All posts by Jim Duncombe

What’s new in the Three Valleys 2019/20

Discover what is new in the 3 Valleys this winter – Season 2019/20

Every year the resorts across the Three Valleys bring new upgrades to their ski areas, resorts and event offerings.

The 2019/20 winter season is no different with new runs, lifts and entertainment.

New runs in the Three Valleys

Meribel is opening two new red runs open in the Roc de Fer area at the top of the Olympic chairlift.

Up until now, this area has been served by blue slopes and the notorious black fun Face. The new runs will be called Gypaete and Daguet which can also be accessed from the Cherferie lift.

What's new in the Three Valleys 2019/20

READ MORE: A GUIDE TO SOME OF THE BEST PISTES IN THE THREE VALLEYS

New ski zones in the Three Valleys

As more and more of us want freeride to be easier to access and safer Courchevel and Meribel are introducing such zones.

Meribel is upgrading its “Back to the Wild” freeride zone that can be found on the north-facing Mont de la Challe sector. Skiiers can access area that is area via the Roc de Tougne chair.

Courchevel is revamping the Creux Noirs area that was closed for the 2018/19 season.

It will reopen as an ungroomed controlled freeride area under the name The Freeride Lab and will be accessed by a new 350m drag lift that replaces the very dated chairlift.

Starting at the 2700m peak will be two red runs and one black run, but it also means better access to some of the areas best off-piste. This is a welcome return.

New Ski lifts in the Three Valleys.

In addition to the new Creux Noirs new drag lift Courchevel are making it easier for skiers to commute from Le Praz.

A new €27 million lift will depart from Le Praz and arrive directly into La Croisette complex in Courchevel centre. This will make it easier for skiers to get to the Plantrey chairlift, the slopes and the resort

The base of the lift will also feature a multi-use centre that includes parking and a children’s activity zone.

St Martin de Belleville is upgrading Saint Martin 1 gondola that is the main lift out of the village.

It will replace all the old cabins and increase lift speed further, and capacity will rise from 1,800 to 2,400 people per hour.

More snowmaking in Meribel

To serve the growing army of snowmaking machines that keep the ski slopes white more water is needed.

Meribel has expanded two reservoirs to help increase snowmaking on the Bouvreuil Rouge, Mûres Rouge, sections of Combe du Vallon, Choucas.

New for Families in the Three Valleys

The Yeti park in Meribel-Mottaret has introduced a no skis area so children can run around, play blow Himilyan horns, have a snack and chill out.

And in the Family Cool area near the Meribel Altiport, there will be a load of free entertainment during the school holidays.

Activities will include eagle shows, ice carving, biathlon taster sessions and other surprises.

More picnic areas in the Three Valleys

After the success of the log cabin picnic spot, Cabane des Trappeurs, Meribel are introducing the Refuge at the bottom of the Lagopède piste.

Its worth remembering that the Cabane des Trappeurs doesn’t just provide seating there is also glove-warmers and smartphone chargers.

New Bars in the Three Valleys

Val Thorens is opening a new Igloo village that will be home to an ice bar for drinks and a restaurant serving mountain classics like fondue.

Meribel welcomed the return of the popular Jacks bar. It’s absence last winter was noticed by all.

This winter it will open in a new home across the road from the Chaudanne in the building that previously housed the Meribar.


If you are thinking about skiing in the Three Valleys this winter take a look at our accommodation in La Tania and Meribel.


Six Non-Ski Activities to Try in the Three Valleys

The top 6 non-ski activities in the Three Valleys

If you live and breathe skiing, and with the largest linked ski area in the world on your Méribel or La Tania chalet doorstep, you could be excused for thinking that you have everything you need right there.

But despite the 600+ km of marked pistes and the fact that the Three Valleys is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Europe, there will inevitably be times when you (or someone you’re holidaying with, at least) will fancy a change from skiing or snowboarding.

As well as ice-skating, bowling, paragliding, tobogganing, mountain biking, massage and relaxation spaces, retail therapy and plenty of apres-ski venues to keep you busy, there are all sorts of slightly more alternative activities to try in the Three Valleys.

 

 

With that in mind we’ve picked six of the best non-ski activities in the Three Valleys, guaranteed to keep dedicated skiers and non-skiers alike happy all holiday.

