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Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 11

It’s one of the busiest weeks of the season in Meribel, half term! The slopes are full of snaking lines of ski schools and the pubs are a lot quieter (not a bad thing!). However we have found lovely empty runs coming down from the Tougnette 2, the amount of choice up there means if you go for the furthermost runs, Cretes and Blaireau in particular, you can really enjoy the amazing snow we have had over the last couple of weeks.

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Weather
The clouds have finally broken and the sun is shining through! For the last two weeks in Meribel and La Tania we have been under a blanket of thick cloud, snow and rain but the weather is on the move and pockets of blue sky are starting to appear! The rest of this week is looking promising with light snowy showers and sunny spells, perfect half term weather. The temperatures are set to get milder towards the weekend and the skies are going to clear completely.


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The snow in the three valleys is in amazing shape! The snow pack is 2 metres at the top of the lifts and 1 metre at the bottom. The snow itself is soft and light with some icy patches as you head back into resort. Our advice would be to stick to the higher runs to get the best snow and avoid the busy lift areas and tracked out runs back into resort, and when you do descend if things are looking a bit busy consider skiing down into a quieter area such as Morel or Meribel Village and use the free bus service to get you home.

Believe it or not we are over halfway through the season, after a shaky start snow-wise it has turned out to be a great season. Fantastic snow, the sun is coming out and we have good few weeks of great skiing ahead of us!

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Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 9

It has definitely been a mixed-bag of a week in Méribel and La Tania! We have gone from blue skies and springtime warmth to resort-level rain and back again in a matter of days. The weather doesn’t seem to be making its mind up anytime soon, so be prepared for all conditions out on the slopes!

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Weather

Temperatures have been unseasonably mild in the last week and as the snow clouds have rolled in it’s been falling a little damper than we prefer in resort and on lower runs however we have had 30cm of fresh snow at the top of the lifts. When the clouds have cleared the weather is almost March-like with us ditching our mid-layers, and even jackets at some points!

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Snow Conditions

The snow conditions are just as mixed as the weather, we’ve got a bit of ice, a bit of slush and everything in between. Up on the higher runs the snow is still in good condition so our advice would be go high and stay there! We skied the higher runs in and out of St Martin and Les Menuires this afternoon and they were really good!

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Forecast

We are expecting a drop in temperatures and snowy showers later in the week, which should top up the mountain nicely, and then more blue skies as we head towards the weekend. Next week is looking great with fresh snow and colder temperatures so we can put out t-shirts away!


Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 8

Bonjour from the sunny Three Valleys! This week has been non-stop sunshine and blue skies, not what you would usually expect from January but we don’t mind one bit. The conditions this week have been positively spring-like and we have been working hard on our seasonnaire goggle tans, you can find us perched on the mountain with a demi and a deckchair!

Snow Conditions

The snow conditions are still very good, there has been some icy patches to the mild temperatures (up to 10 °C in resort) and a little slushy snow down on lower pistes but the snow has held its own.  Every single lift and piste is open in Meribel and La Tania so the season is in full swing! With over 600 kilometres of ski area there really is something for everyone, and plenty to keep you busy!

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Weather Forecast

The weather is set to stay mild and sunny over the next couple of days with some welcome snowy showers expected on Sunday. We are anticipating over 20 cm of snow on Sunday which will top up the pistes nicely and cover any icy patches. We are anticipating the rest of the week to be mild, sunny and with blue skies!

With good snow, sunshine and blue skies this is not the January skiing we are used to but we couldn’t be happier!

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Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 7

We have had another fantastic, and snowy week in the 3 Valleys! Since our snow report last week it hasn’t stopped falling and we have a snow pack of 2 metres at the top of the lifts so the rest of the season is looking very good indeed. We have been kept busy in resort clearing the fresh blanket of snow that keeps appearing every morning, not that we are complaining about it when we hit the mountain!

