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Three Valleys 2016/2017: Méribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, La Tania, St Martin

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Poster: A snowHead
About 3cm fresh in La Tania😃
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Cracking conditions on Venturon at the top of meribel valley this morning. Boot deep powder for most of the run. Some really good and unexpected pockets about if you can see/find them. Brutal conditions at altitude in VT.
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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?
As noted above it was a bit breezy up top today, but some good snow to be skied in places:



Only another metre or two needed to sort things out..!
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Didnt go out yesterday went for a swim. Another none Ski related injury this week pulled a muscle in shoulder, earlier in week was right bum cheek and bum boarding, and the other day sliding down ice and hitting a rock. Toofy Grin
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Had a great ski today went over to St Martin 2. Pretty much every piste in good condition. A little scraped at bottom meribel. Surprised to find powder to ski too, expected it to be blown away.

Overall a good week.

I was told the 3 vs are planning on making snow till sometime in Feb, so if you are coming out between now and then you should be good, they are opening more pistes too.
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Does anyone know where I can find the latest piste map showing what's open, the website seems to show a map last updated in December? Thanks.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Page 1 of this thread has a link to it. Very handy. Doesn't work well on my phone though I have to view it on my laptop.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks, I can see navigation being tricky I'm lucky enough to have never skied a resort which hasn't been more or less all open.
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The map on page 1 looks a little out of date eg it doesn't have the new lory piste in the 4th Valley.
This map below is completely up to date, and you can zoom in more, but doesn't have the enriching data.

http://www.latania.co.uk/skiing/maps/2017/2017-3v.pdf

Also there is a 3 Valleys app you can download to your phone, which will give you piste & lift status
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Is it possible with dou des lanches being closed to ski fro the col de Loz to la tania if coming back from Meribel on the loze express, I'm not sure from the map? Thanks
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Yes, via arolles and folyeres. Agreed it's not clear, but I've done it with a timid wife, so nowhere near the reds or blacks.
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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.
If going via Arolles there is an uphill section at the end of the flattish Col de la Loze piste. Either a steep sidestep up to the Coqs/Chenus exit, or a long gentle uphill to join the Lose Est piste a few hundred metres in.

To avoid the walk either take the red Lanches directly towards La Tania, or ski down via Anemones / Lac Bleu and get the Coqs chair back up.
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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
Thanks guys, I've downloaded the app with 3D map which makes things clearer. Forecast looking good for some possible decent snowfall before I arrive on the 21st so maybe some of the closed runs will be open.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm heading out on the 21st too, same as you hoping that the forecast snow for this week will just freshen things up and allow them to open up the rest of the runs. Jerusalem in particular above Les Men which is one of my faves!

If you are struggling to get to grips with the piste map, worth having a look here.

http://www.opensnowmap.org/

It's slightly out of date I suspect, but it gives you the real world layout of the pistes, rather than the piste map interpretation, which takes a few liberties. DO a search for La Tania, and it will zoom you right in
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ian66, thanks for that link, never used that site before, really makes you realise how big some 'hidden' resorts are that I never really consider to be holiday options.
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@jakemanc, black lanches was closed last week nowhere near enough snow lower down. Can come back the red though.
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1 cm of fresh today. Not much, but enough for offpisteskiing jr to lay down his first fresh tracks...



The pistes that are open continue to be in good shape. Hopefully the forecast snow for this week doesn't fizzle out or bypass us!
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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?
As our family week grinds to a halt I have to say that we've been thoroughly impressed by the standard of the pistes despite the lack of natural snow. This is my 7th trip to 3Vs in the past 5 years and despite everything, we've had a great week. No, I've not been off-piste to any great extent at all, but the pistes have been tip-top considering the dry conditions over recent weeks. Maybe not as many were available at low level but it wasn't at all difficult to find good conditions. I hope that the forecast snow materialises!
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I hope they will open up mont du vallon at the end of the week.
Sent them a facebook message and the closure was due to the lack of wnos.

Heading up to Meribel-Mottaret the 21st.
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Also heading up to Meribel on the 21st, for the first time.

Where are the best places to ski within the three valleys with current conditions?

