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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Excellent!!! Thanks for that update!
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We skied La Tania and parts of Courchevel 1850 today. Surprised how well the open pistes were actually skiing, though narrower than usual. A good day.

There really is nothing off the pistes at resort level, so they've done a great job with the artificial stuff.
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Any updates from Val Thorens?
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If it's anything like last week, VT is rammed! Better snow, less queues in C1850 and especially La Masse. New Boismint chair is worth a go and surprisingly the run all the way to Plan de l'Eau is open and quiet (bit icy at the bottom).
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Anything above 2000m is covered but thin. Off piste non existent. Runs to Menuires open (just). Not many people around.
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Raceplate,

We skied in Val Thorens on 3 days last week and found it to be far from "rammed."

We must have been lucky with our choice of runs (in Orelle, off the Cascades chair, the Funitel de Peclet, Col de la Chambre, Cimes de Caron and the Grand Fond Funitel).
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Have just come back from a week in Val Thorens/3 Valleys and observations are as follows. Best snow is in the morning, pistes were reasonably quiet. Snow above Val Thorens was ok in the morning, although there is a lot of artificial snow on hardpack which cuts up easily. Orelles was very good, Cime le Caron icy, Plein Suid back to Val T was great in the morning but like the M25 once the Folly emptied after 3pm. We skied with Club Med and did two circuits of the area from 9am-2pm. Runs through Meribel to Courchl 1650/1850 are very thin but as other people have said they have done a remarkable job at keeping things open. Runs down to St Martain D B, Les Menuires, Reberty, La Tania (Folyeres was v.good) are thin but everything skied ok. Overall we had a great week and the lack of fresh snow didn't significantly affect our skiing/fun. Yes there are green fields between the pistes/and some pistes are green fields, but the pisteurs seem to have prioritised connecting routes, and the majority of runs are open. The ski instructor in the resort reckons now new snow for another 2 weeks, but they seem to be doing a good job with what they have got.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sat in 1850 at the moment. I'd echo what others have said, and seems to be the theme is the resorts have really done the best they can with what they have.

Taking Cruz to 1650 was lovely in the morning but really cut up in the afternoon. 1650 itself you can ski top to bottom but I'd say that's more only if you need to end up there. There is much more fun to be had in 1850.

My sons have been to la Tania too and said it was fun but I'll update if I go myself. Having a day off today and going to try the new aqua motion this afternoon as my legs are feeling it a bit today. Laughing

Ta
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Have fun at Aqua Motion - we spent 2-3 hours there, there is a lot to enjoy!
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C1850 better than La Tania yesterday, which was getting scraped early. Family all agreed that best runs of the day were off the side of Suisses, where a combination of natural snow and snow scraped from the piste made for pleasant turns around the piste markers.

Edit: just off for first runs on Folyers while it is hopefully still quiet.
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La Tania runs good this morning cannons running overnight. Noticeably busier around c1850 and pistes there getting firm with the lower temperature. Sharp edges and an early start to get the best of it I think, taking it easy later in the day.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@balernoStu, am +1 on that shout... found some cracking stuff over on la masse in les menuires this morning... but later in day coming home to morttaret a diff picture.. that said it is amazing what is being done with so little snow... still having a dam decent time in some great sunshine .
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Skied over from St M to 1650 yesterday. Run down to Meribel remarkably good first thing and dead quiet, Creux was it's usual crazy busy at 10.30am. Took the pyramides drag up in 1650, and the slopes down were ok but hard. Roc Mugnier red run hard and horrid...lots of people on their backsides.
After coffee in the sun at the Bel Air we headed back to the Les Menuires side, via Mottaret. The gentle mid section of Aigle was remarkably good, the bottom far better than I had feared. However I'd say the best snow of the day was skiing down Allemands into Les Men (this was just before 1pm). After lunch we went back up and skied David Douillet back down to the Sunny Express chair. Again...far better than I had expected as it is often really unpleasant on the steep bit. Final blast back to St M down Grand Lac etc was really nice. Finished early at 3pm to go and collect a friend who is joining us. It's her first visit to the 3v so its a shame she can't see it in all its glory.

