super-g-in-italy-02

January 

One of the best events to watch in January is the annual British Armed Forces Combined Services Alpine Championships which is held in Méribel and will be in its 11 the year.

February

This month the resorts will celebrate Valentines day with various activities to help show your love. There will also be loads of children’s activities across the 3 Valleys as during the majority of the month there will be a region of France that has a half term holiday as well as the UK Half Term week starting on the 11th.

March

The big event in March is the Ronnie Loves Music Festival, hosted at the original aprés ski destination The Rond Point. This year Norman Jay MBE will return and there will be a set from 6 Musics Craig Charles playing music from his trunk of funk. There will also be some of the worlds top riders showing off on a specially build park.  The event kicks of on the 20th of March.
craig-charles-funk-soul
April 

As the season comes to a close there are a still some great events on. We have all ready mentioned the incredible 3 Valleys Charity day happening on the 12th of April and it will feature all the best Aprés ski bands. There is also the 3 Valleys Enduro event where you can take part in events across the ski area such as Giant Slalom and Ski Cross.

We Recommend

If your heading to the Three Valleys then you may want to tick of a few thing on the Méribel bucket list and you definitely don’t want to miss out on some of our favourite things…

You need to make sure you spend at least one afternoon dancing at the Folie Douce.

jack-bar-meribel

Spend your evenings hanging out at Jacks Bar in Méribel where they have live music nearly every evening as well as comedy and great drinks offers.

If your in La Tania make sure you grab some lunch in at Pub Le Ski Lodge as well as enjoying the evening entertainment.

Also don’t forget to get your photo taken in one of the 3 valleys giant photo frames.

Check out all our latest offers to the Three Valleys

 

 

 

 


Meribel Snow Records, Statistics & History

We take a look at the snow record of Méribel

The hardest thing about being a skier or a snowboarder is that we are all slaves to the weather. While resorts like Méribel can make snow and ensure the pistes are always open. They can’t create that magical moment when you wake up to a massive dump of snow and go and ride fluffy white powder then at the end of the day you have a silly grin on your face and aching legs.

So while we anticipate what the weather gods will blow into the the Three Valleys this year, we thought we would analyse the last 8 years of snowfall and snow depth and make some cool graphics to tell the story!

Méribel’s best season for snow

best-sbowfall

Which is the best month for snow in Méribel?

best-month

Average snow depth for Méribel

season-average

Christmas skiing in Méribel & La Tania from £549pp

Average snow condition for peak weeks in Méribel

peak-average

Best day for snow in the last 8 years in Méribel

biggest

Please take a look at all our catered ski holidays to Méribel. 

 

 


What is the most satisfying feeling a skier can have.

How satisfying is skiing?

We recently asked a load of skiers what makes makes them the most satisfied when they go on a ski holiday. Here are the results.

Click here to take the survey.

Booking a ski holiday.

Before even going skiing nearly 70% of skiers reported that they feel very satisfied after they have booked a ski holiday, with only 2% not getting any satisfaction from booking the annual trip.

First Lifts

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The other 50% were all satisfied if they got out for the first lift however, there was a small percentage that weren’t. We can only assume that the unsatisfied 8% were more keen to a lie-in.

Ride, Eat, Party

We asked everyone how satisfied they felt after half a days riding, a long lunch, one more run and some Aprés? There was nearly a 30/70 split with the majority feeling pretty pleased with this approach to skiing.

Dump of snow

Unsurprisingly waking up to a fresh dump of snow was the most satisfying with 93% of skiers feeling satisfied/quite satisfied or very satisfied. There was a small group that weren’t very happy about this. We suspect that these are the same ones that were planning on a lie-in.

P1020541 (1024x576)

Becoming a ski instructor

We wondered how satisfying it would you be if everyone who had been skiing followed their dream and became a ski instructor? 31% claimed it would not be satisfying at all but on the positive end of the scale 42% of skiers would be very happy to end up working as a instructor.

Hiking and getting fresh lines

The results were pretty clear  for the question “How satisfied do you feel after a day hiking and making fresh tracks?”. With the majority claiming that hiking was high on the agenda when looking for thrills on the mountain.

Capture

Home Time 

How satisfied to you feel at the end of the trip? On the whole most people felt satisfied at the end of a weeks skiing with a massive 52% being very satisfied.  Not surprisingly there was an 18% who craved more mountain time which is why they should consider working a ski season.


My failed winter.

I failed on the slopes again

Yep that’s right I failed again. But I fail in the same way every year and each year I promise to learn from my mistakes.

Each year I book my ski holiday or holidays if I am lucky and each time I promise myself that it is time to improve. This is the year I will get better at skiing. For too many years my ability to ski has remained the same and probably if I plotted it on a graph from year to to year we would have seen it plateau for a while. The reason lies in that ski life mirrored real life as once I was old enough to leave ski school I did and I have never been back.

This means that I have never improved and have a technique so full of flaws that I now fear a ski lesson as much as a trip to the dentist.  Which is why I have failed again this year.

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Despite promising that I would have some lessons. I didn’t. I also made other “ski resolutions” which I failed to keep.  I said to myself that this year I would hire a guide and hit the backcountry for a day. I did come close to achieving this if you count looking at the Méribel Guides website before I went on holiday.

I failed in my attempt to try the park out and see what I was missing out on. When I was younger I loved to hit the snow park. Now I stop at the the top of the park remember the thrill of “getting air” and the think about the pain it might result in. Then after those thoughts leave me, I start to pressure myself into proving that I still can do it. Psyched up I ski off towards the green kicker, I panic, swerve and ski off out of the park making out that I intended to do that all along.

P1020412 (1024x576) (2)

 

I also failed in my promise to avoid aprés ski, chalet wine and general excursions to the pub. My failure to do this probably contributed heavily to my failure all round.

But do you know what. I had a good time it was probably one of the best ski holidays I have had.

There is always next years ski holiday.


What is the most satisfying part of skiing and snowboarding? Survey

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We want to know how satisfied you feel when skiing or snowboarding. To help us please fill out this survey with your satisfaction level…


Thanks for taking the time to complete our survey!


Meribel & La Tania Holidays

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