Tag Archives: guides

Signs that spring is the mountains

7 Signs that spring has arrive in the mountains

Fresh dumps of snow

Fresh Snow

The end of March and the start of April were once times that dedicated skiers would try and avoid the slopes. But over the last few years these 6 weeks have seen an increase in big fresh dumps of snow. The snow that falls in spring may not stay around as long but when it falls it is light, fluffy and often accompanied by blue skies.

Outrageous tan lines

A goggle mark has always been more of a statement rather than a lax approach to sunscreen application. And the best time to get yours is during the spring months. But why stop at a goggle mark when there are T-shirt lines to collect on your arms, neck and rear.

The sighting of Marmots

Marmot

To some these are mythical creatures that only exist in souvenir shops or name of the piste where you were meant to meet your partner after their ski lesson. To others the appearance of these giant rodents is a sign that spring is here and the summer is on it’s way.

Mini Festivals

The alpine festival is a growing trend, Méribel alone can boast of the Ronnie Loves Music Festival, the Piste Basher Festival and the 3 Valleys Charity Day (festival). Once the posters for these start to go up we know that we are in for a good time and that spring has arrived.

Rocks

piste sign meribel

Rocks are a part of the spring experence and other than the petex manafacures, no one enjouys their appearence. First the big ones that form the landscape start to appear then slowly smaller ones start to popup on the lowere slopes and busy intersections. By the final week of the season, (if its hasn’t dumped), part of the game is to dodge the rocks.

Sunbathing lifties

An iconic image of a ski resort in spring is the sunbathing liftie. Over the years the resorts have become more customer focused and the role of the lift operator  more responsible this sight happens less and less. But when it does you can’t but think…. “ I’d quite like that job”.

Puddles to skim

2010 Puddle Jump

You know the drill, you spot a puddle or melted pond, you point it out to your group, then you watch someone effortly skim across it on skis. The challenge is on. One of your group heads back the chalet early to dry off. In some resorts this is now a major event, don’t let your mate enter!

Take a look at our spring ski deals or call us for more information.


How to beat the post ski holiday blues

Guide: How to beat the end of ski trip blues

After a great week of skiing, delicious food in your catered chalet and little bit of aprés it is hard not to feel a little blue on the run back to the airport. There isn’t a 100% cure to the glumness inside but there are ways you can make yourself feel a bit better…

Talk about buying a place in the alps

“Maybe we should all chip in and buy a place in the alps” is how the conversation starts. You all know deep down that it won’t actually happen but that doesn’t stop anyone. Before the coach has arrived at the airport you have started a WhatsApp group and are sharing links to wildly unaffordable properties. One member of the group provides a spreadsheet breaking down costs that unlike your home has zero outgoings. In the arrivals hall while waiting for your luggage you all agree to look at how much you can afford to “put in” and promise to meet up soon to discuss it. You all leave happy and dreaming about the chalet you will never buy.

Consider a job as a chalet host

To avoid the post-ski holiday blues you could look into getting a job in the Alps next winter. Start by asking your host/driver/rep on that last day if they are enjoying their season. Undoubtedly they will say yes and stir up your desire even more. You can then spend the next few days after your trip applying for jobs and imagining how good you will be at skiing by the end of next season.

Book your next ski holiday

Beating the blues is all about having the next thing to look forward to. If you are out early in the season you could always book another ski holiday that season. Or you can start planning next winter’s ski trip and maybe go all out and put the deposit down. As they say booking a holiday is almost as exciting as going on one. It is worth noting that booking a ski holiday a season in advance can often be cheaper as many tour operators will honour the current season price.

Concoct an epic ski trip

Why stop at dreaming about your next ski holiday. Why not plan an epic snow chasing adventure like Travis Rice in The Fourth Phase in an attempt to abolish the sadness. You could keep it local and plan to ride every dry slope in the UK. Or maybe dream of riding a mountain on every continent, just imagine ticking off Antartica.

Buy some new ski kit.