Snow Conditions

The snow conditions this week have been amazing, the pisteurs have left a number of runs un-pisted to give everyone the experience of off piste skiing within the safety of the piste. The constant snow fall has meant that if you’re out early enough there has been fresh powder to be had every day, so getting first lifts is definitely worth it!

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Weather

Inevitably with heavy snow comes clouds so visibility has not always been the best but blue skies have been poking through and the sun is on its way! Even when the visibility has been low we have had a great time exploring the little forest tracks on and off the piste in the powder.

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Forecast 

Over the next week it looks like the snow clouds are going to clear finally and we are going to have some bluebird days. Temperatures are going to get a little milder to around -2°C, that combined with the expected sunshine means we might finally get to work on that all important seasonaire goggle tan!

With a whole pile of snow and blue skies on the horizon there has never been a better time to be in the  Valleys! 

We have two places left next week in Chalet Cote Coure for £559pp. Click here to see all our availability in La Tania and Meribel.

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Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 6

It hasn’t stopped snowing since our last snow report! We are a week in to heavy snowfall with it set to continue until early next week so there has never been a better time for a visit to Méribel! Weather this week has been hit and miss, with lovely fresh snow comes clouds and even some rain in resort and on lower pistes. However this hasn’t put us off, nothing a vin chaud by the fire couldn’t fix, and is worth it for the mounds of untouched powder we have been greeted by on a daily basis!

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Weather 

This week the temperatures have dropped significantly so another layer was very much needed out on the slopes, the start of the week was milder with the snow falling a little wetter than we prefer. This has all changed now and the snow is falling thick, fast and fluffy!

Snow

The snow is amazing! Some runs have only been pisted down one side leaving the rest pure powder, our chalet manager Eloise (who has worked 4 seasons and skied A LOT) described the champagne powder as the best she has ever skied on, and that’s saying something. The snow pack is over 2 metres deep at the top of the runs and 75cm on the bottom and this is only going to increase over the next few days. As incredible as the powder is the avalanche warning in resort is very high so off piste skiing is not advised at this moment in time.

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Forecast 

The good weather is set to continue with snow expected until Tuesday with some blue skies poking through on Sunday which is set to be spectacular! Temperatures will continue to be low so wrap up warm and layer up on the mountain.

For the time being we have a lot of snow clearing to be doing, not a bad thing at all!

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Three Valleys Commitment to Snow Making

The start of the 2015/16 season wasn’t the best in terms of snowfall with many resorts being forced to postpone their opening. The lack of snow at the start of the season has highlighted how impressive the snow-making infrastructure of the Three Valleys is. While other ski resorts suffered the Three Valleys was boasting that it had 70% of runs open and they were in pretty good shape.

When the Three Valleys opened up in full on the first week in December the last snow had fallen three weeks earlier and the temperatures were not consistently low. However, on opening day Méribel looked like this.

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And after two weeks they looked just as good with the run down to La Tania being one of the best maintained slopes in the area.

So why is the snow cover so good?

The Three Valles has made a huge commitment to snow making. It currently has 2186 snow cannons located across one third of it’s 327 runs, which are attend to by a 72 strong fleet of piste bashers. The snow making starts long before the lifts open for the season as the cannons get turned on as soon at the temperature drops low enough. It is also rumoured the Méribel alone spends half a million pounds a year just making snow.

When we had a chat with the manager from Méribel Alpina, the company that runs the mountain, he was keen to point out that part of their promise to skiers coming to the area is to always have the highest number of runs open in Europe. We thought we would test this by comparing 29th of December 2015 in Méribel to five of Europe’s most popular resorts and looked at the percentage of lifts they had open.

Méribel 76%
Avoriaz 45%
Les Arcs 46%
St Anton 74%
Val d’Isere 37%
Verbier 68%

Booking a ski holiday at the beginning of the winter season has always been a gamble and this had been reflected in the prices of December ski holidays. But the work that goes on behind the scenes at in the Three Valleys means that snow is as guaranteed as it can be throughout the season. Take a look below at our snow report from the end of December and you can see that despite there being no snow since the resort opened the piste were in pretty good shape.


Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 3

Once again the 3 Valleys has delivered when it comes to sunshine! This week has been sunny with blue skies every day and the perfect weather to hit the slopes. We have had a sprinkling of snow this week that has topped up the higher runs but we are still waiting for a dump! With Christmas just around the corner we are all feeling very festive in Meribel and La Tania with vin chaud, mince pies and questionable Christmas knitwear to be enjoyed over the next week!

 

Piste Conditions

The snow conditions are generally good although the warm weather has left the lower runs a bit slushy. The lower you get the thinner the snow cover, there are a few patches of ice and some rocks around so slowing your speed is advised. There is plenty of good snow to be had throughout the 3 Valleys and you can ski into every resort. Most runs and lifts have opened up this week, a few are still waiting for a bit more snow (it’s coming we promise!) but as the biggest ski area in the world we still have plenty to choose from.

 

Advice from the ski schools is to pick your runs carefully, check your speed and just ski with a little caution when it comes to lower and busier runs. Of course over the Christmas break the slopes do get a little busier but there is plenty of pistes for all ages and abilities.

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Weather Forecast

Over the next week the blue skies are set to continue with glorious sunshine expected on Christmas day. You may have to jump on a lift to get your white Christmas but you will definitely have one! We are not expecting any major snowfall in the next week but the amazing cultured snow system in the 3 Valleys will be working hard to top up the pistes. Temperatures will stay relatively high for the time of year, between 1 and 4 °C throughout the day so don’t put on too many layers!

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Whats on

There is all sorts on in the 3 Valleys this week for the whole family. There are carol services, torchlight descents, live music and even a few visits from the big man himself. There is no better place to spend the festive season than with us in Meribel and La Tania!

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Everyone is excited about the snow in Meribel

The excitement is growing amongst the 3 Valley locals as the ski area is due to open on Saturday the 5th of December.

First Tracks

But some of us can’t wait so we strap on our touring skis and start the ascent. Its all familiar faces who make the climb up the Saulire , either from Courchevel 1850 or Meribel Altiport. Ski Touring has become much more popular as the equipment is far more user friendly, light and very trendy. Its most likely the athletic fat free look of most ski tourers that has brought in the most recent converts. The rewards for the 2 hours of effort are first tracks, either on the pockets of powder or manicured piste already prepared for Saturday.

The Current Conditions

The good snowfalls on the 26th November along with ideal snow making conditions have created a fabulous base on the main pistes of all the 3 Valleys. Its a consolidated 50cm at the top with a lovely base all the way down to 1450m.

The enormous investment into the latest snow making in Meribel and La Tania is a game changer in modern Ski Resort infrastructure. Its pure science at its best. The recent low overnight temperatures and an accumulated high altitude water storage equals big snow making.

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Snow Making

The state of the art 3m high canons produce huge mounds of fresh snow,they appear like dorsal fins on the slopes. The exterior of these mounds are usually rock hard like egg shells but with the best chalky man made inside. Prior to the big day on Saturday the piste machines will move in and distribute the stockpile on the existing base. Its left very rough initially to avoid any melting. The corduroy effect is left to the last moment and in the 3 valleys its an art form.

The end result on Saturday is first class pistes from Saulire at 2750 ms to Meribel Chaudanne at 1450m.
The East facing Tougnete side has had the same treatment. The pistes under Tougnete 2 chair look particularly good. Most of the runs are at their mid winter width. The poles were put in yesterday by the security des pistes who get to ski weeks before every else.

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All the locals will benefit from the quality skiing prior to Christmas, why don’t you too ?

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Our guide to skiing in bad visibility

If Alpine Action could arrange the weather ………………… It would snow all night then in the morning, there would be fresh powder, clear blue skies and sunshine!

