Tag Archives: three valleys

What’s new in the 3 Valleys for the 2017/18 season

Find out what is new in the 3 Valley this winter 17/18

2017/18 3 valleys map

The winter is not very far away now! Skiers will be on the slopes of  Val Thorens on the 18th of November followed by Meribel and Courchevel on the 9th of December.  As always the companies behind the 3 Valleys lifts and pistes have been working hard over the summer to introduce new or improved facilities for its customers!

New Lifts in the 3 Valleys

Loupit – Rond Pont – Covered magic carpet

The beginner’s area located by the Rond Point in Meribel will have new Covered Magic carpet similar to the one found in Mottaret. The learner zone alongside it will also be developed into a safer space for skiers to master the basics away from the busier slopes.

Ariondaz Gondola – Courchevel 1650  -Moriond

Over in Courchevel 1650 the old Ariondaz gondola that takes skiers and boarder out of the resort has been replaced by an 8 seater lift that can carry double the amount of passenger up the hill.

Moraine – 10 seater Gondola – Val Thorens

€14m has been spent on installing a new gondola in Val Thorens. The 10 seater lift is 2.5 km long and carries skiers up to the foot of the Glacier de Thorens.

Roc de Tougnete – 6 seater – Meribel

For many years there has been 2 drag lifts that served this area and for that reason it often goes unexplored by many. The arrival of this new lift will change all that and make the Lagopède and Bartavelle pistes a lot more accessible.

New Pistes in the 3 Valleys

Lac de la Chambre – Meribel

Previously a red run the Lac de la Chambre that started at the Col de la Chambre has been given a new course down the mountain to make it into a easier blue. The run is a great way to get back from Val Thorens into Mottaret and Meribel.

Croix d’Antide – Val Thorens

High up above the Orelle valley there is a new blue run called the Croix d’Antide it can be found under the Peyron chair and runs parallel to a piste of the same name.

Corniche – Val Thorens

Another new blue piste in Val Thorens. This one runs from the Folie Douce and joins up with the stade to make an easy run back to the resort.

New Luge run

A new 3 km luge run has opened up in 1650 and can be accessed by the new Arinodaz lift. This means that there are now loads of sledging opportunities in the 3 Valleys to complement the original and best one in Courchevel that runs from 1850 to 1550.

4 hours ski pass

This season sees the end of the half day pass as the 3 valleys will introduce a 4-hour pass that can be used at any point during the day and will cost €54.5 . It is worth noting that it is still better value to buy a 6 day pass at €300 if you are going to ski all week!

New Ski Schools in Meribel

This winter two of our favourite Anglo-French ski schools have come together to make one outstanding provider of ski and snowboard lessons. Magic in Motion is now part of Oxegen ski school. 


If you are looking for a catered ski chalet in Meribel or La Tania take a look at our website or call us for chat. 

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5 Ways to get your Summer Skiing Fix

5 ways to get that summer skiing fix

It is a long wait between ski seasons in Europe. The wait is almost bearable if you’re are a resort worker. But for most of us who can only fit in a one-week holiday, it is 51 long weeks. So what can you do to get your skiing fix during the long hot summer months?

1. Indoor and Dry Slopesindoor ski

There are 100’s of these dotted around the UK, some big and some very small. You can find a full list of slopes on the Ski Club of Great Britain web site. There will be one close to you and they should have a small range of ski hire equipment too. In fact, why you are at it, you may as well take some non-skiing friends along and try and tempt them into taking it.

If you can convince them to come on your next holiday you will benefit from amazing group discount, which is time well spent.

 

2. Water Skiing and Wakeboardingwater skiing

Admittedly it isn’t the same. For a novice, it can be a bit like spending time on a slushy drag lift and it can work out costing a lot more than a week’s skiing.  You will also get wet. But if all that doesn’t put you off then it is a great way to feel that comforting leg burn that you get after a good day hooning around the slopes.

51 THINGS TO DO UNTIL YOUR NEXT SKI HOLIDAY

3. Head Down Under

You could probably fit the whole of Australia’s and New Zealand’s ski runs into the Three Valleys or even the Meribel Valley, (not an actual fact). Sadly we don’t offer catered ski holidays there and there is a long flight to consider. But that shouldn’t put you off. The skiing is actually very good in both countries.

What more could you want from a bit of summer skiing than to be carving down Kangaroo Ridge with a tinny instead of a demis.

4. Create a Ski Holiday at Home

Catered chalet breakfast

One way to make you feel like your skiing this summer without leaving the house is to take it turns to be the chalet host. To help we have prepared a guide on how to create a ski holiday at home.