Also I saw in the Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy thread that snowmaking was likely going to go on hold for now as levels are being disturbed so much by the demand for water to make snow. Will this be the same for the valleys or do they have their own water to tap into? If snow making is to stop and no big falls come it's going to get bleak fast!
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Almost a meter of snow forecasted to fall in the next few days so I'm not at all worried about the fuzz around snowmaking since they won't be needing it for now.
In the long-term - less reliable- forecast some snow is expected for next week, only some cm's but yet perfect for maintaining nice slopes Very Happy .

The site I use to check short term forecast:
http://www.bergfex.com/meribel/wetter/berg/

I use a dutch site for the long term forecast so not much help to put it here Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Cannot wait, fly out on Sunday for first time, couldn't have timed it more perfectly (or at least lady luck is being nice), good snow up to and including Sunday - then apparently bluebird skies next week! (Or at least that's what is currently forecasted). Keeping everything crossed that pans out. Very Happy
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The downside of the bluebird skies: Temperatures as low as -21°C (-6°F?)
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True true, but have muchos layers packed. Very Happy
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Mates in Meribel have just Whatsapped me some photos and looks like 10-12cm on the balcony !!
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Very heavy snowfall in Courchevel today.

8cm already (as of 17:30 local time), and it keeps snowing.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 10-01-17 17:32; edited 1 time in total
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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.
Awesome....I love it when winter finally comes and it snows.
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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
Been snowing down to the valley floor all day. The road from Moutiers up to VT is extraordinarily icy at the moment. Local social media have put out warnings to take extra care on this road at the moment.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the snow updates. Keep them coming Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Loving all the 'not-green' webcams this morning Smile
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I saw this on Facebook today that addresses snow making in 3V. Webcams looking much better today though!!
-----------------------------------------------------------

http://m.webcam-hd.com/meribel/meribel-mottaret_front-de-neige

Please help counter the negative press comments re drought / ban on snow making and "ruined holidays" !

You may have seen the articles in The Times and the Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4101478/Thousands-holidays-Alps-face-ruined-region-declared-drought-zone-forcing-resorts-switch-snow-cannons.html

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/thousands-of-british-holidays-face-ruin-as-alps-declares-drought-zone-tcvslfxdr

Well below are some facts about snowmaking in the Meribel Valley - please share, forward etc - and SEND YOUR FRIENDS / CLIENTS LINKS TO THE WEBCAMS!

Bottom line:
 Méribel can still produce artificial snow
 The drought concerns only « Haute Savoie »
 Today, with bad snow conditions, we still have more than 220 slopes open in the 3 vallées… the largest ski area in Europe !

****

While the early season natural snowfalls have been very poor this winter, we are very fortunate in Meribel as our snowmaking infrastructure is one of the best in France and we have the Doron river to supply the snow cannons.

Snowmaking equipment can cover 50% of the pistes in the valley and today, 20 of the 35 (57%) pistes in the Meribel Valley are open (and that’s before any contribution from the snow that is now falling very nicely!).

Of these open pistes, while it’s hard to be precise, it’s thought that about 60% of the coverage is due to natural snow and 40% due to “neige de culture” or “fake snow” as the Daily Mail charmingly puts it, so we are not only skiing on “fake snow”!

Snowmaking is done by forcing water and pressurised air (and that’s all – in France at least there are absolutely no chemicals used in the process of making “neige de culture”) through a “snow cannon”.

In Meribel, the water feeding the snow cannons generally comes from 3 reservoirs:
1. at the top of the Plan de l’Homme lift,
2. at the Altiport (this one is also used to irrigate the lovely golf course during the summer) and
3. in Mottaret at the top of the Combes lift.

These reservoirs don’t have any rivers / streams to feed them, instead, in November water is pumped from the Doron river to fill the reservoirs (there might also be a little water left from previous years or a tiny amount from autumn rainfalls) and it is from these reservoirs that the snow cannons are fed through a complex system of pipework.

The rate that water that can be drawn from the Doron is strictly controlled, but there is no restriction on how much can be drawn and restriction or ban is foreseen. (This despite the region being in drought conditions.) This is not the same for ski resorts in the Haute Savoie region, who are not as fortunate as us in terms of natural resources (the Doron) or infrastructure.

Note that no water is ever drawn from the mains network for snowmaking purposes.

The source of the Doron river is the Glacier de Gebroulaz; it is fed from the snow and rain that falls in the massif de la Vanoise. Most of the melting real or “fake” snow in the valley flows back into the Doron – and so the water used in snow production is effectively recycled water.