There are far fewer people here than expected (a friend with a place here suggests bookings are 40% down) so virtually no queues. I reckon some may just be adandoning skiing and just walking and enjoying the sun. I feel for the local businesses though.
I think we will tackle La Masse this morning and then go where the snow feels best. Not sure about heading to VT...fear it will feel rammed.
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Howdy all. Question related to weather but not directly.....my wife and I are off on our first ski trip starting 15th of Jan staying in Mottaret. (Have about 20hrs in Tamworth fridge by way of experience).

Given the current piste conditions and unlikelihood of there being much more snow - trying to decide between 3 Vallées or Meribel only pass. As beginners, if there was good snow everywhere then I imagine that Meribel only would suffice for our first trip.

We have lessons each morning, leaving us the rest of the day to improve / go our own way. Given differing conditions - which pass would you get?
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Perty wrote:

I think we will tackle La Masse this morning and then go where the snow feels best. Not sure about heading to VT...fear it will feel rammed.


Didn't manage La Masse last week but was told that the blues at the top are in very good shape.

Don't worry about VT, it was quiet on all our visits last week except the first, we had to wait about 10 mins to get onto Funitel Peclet. Smile

Found that BD Cumin was open later in the week, from VT back to the Reberty lift in Les Menuires. Was very quiet on there but also a bit icy in places. Was good to come down Boismite and straight onto Cumin for the run home. Smile
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@Drew Carey, In your position I would buy a Meribel valley pass and then get a 3V extension for any day you decide to go further afield. (From a purely financial perspective it is usually cheaper to buy the full 3V pass if you will ski in another valley on 3 days or more, although there is also a hassle saving from not having to purchase the extensions, particularly if you only decide on the spur of the moment).

But as beginners you may find that the single valley is more than sufficient, even with limited snow. In addition the higher slopes in all the valleys are generally the more difficult, so if you do go elsewhere you need to pick your route carefully, and perhaps download the top half on a bubble lift.
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Meribel looking grim...

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ecureuil wrote:
(Really helpful info.....)


Thanks for all the good tips. Will take that on board. Will likely get a Meribel pass only and the. Use the free 3v extension and then decide.
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@Drew Carey
Are you comfortable enough to try some easy red runs? If so, I'd go with the 3V pass. If not, stick to Meribel.

The reason is the red run Lac de la Chambre. It's wide and not particularly steep for a red, but it's a long run and the only easy path back from Val Thorens. If you can ski that, a whole area of terrain opens up, e.g. you can go to Orelle and back skiing just blues. If you're going to change valleys for at least one day, I think it's worth it. A single day upgrade is 33.50 compared to 50 for a week.
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Arrived in la tania, haven't been out yet but the piste in the centre looks good to me. Feeling cold
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Great day today all things considered. Another pleasing first run down to Meribel. Then we took Rhodos and the Loze chair over to La Tania. Folyeres down to La T was virtually empty and lovely at 10.30am. Probably the best run of the day. Don't you just love an empty piste?
It transpired later, after a coffee, that people had headed over to Courchevel proper.Many more people and queues there, and we had to head for VT and lunch with friends, so had no time to cruise about in 1850. The run down to the Cote Brune chair was good and we did a lap of Venturons. Snow was excellent, though a few more stones than I would have liked.
When we got into VT it was quieter than I had expected. Pistes felt good. Lunch was just abov BVd Cumin at Chez Pepe Nicholas. Then we had intended to return to St M via the top of VT/Les Men. In the end the late afternoon queues meant we went round the block and returned via BVd Cumin.
Mileage (incl lifts) 48.9. Not bad considering the conditions. Yes, there are some hard and icy bits, but we are enjoying the skiing. The air is cold which must help hugely.
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Little Martin wrote:
Arrived in la tania, haven't been out yet but the piste in the centre looks good to me. Feeling cold



You may have noticed the big piles of snow cannoned last night and waiting to be spread out for you folks skiing next week. There are a few more up the hill.

Top tip has been skiing Folyers right back to resort from first lift, had it almost to ourselves for a while each morning.

We've had a great week, enjoy!
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Quote:

The reason is the red run Lac de la Chambre. It's wide and not particularly steep for a red, but it's a long run and the only easy path back from Val Thorens. If you can ski that, a whole area of terrain opens up, e.g. you can go to Orelle and back skiing just blues. If you're going to change valleys for at least one day, I think it's worth it. A single day upgrade is 33.50 compared to 50 for a week.