5. Find a Glacier in Europe to go skiing on this Summer

There are some wonderful glaciers that are open for skiing during the summer. You could even pop over for the weekend. Our favorite is located just down the road from our spiritual home of Meribel, in Tignes. There is also a great one in Zermatt although it will take you about an hour to get to it from the resort.

 


 

Or you could just spend the summer reading ski magazines, watching snowboarding videos and deciding which chalet you will stay in this winter.


What we learnt about the 3 Valleys when we skied somewhere else

We missed Méribel when we went skiing somewhere different

As you probably know we love Méribel and we love skiing in Les 3 Valleys. During the 25 years of operating in the area, we have witnessed the resort and slopes evolve into the incredible ski experience they are today.

But that doesn’t stop us venturing to other resorts for a ski day or even a holiday. Over the last few years, we have visited the Espace Killy, Chamonix, Ischgl, Borovets and recently La Clusaz. It was this last one that made us realise how amazing The 3 Valleys are!

Meribel

We are not about to character assassinate another resort and the truth is we had a lovely holiday skiing in a different place. Nor do we want to be the sort of people that say “why would you want to go anywhere else?”.

We understand that we all need to try something different, but we also know how good it feels to return to the familiar especially when it has the added bonus of being the best!

Our spring trip to La Clusaz was great, the resort was lovely, and the scenery stunning. In short, we had a great time. However, when you come from one of the best resorts in the world you do start to miss things.

The Snow

Not Much Snow
Not much snow should have stayed in the 3 Valleys

By going skiing at the extremities of the season there is always the risk that the snow conditions won’t be at their best. Our trip was in spring and the snow cover across the alps wasn’t outstanding.

It is during periods like this you realise how good the snowmaking infrastructure in The 3 Valleys is and how important attitude is to ensuring great season-long skiing.

The 3 valleys have over 2000 snow cannons across ⅓ of the ski area, in our spring destination there were just 200 and many of them were not in use due to the temperature and low altitude.

The Skiing

We can all have an opinion on what is good and bad skiing. What you can’t argue with is that the 3 Valleys is the largest ski area in the world and offers terrain and runs for every skier.  Yes in a small resort it is harder to get lost and in this case it was a great way for a mixed group to easily split up and hangout at the same time.

But if you consider that we occasionally discover a run that we haven’t skied for 10 years in the 3 valleys you can forgive us for not being satisfied with the amount of skiing on offer in other resorts.

The Lifts

Like the 3 Valleys the Annecy Ski area is many small areas linked. During my weeks stay none of the links were skiable, no runs were open into the resort and we relied on a car to get between ski areas. During the same week over in Méribel all the links were open and there was a plenty of runs open and runs back to resort were kept open.

During the same week over in Méribel all the links were open and there was a plenty of runs open and runs back to resort were kept open.

The next thing I started to miss was the quality of the infrastructure found in Les 3 Valleys. Every year there are new lift developments in the 3 Valleys and there has been clear progress in upgrading old lifts. So it is easy to tell when you’re in a resort that hasn’t had seen heavy lift investment.

So it is easy to tell when you’re in a resort that hasn’t had seen heavy lift investment. Many of La Cluzas lifts were old and none were covered, there was also a reliance on draglifts to access many of the ski areas.

The Apres

One of the charms of La Cluzas is how it has retained its original charm and very much remains a French ski resort. This has also meant that it isn’t quite up to scratch when it comes to Apres time! There is nothing to rival the Folie or the Ronnie and the bars in town are a more subdued affair.

Also after a recent Austrian ski trip and experiencing the whole Europop, Flulgle , dancing on the table madness I realised how well balanced the Apres ski scene in Meribel feels.

As we live in Meribel for half the year we can sometimes get complacent so a trip to another resort is good for us to realise how lucky we are to have the 600km of piste that we do.


If you are planning to return to The 3 Valleys or are heading there for the first time then check out our catered chalets in La Tania and Méribel or call us on +44(0) 1273 466 535


Weekly Snow Report and Events in the 3 Valleys

It has been another glorious week in the 3 Valleys with sunshine, blue skies and warmer temperatures. Lunching outside on a sunny terrace in your favourite mountain restaurant has never been so appealing.

However, all is about to change, the snow gods have been listening and our prayers have been granted, as of tomorrow we are forecast nearly half a meter of snow! It’s time to brush off those powder skis and book a mountain guide to explore the vast 3 valleys off piste routes. Tuesday has heavy snow predicted all day, on Wednesday there will be light snow in the morning and brighter skies in the afternoon. Towards the end of the week/early next week, we are forecast for sun, cloud and light snow showers. Later next week the sun will come back out welcoming us into March.