 

If you need any further information about some of the options listed below you can always give our UK office a call on 01273 466535 to see if we can advise…

Ice Driving and Ice Karting

This could just be the ultimate ‘rush’. Visit the highest ice-racing track in Europe at Val Thorens and, under the guidance of professionals, experience the thrill of driving on ice! There’s also an ice kart track which is perfect for the kids and the opportunity to try a ‘buggy’, essentially a quad bike on ice which seats two people.

 

Dog Sledding

There are different options here, from a high octane, adrenaline fueled exploration of the forests with ups, downs and branch-du

 

cking galore, to a rather more sedate, level trip around a lake. If the actual activity of Husky sledding is a step too far, there are also opportunities to simply meet and pet the dogs. Call Karine on +33 (0)6 75 41 74 94

JOH_5522

 

Snow Shoeing

This is a great activity for everyone, young and old. As the saying goes; If you can walk, you can snowshoe! It is a brilliant way of getting an alternative, more tranquil view of the resort and exploring more remote and unspoilt scenery.

There are open tours, or you can book a guide for a bespoke expedition for 1-6 people.

Ski-joering

Ok, so this admittedly does have an element of skiing involved, but only minimal ski competence is necessary. This mix of skiing and equestrianism dates back hundreds of years and, in the Three Valleys, is practiced in a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the pistes. The horse wears a harness with a flap for the skier to hold and then the skier is pulled along by the strength of the horse along specially adapted paths.

to Boo call +33 4 57 37 17 21

Igloo Building!

Every Wednesday evening throughout the season at the Méribel Prosneige Ski School, kids can get together for some guided mountain exploration and the chance to learn how to build an actual igloo! It’s also a chance for parents to have a moment to themselves…

Tel: 04 79 00 3646

Water Park Fun in the Mountains?

Yes, it really is possible. Aquamotion Courchevel offers everything from a well equipped spa to a surfable wave as well as water flumes and slides and an indoor climbing wall. Located at the crossroads between Courchevel Village and Courchevel Moriond, access to Aquamotion is on foot or by free shuttle. With an on-site restaurant, it’s a great choice for a full day’s activities away from the slopes. Tel: +33 (0)9 71 007 300


If you are looking for a place to stay when you’re visiting the 3 Valleys – Take a look at our Catered Ski Chalets in Meribel and La Tania.


Why Méribel is a great destination for beginners!

Meribel is perfect for beginners.

For intermediate and advanced skiers, the beauty of Méribel is that it’s a perfect springboard resort for the Three Valleys Ski area as a whole, the largest ski area on earth in fact, with over 600km of accessible pistes. 

But that’s not to say those new to skiing are overlooked or left too far behind. With a wide choice of English speaking ski schools, two separate nursery areas, 8 green runs and 25 blues to tantalise. There is plenty of places to practice those turns and work on technique.

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried”

Méribel is a great destination for beginners!

It’s also worth saying that the friendly, welcoming and easy-going nature of the resort in general, lends itself well to those strapping on their ski boots for the first time. Because everyone’s gotta start somewhere…

The two designated beginner zones are found in the centre of Meribel Mottaret (Zen Zones) and at the Altiport area in Meribel itself. In Mottaret, the beginner-only area has its own magic carpet and drag lift, and the Combes chairlift serves the great fun green run known as Little Himalaya. 

In Meribel there’s a magic carpet lift at Rond-Point and the quiet and safe slopes of the Easy Rider beginner area are great for children and adults alike to practice.

Think Snow Parks are out of bounds for beginners? Think again! Both Méribel’s Elements Park and Mottarett’s DC Area 43 have specifically designated learner zones, and they’re not just for kids!

Sourcing a Great Ski School

It goes without saying that ski schools get particularly busy during peak times and school holidays so it’s worth doing some research before you arrive and get yourself or your kids signed up. Check out our guide to some great Méribel Ski School here, all of which are English speaking and run by highly experienced skiers that know Meribel and The Three Valleys inside out.

Consolidating those skills.

After the nursery slopes comes the gentle greens, of which there are several to choose from.  We love the wide, tree-lined Blanchot piste, accessed by the Rhodos Bubble Lift from the Altiport; it’s great for newbie skiers and snowboarders alike. You can return to the top via the draglift or, if you’ve had enough of falling off those for the time being, there’s a chairlift too! And remember, regular pit stops and time-outs on sunny terraces are highly recommended!

Méribel is a great destination for beginners!

