Tag Archives: spring skiing

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.


Why you should consider spring skiing

Officially winter ends on the 20th of March. The beginning of spring traditionally heralds the arrival of warmer weather, bird song and flowers coming into bloom.

So why would you head to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding at this time of the year? Because spring in the mountains is great fun, there is some wonderful skiing to do and plenty of other things to get up to.

The Snow

We can’t promise you endless bluebird powder days in spring but more snow fall in the spring than you think. We looked at the snowfall for the 6 week spring period in the alps over the last five years and found that on average 49cm of snow fell in the period. Spring snow accounts for 14% of all the season’s snowfall. This can easily match the snowfall recorded during December in the same seasons.

When we looked at the base depths on the piste in spring they compared almost like for like with the depths of December. Naturally the snow is starting to melt as spring settles in and it is often the case that at the very end of April the charts start to tail off. However, for many of the season we looked at spring starts when the snow depth is at its peak.

Spring Snow 2016

Simply put skiing in spring is as fun and varied as the rest of the season only a little bit warmer.

The Sun

During the spring the average temperatures is around 11° which is a lot warmer than you can expect in January when the average is just above freezing at 2°.

 

In the middle of winter in Méribel there is around 75 hours of sunshine over 28 days. Once spring arrives there is in excess of 175 hours of sunshine throughout the month.

The Fun

It is during these months that the sun terraces start jumping into action with more outside gigs starting happen, BBQ’s appear and of course there is loads more sunbathing to be done.

Photo : 3 Valleys Charity Day Facebook

In Spring Méribel gears itself up for some great outdoor parties including the Ronnie Loves Music Festival with Norman Jay MBE, The Sunset Sons and Craig Charles.. There is also the amazing Three Valleys Charity day hosted by the LDV’s in Méribel Village.

 

If you fancy a week skiing in the spring then give us a call on 01273 466535 or take a look at our latest offers. 


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

 


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.

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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.


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!


What does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts?

What does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts? 

Spring is in the mountains and that means many things. Things such as drink the bar dry nights, increased sightings of marmots, stones appearing on the piste, increased worry about getting your deposit back on your hire skis and of course the end of the winter ski season. But what does the end of the ski season mean to the staff in the ski resorts?

Rhys and Leanna- Serpolet (1024x768)

Our staff will be starting to realise what this means very soon. To them it will seem a distant memory when they filled out their application form and then came and had an interview for a ski job with us. Since then, the potential we spotted in them will have been realised and they will now be developed professional caterers. Never, during playground chat, will they have thought that making a bed and cleaning bathrooms would be a path they would take and they definitely wouldn’t have considered the rewards it would also lead to.

Now as the last few weeks of guest arrive and depart and the chalets are prepared for a lonely summer, our chalet host will be starting to have one of two feelings. For some it will be Joy, for others it will be dread and some it will be both.

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The feeling of joy will come from the feeling of relief that they did it. It is hard to underestimate the pressure a chalet host is under. Many people take the job with mixed emotions of trepidation and excitement because is it far outside their comfort zone.  So to have completed a winter season in a ski chalet having cooked and cleaned for 200 people 6 nights a week is a massive achievement, especially when you have got consistently good reviews as our staff have done this season.

Joy will also be because they are looking forward to going home, for quite a few of our chalet host this will have been the first time that they have left everyone behind. When they do return they may have not seen their parents or partners for 6 months.

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But there is that feeling of dread too. In some jobs you work, then you go home, then you have a weekend and then you go on holiday. Working and living in a ski resort as a chalet host is all of those things in a day, every day, twice. It is a completely absorbing environment to be in. For many it will be the most intense few months of their lives. In some cases it is addictive and can lead to a whole life in the mountains.

When we reflect on the friend we have made and how far they will be away when we return home. When we consider the epic days we have had in the hills and how suddenly we won’t be skiing fresh tracks 30 minutes after getting that cake out of the oven. We will even reflect back at the great guests we have had, from the party animals to the clean freaks, and how we have enjoyed having them all to stay. When you consider all this you start to get a feeling of dread. Suddenly it will all be gone.

Still there is always next season…

Find out what its like to work for us.

Working for Alpine Action from Alpine Action on Vimeo.


What Emily Sarsfield Loves About Méribel

Emily Sarsfield is the UK’s number 1 female Ski Cross athlete, has been ranked 20th on the World Cup circuit and is a member if the British Ski and Snowboard squad. For the last 10 years Emily has lived, worked and trained in Méribel and is a big fan of the Three Valleys.  Recently we had a chance to sit down with Emily and talk to her about what she loves about our Alpine home.

