Emily Sarsfield is the UK’s number 1 female Ski Cross athlete, has been ranked 20th on the World Cup circuit and is a member if the British Ski and Snowboard squad. For the last 10 years Emily has lived, worked and trained in Méribel and is a big fan of the Three Valleys. Recently we had a chance to sit down with Emily and talk to her about what she loves about our Alpine home.
Val Thorens World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby
Not only does Emily train in the Three Valleys she also runs a small ski school offering private lessons out of Méribel, this is obviously when she isn’t competing and is often during the school holidays. The reason she does this is because unlike many other athletes she doesn’t receive funding, so has to find ways to fund her own training and racing. As Emily bases herself in the Three Valleys and is always returning in Méribel, we started be asking her why she keeps coming back, her response was that the resort has a strong community, although she doesn’t behave like the usual seasonnaire and is likely to be found in the gym when everyone else is in the pub.
We then chatted about her missing out on the Winter Olympic Games and becoming a ski instructor but we soon ended up back on the subject of Méribel. One of the first thing Sarsfield mentioned was the fact that all of the resorts in America would fit into the Three Valleys before pulling out the usual but true clichés and declaring that Méribel is “postcard picture perfect”.
Megeve World Cup, credit: Daniel Smye-Rumsby
In the 10 years of skiing in the Three Valleys she doesn’t think she has skied every run, which is probably very true, after all the years we have been working out there we probably haven’t either. If you live somewhere for a long time you will inevitably notice the changes, one of the big things Emily has noticed is how the access to cross the entire ski area has developed and even beginner skiers can now move from resort to resort on mainly green runs.
“There is always something different” – Emily Sarsfield on the Three Valleys
Of course one of the main reason Emily loves the Three Valleys is because of the Ski Cross park in Val Thorens, which is one of the best in Europe and regularly hosts World Cup Events. Over the years she has fallen in love with off piste skiing which the the 3Vs has plenty of when the conditions are right and Sarsfield top tip is to head up the Loze chair on a bluebird for some easy access powder.
We saved our “best” question until last, when we asked her in our serious interviewer voice, what is her favourite run in the resort and the answer was the Mauduit. The run is from the top of Saluire and goes all the way down to Méribel Center, or you can choose to head down to Méribel Village. She described the run as “long, open, well groomed and a thigh burner”.