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However, if you have skied a bit then you will know that you always get a bit of everything when it comes to the weather.

So if you wake up and see it snowing, don’t panic. Here is my guide to skiing in bad visibility. Take your goggles helmet or hat!

Try to stick to runs with trees, it gives you definition in a whiteout. There are lots of runs lower down in both resort Meribel and La Tania with trees.

If you are in Meribel then head up the Rhodos bubble and ski the Rhodos or Altiport runs, If you are feeling a little more confident and want to go a little further head down the Lapin run to Meribel Village, the Lodge du Village is at the end for a well-earned coffee or beer!

If you are staying in La Tania, just head to the Folyeres blue run, tree-lined and easy to follow back to La Tania, for those wanting a bit more of a challenge try the red run Murettes or Jockeys the black into La Praz, at both resorts you will find a coffee or beer waiting at the bottom.

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Top Tips

Use the piste markers. The pole on your right-hand side always has an orange top. This way you will always know that you are on the piste if this is on your right-hand side. This is the best tip I can give you.

If you are really nervous just ski from pole to pole ensuring the orange tip poles are on your right-hand side. I often use this when leading my group.

Ski in pairs at least. If you are skiing in a group, stick together, stopping and checking you are all there. Discuss where you are going heading too.

Stay on the piste, so you know exactly where you are. It can be really disorientating, even for the most experienced skiers so stay on the piste, then there is no risk of falling off a drop or path.

Use your piste map and try to stick to runs that don’t split off in too many directions. That way you will always end up at the lift together.

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And finally ……….. enjoy! A whiteout normally means that there is a ton of snow. It doesn’t hurt falling into the soft fluffy white stuff!

So smile, laugh and fall then get up and do it again. It is a great feeling having mastered skiing in a whiteout! And if you have ever decided to not ski you will know it’s a long boring day around a chalet!

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What’s new in Méribel for this winter

This is our round up of what is new in Méribel this winter.

Beginners Areas

This winter Méribel is making learning to ski a nicer experience by expanding its safe haven areas for children and beginners. The Altiport area has a designated “Ski Cool” zone that is for gentle and peaceful skiing it is also the home of the piste des Inuits, a nursery slope. On the other side of the valley is the “Zen Zone” and Yeti park, located on the Little Himalaya piste and is also billed as safe haven for people new to skiing and snowboarding.

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Ski Lifts

The new lift is the extension of the Combes, which runs from Meribel Mottaret up towards Les Menuires. This lift now has a mid station allowing beginners to get off and access the Himalaya “Zen” area. It will also shorten the time it takes for skiers to get over to the next valley and onto the runs down to Saint Martin de Belleveille. The lift also boasts magnets as increased saftey for children wearing a special bib.

Take a virtual tour of the new lifts and runs!

 

Wifi

Méribel has introduced free on piste Wifi. You can find out more about it and the locations in this article.411535_552625424749240_476471687_o (1)

Sledging

For many years the neighbouring resort of Courchvele has had an epic Toboggan run, this year Méribel is introducing not one but two! One run is located in up the Altiport are and the other is next to the Rhodos lift down by the Chaudanne. Sadly neither will be as epic as the one over in Courchevel, which you can watch in the video below.

Photo frames

There will be added photo opportunities this winter as Méribel will be installing a selection of giant photo frames arround the resort for you to have your photo taken with, as soon as we know the locations of these we will let you know.

The Alpine Legends Ski Pass

We wrote about the Alpine Legends pass a few weeks ago. It is a pass that allows you to ski the 3 Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski for one price. In the past there was always the option to “upgrade” for a day but this pass allows unlimited skiing in every resort, there is a challenge waiting for some adventurous people to invent, 9 Valley Rally anyone?

Click here if you want to get in contact and talk to us about booking a ski chalet holiday to Meribel.

Source : french-alps.meribel.net

 

 

 

 


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