For instant gratification get online and buy some stuff. During your holiday you will have decided that something needs replacing, maybe your jacket is a bit drafty or your goggles are scratched. It could be that you are still skiing in rear entry boots. A post ski holiday spending binge is the perfect way to cheer yourself up. Plus you get the 2nd tier of excitement when they arrive in the post and a 3rd wave of joy when after 10 months of never actually using whatever you ordered you discover it just before your next trip.

Start eating mountain style at home

They say food invokes memories so why not spend the week after your trip trying to recreate that meal you fell in love with that your chalet host cooked. Or maybe if you want more cheese and cream google a recipe for Tartiflette and indulge in some traditional Savoie food. You could even dig out the fondue kit that you found in the house when you moved in. Then get the ingredient from the supermarket and invite some friends round to indulge in melted fromage and ski stories.

Watch a ski or snowboard movie

Your final option is to wallow a bit longer, pull on your PJ’s, crack open a bottle of wine and stick a pizza in the oven. Then choose your favourite winter sports movie, snuggle up on the sofa, reminisce about the fun you had during your trip and dream of next time.


If you need some help getting over this year’s trip by planning for next year then take a look at our catered ski chalets in La Tania and Méribel. Or give us a call on 01273 466535.

Don’t miss out on our latest offers, blog and snow reports


Meribel & La Tania – Three Valleys Snow report – Week 2

It has been a beautiful second week of the season here in Méribel and La Tania for our guests and us! Over half of the lifts and pistes have been open this week, with decent snow, mild temperatures and a lot of sunshine. Around resort you can begin to see the faint lines of goggle tans emerging, so you know the weather has been good!

Piste Conditions

With only a sprinkle of snow in the last week some of the busier runs are starting to show a little wear and tear, however thanks to the 3 Valleys trusty snow canons the pistes are being topped up with cultivated snow overnight. Half of the resorts lifts and pistes are now open with many more expected to open next week for our Christmas guests.

P1020382

Weather Forecast

As we move into one of our busiest, and most magical, times of year we can expect more sunshine and mostly clear skies. There is no snow forecast for the next few days but the solid snow pack means you will be guaranteed a white Christmas! Temperatures are set to stay mild, between 2 and 5 °C with some spots of cloudiness throughout the day.

P1020378

Whats on

If you are coming out to join us this Christmas make sure to dig out your best Christmas jumper as there will be plenty to do in resort. Vin chaud, hot chocolate, Christmas markets and even a visit from the big guy himself, there truly isn’t a better place to spend this time of year!

Check out all our last minute ski prices here.

P1020010


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.

map

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

 

 

 

 


How to tell if you are a ski geek

unnamedHow to tell if you are a ski geek.*

*nb: In this article ski can be substituted for snowboard in most instances and as the ski v’s snowboard things is getting old we are just using the word ski because a). there are more skiers, and b). ski is a shorter word than snowboard. Any real ski geek may want to dispute this, please do so in the comments below.

 

Can you remember every ski holiday you have ever been on?

A true ski geek can remember more than if they just had a good time. They should be able to remember the exact dates, who went on holiday with them, which ski resort they went to, the flight times, the exchange rate at the time and the chalets hosts name.

Do you own your own skis?

Most experienced skiers will at the very least have their own boots, which is sensible and comfortable. But the true ski nerd will have their own pair of skis, preferably two, a set for normal conditions and a wide pair for powder days. They must also own a pair of ski poles.

Can you pack everything into your ski bag?

A proud ski geek should be able to proudly inform you that they can pack all they need for a ski holiday into their ski bag, thus making a saving on excess luggage. For extra kudos they should have a story about being told off by an airline for this, with the story concluding “anyway they let me on and they said don’t do it next time”.

Do you have a second “budget” ski holiday every year?

The best ski geeks will take a second ski holiday every year. However, this trip must be so cheap that it doesn’t sound any fun. The holiday must include some of the following; a coach trip from the UK with three or more stops: hostel style accommodation; two hour commute to the slopes each day; no free wine; other ski geeks; no eating out; hitch-hiking; homemade fondu; booking every aspect online separately.

