Start the morning with some warm up runs on the Tougnete side of the Meribel Valley. These are east facing slopes and have a good variety of groomed reds and blues. These runs are often quiet and lots of work has been put in over the years to maintain immaculate conditions.
Sufficiently warmed up, it's off to Bartevalle. The Roc du Tougne drag lift serves a red and black piste famous in the valley. Bartevalle, named after a colorful grouse is a challenge, particularly when the bumps have been left to grow. Its true North aspect does keep the snow in top condition and this often makes the steep slope a pleasure.
This slope has some of the best snow depth in the valley. Wind, height and aspect all work to top up the snow here for most of the winter.
Le Cretes restaurant, top of Tougnete at 2300 is the local's choice for hot-chocolate, coffee or a vin chaud. This is one of Meribels oldest mountain restaurants and is renowned for the Tartiflette. Cash only and very rustic.
Our favourite skiing in the 3 valleys is close to Meribel. The recently introduced Dent du Burgin chairlift provides great access to the sunny blues and red runs returning from Saulire to Meribel. The slopes are nearly all West facing and remain in excellent shape till the end of the day. Often the last run of the day in many resorts is the worst. Meribel has the advantage of good light and well preserved snow till 5 pm in normal winter conditions. Le Serf is a red run with a terrific fall line from mid station Saulire to the Rond Point des Pistes.
The Courchevel instructors with their private clients are all to be found in the Meribel Valley at the end of the day, enjoying the good light and quiet slopes.
You used to have to enjoy the Follie Douce in just Val Thorens, however you will be able to do this in Meribel - New this season. Just under the mid station at Saulire.
St Martin skiing is best off the piste. Easy powder slopes or perfect spring runs lead to St Martin, St Marcel or Beranger. Most of the restaurants in St Martin will pick you up if you book a table for lunch. Take a guide to Beranger for an introduction in off piste skiing and finish a perfect morning with a perfect lunch.
Some of the best tree skiing in the 3 valleys. Folyeres is a breathtaking piste from Col de la Loze to La Tania Resort. It's often empty in the morning and groomed every day.
It's a difficult choice in the morning for the La Tania skiers. Right to Meribel and eventually St Martin or Val Thorens or left to the vast area of Courchevel.
Courchevel is almost better known for the fine hotels and restaurants deserve credit for the piste skiing that is second to none. The work goes on all year round here to remove stones and sculpture slopes for the next winter. The amount of preparation and maintenance of the Courchevel slopes explains why they are often in such good shape.
The real gem however is Courchevel 1300, Le Praz. A pretty village with several top restaurants that make Le Praz a must to visit. The Jean Blanc and Jockeys piste are both black and spectacular. The views of the Bozel Valley as you ski down these slopes are breathtaking. Tree lined and North facing, the snow is often much better than you would think for the altitude.
One of the oldest purpose built resorts, it has a certain sort of shabby chic. The architecture is unfortunate but there is charm to the place. French guests are loyal and regular. The near perfect intermediate skiing helps and the lifts are nearly all modern and fast. The Bel Air restaurant needs booking well in advance. Its traditional cuisine served by the most professional team in the area.
The deck chairs on the big sunny deck are just perfect.
It's like visiting a separate ski area when you first go to Val Thorens and Les Menuires.
Vast ski area and modern architecture combine to provide fantastic skiing. Off or on piste, it's massive. Its mainly high altitude and very attractive late in the season when you are looking for colder conditions. It's a longer season here and access to this high altitude area is a real bonus for Meribel and La Tania.
Good skiers can be in Val Thorens 2300m in 1 hour from Meribel centre at 1400m. The Grange chairlift, high in the St Martin valley is the new short cut to avoid Mottaret. Due to the height difference it's not necessary to leave Val Thorens till 3 pm.
Its one chairlift to access the Meribel valley but at the top a long decent awaits you.