Temperatures over the next 7 days include highs of 2 degrees and lows of -11 degrees on Tuesday evening. The coldest wind chill is forecast at -20!

Credit to: Snowforecast.com
Credit to: Snowforecast.com
Credit to: Le Meteo France
Credit to: Le Meteo France
Credit to: Le Meteo France
Credit to: Le Meteo France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meribel valley currently has a reading of 40cm of snow at resort level (1450m) and 122cm at Altitude (2700m).

The Courchevel valley currently has a reading of 74cm at resort level (1850m) and 122cm at Altitude (2700m).

Avalanche risk is 2 out of 5 today, however, with the huge dump of snow forecast this will change later on in the week.

JOIN THE 3 VALLEYS SKI CLUB GROUP ON FACEBOOK

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 20thth
Welcome drink, La Chaudanne, enjoy a complementary drink and advice on where to ski between  9am – 11am.
Live Music
Jacks Bar: Jay Tamkin – 5pm
Evolution: Mardy Johnny Depps – 10pm

Tuesday 21st
Market day in Meribel centre.
DC Area 43: welcome drink and games, opportunity to win prizes, 2-4pm.
Biathlon initiation: try out biathlon for free in the Family Cool area of Meribel Altiport, 10 – 4:30pm.
Fashion week and Mardi Gras at La Folie Douce.
Carnival at La Chaudanne – 5-6pm
Live Music
Jacks Bar: Daisy B – 5pm
Lodge du Village: Bring Your Sisters – 4:30pm
Evolution: Hobo Chic – 10pm
Scotts: Alex Davies – 10pm
Doron Pub: The Slopes – 11pm
O’Sullivans: Bring Your Sisters – 12:30am

Wednesday 22nd
Torch lit decent for children: La Chaudanne – 6pm
Ice Hockey at the Olympic Centre: Meribel vs Chamonix, 8:15-11pm
Belgium Party at Folie Douce – all day
Live Music
Jacks Bar: The Mardy Johnny Depps – 5pm & Wingmen – 6pm
The Rond Point: Bubble & Crisp – 5pm
Street Party outside the tourism office: Mr Clean – 4:30pm
Doron Pub: Wingmen 11pm

Thursday 23rd
Himalaya by night: night sledging 5:30pm – 7:30pm Meribel Mottaret
Archery initiation: try your hand at Archery in the Meribel Altiport family cool area – 10-4:30pm.
DC Area 43: search for DC shoes around the park to win them, 2-4pm
Tobogganing and mulled wine at La Chaudanne, 4:15pm.
♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: Hobo Chic – 5pm
Doron Pub: Bring Your Sisters – 11pm
Den: Bubble & Crisp, 10pm
Mountain Movers, O’Sullivans: Too Many T’s – 12:30am

Friday 24th
Market day in Meribel centre
Night Slalom: Meribel Mottaret – 5pm

What’s on this week in La Tania

 

 

Last minute availability

The snow forecast this week is so good why not book a last-minute holiday in the heart of the 3 valleys? Call our UK office today on: +44(0) 1273 466 535  to discuss what is on offer for next week and the rest of the season.


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!

 

 

 

 


Woodland Walks: Teppes Trail – La Tania

The beautiful thing about the 3 Valleys is there’s something for everyone. If you aren’t a skier/boarder or your body won’t allow the aches and pains that come with the sport, there is still so much to do. If  you love the mountains; scenery, crisp air, breath taking views and fabulous lunch spots, you can still experience this at a slower pace. There are some stunning walks around Meribel and La Tania to keep you more than entertained.

One of our hosts Adrian from Chalet Cote Coeur has been out of action due to injury. He and his partner Gemma decided to adventure around the local landscape and see what La Tania walking trails have to offer. We interviewed them to find out more, here is their account of the Teppes Trail a beautiful, snowy, woodland walk:

Teppes Trail, La Tania with Adrian and Gemma from Chalet Cote Coeur

Walking Trails: La Tania – CLICK PICTURE FOR FULL MAP

Starting out at the bottom of the Grand Bois lift, cross the bridge to the centre of the resort. Take a left towards the shops and walk up the steps between the Saucisse Savoyarde deli and and the Ski Lodge. Turn left at the top and follow the road for about 20 meters, then take a right up the steps leading to the Saboia residence. The top of these steps is the beginning of the Teppes trail. Follow the footpath through the woodland and enjoy your adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian and Gemma…What was your favourite part about the Teppes trail?
        When the trail went through the woods off the main track up to the picnic spot.

Those views!

Would you say this is an easy walk? If not what ability do you think suits this kind of walk?
       Yes I would say it was easy, Adrian managed to do it with a broken collarbone.