Lac de la Chambre - my favourite run - not overly difficult, but a great length and coming from Australia, the first time I had experienced thigh burn skiing. Hoping that there is a dump of snow soon!
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Away home in morning.... it's been a week of cruising on piste... clocking up the miles...I can't remember such a week of sunshine ..been to all corners of the 3vally and found the good , the bad and the ugly snow!!! Orelle was def the best of the lot...
As for the guys n gals coming out in next couple of weeks... who knows!!! I guess it depends what floats ya boat... I for one have had a grand week... yes it's not the best snow... but you can ski it... and bag a sun tan at same time!!!
Stay safe... gferg out!
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Given the conditions...

Anyone have advice for an intermediate (me) to get his rather timid wife over to VT and back from Meribel? She is able to get over to Courchevel either on skis or via the Sauliere; and can ski back to the centre from the Folie Douce via the Doron and Chaudanne. We want to get up higher, as well as exploring VT. Any ideas accepted. Ta. Oh, we go on Monday.

Edit: we want to get back too!
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I don't want peace, love, happiness or good health for the new year, I just want snow!!
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@Charliegolf Which way can she ski to Courchevel? via Combe de la Saulire? via Creux? or Col de la Loze followed by Loze Est / Anemones / Lac Bleu? If she can ski the first comfortably, then many routes are possible. If she can just about get there via third option, choices are more limited.

Assuming everything is open then the route with the easiest skiing is probably: Tougnete bubble & Tougnete 2 lift, followed by Gros Tougne and La Violette pistes into the centre of Les Menuires; Menuires lift and ski Boyes to Reberty; Bruyeres bubble to the mid-point. followed by Montaulever drag then the Montaulever Traverse piste into VT. Quicker but slightly harder is via Mottaret, then Plattiere and Cote Brune lifts, and ski down via Mont de la Chambre and the above Traverse or via Pluviometre.

Getting back is a bit more tricky. If she is not confident on Reds and you want to ski all the way back it is a long way. Boulevard Cumin to Les Menuires. A choices of lifts through the centre to get to the top of either Becca or Roc 2, followed by the long Grande Lac & Pelozet blues towards St Martin. St Martin Express lift up and either Faon / Lievre or Cretes / Choucas / Gelinotte down. Both Lievre and Gelinotte are probably harder than Doron so an easier alternative for the last bit is Perdrix to Mottaret and Truite to Meribel. But this whole route might be too long if you are only going slowly.

A much quicker way back from Les Menuires is to walk across from the top of Roc 2 and take the Plattieres 3 bubble DOWN, then ski Sitelle / Martre into Mottaret and Truite to Meribel.
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ecureuil,

That's a good idea about the Plattieres bubble. I wouldn't have thought of that. And it's only a short ride down to the blue piste!
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Only slightly complicated by the fact that when you first get off the Roc2 chair I don't think you can't see the top bubble station!
But if you keep going straight ahead from the top of the chair it comes into view right at the back of the plateau.
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ecureuil wrote:
@Charliegolf

Assuming everything is open then the route with the easiest skiing is probably: Tougnete bubble & Tougnete 2 lift, followed by Gros Tougne and La Violette pistes into the centre of Les Menuires; Menuires lift and ski Boyes to Reberty; Bruyeres bubble to the mid-point. followed by Montaulever drag then the Montaulever Traverse piste into VT. Quicker but slightly harder is via Mottaret, then Plattiere and Cote Brune lifts, and ski down via Mont de la Chambre and the above Traverse or via Pluviometre.


A much quicker way back from Les Menuires is to walk across from the top of Roc 2 and take the Plattieres 3 bubble DOWN, then ski Sitelle / Martre into Mottaret and Truite to Meribel.


Down into Les Menuires and through La Croisette down to the Reberty lift. This is all on blues and greens, although the blues are more like greens.

Off Reberty, round to the right and then turn left to the Bruyeres lift. Stay on Bruyeres 1 and 2, I believe Montaulever is still closed.

Off at the top and head towards Pluviometre on the red run. There is nothing difficult about the red, think it's the top of Lac de la Chambre, possibly red as you need to "let it go" to get up the other side.

