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Three Valleys 2017/2018: Méribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires, La Tania, St Martin

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Poster: A snowHead

Another great day in Les 3Vs. Sunny; cold; light wind; good snow and empty pistes.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Top day on the slopes around Courchevel and then Meribel after dropping off the good lady after lunch.

Given the forecast for later in the week , we went for it early doors and caught the 9.00 lift and is was eerily quiet and was probably the quietest Sunday I've seen here in six years !! Snow in great nick Smile
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@Upsidedown, I was looking on the webcams around meribel around 2:30pm local time and there were hardly any people on the slops I was looking at, I was very surprised and jealous. Enjoy the week!
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Prompted by @turbosmurf had a crack at the Escapade and managed to catch the last lift with 4 minutes to spare! (Skied 97 km, total 159 km, vertical 1590 m, 29 runs, 7 hr 38 min). Not quite as nice a day as yesterday, with some high cloud and flat light, but pistes still in good shape and surprisingly quiet.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Partly sunny again today. Avalanche risk 2/5. Everything is forecast to change tonight - snow down to 500m; forecasts of 1- 2 m by Sunday; gales and temperatures plummeting. Could be interesting for weekend changeovers.
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Cheers Mike, arrive on the train early Saturday morning yes looking at the forecast it could be!!!
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Left St M yesterday (having originally planned to stay on, minus Mr P, till next Sunday) as the prospect of a week on my own looked like it would have involved less skiing and more cabin fever and snow management-digging out of the car so I could guarantee leaving on Sunday and catching my flight home (can't miss it as an essential appointment on Monday).
Perhaps a bit paranoid as the forecast looks slightly less dramatic than it did two days ago and some low level powder skiing seems definitely on the cards. Ho hum..if the rain and wind outside the living room window here in Sussex blows your way, batten down the hatches!
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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!
Mike S wrote:
Prompted by @turbosmurf had a crack at the Escapade and managed to catch the last lift with 4 minutes to spare! (Skied 97 km, total 159 km, vertical 1590 m, 29 runs, 7 hr 38 min). Not quite as nice a day as yesterday, with some high cloud and flat light, but pistes still in good shape and surprisingly quiet.


Nice one Mike S, well done!
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@Mike S, so you skied 97km and only managed 1590m of vertical?

Must have been a lot of polling. Cmon, what's the real figure?
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andy1234 wrote:
@Mike S, so you skied 97km and only managed 1590m of vertical?

Must have been a lot of polling. Cmon, what's the real figure?

My biggest day at Christmas was 39.9km / 7579m vertical so yes that doesn't add up!

I've got two children and some faffers in the party, that's my excuse.
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@andy1234 Ooops! My fingers (and brain) must have been tired - as well as my legs. 15900 m. Not too bad for an old man. Only 7 cm of snow in Mottaret overnight, with the rain/snow limit at 1200 m. Reporting only a few lift delays, however wind increasing this afternoon to over 40 mph. Avalanche risk 4/5. Temperatures are still forecast to drop today with more snow down to 500 m. Looks pretty grey out there but only the peeks are in cloud.
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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.
https://www.latania.co.uk/blog/2018/01/15/the-3-valleys-escapade-in-a-day-2018-update/

Mike's in the Hall of Fame!
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Hmm! Contrary to the earlier lift & piste reports, none of the lifts above Mottaret, except for Plattieres, were open first thing this morning. Saulieres Express 2 was showing as being open at 9am but has now been closed, along with all the inter valley links, due to high winds. Most of the other Meribel valley lifts, however, are now open. There is some nice powder higher up, where you can get to it, but the visibility is poor. It was raining in Meribel, this morning, and not very pleasant. So much for a rain/snow limit of 1200 m. The lower runs have better visibility but the snow is, unfortunately, pretty wet. Hopefully, the forecast lower temperatures will bring better skiing conditions tomorrow.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Agree with Mike, we're in Meribel village and I ventured over to Plan De L'homme for couple of runs but then stayed our side of the valley. Even had lunch at home before going out for couple of hours on the afternoon
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
12 cm of snow overnight in Mottaret. Very breezy with driven snow. Avalanche cannons going off. Forecasting 60-80 mph winds; 0 C isobar at 2000 m Crying or Very sad and avalanche risk 4/5. Most lifts closed or delayed, including Olympe 1/2 from Brides. Reported to be opening Tougnette 1, Rodos 1/2 and Altiport; Combes and Pas du Lac 1 at 9.30 and Plattiere 1, Plan des Mains and Chattelet at 10. Sounds a bit optimistic!
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Here somebody has stolen the valley opposite. Just the button lift on Alitport open Crying or Very sad

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@Mike S, as a superSH, you'll know this, but I can't resist...