What attire would you recommend for the trail? For example: snow shoes, normal shoes, poles etc…                   We went in our snow boots, wore thermals, ski jackets and took ski poles. 

Are there any lunch/refreshment stops on the way?
       There is a picnic spot at the top of the trail with benches and a lovely view.

How long did the walk take you?
      It took us an hour to do the walk

 

Did you see any wildlife or interesting plants during your walk?
           We didn’t see any animals but we did see lots of animal tracks and there was an information board at the picnic spot telling you about the wildlife and plants. 

Would you say that La Tania is an easy access resort for non-skiers?
           Yes I would there are many walks that you can do in the woods and up the mountains so there is a lot of variety and there are many snow shoe walks in Le Praz that we want to do as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on walking routes and alternative activities, check out our “Non-Skiers” pages on the Alpine Action website…
La Tania non-skiers: CLICK HERE

Meribel non-skiers: CLICK HERE


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.


Weekly Snow Report and Events in the 3 Valleys

Dusting of snow down the Valley

We are very excited to report it has been snowing in the 3 Valleys! Waking up on Thursday morning was a delight, with a light dusting of snow lower down the valley and a heavy snowfall up top.

The 3 Valleys has had a well needed top up!

There are lots of exciting things happening in Meribel and La Tania over the next week with the build up to the French Ski Touring Championships held up in Meribel Mottaret and Russian Christmas this weekend. Expect lots of fireworks and celebrations.

Russian Christmas: credit to Merinet

Snow/weather forecast for the week…

Next week we have an awesome forecast with the temperatures continuing to plummet, lows of minus 9 and highs of minus 2! Don’t forget to pack some warm winter woollies if you are preparing for a Ski holiday.  Wind chill is forecast at minus 15! More snow is predicted for Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday with sunshine in between – fingers crossed this stays and it will be the perfect week for skiing.

The Meribel Valley currently has a reading of 7cm of snow at resort level (1450m) and 72cm at Altitude (2700m).

The Courchevel Valley currently has a reading of 14cm at resort level (1800m) and 68cm at Altitude (2700m)

Avalanche risk is 1 out of 5

Credit to: Le meteo
Credit to: snowforecast.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Saturday 7th

Meribel:
Russian Christmas
♫Live Music♫
Evolution Bar: open mic night -10pm

Sunday 8th

Meribel:
♫Live Music♫
Doron Pub: AUDIBLE 1 DJ Set – 11pm
Evolution: WINGMEN 10pm
Jacks Bar: SHAMELESS A night of Guilty Pleasures – 10:30pm
O’ Sullivans: ALEX DAVIES 1am
The Den: ROB CROSS – 10pm

English speaking Church service at Notre-Dame des Neiges” 6pm-7pm

La Tania
Welcome drink: located inc front of the Tourism office free hot chocolate and local cheeses – 4.30-5.30pm
♫Live Music♫
La Taiga: BRING YOUR SISTERS – 10pm

Monday 9th

Meribel:
♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: JAY TAMKIN – 5pm
Evolution: THE MARDY JOHNNY DEPPS – 10pm

La Tania
♫Live Music♫
Chrome Bar: JRBB – 5pm

Tuesday 10th

Meribel:
♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: DAISY B – 5pm
Doron Pub: BUBBLE & CRISP – 11pm
Evolution: HOBO CHIC – 10pm
O’ Sullivans:  BRING YOUR SISTERS
Scotts: THE SLOPES – 10pm

La Tania
YOGA: in the Performance hall. 16 € session, Registration and payment at the Tourism office – 10.30am-12pm
♫Live Music♫
La Taïga: MUSIC FREDDY FINGERS – 10pm
The Ski Lodge: THE MARIVEAU Pub – 10pm

Wednesday 11th

Meribel:
Ice hockey gala match: Meribel vs Chamonix. 8:30pm at the Olympic centre 5euros for adults, 3 euros for children.
♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: THE MARDY JOHNNY DEPPS 5pm
The Rond Point: BUBBLE & CRISP – 5pm
Doron Pub: WINGMEN – 11pm

La Tania
♫Live Music♫
The Ski Lodge: KILLERBEEZ – 5pm
La Taïga: AL JONES – 10pm

Thursday 12th

Meribel:
Himalaya by night: night sledging 5:30pm – 7:30pm
♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: HOBO CHIC – 5pm
Duo Doron Pub: BRING YOUR SISTERS – 11pm
La Taverne: BUBBLE & CRISP – 10pm
Mountain Movers: MC AKIL MC & DJ Set – DJ Danz Support 12:30am

La Tania
♫Live Music♫
The Ski Lodge: BRING YOUR SISTERS – 5pm

Last minute availability

We still have limited spaces in our Chalets across Meribel and La Tania. If you are looking for a fabulous Chalet Holiday in the heart of the 3 Valleys, don’t hesitate to check out our last minute deals on the Alpine Action website!