Can you name every run in resort?

For most people a simple “I will meet you at the bottom of that run yesterday next to the bar we like” is all we need to arrange to meet up. For the ski nerd you must you use the piste name as well as give a recommended route and call each lift by name.

Have you ever been on a ski holiday on your own?

If you love skiing so much that you are prepared to leave your loved ones at home so that you can ski all day where you want and apres as late as you want, not get first lifts if you don’t want, drink as much at lunch as you want, then…. errm…. why don’t we all ski alone?

Do you have a collection of lift passes?

Most ski geeks will have at least one electronic lift pass in their wallet at all times. They will also have a collection of passes from all past ski trips. Attached to their ski trousers must be at least one day ticket from a snow dome or obscure ski resort. The older skier must also be able to produce a photo id ski pass from the good old days.

Is your facebook/twitter profile a picture of you skiing?

All true ski nerds live ski all year round on their social media pages. That is until they get married, then they will change their profile to a photo of them getting married, this will last a week then it will be back to a picture of them in hat and goggles, or of them getting some air, or a snow covered mountain range.

Have you ever had an argument about which is the best ski resort?

This is similar to an argument about which football team is better, the only difference here is that they will be using examples of black runs as opposed to formation strategy.

 

Why not unleash your inner ski geek and give us a call to discuss your next ski holiday 01273 466 535 or take a look at our chalets in Meribel and La Tania.


3 Valleys snow report 16th January 2015

3 Valleys snow report 16th January 2015 

This weeks snow report comes from the team in Chalet Toubkal 2 in La Tania

FotorCreated

Peter and Karolina filed the below snow report on the 16th of January. That very night this happened…… click here to see lots of snow!

Snow Report 

This week it’s been a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise in the 3 Valleys. Sunday morning started with heavy rain in resort which luckily turned into snow before noon. Unfortunately the temperatures went up later on which as you can imagine had stopped the snow from settling on the lower slopes. However, on Tuesday and Wednesday we had more mild snowfall which freshened the runs and made for better skiing.

The best snow conditions are still higher up the mountain and on the runs that have snow cannons. All the resorts can be skied back to on open runs, in La Tania the Plan Fontaine has opened so there is now green and blue run down to the town. However some brave or crazy, I’m not quite sure, I’m one of them, take also the still closed red run down to the La Tania bubble.

The best news is that we are expecting a drop in temperatures on Friday with a significant amount of snowfall coming on Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. The cold weather is set to stay for the rest of next week with more snow on its way later on in the week!!! Sounds like the best week so far!!

The snow that we had during the week has helped a lot to keep the pistes open and skiable. With the cold weather returning and snow at the end of this week and into next, the runs will get the kick start they need to turn the ‘OK’ conditions into ‘WOOOO YAAAAAYYYY’ conditions.

We hope to see you out here soon!!

Click here to see all our chalets in Meribel and La Tania.

FotorCreated1

 


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


Run report – off-piste in Meribel

Run report – off-piste in Meribel 

By Alpine Action’s Resort Rep, Rob Bartlett 

Meribel back country off pisteI’ve said before and it is as true now as at the start of the season: one of the best parts of my job is being able to share my own knowledge of the ski resort, passing on tips and suggestions of which pistes to try, where to find the best conditions and how to get the most out of a week skiing in the Three Valleys.

As befits the largest ski area in the world, there are hundreds of kilometres of pistes to enjoy for skiers and boarders of every level. However, for experienced skiers, there is a world of fun to be had beyond the marked and bashed runs.

alpine action staff off piste meribel

The rules of off piste 

Before saying any more, we need to be totally clear that skiing off-piste can be extremely dangerous. It should only be considered by experienced and confident skiers. As minimum safety precautions you should always look to go in small groups – 3 or 4 is ideal – and never alone. Be aware of the published avalanche risk, but be aware that snow conditions can change rapidly. An hour in the sun can turn safe routes into an unacceptable risk in less than an hour.