"0 C isobar at 2000 m "

It's the 0C isotherm, not isobar! Very Happy

CG
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Charliegolf Apologies. My mistake. I think that the 0 C isotherm actually stayed lower, since it has been snowing all day. As anticipated, the morning lift report was overly optimistic and the only lifts to open were the Golf, Morel, Altiport drag, Cotes drag, Combes and Aigle drag. Amazingly, the SCGB/Mountain Guides off-piste session went ahead. The wind has now dropped but it is still snowing.
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Currently in Val Thorens. Nothing is open and the weather is biblical! Masses and masses of snow.
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Video from the top of Chenus: https://www.facebook.com/courchevel/videos/1764452726944266/
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La Tania was awesome today. Loads of fresh powder on piste and in the trees. Snowing heavily all the way down to Le Praz. Very sheltered and very quiet. No links open not even to Courchevel but felt we were in the best place anyway!
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A brilliant day - storm-riding days are some of the best in my (slightly twisted) opinion! No one around, fresh tracks every lap, happy days...
Not sure how much opened in Courchevel as we stayed around the 1650 bubble all day which somehow they managed to keep running - didn't look like much was open elsewhere in the valley though.



Snowing right down to Bozel so the next few days should be great for the tree skiing (if it stays cold!).
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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!
Came home last Sunday from the Belleville valley as I thought the weather would blow me off the mountain, and it’s looks that that proved to be the case. For those of you that got out into the trees lower down however...I’m very jealous!
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We are in Val Thorens and today had a day to rival Cairngorm! We've never seen it as bad here before.

Everything was closed today except for the 3 magic carpets Sad
Ferocious wind and snow all day...and it's still going strong.

We managed to put in just over an hour on the slopes. We skied from the bridge at the top of the town, down past Club Med and into the face of the storm. We couldn't move down hill... Cairn was excellent in powder, however, then it was a left turn to the magic carpets, where we spent the rest of our hour or so lapping the top one - 4 minutes up and 30/40 seconds down. It was just like Xscape but with a whiteout and hurricane thrown in for free! A 40m vertical run off that lift...

Sadly, the forecast is the same again tomorrow. Sad And beyond that it's looking unsettled until the middle of next week, though the wind should drop by Friday. At least its continuing to set up an epic season, however; and snow is stacked high now in the streets of the town.

It's all a bit frustrating though, as next week will be our last week of 3 (at least until mid March anyway) and I'm hoping we are here when this storm clears. Nevertheless, we've had some fantastic skiing so far and appreciate what we've had. It's a shame for those who are here for 6 days though, as they have had severe weather since yesterday.

Fingers crossed for next week. Very Happy
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I'm salivating - are the winds expected to die off tomorrow? What a day it will be if they are (but I presume piste patrol will be quite busy first thing) ...
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franga,
Pavlov's dog may be disappointed...

Same forecast for tomorrow as today... Sad Wind then forecast to ease on Friday according to some forecasts - but snow-forecast.com is forecasting 50kmph winds every day until at least Monday.... Sad Sad
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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.
Went out at 11 and skied Lapin up and down for couple of hours with occasional forays up Altiport drag.
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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
We were riding in St Martin today - only the bubble open but still got some awesome powder runs down under the gondola and hiking across to Jerusalem. Looking forward to off piste guiding tomorrow so hopefully the wind eased up and some more lifts open.
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You know it makes sense.
10 days til i get there. Really hope that the weather calms down
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Am sitting at home wishing I was out there now....the fun you must all be having in the fresh stuff now that the lifts are opening up..... rolling eyes . (Am viewing webcams and live piste map approximately hourly! It’s like torture!)
Trying not to feel jealous and also feeling cross with myself for coming home on Sunday when I could have stayed put.
Flights booked now for next Tuesday, just in time for the temps to go up according to the forecast.
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Where you find /What do you see on the live piste maps?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Anyone in Reberty2000 right now, is anything skiable? we fly out there on Sat.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
CourchGal wrote:
Where you find /What do you see on the live piste maps?


I posted a list of useful links on the 1st page of this thread...

http://live.skiplan.com/moduleweb/courchevel.php?module=ouvertures&lang=en

There's also this one:

https://www.les3vallees.com/en/fatmap/3vallees.html?resort_view=courchevel_office
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We are still a month away so trying to contain excitement. It’s warmed up on me too many times in the week leading up to boarding a plane, but love the weather patterns.

But also excited to make some broad plans. Have transport, lodging and guideall planned out. May try the ridiculous entire 3v challenge with my daughter.

What are your favorite non skiing things to do? Figure I’ll hold off on evening restaurants until we get there. Also, any on mountain lunch places that are “must visit”. The pool facility in meribel seems like a good thing to try one evening. Nighttime sledding? The valleys themselves looks quite spread out so does it make sense to go to C1850 for the evening? Other villages worth a visit? We have a car and will be in meribel montarret.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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If you are in Meribel/Mottaret you will probably not want to drive to C1850 of an evening. Mottaret is quietish, but you could drive or use the free bus down to Meribel, where there is more choice at various levels of sophistication. Mottaret has ( vague 5 year old memory) 4/5 restaurants, a pizza place, a bar and a night club collected in the horseshoe at the base of the lifts.
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Redwine wrote:
What are your favorite non skiing things to do?

Drink tea/beer/wine; chill; listen to some music; read; play board games; nice shower; look at the piste map/weather forecast to plan the next days ventures.

