The Three Valleys


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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Meribel
March 23rd 2015
Published: March 23rd 2015
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Skiing in The Three Valleys

Our second week in catered chalets continued at Freeride Lodge, based in Meribel Mottaret. As it turned out, Mottaret was arguably the best location in the whole resort. Meribel is right in the middle valley, with Courcheval and Val Thorens on either side. So we were only 1 gondola ride from all 3 resorts. The other benefit of Motteret is that it’s at the high end of the Meribel valley so is at 1750m. When it snows in Mottaret, it can rain in Meribel, 3km down the road at 1450m.

We arrived on Sunday and met Lisette for lunch, as she’s been there for 3 months doing her ski instructors course. I always love rendezvousing with people overseas. It was quite cool that day and we were hopeful for a few flurries to top up the runs.

Unfortunately there was no more snow during our stay so the cover was 3 weeks old and it took time to find runs that still had good quality snow and were high enough not to be slush. Still, the terrain and views were INSANE with bluebird days allowing us to see for miles. It’s just phenomenal to stand at one peak and look 5 peaks over, seeing lifts, and realising that it’s still part of the same resort. We had a great time over the 5 days, especially liking Courcheval, and I’ve decided that I prefer it to Paradiski. I’d definitely go back, probably in the first 2 weeks of February next time to ensure plenty of snow.

On Sabbath we joined Lisette on her day off and I was hoping to watch her style and try to pick up some tips. The first red run down to Courcheval (Combe de Saulire) was the best run of the week. The corduroy was perfectly soft and due to its steepness, there weren’t many people on it. So we cruised down there and thought we were in for a wonderful day. Unfortunately, it was a complete white out after about 10 runs and the coverage so was pathetic that there was even glimpses of grass on runs we had skied and loved several days earlier. By 12.30pm we started our final descent not being able to even see much further than the end of our skis. Dwayne kept yelling my name so we knew where each other was. At the mid-station we called it a day and downloaded via gondola. By 3pm snow started to fall.

We woke to a winter wonderland of new snow on Sunday and literally felt ill that snow had fallen after our skiing had finished. We left the resort feeling a tad disappointed, knowing that we had not seen the best of The Three Valleys. However, we were on our way to Dublin so we happily anticipated the new chapter.

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