 

 

 


First ski holiday with children : Part 1

If you love skiing and love your family the inevitable will happen –  A family ski holiday.

I have been blogging for Alpine Action for many years and have been skiing for even longer. During the five winter seasons I did and the numerous ski holidays I have been on, I’ve been lucky enough to experience much of what the mountains have to offer. From backcountry to park, snowboarding to snowblading, I have never shied away from a challenge despite my limited ability. To be clear I am no Travis Rice or Bode Miller but I expect that even they may have met their match when it came to taking their children skiing for the first time.

I recently took my children, 2 and 4 years old, to Méribel on their first ski trip and it was probably my biggest and most rewarding ski challenge to date.

Part One : Catching a plane with children

Overnight in a hotel

I come from a place where the northern part of the county accounts for less than 0.001% of the UK population. As you can imagine we are not spoilt for choice when it comes to local flights to the Alps. We opted to drive to Gatwick Airport. As this was our first time flying as a family, and the departure time was early, we decided on an overnight stop in a hotel, just a mile from the airport. You can get a family room with 8 nights parking for less than £80.

We arrived at the airport just after 10pm, re settled the children and bedded down to an anxious night sleep. As I lay in the hotel room, semi asleep and refusing to empty my bladder in case I woke a child up, I recalled how we had traveled across Russia several times without calamity or missing a train, and safely navigated around India on public transport. However, we didn’t have 2 children when we did it.

“Can’t sleep to excited”

Getting to the car

As we were staying such a short distance from the airport we set our alarms, allowing ourselves two and a half hours to make our way to the departure lounge via the carpark, baggage drop, security checks and other airport distractions. Surely this was plenty of time.

Top tip : Shower the night before. No one knows why we all decided to shower in the morning. Possibly it was the convention of staying in a hotel room that everything must be used and evaluated. Time stolen 10 min.

Following the showers there was the predictable tantrum from a child that we still don’t really know the origin of. It could have been that she was woken up three hours earlier than normal, or that the only food we saw fit to provide was definitely not breakfast food. Time Stolen 7.5 min.

At home I know that even if the whole family only has shoes to put on before getting in the car it will still take over 5 minutes before we can leave. Somehow the reality never sunk in that room 568, the room we were in, was located at the exact furthest point away from the far corner of the car park where our vehicle was located. Time stolen 10 min.

Parking at the airport

The car had to be moved from the hotel car park to the longstay car park. Despite a short detour this part of the journey was achieved without incident. By this time we started to pay more attention to the time and realised we may not make the flight. As we pulled into the car park the shuttle bus was leaving. Time Stolen 1 min.

Frustratingly we were directed to zone X to park. We unloaded, made a note of the location and headed of to the bus stop. Panic started to set in as the time ticked on while we waited for the shuttle bus. When a bus did arrive all available space had been occupied and so it drove straight past us of to the airport. Time for an adult tantrum. 6 long minutes passed and another bus arrived and we headed to the terminal. Time lost 20 minutes.

We alighted the bus swiftly and with children on shoulders and baggage hanging from any available body part, the fast walk combined with short sprints was underway. With time ticking away the race with other passengers that I normally contain in my head became incredibly competitive and threatened to spill over into reality. During the journey to check-in one of our children presses the wrong floor on the lift, no one notices. Time lost 3 minutes.

Checking in

We had already checked in online and our e-tickets were on an app on my phone which meant that all we had to do was drop our big bag off at the bag drop. As the bag drop came into view so did the queue but that was never going to trouble us as the minute hand on the giant departures clock signaled that our check-in had closed 5 minutes ago and so ended our chance to get our bag on the plane.

The airline staff were great but there was nothing much they could do and it really was our fault that we had missed our flight. Of course we did consider abandoning a bag in an airport and making a dash for the departure gate although this course of action could have resulted in much bigger problems.

We arranged a flight for the next day and booked back into the hotel where we sat around feeling slightly embarrassed at our own incompetence. The next day we were at the airport 2 hours before check-in closed, relaxed and ready for our holiday. It also gave me a chance to research a future blog, “What to do in an airport with 2 children if you arrive 2 hours early”.

Despite all this we went on to have one of the best family holidays we have ever been on and are already planning our next family ski trip to Méribel.

READ PART TWO HERE

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.

 

 


Meribel & La Tania Holidays

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

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