Before setting off, you should ensure your insurance covers you for going off-piste and carry and know how to use the relevant safety equipment of a transceiver, shovel and probe. We would strongly recommend engaging an instructor or a guide, and it is always worth checking with the pisteurs for their views on where is safe to go. Always remember that skiing off-piste poses a risk not just to yourself, but also to those who on the mountain around you, such as other skiers on the same slopes, or the secouristes who would conduct a rescue operation if anything went wrong. If you are at all unsure, you should not go.

With the proper precautions however, off- piste skiing can be one of the great highlights of a skiing holiday in the Alps, so where are some of the best routes in Meribel?

fresh ski tracks meribel off piste

Where to find off piste in Meribel

My advice would be to head to the Vallon and Cote Brune sectors. On the Vallon gondola you will most likely see plenty of tracks underneath the lift, which can be accessed from the corner at the top of the Combe de Vallon piste. While this is one of the more recognised and accessible off-piste routes, beware of partially covered rocks.

For those looking to go further into the backcountry, head through the gap in the rock on your left as you come out of the Vallon bubble. There is another reasonably established route straight down hereto the side of the piste, but if you keep left, a small 10 minute walk and a short traverse lead you out to some powder field coming down from the ridge. Check with the pisteurs before attempting this route as the snowpack can be unstable above you, but in the right conditions the fluffy powder, comfortable gradient and spectacular views can make this route a showstopping highlight.

A final route to try is accessed from the top of the Becca lift. In the snowbank opposite the lift you will most likely see tracks leading diagonally up to the ridge line. The top offers a spectacular view both down to Les Menuires one way and across to the Mont Vallon summit the other. Be careful of the entry point here. Traverse across the slope to the centre of the chute to avoid the treacherous rocky drops immediately below where the track up reaches the ridgeline.

The descent down from here looks clear enough but boarders in particular will want to avoid keeping too far left as they will risk being caught out by a flat section right at the bottom before regaining the piste. Equally however, head too far right and you risk being blocked by another few rocky drops, or finding yourself underneath a particularly steep section of the slope where the risk of avalanche is higher. Keep to a conservative line though and you should have a fabulous descent, with the added bonus of being able to admire your track as you head back up the Cote Brune lift.


What’s on in Méribel and La Tania – March 2014

What’s on in Méribel and La Tania – March 2014

What a month February was! Jam packed with Olympic action. How will March be able to match it? In previous years we could have consoled ourselves with the arrival of the Winter X-Games in Val d’Isere, sadly this is not going ahead this year. But don’t be glum if you are heading to Méribel or La Tania this month there is still a lot to look forward to and that is on top of excellent snow conditions.

3rd of March – La Tania – Peroni Tour, The Ski Lodge

Part of a trip to the Alps is the drinking of lager. Even the most hardened Ale drinker will be forced to drink fizzy amber nectar, mainly Amstel or Kronenbourg, both of which aren’t very French. I remember as seasonnaire I would splash out on a Stella, as a treat. So it is with much joy that we can get Peroni in The Ski Lodge. Even better it will be an extended happy hour too. Get there now!

4th of March – Meribel – Afternoon Party

If you didn’t get enough of that Peroni feeling in La Tania the day before then head to the Café del Mott in Méribel Motteret for another Peroni fuelled party. Expect a BBQ, Peroni and DJs. If anyone from Peroni is reading this and wanted to thank us for the number of times that we have mentioned Peroni in this article, please feel free to post some to our office!

4th of March – In your Alpine Action Chalet – Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday or as it is often known as, “test you chalet host cooking skills day”. That’s right expect your hosts to be flipping away and serving up a tasty pancake with various fillings. If they do fail to provide you with one then be sure to pop into a local Crêperi.

7th March – Sochi/Channel 4 – Paralympic Winter Games

The 2014 Paralympic Winter Olympics start today. That is providing we aren’t all at war with Russia or everyone has decided to boycott the games. If all that doesn’t happen then you should be able gorge yourself on more televised snow sports, unless you have to work or are out on the slopes of the Three Valleys carving it up.