Once the reservoirs are empty, provided the temperatures are low enough (less than -2 degrees) the snow cannons can still run – in this case they draw water directly from the Doron, however under these circumstances the rate of snow production is only around 20% of that when the reservoirs are feeding the cannons. In periods when the temperatures are too high to produce neige de culture, then water is still pumped from the Doron to refill the reservoirs so that they are ready for use again. (The reservoirs are huge – and take about 10 days to fill.)

As for the energy used to make the snow, well it uses a lot and is costing the lift companies a great deal – but it is all “green” (mainly hydro-electric) energy.

The investment strategy of Meribel Alpina and S3V includes both the augmentation of the 3 reservoirs and the improvement of the pipework infrastructure feeding the cannons so that in future, more “fake snow” can be made if / when needed and also so that the rate of snow production can be significantly increased.

Source: written by KBS of Purple Ski following discussions with Olivier Desaulty, Sales & Marketing Director of Meribel Alpina, 10th January 2017
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I do so hope this continues until March Smile
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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?
@Rhoobarb, thanks very much for posting that, really interesting even if a little defensive in tone. But faced with negative press at a critical time, I can forgive a bit of defenciveness.
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Meribel snowfall was a whopping -95% below-average in December 2016, so there is no getting away from it -- the season ain't great.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Whitegold
The christmas/newyear period wasn't great. To say that the season ain't great is not a correct evaluation (the season is only starting :/)
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Whitegold wrote:
Meribel snowfall was a whopping -95% below-average in December 2016, so there is no getting away from it -- the season ain't great.


From where I'm sitting, which is La Tania, things are nothing like as grim as being portrayed at home. We came out on Saturday and there was a couple of cm overnight which left those pistes which were open skiing very nicely.

A fairly big dump on Tuesday has left the 3 vallees looking a picture.

They are still clearly short of snow overall and a number of popular pistes are still closed. But there is still a load of fabulous skiing to be had from 1650, across 1850 and in to Meribel.

More snow is due on Thursday and Friday so if you're coming out this weekend you're in for a treat.

We were very concerned before we got here but we needn't have worried.
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arriving @ 1650 on sunday for a week and looks like we timed it perfectly (we arrived on the 5th jan last year, so somehow lucked out 2 years running with my timing!) for snow conditions. but looking for a bit of advice on how to get to 'le clos bernard' in meribel (near the altiport)???

all the reports/ reviews I've read are- follow the signs into the trees near the bottom of the 'loze express' lift and follow the little flag markers. is it as simple as that? is it easy to find the sign posts?? also how difficult is the track into the trees (and I guess back out onto a piste!) as i'll have a slightly timid GF in tow? I'm hoping the snow forecast to fall is enough to fill this track in otherwise we could be in for a bit of a walk to the restaurant!

any help/ pointers greatly appreciated!
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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!
Here on an excellent Inside Out gig, conditions pretty good considering lack of natural snowfall, and improving rapidly - great powder (ok not super deep) skiing to be had this morning just off piste. Lots more seems to be on the way.
@malks, dunno tbh but no doubt locals will fill you in. The resort is transformed as of yesterday into a proper winter wonderland - enjoy!
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malks wrote:
arriving @ 1650 on sunday for a week and looks like we timed it perfectly (we arrived on the 5th jan last year, so somehow lucked out 2 years running with my timing!) for snow conditions. but looking for a bit of advice on how to get to 'le clos bernard' in meribel (near the altiport)???

all the reports/ reviews I've read are- follow the signs into the trees near the bottom of the 'loze express' lift and follow the little flag markers. is it as simple as that? is it easy to find the sign posts?? also how difficult is the track into the trees (and I guess back out onto a piste!) as i'll have a slightly timid GF in tow? I'm hoping the snow forecast to fall is enough to fill this track in otherwise we could be in for a bit of a walk to the restaurant!

any help/ pointers greatly appreciated!


The reviews and reports you've read are right and getting there is simple, subject to the snow conditions which should be much improved by Monday. It's right in the beginners area of the Altiport so the track through the trees is very mellow.
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thanks folks, I was just a little concerned as one review reckoned you should be a competent 'red run' skier for the run into 'le clos bernard', which I thought would be ridiculous. but looks like the snow this weekend is shaping next week up to be perfect! cannot wait to get back on the snow!!
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