Coming back, lifts out of VT and then Mont de la Chambre down to Becca, up there and down the blue to Roc 2, walk over to Plattieres and down that.
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@GaryCantley, Agree outward route. (LM website reports both Montaulever drag and Montaulever Traverse piste still closed). Although if you have to use Pluviometre anyway the route via Mottaret and the Cote Brune chair is a lot shorter.

But coming back I don't think the Mont de la Chambre piste takes you to Becca? Need to add in Sunny Express / Roc 1, and after either you can go straight to Roc2 anyway so don't need Becca.

Whether this works for Charliegolf depends on just how timid his partner is! Both Pluviometre and Mont de la Chambre are probably more difficult than Doron - hence suggesting Boulevard Cumin for the return, even though it is a bit flat in places.
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Rather than downloading on Plattieres and then taking the horrible blue in to Mottaret, ski down Grand lac and down to St Martin 2 then down the blues to Meribel from the top of Tougnete
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ecureuil wrote:
@GaryCantley, Agree outward route. (LM website reports both Montaulever drag and Montaulever Traverse piste still closed). Although if you have to use Pluviometre anyway the route via Mottaret and the Cote Brune chair is a lot shorter.

But coming back I don't think the Mont de la Chambre piste takes you to Becca? Need to add in Sunny Express / Roc 1, and after either you can go straight to Roc2 anyway so don't need Becca.

Whether this works for Charliegolf depends on just how timid his partner is! Both Pluviometre and Mont de la Chambre are probably more difficult than Doron - hence suggesting Boulevard Cumin for the return, even though it is a bit flat in places.


You're right, Sunny Express and then Roc 2. Roc 1/Roc 2 is very flat, although this may be easier with a timid skier, getting into Croisette for Roc 1 would not be my choice of doing things.

Sorry, missed your choice of Bd Cumin coming back, not just flat in places but also uphill too. It's another one that "let it go" means just that and can be scary for the timid skier. I skied this with my boy Xmas week and we are both average blue skiers, him better than me and we were struggling to get up to the tops a couple of times.
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I'm going to read all of your replies with interest and enjoyment. But we're not going. My sister died this morning unexpectedly... This is me taking my mind off it after a rough day. Thanks for the replies- feel free to keep em coming, I'll pop in as I can. For info@ecureuil, the latter Loze chair from Blanchot and down from there.

CG
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Condolences @Charliegolf, very sorry to hear this.
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plenty of skiing in courchevel 1850, went over to 1650, good at the top, not pretty lower down.

I was going to head down into meribel this morning, but decided against it after going across to saulire express 2, and went back up to do creux which was in great condition.

It's still great they have so much open, you can get down to 1350 now too.

May try a run over to val thorens later in the week.

Blue into la tania is showing quite a bit of ice in the afternoons, getting a good edge is needed.

In the whole, skiing in the morning is best, going high later in the day and skiing the sides of the pistes I've found to be a good solution to the scraped off sections.
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So sorry to hear that Charlie, sincere condolences.
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Just back from courchevel and I'd echo the sentiments above. What is very obvious though is that the resort is doing everything they can with what they've got.

I found its a matter of getting your timing right. Some runs can be downright hideous in the morning but lovely in the afternoon and vice versa.

I spent most of my time in 1850, up to the top of Vizelle / Suisse and going down Creux and Marmottes etc. Dropping into 1650 for Roc Merlet - which was great most the time, and the top of 1650, then back over to 1850.

The do need more snow - no question and they are constantly dragging it off the side of the runs back onto patch up at the end of the days, however its so thin I noticed I was hitting logs of small rocks and the underside of my skiis need some attention now.

Still worth it - and I never found myself bored. Kids had an amazing time too.

1650 looks like its been nuked lower down and just had a bit of snow put on it - there is nothing, that isn't made lower down. Also in the late afternoon the lower parts of 1650 were pure ice, however they had the cannons going when I left so hopefully better now.

Enjoy!
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Still enjoying what's available. And cannons are on where possible. Looks like it's going to go very cold next few days with wind.
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Heading VT on Saturday - I see it's currently forecast to put a bit down tonight?

I'm wondering (given the current conditions) if it's worth buying a pass for the full 3 valleys, or if we'll only get our money's worth by staying in VT?
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