Our top tips for beginners:

Catered Chalets over Self Catering

For those coming skiing for the first time, booking a fully catered chalet is by far and away the better choice. Ski resorts can be overwhelming. Having the helpful advice of chalet staff on tap is a huge benefit. Check out our Meribel and La Tania catered chalets here.

Physical Fitness

If you can, spend some time prior to your holiday doing some preparatory exercise. We’re not talking hours in the gym here, but taking the stairs over the lift, walking the dogs a bit further and faster, and practising the classic ‘flat back against the wall with bent knees’ pose, will all help build the stamina and endurance that six days straight on skis will call for.

Méribel is a great destination for beginners!

Practice on an Indoor Ski Slope

For those of us that like to have a teeny bit of experience before our first lesson in resort, there are 100’s of indoor slopes 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.

Be prepared for the cold

We’d recommend for first-timers, that wherever you can, it’s best to borrow kit rather than shell out a lot of money on clothing, helmets and goggles you may not use again (Ok, you will probably use it again, because one ski trip is rarely ever enough, but, you know, just in case). However, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for the extreme temperatures. Because nobody wants to cut short their slope time due to frozen fingers. Check out our in depth guide here.

Watch some videos

From full-length films and YouTube Ski Technique guides and tips, there’s a wealth of ski and snowboard related content out there. You could even subscribe to our channel and get a proper feel for an Alpine Action catered chalet experience. All of this will get you super keen and excited to get started on your own skiing or snowboarding journey. 

(Just don’t overdo the ‘Best Ski Fails of All Time’ vids…)

Check out our current pricing and availability for your Merbel or La Tania catered Chalet holiday here.

 Looking forward to seeing you shredding it very soon…x


Our Guide to Keeping Warm on the Slopes

Find out how to stay warm on the slopes this season

We have over 25 years of experience providing catered chalet holidays and whilst we obviously share the poet Edith Sitwell’s love for a cosy home, an open fire, quality time with friends and family and fantastic food, we differ slightly in her assertion that it’s the only place we want to be.

Winter is, naturally, our favourite season. We start counting down the days from spring! Then after a long wait, it snows and it is finally time to get outside and play! There’s stunning scenery to be explored and fluffy powder crying out to be skied!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell 

But all this fun comes at a cold price and if, like us, you want to squeeze out every last second on the slopes during your ski holiday, staying as warm and dry as possible is paramount. Nobody wants to cut their day on the hill short because of the cold.

With this in mind we’ve put together some handy tips to help you stay warm and comfortable on the slopes the whole day long.

Courchevel Jan 2019

Food is Fuel

Start the day right with a good breakfast. However keen you are to get going, you need to put some fuel in the tank first! And eating makes you warmer!

Essentially, you are adding energy which serves to warm up the body. And the bonus is that you don’t have to worry about storing that energy as fat, as you’re sure to burn it all off in the day on the slopes. (Ah, the joys of a guilt-free full English or continental breakfast feast!)

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but with all that shredding planned, you’re going to need to keep refuelling.

Pack some snacks, (granola or cereal bars are our go-to), and then make the most of a reinvigorating lunch at one of the great mountain restaurants.

Go for something nice and warm but avoid an afternoon energy-slump by skipping anything too rich or particularly carb heavy (we know you won’t), save that for dinner at the chalet!

Layer Up

Verb: To dress in multiple layers before heading out. Done to protect oneself from cold elements or just to look mad fresh. (UrbanDictionary.com)

We’re talking here about urbandictionary.com’s first definition here, but hey, if you want to look ‘mad fresh’ in the process who are we to judge. We’ve seen all sorts of trends come and go!

Seriously though, layers help trap small pockets of air and multiple layers are always better that one chunky ski jacket. Start with a Merino wool thermal layer which, unlike cotton, will still trap air even if it gets wet, then add a down filled mid-layer and a waterproof shell jacket.

Make sure you do up your jacket’s powder skirt and tuck in all those layers carefully, to avoid the dreaded shovel-full of snow up your back when you fall over (hey, it happens to the best of us).

Extremities in Extreme Cold

Cold head, hands and feet are the skier or snowboarder’s nemesis and sometimes, however good the conditions are, can be cause-enough to abandon slope. Combat really cold hands with a combination of mittens along with a silk glove liner and consider using a pair of hand warmers. They’re small, inexpensive and easily inserted into ski gloves and even boots.

