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meribel france??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I met some friends this summer and I am now going to meribel at christmas, just wondering what the snow conditions will be like and what 3 mountain make up the resort..

any other info you have would be great too, i already have accomdations with my friends...
post #2 of 9
I was in Meribel for a couple of days about six years ago. During that time we had rain, snow, fog and sun. I think it was in January. There are four main areas; Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires, and Val Thorens. The combined area is called Les Trois Valles. It has about 200 lifts, and is a really, really big. There seemed to be good skiing everywhere, and my father and I especially enjoyed a sunny powder day in the valley that has Les Menuires and Val Thorens.
I would really like to go back there, as there was so much to ski, it would take seasons, or lifetimes with AT gear, to ski it all. Meribel is a good town for Americans, as ther seems to be tons of Brits there, and everyones speaks English well regardless of nationality. Have fun!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks for that, does anyone has anything else?? how big compared to whistler??

I've never skiied europe and i'll have atleast 10 days of skiing.
post #4 of 9
Dude, Whistler/ Blackcomb is very small compared to Les Trois Valle. Of course, there are several other huge areas within say an hours drive. Try Val D'isere/Tignes (100 lifts, about 6000 verts, Les Arcs, La Plagne (100 lifts, 6500 verts,intermediate heaven!), or perhaps ski La Rosiere over the border to La Thuile, for an epic Italian lunch. I have skied Whistler/Blackcomb, and there is no comparison. You are gonna freak!
post #5 of 9
post #6 of 9
US\Canada for the powder and trees

Europe for the steep, long and scarry.

Get fit first, learn to read maps, take lunch and sun screen, wax up and get amongst it cause if you have only done the US then Europe will blow your mind....and legs.

Wild lift lines, big chutes to nowhere and up close and personal in the cable cars.

Go for the whole winter (mate US dollars) and try St Anton, Verbier and Morzine\Avoriaz as well : :

P.S. You may even have a porcelian squat toilet\plastic ski boot encounter. :
post #7 of 9
Meribel....land of the Brits in France. Its a chalet city, looks quite nice but it has got very very big. Your chalet may be a long way from the lifts. Snow is not the best in the trois vallee, that is Courchevel and Val Thorens for that. If you get a trois vallee pass you can get to Val thorens in about 3/4 hr.

Meribel has 16 gondolas!!, the whole lift system is huge, but so are the queues and crowded pistes at peak times, but in january its great. I skied Val thorens on the last day (may 8th) this year and it was wonderful. The black (its quite wide and easy) down combe de caron was powder!! and no lift lines at all

There is now a proper 4th valley!!, val thorens has added a new lift to it and some more runs for this year. It has a lovely quiet long long red.

If your are staying in meribel try to stay in Mottaret for the better access to snow. Be aware meribel village is not meribel, they are two different places. Couchevel 1850 (not at 1850 metres!!) is very expensive (3 hot chocolates and 1 coke $40!!)I think it has the best area. If it gets really snowy the runs down to le praz and la tania (both about 1300 metres)are good and quiet. As is the area about Courchevel 1650 when everything is busy.

Only one of the three chutes above 1850 is a piste now the other 2 are off piste. You can watch people go down them from a lift!!

Have fun, its the worlds best! well nearly..... espace killy is better!!

post #8 of 9
Last season took a group to Chamonix, trip before took 'em (45) to LTV.
Go, you'll never regret it.
DO NOT stay in Brides Les Bain or Val Thorens. The first is difficult to access the skiing from and the other is purpose-built and ugly. I heartily recommend the hotel Merilys in Meribel. Owners Catherine & Bernard are wonderful, patient folks.
Size? Try roughly 16 times the size of Vail....
Snow conditions? Read up. Try skieurope.com's site, goski.com, pisteoff.com, etc.
Generally the Alps weather patterns mirror or Rocky Mtn season. That is to say iffy in December and April, bitter weather in January. Avoid Carnival in February--ask too when the Brits invade on their (numerous) holidays.
It's an exceptional value. You'll pay les than $40 us /day for the 2nd largest ski area in the world. Only the Sella Ronda circuit in the Dolomites boasts more lifts on one ticket.
Specific q's? Feel free to e-mail me.
post #9 of 9
Just to add a few pieces to my post.

The ugly resort in the Trois Vallee is Les Menuires, however is only the centre part thats dreadful, the newer bits are not that bad and its cheap compared to the other high resorts.

Val Thorens is actually quite attractive for a purpose built place with wood clad buildings and gives immediate access to the most snow sure skiing. However on a bad weather day its like being on the moon!, there are no trees at all.

Brides les bains is the valley town and has direct access to meribel via a long and cold gondola ride. Its a cheap bargain base, but a bit dead at night. There is no skiing directly down to it either.

I love the term "carnival"!!! please tell me when, so i can go!. French school holidays last from the 1st week of Feb to the 1st week of March, the paris ones are the worst. A very useful link is, that shows last years at the moment, is www.net4ski.com/calendrier_vacances.htm

The 'numerous' british holidays are staggered over 2 weeks from 9th feb to about 23rd of feb, 2nd week being more popular.

Last season the last few weeks had the deepest snow, in fact it seems if the season is moving later.

Courchevel and Val Thorens tend to have better snow than Meribel, but meribel gives the best access to it all. 2 lifts either way and you can be in courchevel valley or vallee de Belleville(val thorens/les menuires valley)

Be aware the lift map is printed back to front!! and don't get stuck in a valley ie. if in val thorens know when the link lift back to meribel closes, if you miss it it will be very expensive!! as its about 1 hour by road.

Enjoy meribel. Try www.meribel.net and for snow conditions and historic stuff try www.skiclub.co.uk also www.valthorens.com

Enjoy meribel, but don't go in February!!

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