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Val Thorens World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

Not only does Emily train in the Three Valleys she also runs a small ski school offering private lessons out of Méribel, this is obviously when she isn’t competing and is often during the school holidays. The reason she does this is because unlike many other athletes she doesn’t receive funding, so has to find ways to fund her own training and racing. As Emily bases herself in the Three Valleys and is always returning in Méribel, we started be asking her why she keeps coming back, her response was that the resort has a strong community, although she doesn’t behave like the usual seasonnaire and is likely to be found in the gym when everyone else is in the pub.

We then chatted about her missing out on the Winter Olympic Games and becoming a ski instructor but we soon ended up back on the subject of Méribel. One of the first thing Sarsfield mentioned was the fact that all of the resorts in America would fit into the Three Valleys before pulling out the usual but true clichés and declaring that Méribel is “postcard picture perfect”.

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Megeve World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby

In the 10 years of skiing in the Three Valleys she doesn’t think she has skied every run, which is probably very true, after all the years we have been working out there we probably haven’t either. If you live somewhere for a long time you will inevitably notice the changes, one of the big things Emily has noticed is how the access to cross the entire ski area has developed and even beginner skiers can now move from resort to resort on mainly green runs.

“There is always something different” – Emily Sarsfield on the Three Valleys

Of course one of the main reason Emily loves the Three Valleys is because of the Ski Cross park in Val Thorens, which is one of the best in Europe and regularly hosts World Cup Events. Over the years she has fallen in love with off piste skiing which the the 3Vs has plenty of when the conditions are right and Sarsfield top tip is to head up the Loze chair on a bluebird for some easy access powder.

We saved our “best” question until last, when we asked her in our serious interviewer voice, what is her favourite run in the resort and the answer was the Mauduit. The run is from the top of Saluire and goes all the way down to Méribel Center, or you can choose to head down to Méribel Village. She described the run as “long, open, well groomed and a thigh burner”.

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If you would like to keep up to date with Emily then check out her Facebook or Twitter.

To book a holiday to Méribel visit our website. 

 


What’s on in Meribel and La Tania – January 2015

What’s on in Meribel and La Tania – January 2015

There are always great things going on in the resorts of La Tania and Meribel. You will find that there are great bands and promo nights on all the time. Your chalet host and our resort reps will be able to tell you what is going on every day. However there are some great events on in January you may not want to miss. Here is a list of events in January that are worth looking at.

5th to 8th January – Inuit Adventures 

The Meribel Altiport area has gone all Arctic this season! It is holding a variety of free events that will make you feel as if you are a real Inuit. The main attraction is ice fishing. For more information click here!

6th January – Russian Christmas

A large number of Russians are now holiday in the Three Valleys, we even have quite a few come and stay in our Alpine Action Chalets. This is great news for Christmas lovers as the Russians don’t get round to celebrating it until the 6th of January and it is well and truly embraced in Meribel!

17th January  – Moguls Competition

Want to feel inferior about your technique and ability to tackle small bumps on the piste? Then head up to Motteret and watch the French Freestyle Mogul Cup. It is even more impressive than watching it on the telly. Find out more.

18th January – Colour me Rad

We spotted this event thanks to Merinet. It is a charity fun run where you get a variety of colours thrown at you as you run. Start out in a white running kit and finish in either a vibrant rainbow of color or a sort of brown purple. It is only 5km up the mountain and there is a party at the end! Go on have a go! 

20th Jan Meribel v’s Courchevel Hockey

During the season there are quite a few Hockey matches but this is a big one, Courchevel against Meribel. This is quite a grudge match, I remember watching these two battle it out at the Courchevel rink a few years back and it was brutally exciting. I didn’t really understand what was going on but but it was exciting none the less. This event is held in at the Meribel Olympic Ice Rink and is only €5 per adult.

Jan 26th – Australia Day

It seems that it isn’t only the Russians that have brought their traditions to the Alps, the Australians have too. Expect drunken people called Tad and Jason to running around bars drinking Fosters dancing to Men At Work covers and wearing beanie hats with chalet wine corks hanging from them.


10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

10 reasons why snowboarding is better than skiing

Ever since the first man or woman, we haven’t researched this, strapped on a snowboard there has been a debate about which is better, skiing or snowboarding. We at Alpine Action love both sports however, that doesn’t make good reading. Here are our 10 reasons that snowboarding is better than skiing.

1. The boots

Many people think that snowboard boots are really comfy. Compared to many mid 90’s ski boot they are. However they can be just as uncomfortable as a ski boot at times.  Where they really come into their own is when you are walking around resort. Have you ever seen a snowboarder struggling to negotiate a set of stairs?

READ OUR GUIDE ON WHERE TO SNOWBOARD IN THE 3 VALLEYS

2. People think we are cool

This depends on your definition of cool. We assume that baggy clothes, bright colours and wearing a bobble hat no matter what time of the year it is means cool. If this is true then snowboarders are cool.