Ski socks have come along way from the extra-thick chunky variety that ultimately restricts your circulation and it really pays to invest in some good quality thinner pairs. When it comes to feet, think merino wool again. With its excellent wicking properties, it will help your feet to keep dry and regulate body temperature. And of course, if you have them, make use of your chalet’s boot-warmers! It’s so important to start your day with dry-as-a-bone kit. If you don’t you’ll find it impossible to get warm.

Let’s face it: there are always going to be people that look great in any hat they put on their head and those that, well, just aren’t. But whichever group you fall into, some form of headwear is imperative on the mountain.

There are traditional wooly hats, helmets, snoods, buffs and balaclavas to choose from and the most important thing is that they help you conserve body heat and protect those ears from the wind chill. You can also try neck gaiters to keep out the drafts and snow.

Take A Break

If you’re out on the slopes and you can feel the cold creeping in uncomfortably so, despite good eating and good dressing, we highly recommend taking a break for a hot choc or a  vin chaud. Or maybe just take yourself off to the new Legends Chairlift that runs from the Chaudanne area up to the top of the Elements Park. It has covered and heated seats!

Meribel – Jan 2019

 


Six Reasons To Work a Season in the 3 Valleys

Find out why so many pick the Three Valleys to work a season in. They say it is one of the best things you’ll ever do in your life. No probably about it!

If you are looking for the best winter season experience and a job to match then look no further that Meribel or La Tania in the 3 Valleys with us.

Here are our top 6 reasons why seasons in the 3 valleys are so good.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WORKING A WINTER IN THE THREE VALLEYS

1.Sheer Scale

“Méribel is part of the largest ski domain in the world, with more than 370 miles of managed pistes. We skied non-stop for four days and barely scratched the surface of what was available.” Jon Sopel

When you’re in Méribel, you’re slap bang in the middle of the biggest linked ski area in the world, and with a Three Valleys Ski Pass, no two days will ever be the same, even over the space of a full season.

With over 600Km of accessible pistes including 328 downhill skiing pistes, 166 ski lifts and more than 2300 snow cannons, there’s no doing the same run every day here! Think adventure, think mountain exploration, think getting off the beaten track, think world-class lift systems that mean less waiting and more skiing.

By the end of the season, you’ll definitely have scratched that surface. In fact, you’ll be seeing how quickly you can ski into every village in the Three Valleys, still manage some quality pit stops in each and be back in time for work. 

 Work a Season

2.Quality as well as Quantity

So we get it, The Three Valleys is a big place. But thanks to its natural domain, the fact that 85% of the ski area is above 1800m and the impressive number of snow canons throughout the valleys, snow is guaranteed all season.

And over 70 grooming machines ensure that conditions are kept tip-top. Early morning corduroy anybody?

 Work a Season

2.Powder Days

“One can never be bored by powder skiing because it is a special gift of the relationship between earth and sky. It only comes in sufficient amounts in particular places, at certain times on this earth; it lasts only a limited amount of time before sun or wind changes it. People devote their lives to it for the pleasure of being so purely played by gravity and snow.”– Dolores LaChapelle, Earth Wisdom, 1978

Ah, the elusive perfect powder day. If your skiing has been limited to a week here or there, truly epic powder days have probably been few and far between.

In Meribel, there is a world of fun to be had beyond the marked and bashed runs. Regular dumps of snow and extensive off-piste means your season will see you chalk up some of the most exhilarating powder days of your life.

And let’s face it, if you’re working in Meribel for five months,  you’re gonna be privy to a fair few of them.

3. The SnowParks

Work on those Profile Pictures…

Over the course of a season in Meribel and the Three Valleys, you’re going to get lots of opportunities to practice those bonks and pops in the parks.

Give your Park confidence a literal boost by trying out the awesome Jump’Air at Val Thorens. The giant air cushion is the perfect solution if you want to learn or improve your freestyle skiing or snowboard technique.

The early weeks will probably see you at Elements, with its multiple kickers, rails and rollers, eagerly watching replays of your first successes, and before you know it you’ll be ripping it up at the DC Area 43 Park with the big boys and girls. And that perfectly timed photo of you nailing that corkscrew 720 will be a profile pic for months!

4. Awesome Apres and Festival Fever

It’s nothing new to say Méribel has an amazing Apres scene. And sure, if you want to party every night, Meribel and its host of bars and clubs can provide.  

The institutions that are Follie Douce and The Rond Pont (AKA the Ronnie) never fail to disappoint and with five months in the resort you’re going to have some ‘memorable’ experiences!