18th March to 24th March   – Méribel – French Alpine Ski Championships

If you enjoy the racing bit on Ski Sunday and the Downhill skiing part of the Olympics then take some time to go and watch this. France’s best racers will be competing to be “Le Best”. You can expect free mulled wine, exciting racing and commentary in French.

20th March to 22nd March – Courchevel – Film Festival

If you like films then this could be the event for you. 5 different films will be screened and you can go and watch them for free. To find out what the films are go to the official website. If you do go please email us your reviews.

24th March – Méribel – Poetry Week

According to Latania.co.uk, there is a Poetry week on in Méribel. We have not been able to find any evidence to support this. However we are very taken with this idea, please contact us if you have any more info. In the meantime here is our entry.

Méribel, full of snow
Méribel, full of chalets
Méribel l, I want to go
If I could ski, I would choose you

Méribel, full of fun
Méribel, full of skiers
Méribel, have you been
If you ski, you should go

March 30th – Méribel – The British Alpine Ski Championships

This goes on for a week. More details can be found here. And more details will be in next month’s What’s on in Méribel and La Tania

 

Sources – http://www.latania.co.uk/http://www.meribel.net/http://www.merinet.com/

 

 

 


Arolles – Run Guide

Arolles – Run Guide

Part of the fun of skiing is testing yourself on a variety of different slopes. Some people prefer a cruisy blue, others might like the tranquillity of a green track through the woods while more advanced riders will love to pick up some speed and carve their way down an open red.

WP_20140115_010Given that the Three Valleys is the largest ski area in the world, skiing in La Tania and Meribel allows you to tackle all these types of runs and more. However rarely does just one piste offer such a variety of different sections. One of the exceptions that proves this rule is the Arolles piste in La Tania.

Thee beginnings of the run are not that promising. Arolles splits off from the Loze Est run a little way down from the top of the Bouc Blanc lift. While it offers fantastic views of both the Courchevel and La Tania slopes on a good day, this exposed plateau often catches the prevailing wind and is a bit flat, especially for boarders. But persevere…

WP_20140115_003

As you approach the top of the Plantrey lift take care to keep left as you can pick up speed quickly as the gradient gradually increases. as you round the small rise, suddenly a widen open blue opens up, allowing you to really put the wind in your hair by carving your way round this relatively steep section.

After a couple of hundred metres you come to a natural plateau, helping you to regulate your speed before you come over the next rise. From here the ground drops away again, with the top of the Forêt bubble ahead and the entire valley stretching out ahead, with Le Praz nestling at the foot of the mountain. This section is a best tackled at cruising speed to take in the views and watch out for riders congregating around the lift station.

As you pass by Forêt, you take a sharp left and find yourself underneath the bubble cables. At this point the wide piste has narrowed to a track with just a moderate gradient at what is arguably the most attractive section. Now down amongst the trees, the run winds to the edge of the Bouc Blanc red. This brisk cruisy track is especially good in the morning when the snow is fresh as it can occasionally become slightly slushy in the afternoon as heavy use can make it a victim of it’s own popularity.

WP_20140115_009

At this point you might be tempted to take the steep section of Bouc Blanc directly to the top of the La Tania bubble but I’d recommend keeping right round the sharp bend and seeing Arolles through to the end. The track continues through another mellow wooded section before a left turn takes you to the top of a short but steep bank. Boarders should take a tight line round the apex of this corner, allowing them to up the heart rate a little again, as well as to pick up enough speed to cross the mound around the La Tania bubble station. Skiers can afford to take it slightly wider if they wish as they way up continuing down Folyères for a well-earned drink in La Tania, or catching the Dou des Lanches or Bouc Blanc lifts to discover more of the 3 valleys.

Author – Rob Bartlett


Meribel & La Tania Holidays

Find out more about our holidays to Méribel or La Tania.

Contact Us

If you would like to chat about holidays to Méribel or La Tania please get in touch via one of the methods on our contact page.

Subscribe

To sign up for our newletter please enter your email address below: