There are some people that have never been to Méribel, there are many that just miss being there and there are the obsessed that just love Méribel so much that they can’t get enough of it. To help all these people out we have put together a virtual tour of Méribel using a collection of videos. Hopefully it will help the people that have never been want to come, those that miss it feel like they are back there and those that love Méribel can get quick top up.
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!
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
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
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Evolution Bar: open mic night -10pm
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
La Taiga: BRING YOUR SISTERS – 10pm
Meribel: ♫Live Music♫
Jacks Bar: JAY TAMKIN – 5pm
Evolution: THE MARDY JOHNNY DEPPS – 10pm
La Tania ♫Live Music♫
Chrome Bar: JRBB – 5pm
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
La Taïga: MUSIC FREDDY FINGERS – 10pm
The Ski Lodge: THE MARIVEAU Pub – 10pm
Ice hockey gala match: Meribel vs Chamonix. 8:30pm at the Olympic centre 5euros for adults, 3 euros for children.
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
Meribel: Himalaya by night: night sledging 5:30pm – 7:30pm
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!
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.
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.
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.
Snow & Weather Report for the Three Valleys – Week 2 – December 2016
Welcome to our weekly guide to the slopes and skies of the 3 Valleys featuring up to date reports from the in-resort Alpine Action team. You will also find events listings for Méribel & La Tania.
Snow Conditions in the Three Valleys
During the past week there has been a few flurries of snow all the way down to 1200m which had a big effect on the pistes across the area. If you look at the webcams for the resorts you can see it doesn’t look pretty at low altitude as there is grass clearly visible but this distracts from quite how good the skiing still is once you are out of the towns and up in the mountains. If you are heading out for a week of quality piste riding then you won’t be disappointed. The slopes above 2000m are in good condition and have a decent base thanks to the huge November snow and the might of the Three Valleys snow making ability.
The 3 inches of snow that fell during the week wasn’t massive but it was enough to make the runs feel fresh. It is also encouraging for the weeks ahead as it means that the ski area can continue to use the snow cannons and ensure that the resort remains one of the best places to ski in Europe.
The way to get the best out of the mountain at the moment is to follow the sun around, hitting Méribel’s and Courchevel’s east facing slopes in the morning and then hopping over to the west facing slopes of St Martin and Val Thorens in the Afternoon. You can still get around the whole 3 Valley area easily as the majority of links are open and 74% of lifts are currently operating.
There is potential for snow during the week and if it does come then it will be just a few inches so you won’t need to dust the powder skis off just yet. Through the week there will be intermittent cloud cover but it will generally be sunny allowing skiers and boarders to make the most of the terrain that is open. During the days the temperature will peak at at around 3° and drop down to -5° overnight allowing many of the 2186 snow cannons to work away freshening up the slopes.
What’s on this week in Méribel & La Tania
Week: 20th – 24th December 2016
Evolution Bar featuring:
Hobo Chic and Max Le Sax 10pm
Ski lodge: Les Deux Roux 10pm
Womens Alpine Ski Comp 3pm :
Featuring the French Alpine team, Chaudanne♫Live Music♫Apres Ski:
Le Rond Point featuring:
DJs Bubble and Crisp
Jacks Bar featuring:
Wingmen + The Mardy Jonny Depps
Apres at Ski Lodge with The Slopes 5pm
La Taiga : Al Jones 10pm
Lodge du Village featuring:
Bring Your Sisters, 10pm
Mountain Movers event Jack Beats playing live.
Apres with bring Your Sisters 5pm
Open mic night 10pm with
Daisy B and Tom
Meet Santa – Resort Center, 4.45pm
Apres with The Shadowmen 10pm
Lodge du Village : Christmas Carols, 6pm
Jacks Bar : Bad Christmas Jumper Party, 10pm
Christmas Eve Party – Ski Lodge
Santas Grotto – Live Music – Drink promos
Late availability to Méribel and La Tania
We have a few rooms left in La Tania next week, departing on the 27th of December if you want to spend New Years Day skiing off that hangover. Prices are from £699pp.
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.
Alberts list of things I like doing…
Skiing and Snowboarding
Most other extreme sports
Alberts list of things I don’t like doing…
Going in Washing Machines
Hanging out with cats
I am looking forward meeting you this winter . I think we will have a great time.
The 2016/17 winter season is here. Find out what to expect in Méribel & The Three Valleys in our pre-season preview.
Skiing started in the Three Valleys on the the 19th of November when Val Thorens turned on its lifts and welcomed skiers and boarders earlier than expected due to some seriously heavy November snow. Courchevel was also able to open some of its runs early due to the 120cm of snow that fell across the Alps. All that happend before the season truly kicked off, so what has this winter got in store for the 3 valleys? Lets find out…
As we said there has been loads of snow already and all that snow has laid down a great base for the season and the temperatures are staying low according to the long term forecast. That coupled with the 3 Valleys’ amazing ability to make snow this could be a great season. Méribel opens its doors for skiing on the 10th of December opening up the whole of the 3 Valleys for skiing until late April.
We couldn’t wait to get up on mountain so we went hiking on the 17th of November.
You can save €10 per lift pass if you are buying more than one as part of the new Duo Lift pass, you must be purchasing a 6 day pass for a valley or the whole area to get the discount.
Tubing in Mottaret is opening this winter meaning that you can spend your evening flying down the slopes in a rubber ring.
If you like to picnic on the slopes then there is good news as Méribel has opened some indoor lunch lounges complete with microwaves. These can be found in Méribel and Mottaret main lift stations.
There are also new lifts in Val Thorens, the Roc and Stades drag lifts are now a shiny new 6 seater chairlift and the Boismint has also been upgraded to take more passengers.
There is lots to look forward to in the 3 Valleys this season from the Ski Cross world cup in Val Thorens on the 5th of December for 5 days to the end of the season mega party that is the 3 Valleys charity day. Here are few to look out for…
December is a busy month with opening parties as well as Christmas and New Year celebrations all going on. But there is also the the FIS Ladies Alpine World Cup being held in Courchevel from the the 20th December.
One of the best events to watch in January is the annual British Armed Forces Combined Services Alpine Championships which is held in Méribel and will be in its 11 the year.
This month the resorts will celebrate Valentines day with various activities to help show your love. There will also be loads of children’s activities across the 3 Valleys as during the majority of the month there will be a region of France that has a half term holiday as well as the UK Half Term week starting on the 11th.
The big event in March is the Ronnie Loves Music Festival, hosted at the original aprés ski destination The Rond Point. This year Norman Jay MBE will return and there will be a set from 6 Musics Craig Charles playing music from his trunk of funk. There will also be some of the worlds top riders showing off on a specially build park. The event kicks of on the 20th of March.
As the season comes to a close there are a still some great events on. We have all ready mentioned the incredible 3 Valleys Charity day happening on the 12th of April and it will feature all the best Aprés ski bands. There is also the 3 Valleys Enduro event where you can take part in events across the ski area such as Giant Slalom and Ski Cross.
If your heading to the Three Valleys then you may want to tick of a few thing on the Méribel bucket list and you definitely don’t want to miss out on some of our favourite things…
You need to make sure you spend at least one afternoon dancing at the Folie Douce.
Spend your evenings hanging out at Jacks Bar in Méribel where they have live music nearly every evening as well as comedy and great drinks offers.
If your in La Tania make sure you grab some lunch in at Pub Le Ski Lodge as well as enjoying the evening entertainment.
Also don’t forget to get your photo taken in one of the 3 valleys giant photo frames.