But the Apres scene in Meribel is nicely balanced, with bars like Barometer offering a more chilled night out. Because even the most seasoned party animal will want a quieter night every now and then, especially pre-transfer day!

The Three Valleys also hosts a number of festivals and live music events featuring international artists throughout the season. And by ensuring you’re here all season, the stress of trying to book your holiday to coincide with at least one of them is no more! FOMO be gone!

 Work a Season

5. Apparently, in the Three Valleys, people do things other than throwing themselves down a hill with planks of wood strapped to their feet…

That’s right, your downtime after work doesn’t have to be limited to epic powder days, park time and shredding the slopes (I mean, that might get boring right? …right?)

There are actually all sorts of other activities to try including Husky sledging, helicopter rides, ice skating and snowmobiling. As well as the opportunity to go all ‘Top Gear’ and have a go at Ice Driving. That’s definitely one to remember!

5. Friends in High Places

When we asked our staff what they love about working a season, they all said, erm, being able to ski five days a week, for five long snowy months, on some of the best slopes in the world?

But on an equal footing, was the fact they’d all made friends for life. There’s a camaraderie between season workers that quickly creates a special bond.

Everyone working there shares the love for all things winter…the powder days, the clear crisp mornings, the stunning scenery, the awesome Apres scene. While no-one ever said working a season was an easy job, the friendships made on the slopes see you through any tough times!

Check out our recruitment page here, and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the slopes for an epic season…


Our Guide to getting around by bus in Méribel.

All aboard…The Alpine Action guide to getting around Méribel by bus.

Transport and transfers are part and parcel of planning your ski trip and getting you to the resort, but what about when you’re all settled in at the chalet, or exhausted at the end of a hard day on the slopes, and are wondering how to get around by bus in Méribel?

Enter those bright blue ‘Navettes,’ pulling up at a bus stop near you every 15-20 minutes.

The villages and resorts that make up the Meribel valley are thankfully very well connected by the fantastic Meribus service.

The completely free to use, the hop-on / hop-off service runs seven days a week from early morning until Midnight and makes getting around the resort super easy.

You can take your skis and poles on board with you but make sure you keep a hold of them.

Timetables are available at each stop or you can pick up a copy in resort.

Handily all Meribuses come with free onboard WiFi so you can always check the website for routes too (in between uploading your latest ski selfies to social media) .

Meribel bus timetable

Download NAVETTES-GRATUITES-Meribus

There are four lines: Line A links Les Allues and Méribel Village with Meribel centre and La Chaudanne main ski lift area,  Line B links Le Belvedere with Rond Point, while  Line C runs from La Chaudanne right through Meribel up to the Altiport, stopping at Meribel Centre, Les Barons, Toubkai and Rond Point along the way. Line D serves as a link between Meribel, Mottaret Centre, the Teleporte and Le Hameau.

For our chalets

Most of our catered chalets in Meribel are located along on one of the bus routes. If they aren’t then we provide a minibus service at key points in the day.

For chalets Telekie, Azalee, Alysson, Virage & Chardon you can catch line B and C.

Chalet Ecureil is located on bus route A.

If you are staying in Meribel Village for your holiday in Chalet Rosalie busses on line A will take you to Meribel.

 

Meribel bus navette

 

Don’t panic if you accidentally get on the wrong line though, as all buses call at La Chaudanne and Méribel centre near the Tourist Office, which makes connecting from one line to another a doddle.

La Tania Bus Service

While there isn’t currently a free service between La Tania and Méribel, if you’re staying in La Tania, the free ski bus service runs between there and all the Courchevel Valley villages from the main road behind the Montana Hotel opposite La Taiga restaurant. The first bus leaves La Tania at 08.30 to arrive in Courchevel 1850 for 09.00 and then at 10 past the hour all the way through until 01.10, meaning you can well and truly make the most of the nightlife in nearby Courchevel.

LA TANIA BUS/NAVETTE TIMETABLE DOWNLOAD


Guide: Spring Skiing in Meribel

Why is Spring Skiing in Meribel so great!

Sunshine, smiley faces, parties, funny goggle marks and more snow than you might expect. Just a few of the things we love about Spring skiing in the Three Valleys.

In fact, Méribel in the spring comes with more than just a few perks.

In this blog we’re taking a closer look at the pros of a late season session on the slopes that’ll have you searching for all the Spring Ski deals and stocking up on the Factor 50 before you can say ‘have I got any annual leave left?’

