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Les 3 Vallées 2018/19 - Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens etc etc etc

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As the 2017/18 snow is finally melting away its probably time to kick off a new thread for the 2018/2019 season.

Anyone coming to Le Praz next winter will be greeted by a slightly changed landscape, as preparations start for a new bottom station, car park and more...:



In Courchevel the Grangettes replacement is coming on apace, and the big shock news is that they have actually resurfaced some of the roads in 1850, so anyone cycling up there this summer will no longer have to negotiate potholes worthy of Beirut or Kabul...

Meanwhile if anyone is out next weekend don't forget to bring your touring kit for the Millet Mountain Race!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Booked already!! This year we were with a group in an Esprit chalet-hotel. As we don't have kids most of the facilities were lost on us, but the location by the Ronnie was amazing. Next year it's all about the food - looking forward to the "Michelin standard" cooking already. And the skiing, of course! Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mr P and I are just finalising the booking of a season rental in St Marcel (just above St Martin). Same place as 17/18. Whoop whoop! Need to get properly off piste this season with a guide, which somehow we never got round to last season-we ended up pootling in the fresh stuff off the side around Jerusalem and on the front of La Masse mostly.
@offpisteskiing, do you get of the back of La Masse and down to the Vallee des Encombres much? It's on our "to ski" list but we need someone who knows the terrain and the route and can cope with a couple of keen but only intermediate middle aged off piste skiers.
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@Perty, yes, off the back is a great area for intermediate off-pisters - lots of options down there and it often holds on to some cold snow. Drop me a line nearer to the winter and we can line something up... Be warned though, the exit down the Encombres valley is quite long and needs a certain amount of fitness and 'enjoyment of effort', though it is a very nice wander down the valley bottom.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@offpisteskiing, will do!
We’ve been up the Vallee Des Encombres in the summer on foot and on bikes, so have some idea of the terrain overall, but no idea whereabouts the route from La Masse brings you down to the valley floor. As I understand it, you end up coming out of the valley along the route of the road? It did occur to me that it’s looks like an avalanche prone area once you get down past Gitamelon along the road to the forested bit.
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@Perty, yes the slopes on the right as you come out of the valley do threaten the road in places - and generally there are a couple of debris piles to cross on the way out...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Courchevel valley lift pass now includes a visit to aqua motion. Yes, you might think it's a good deal, until you see they've put up the price of lift passes by what looks suspiciously like the cost of a trip to aqua motion.

Aquamotion may be included but it does come at a cost with a bigger increase seen this year… (main season prices)
Courchevel 6-Day Adult 2018: €256
Courchevel 6-Day Adult 2019: €272 (+6.3%)
Meribel 6-Day Adult 2018: €249
Meribel 6-Day Adult 2019: €255 (+2.4%)
3 Valleys 6-Day Adult 2018: €300
3 Valleys 6-Day Adult 2019: €306 (+2%)
3 Valleys one-day extension for single valley pass of 2 days or more 2019: €37

https://www.latania.co.uk/blog/2018/06/26/winter-2019-lift-pass-prices-dates-aquamotion-access-included-in-courchevel-passes/
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A couple of snaps from 1850 as I was passing on the MTB today...

A bit of reshaping above the Croisette (and extra floodlights?):



Works still ongoing on the new Grangettes top station:
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A bit more info on new lifts, snowmaking in Les 3 Vallees (wot I wrote last week):
https://www.chaletline.co.uk/blog/2018/07/new-lifts-les-3-vallees-2018-19/
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Shame about the Cheferie drag being replaced...a quiet run down Choucas from the St Martin side first thing is always a pleasure...but now more skiers will be up there. Ho hum- I suppose I shouldn’t begrudge progress...
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Thought I'd post this here for anyone who is looking for a job next winter.
Nice friendly bar, demographic of customers like that of St Martin - the mid/late 20 somethings upwards. We spent many a pleasant evening there last season/
https://www.ski-jobs.co.uk/job-details_Bar_Staff__musicians_wanted_-_3_ValleysFrance_Ski_Resort_-_St_Martin_de_Belleville_-_3_Valleys_811823.aspx
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
iainm,

Thanks for the update - very interesting.