3. Jenny Jones

Britain’s first Olympic medal on the snow was won by a snowboarder and she achieved it in a year when the competition was tougher than ever before. Jenny Jones is a true role model for many youngsters.

4. Sitting down

It’s not because we actually need to we just like the rest.  If us snowboarders wanted to we could easily strap in quickly and get on our way. The truth is that we quite like the social chat while we eye up a jump or route.

5. Off piste is easy

Well not that easy. But in principle tackling some fresh powered is a lot less challenging than on a pair of skis. This means that even people new to the sport can get a taste of the pure enjoyment that is floating on fresh, deep snow.

READ OUR GUIDE TO OFF PISTE RIDING IN THE VALLEYS

6. No poles

Sure there are times when a set of poles would really help, such as long flat sections. But that is why we have skier mates to pull us along.  The up side is that we never loose our poles of a chair lift. It also frees up our hands for useful reasons such as eating on a lift and throwing snowballs.

7. Innovation of skiing

Without the fast development of snowboarding in the late 90’s skiing may have not been as quick to develop the technology used today. Imagine all you skiers could still be using 10ft long straight skis with rear entry boots.

8. It is a lot easier to get a bubble for just your group

It may seem that it is a big hassle to get a snowboard in the slot or even squeeze it into the lift. This is actually a tactic to ensure that the lift is taken up by just our mates.

 READ MORE : THE BEST SKI AND SNOWBOARD MOVIES TO STREAM

9. We have better computer games

Have you ever played a good skiing game? Thought not.

10. Lots of transferable skills

Once you have mastered skiing you can only use that skill for one other sport, water skiing and everyone knows that isn’t much fun. Once you have mastered snowboarding there area endless board sports to enjoy.

Are you a skier? Then read our 10 reasons why skiing is better than snowboarding.

Click here to look at all our skier and snowboarder friendly holidays.  

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A guide to Snow parks in the 3 valleys

A guide to Snow parks in the 3 valleys – By Rob BartettMeribel Map, board park, dc park, moon park

The season has flown by but as the final weeks of skiing approach there is no let up for the team out here in resort. With Easter on the horizon, the final weeks will see many kids arrive in resort on their Easter holidays.

For many this will be their first time in the mountains and their sights will be set on the huge achievement of completing their first green run. But for the older kids, who may have had a few weeks skiing before and feel comfortable on blues and reds, some of them may be on the lookout for their next challenge. Their parents may be wary, but for many that challenge could be to master their first tricks in the park.

Fortunately Meribel and the Three Valleys have several different snow parks, with routes for riders of all abilities, from wide boxes for those taking their first steps up from piste skiing, to Olympic size kickers, rails and half-pipes for experienced (and brave!) freestyle skiers. As with my recent entry about off-piste skiing, you will find that an instructor will be worth their weight in gold for both your safety and enjoyment as you take your first steps in the park.

Moon Park

The smaller of the two parks in Meribel is the Moon Park, accessed off the top of the Plan de l’homme lift from the Chaudanne. A great starting point here is the boardercross route, with the twisting run, steep banks and simple rollers allowing you to get a feel for freestyle riding.

Moving up a level, the Moon Park has a nice series of entry level boxes and small kickers, which make it the perfect place to learn your first tricks, although boarders be aware that to go straight back around when you reach the bottom it is a steep drag lift.

One or two large kickers aside, more experienced park skiers may be looking for a bigger challenge. In which case the choice is clear: head to Mottaret.

DC Park

Variously known as the Plattières park, the DC Park or Area 43, the snowpark off the top of the Plattières 1, Plan se Main and Chatelets lifts is undoubtedly the biggest and best in the Three Valleys. It has a full range of options for all riders, including entry and intermediate boxes and kickers as well as a mini half-pipe to try. But as great as trying the different modules yourself is, that’s only half the fun of your time here.

That is because this is where the serious freestyle riders come to play. Start by watching them to the full-size half-pipe immediately underneath the Plattières lift station. With a steep gradient and high walls, you can see some seasoned veterans getting big air and maybe putting in a few 180s or 360s.

As you go further down, on the far right hand side you will see some huge kickers, where riders tend to favour grabs as they carry in some cases 20m or more in the air. Finally underneath the DC sign you will see the advanced rails, painted yellow and black as is fitting for some of the most difficult modules around. Watching the pros balance on their tips over these rails is an awesome sight, but you will wince if they don’t quite nail that landing. Parents may want to look away, but if the kids are dreaming of thrills and excitement this holidays, look no further than a spot of freestyle skiing in the snow parks in Meribel.

DC Board Park Meribel


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