Spring skiing is all about Location, Location, Location

Méribel’s enviable position, at the centre of the largest lift-linked ski area in the world with over 600km of marked pistes and 200 ski lifts serving a 110 square mile area, is a great base for exploring the tail-end of a season. Méribel, like La Tania, is of course well connected via lft and piste to the third valley of Val Thorens.

With 99% of its ski area above 2000m, it’s Europe’s highest major resort and one of its most snowsure from the start of the season right through to May. It even comes with a snow guarantee…

The Snow…there’s more than you might expect.

With a winter’s worth of snow as a base, accumulations on Méribel’s upper slopes can regularly reach depths of 2 meters by March and April. We took a look at the spring snowfall records for the last five years and found that an average of almost 50cm fell during the last six weeks of the season, easily matching the snowfall recorded in December in those same seasons.

With the warmer temperatures and stronger sunshine though, snow quality can be more unpredictable, but fear not! Spring skiing just calls for a little pre-planning. We recommend taking to South facing runs such as Jerusalem in the morning and switching to the North facing ones, such as the Cote Brune, in the afternoons.

The Pace of Life

Skiing on a bluebird day in the spring takes on a quality different to that of the winter. It becomes less about the standard adrenaline-fuelled stuff and more about an awe-filled exploration of the mountains.

The longer, warmer days mean that you can take the time to ‘smell the flowers’ as it were. There’s a sense of new growth, a natural unfurling of the summer to come which brings with it the inevitable buzz and potential of a seasonal shift. And this is what those mountain-top bar terraces were made for…

A World Away from the Piste

If you do get the odd day where conditions are less than perfect, it’s handy to know that there are some great alternatives to the slopes.

There are some really good non-ski activities that include paragliding, Ice skating, water parks and Ice Karting on offer in Meribel and The Three Valleys. And oh, did we mention the lovely, sunshine-filled Apres?

There are a lot of parties

There’s always something going on in the Three Valleys but it’s March and April that see the focus lie heavily on parties, charity music events and top notch festivals. Firm favourites such as March’s Ronnie Loves Music Festival and the legendary Three Valleys Charity day in April are just two great examples that complement a whole host of closing parties and the inevitable ‘drink the bar dry’ nights that see the season drawn to a very merry close.

Spring time skiing in Meribel and the Three Valleys is basically about excitable early mornings on the slopes and leisurely lines back towards an especially awesome apres scene that starts in the afternoon and continues late, late into the night.

Time to tot up that unused leave and take a look at our latest offers to join us here this Spring…


Three Valleys Piste Guide

A guide to some of the best pistes in the Three Valleys – Run Recommendations

Three Valleys Piste Guide

There are 321 pistes in the 3 Valleys, so choosing which runs to do can be a bit of a headache without a guide.

To help we have compiled a quick guide of pistes that have been recommended and are well worth trying out next time you are skiing in Meribel, Val Thorens or Courchevel.

All these runs have been recommended by regular skiers to the area and tested by us.

Guide to Blue Pistes in The Three Valleys

Loze

Three Valleys Piste Guide

The Loze runs from the top of the chairlift of the same name. The lift starts and the run ends in the Altiport area of Meribel and starts where La Tania and Meribel meet.

The piste zigzags it way down the mountain and after several hairpins, you will find yourself in the trees before an exhilarating flatline to the bottom of the lift.

Keep your eyes peeled on the run for dragons, hammocks and activities. It definitely ranks among the more challenging blue runs in the area.

Folyeres

Three Valleys Piste Guide

You maybe forgiven for giving this run a miss. On paper, it looks like an essential run to use if you are staying in La Tania and need to get back to your accommodation.

However, we would say that this a must to do run as it is so much fun. It is a fast run through the trees ending in the middle of La Tania. It is also a great run if it is a whiteout.

If your there at the right time grab some lunch and catch some rays outside the Ski Lodge.

You should also double this up by skiing down the equally fun and often untouched Lanches red run that feeds into the top of the Folyeres

Gelinotte & Choucas

Three Valleys Piste Guide

The Gelinotte is wide and underused run that starts midway up the side of the Valley at the top of the Roc de Fer chair and comes directly back into the Chaudanne area of Meribel.

A great run for beginners who aren’t looking to stray too far from the centre of town. The downside to this piste is that the chair that serves the run is pretty slow, however, you do get a great view of the Stade de Slalom.