It's good news that blue run users will be able to get down from the Cimes de Caron nexf season, as its worth going up there for the view alone. I'm not sure that it's such good news for the Caron cable car queue, however... I think it will be mad there at peak times. Sad
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I thought this was interesting. Still not been 'officially' announced, but it is supported by a video interview from the same source:


http://youtube.com/v/nmtNG84bIvo

I wrote this up for J2Ski with links here
https://www.j2ski.com/ski-chat-forum/posts/list/18266.page
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@iainm, ^^ I don't think this is accurate at all. It suggests that all the races, Men's and Women's will finish in Le Praz.

The original submission to FIS clearly splits the Men's events as being at Courchevel and the Women's and Team events in Meribel. If the above is accurate, then what's Meribel hosting?

This is the original submission video which shows the planned start points and events for both resorts:


http://youtube.com/v/wq8k2DqIVqE

Also, your article on j2ski suggests that there will be a jump of 500-600m. Something lost in translation and one too many zeros there, I think. The Mausfalle on the Streif is "only" 80m!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
that looks like the map that was in the Croisette in 1850
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If that map is in the Croisette, then it's probably to illustrate how Courchevel will be able to host stand alone events after 2023. They currently only host slalom and GS because they don't have a downhill course. I imagine they were a little miffed by Meribel finding a way to create a Men's DH for the 2015 World Cup finals.

On the video above, the DH in Courchevel is a mixture of the existing Bouc Blanc, Jockeys and Murettes pistes with a new start point where the old two man chair used to come out.

However, they're also going to do some tree-felling and re-modelling lower down by the look of it. If you freeze it at 37 seconds in, the Men's Slalom Start doesn't currently exist - it's in the trees. Jockeys goes left at that point and joins Murettes with a sharp right just before the top of the ski jump. In the submission video, Jockeys goes straight on and I would think that is where the 50-60m jump is, over the new slalom start point and in full view of the crowd below. I hadn't noticed when I watched the video before but it makes sense for them to dig that out and give a much fuller view to the crowd below than they would have got from the existing end to the Murettes piste.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Raceplate, The Meribel DH course is mostly the same as the one used for the 1992 Olympics.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@rjs, for the Women, yes. The 1992 Men's events were held in Val d'Isere. 2015 was the first and only time that a FIS World Cup Men's DH has been held in Meribel.

Given the North facing aspect of the proposed new DH in Courchevel, I would think it would be considerably more reliable than Meribel and could be a very successful venue.

Will bug up my way home to LT though as it cuts right across the Bouc Blanc piste. I suspect they'll have to build a tunnel underneath like the one in Meribel.
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@Raceplate, There wasn't much work done to use it for 2015 though, just the tunnel underneath it so that punters could still get across to Gelinotte.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rjs, well that and the start gate and run into Roc de Fer that I don't think I've ever seen used for any other races? The lower level Men's races that are run at Meribel use the Women's FIS start gate as I recall but it's your area of expertise more than mine.

I think the point I was making is that neither Courchevel/Meribel nor the 3V's in general has ever really been considered a world class ski racing venue because they don't run the premium Men's events. Val d'Isere has always had those bragging rights in the Tarentaise.

With this new course, VDI could find itself with some serious competition from Courchevel. It's easier to access, lower altitude, north-facing and the bottom half is in trees so it's much less likely to get affected by the poor visibility or high wind that sometimes reduces the course length at VDI. They're also permanently expanding the visitor facilities at what will be the new Finish area so it's got everything going for it.
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Bergmeister wrote:
iainm,

Thanks for the update - very interesting.

It's good news that blue run users will be able to get down from the Cimes de Caron nexf season, as its worth going up there for the view alone. I'm not sure that it's such good news for the Caron cable car queue, however... I think it will be mad there at peak times. Sad


Hmm wonder what terrain the blue run will destroy. The blue run into Orelle from the train is notably a) for its icyness* and b) for ruining a really good off piste entry.