When the kids were younger they/we sometimes would sledge but last trip (now 10 and 12) they didn't bother.

A couple of times we've stayed somewhere with a pool and we've had a dip or two. When staying in Tignes we went but everyone got cold and was tired so we didn't last long. Last time our apartment had a sauna which was pretty good.

Generally speaking though rest and relaxation is the name of the game. Note: we self cater so we have to cook and fill the dishwasher also.
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@Redwine, it's a bit of a mission to drive to the other resorts of an evening, though you are in the better placed valley to get around to the Courchevel side (about half an hour) as you don't have to drive all the way to the bottom of the mountain at Moutiers.
How old is your daughter? If a young(ish) adult and if you are likewise young at heart, she/you might want to partake of the Folie Douce afternoon party which is a loud on mountain party/club type venue that starts at about 2.30pm and runs till around 5pm (there is direct gondola access from Meribel itself). Dancing in ski boots etc etc.

Can't speak for Mottaret restaurants - am sure others can.


Non skiing activities? Hmmm...There are dog sledding outfits (certainly in the Belleville Valley). Skidooing. Toboggan runs in Les Menuires and Courchevel 1650. Check the websites of the individual resorts.
Last season Mr P did the zip wire in VT-quite an experience-https://www.valthonet.com/activities/la-tyrolienne-zip-wire-val-thorens-677709.

Must visit on mountain lunches...Chez Pepe Nicholas on the border of VT and Reberty-now accessible from the new La Chasse piste (best located by taking Pluviometre on the VT side and then turn right at the signpost), or you can access it as a walk up from Boulevard Cumin. Best advised to book -especially as "a month away" coincides with school holidays. I hate to say it, but you may be there in the busiest week of the season. Don't panic however, the lifts are good and queues move quickly. It is possible to find quiet runs of you know where to go. If you need lessons-try and book now. Avoid the ESF for lessons if you can-there are plenty of native english speaking ski schools in the Meribel valley.

Must do runs: From Mottaret-first thing in the morning get the Pas du Lac gondola to the top of Saulire and ski Creux first - from top to the very end (don't fork left half way down, and ski past the two chair lifts just after half way).
Ditto, same lift but Combe de Saulire.
Ditto, try and do Combe de Vallon first thing, but don't be tempted to come back via the piste called "Ours"-it's a long poling slog.

Quiet places-ski down to Meribel-take the Roc de Fer chair and Olympic chair and then ski Verdet down to the top of the St Martin Gondola/bottom of the St M express chair. Take the chair up, turn left, and follow the signs for Jerusalem. In fresh snow, or if groomed, this is possible the best run in the 3V. It's many people's favourite, including mine, and the off piste either side is great after a fresh dump. There is also an "official" free ride zone in that part of the mountain.

If its a sunny warm day, many people head towards Val Thorens. We tend to do the opposite-and have often found the Folyeres run down into La Tania through the trees almost deserted.
Do go to VT and get over into Orelle-lovely skiing there
If the snow is good and fresh, the red run to Le Raffort is great (Meribel side), but it's lower down so could get icy or close if the conditions are poor.

We tend to base ourselves in St Martin which is quaint and pretty. There are some lovely traditional on (and off) mountain restaurants above and in the village-not fancy but friendly - so I'd recommend the Corbeleys (by the bottom of St Martin Express chair) and La Loy which is half way down the Biollay piste en route to St Martin itself.
The middle of the village by the town hall is pretty and quaint-and Le Lachenal-a restaurant behind the church is worth a lunch. Just be sure to turn right immediately as you come out of the tunnel under the road. The village has a great museum which shows how life used to be in the mountains and how the resorts in the valley developed.

Be aware of the time it may take you to get back to base from anywhere you explore. You are in fact in an ideal spot, so shouldn't worry too much. If no queues for example, it takes the lifts about 20-25 mins to get you to the top of the ridge above St Martin from where you can ski down to Mottaret.

Aigle-The direct route down to Mottaret from the Couchevel side can be pretty unpleasant late afternoon-hard, icy and busy. Be prepared!
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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!
CourchGal wrote:
Where you find /What do you see on the live piste maps?



Find this is very comprehensive

https://www.merinet.com/lifts/status
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The tree skiing in Courchevel is as good as I have ever known it currently...

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@Mr_frosty, We were in Reberty 2000 last week and had similar wind and avalanche restrictions for 3 days. As it's a bit sheltered, they seem to have more lifts open but the runs are not that interesting or plentiful. There is a good deal of off piste to be found along the side of Le Mass 1 if that is open, but they may only have a few lifts depending on the wind.

The great thing about Les Meniures is that there are multiple link lifts when they do open up. So rather than bottle necks to get over to Val T or Meribel there are multiple options.

La Ferme is great so even if you do get snowed in a bit, I wouldn't worry.

One thing to note is that the only ATMs are down in Croisette, and the bus's are not that frequent, every French 20 minutes.......depending on how they feel. You can use card everywhere but, in typical French fashion throw a hissy fit if it's under €15, so top up at the airport.
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