You can extend the run by catching a second lift, (Olympic) to the top of the mountain and enjoying the Choucas piste directly to the top of the Gelinotte.

Jerusalem

Three Valleys Piste Guide

This legendary run has recently been reclassified as a blue run but it is still truly epic. It runs from the top of the Meribel/Saint-Martin link down into Saint-Martin-de-Belleville.

From the long wide corners to the fast straight sections and the incredibly fun rollers that appear throughout, this is one of the best runs in the area.

No trip to the area is complete without a hoon down this run.

Creux

Three Valleys Piste Guide

This is on many people’s list of top runs in the 3 Valleys and for a very good reason. It is a thoroughly enjoyable run.

The start is quite challenging for a blue run and it is often quite crowded but there is plenty of space and it is easy to pick your line.

As you get towards the bottom of the first section the crowds seem to disappear and you can start to pick up more speed as you go under the Creux Noir char down into the valley that divides the Courchevel ski areas up.

There is a fun compression before you pass the Chanrossa lift station and once you have passed that you can put in big carving turns all the way down the Aguille du Fruit chair.


To listen to a podcast that features all this runs click on the box below or follow the link to iTunes.

Listen on iTunes


Guide to Red Pistes in The Three Valleys

Combe Saulire

Three Valleys Piste Guide

This runs down the face of the Saulire mountain underneath the Courchevel gondola and it is an incredible run. It is one of the fastest and widest runs in the 3 Valleys.

Due to its location, it is heavily used, especially in the afternoon as it is the easiest way back to Courchevel. For that reason, we recommend putting it at the beginning of your ski day while it is still groomed.

As you speed down this run take some time to enjoy the magnificent couloirs to your left and the stunning view of the valley and Mt Blanc in the distance.

Mont Vallon

If you’re staying in Meribel you must head up Mt Vallon. Firstly the vistas of the Vanoise National Park are incredible.

But primarily the runs down, Combe du Vallon and Campagnol are fun and challenging. Due to the location, they also make you feel like your actually skiing down a mountain.

Guide to Black Pistes in The Three Valleys

Muir

A secret little black run that glides past the Courchevel Altiport down into the Valley.

We like this run as very few people use it and there are some interesting features as you drop down past the tree line.

It is a challenge, but isn’t too long and makes a great place for skiers who are looking to build up their confidence on a black run that is not very busy.

M

This is a monster of a black run and runs from the top of the Vizelle bubble to the bottom. There are multiple routes to take down but try and stick to M.

The run is fairly steep all the way down and will work you hard, especially if it hasn’t been maintained regularly.

The challenge is rewarded by a big wide exit at the base of the run right by the cable car so you are ready to do it again.

Rocher Grises

Rocher Grises

To get to this black run you take the Creux Noir chair. At the top there are some stunning views and a choice of runs down, the red called Creux Noir will take you down to Meribel or you can take the Rocher Grises that splits into a red and black.

If you like MPV size moguls then this is the run for you. If you are an intermediate you will look down and feel overwhelmed, a little scared and ultimately pretty pleased with yourself.

Advanced skiers will relish the challenge that this steep run offers. Due to the location of the run, the snow is generally in good condition which allows you to really dig your edges in when needed.

It is worth mentioning that this is one of the areas guaranteed powder areas… which means that it is left ungroomed after fresh snow.

Jockeys

Another piste that is dismissed as a just a home run. Jockeys starts at the top of the Foret chair and winds its way back down to the station of Le Praz, home to the Olympic ski jump.

The run is left ungroomed after a snowfall and maintained for the rest of the time. During periods of low snowfall, the run can be a bit icey.

However, when the run is in top condition it is fast and a lot of fun.


If you want a base to explore the Three Valleys and these recommended runs our catered chalets in Meribel and La Tania are located perfectly.


What’s On in Méribel for 2018/2019

Our guide to what’s across the 3 Valleys in 2018/2019.

We’ve already put together a rundown of what’s new in Méribel for 2018/19 and with the season fast approaching, anticipation and general excitement is now reaching its annual fever pitch!

The Three Valleys is more than just the largest linked ski area in the world and as always, there are lots of events taking place throughout the season that you won’t want to miss if you can help it.  

We’ve put together a few dates for your diary for the 2018 / 2019 season in Méribel and The Three Valleys.

whats on meribel

Ski Area opening day. Snow cover permitting, the Three Valleys ski area is scheduled to open from 8th December, so expect a huge buzz with lots of smiling faces and eager lift-goers jostling for space on the newly opened slopes.