* Ok so I only boarded it once but it proper sucked
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Dave of the Marmottes,

What train? Are you in a different resort?
Puzzled

(You might be confusing Cimes De Caron with Kings Cross... Toofy Grin)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
OK it's called something else but @spyderjon always gets excited about his ride on the double cabin funitel thing so we call it the train.
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Funitel de Thorens. And when I've been down that blue run is hasn't been icy at all! Agree the off-piste in that area is no longer as remote as it was - but there are still a number of options - and over time it seems likely that more pistes / lifts will appear. Similarly with Caron.
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Will be watching this thread with interest! Off to 3V for the first time in Jan. Can't wait. Is it just me or does everyone else wish the summer away? Haha.
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Fridge03,
I'm not wishing the summer away yet as we hope to do some backpacking & bikepacking trips while we still have enough daylight.

However, I am counting down to the start of the season. 11 weeks tomorrow until we go to Val Thorens for the opening week! Very Happy

We couldn't resist the £36 p.p return flights with Easyjet from Newcastle.

However, we are relaxed about things and are happy to go hiking if the snowgods don't play ball. It will be great to be back in the Alps. Very Happy

I think you will love the 3 Valleys. Where are you staying? And remember to let us know how you get on.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Bergmeister wrote:
Fridge03,
I'm not wishing the summer away yet as we hope to do some backpacking & bikepacking trips while we still have enough daylight.

However, I am counting down to the start of the season. 11 weeks tomorrow until we go to Val Thorens for the opening week! Very Happy

We couldn't resist the £36 p.p return flights with Easyjet from Newcastle.

However, we are relaxed about things and are happy to go hiking if the snowgods don't play ball. It will be great to be back in the Alps. Very Happy

I think you will love the 3 Valleys. Where are you staying? And remember to let us know how you get on.


We are in a chalet in La Tania. We felt it gave us the best of everything we wanted. Good location, village feel, pretty much ski in/out. Happy days.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Has anyone split a week between three valleys and Val D'Isere? Any recommendations for transfers between the two? Thank you.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Ptspeak wrote:
Has anyone split a week between three valleys and Val D'Isere?

Not sure why you'd want to do that. Both areas are extensive and you could ski several weeks and not get bored.

On a practical level you'd find it difficult to find accommodation for a part week. Maybe last minute off season. Not impossible but not easy.

Also, I don't believe there are any direct transfers.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Layne wrote:
Ptspeak wrote:
Has anyone split a week between three valleys and Val D'Isere?

Not sure why you'd want to do that. Both areas are extensive and you could ski several weeks and not get bored.

On a practical level you'd find it difficult to find accommodation for a part week. Maybe last minute off season. Not impossible but not easy.

Also, I don't believe there are any direct transfers.


I understand your point and anticipated that respond. It's a tough decision between the two as my wife is a bit timid to enjoy Val and I'm a bit more agressive. One solution is to try both. I can work the lodging out, but I may just flip a coin and pick one for the week. Thanks for the input.
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@Ptspeak, Ah, OK. Val D is probably the gnarlier of the two for sure but I'd sure you'll find plenty enough to challenge you in the 3V if you go that route.
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@Ptspeak, On the other hand, Val d'Isere has some excellent gentle areas, the top of Solaise, around the glacier at Le Fornet and the upper half of Bellevarde are all excellent beginner areas, with gentle runs and normally very good snow due to their altitude and North facing aspect. It's not clear exactly what your wife is after, and the 3V probably does have the edge for long cruising runs, but I wouldn't rule Val d'Isere out for gentle slopes.

To get between the two you would probably have to get a bus to Moutiers, train to Bourg St Maurice, and then another bus to Val d'Isere. I definitely wouldn't bother switching resort
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The 3Vs and Val D are pretty much on the same level.

Nothing to choose between them.

Courchevel 1850 is the best of the 3Vs.
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