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup takes place over in Courchevel over a full weekend, 21st-22nd December. Many champions take part, all keen to become the next Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), who won last year’s competition ahead of Tessa Worley (France) and Manuela Moelgg (Italy).

Also in December, catch the inaugural, Meribel stage of the Ladies Night Tour. An International women’s Alpine tour, the dual slalom event takes place at night which really ups the atmospheric stakes and is the best place to catch up with the female French skiers at the top of their game.

See in 2019 in style with the New Year celebrations, Meribel style. Expect fireworks and champagne corks and some great parties at a whole host of clubs and bars such as the Folie Douce, The Rond Point, O’Sullivans and Jacks. Be sure to check their websites beforehand as some bars and clubs are ticketed on NYE.

NYE Meribel

In January, catch The French Slopestyle Cup, held in the DC Area 43 Terrain Park. See top athletes performing simply extraordinary jumps and tricks in this spectacular competition, guaranteed ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ as standard.

Kicking off on the 14th and then throughout February and March, join upwards of 8,000 spectators to witness some of the most amazing firework displays you’re ever likely to see, at the International Fireworks Festival in Courchevel.

March is all about Music and sees the return of The Ronnie Loves Music Festival. Back for its seventh consecutive year, the week-long family friendly festival features top name events and a Big Air contest, all in one of the Alps’ top Apres Ski venues.

It’s also the month of Méribel’s Piste Bash Festival, featuring skiing, live music, DJs and comedy in the heart of the Three Valleys.

As April arrives and we start to think about the season’s end, there’s still time for the Three Valleys Enduro event which sees teams of pros, amateurs and families compete in some great challenges and events such as the Giant Slalom and Skicross.

Also in April is the Annual Three Valleys Charity Day, held in Meribel Village. The event is a firm favourite and has been running for more than 15 years now. The lineup this year includes hip-hop DJ Jaguar and perennial partiers, the Dub Pistols.


Unless you’re lucky enough to be spending the whole season in Méribel, chances are you’ll only be able to catch one or two of the events we’ve highlighted here. Handily, we’ve also got a Meribel Bucket List guide, which is all perfectly doable, even if you have just the one week in Meribel and The Three Valleys.

 


Ultimate ski photos – Pics to make your friends jealous

The best photos to take on a ski holiday

Photos aren’t for keeping in a drawer or on your google drive they are for sharing on Instagram and Facebook, often with the sole intention of making your friends envious of your holiday.

Here is our tick list of photos you have to take when you are in the mountains.

The Selfie

What self-respecting person wouldn’t post a holiday selfie. The most popular pic to take on a ski holiday is the lift selfie. Preferably with all your mates in it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Yeah it’s another chairlift selfie #gopro #3vallées

A post shared by Dan Boer (@danboer1) on


The Luxury Item

Skiing is all about luxury and spoiling yourself. From champaign lunches to a nighttime soak in the chalet hot tub, it is your duty to document them all and share your experience with your friends.

The view from the hot tub – Chalet Serpolet, Meribel

The Cheese

No mountain holiday would be compleat with the overindulgence of cheese and this comes in many forms.  There is the fondue night, the tartiflette on the mountain, the after-dinner cheese board and not forgetting the stunning displays and tasters on offer at the local market.

Top Tip: Fondue tastes better than it looks especially when it a low-resolution camera in a  low light restaurant after a few wines! 

The Mountain View

On a clear day, it is the summits are where the Alps is at its most spectacular. With views across to other mountains, sweeping valley vistas and endless horizons. Not to mention the untouched snow full of untapped potential.

Top Tip: Never used the panorama setting on your phone? This is the moment.

 

The Action Shot 

Possibly the hardest one to get done. Let’s be honest very few of us are amazing skiers and even few of us have a camera crew follwing us about taking 1000’s of pictures allowing us to pick the best one.

So get your mate to have a go at getting a good shot of you. You will get better results if the photos are being taken closer to the ground.

And if you get a good one it will be your profile picture for many years to come.

 

The Apres Ski One

This is the one even your non-ski pals will find envious. It can be hard to get right as many apres venues can be a bit dingy. But choose one like the Folie Douce in Meribel and you’re going to get a winning photo every time.


Find out more about great holidays to Meribel. 


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

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