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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We came back on Sunday, after a 10 day break. As we left, Folyere looed to be getting unskiable. The guy who did our transfer to Geneva said they were expecting to be bussing people to Courchevel this week, as they were also expecting Bouc Blanc and Loze to lose integrity.

So saying, everything up high was still great - and damn, I wish I was still out there, albeit preferably in VT.

Enjoy - I'm bloody jealous, and wish to God I could engineer a life-change so that I could move out there, or at least spend the whole season out there.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks. Webcams look ok at the higher ends of Courchevel so hopefully some good skiing will remain up there. I actually don't mind a bit of afternoon spring slush, and I even don't mind getting the LT gondola down at the end of the day, but will be a bit of a gutter if they shut it and swtich to bussing as it'll be a right faff with kids at the start and end of the day. The kids love a spot of lunch at the Bouc Blanc too (as do I) so I'm hoping the runs above, Arolles and Bouc Blanc stay open.

My kids too love lapping the family park and also the yeti park in Mottaret so they'll be happy assuming we can get there ok.

I'd have no problem getting to Val Thorens with the eldest, but the 6yo (almost 7) might struggle, though I'm hoping we can at least tour him over to La Masse and back. But would have much easier had I plumbed for accommodation in Mottaret.

I suppose I'm hoping they've been holding back a bit of reservoir water for the Easter period, and if its cold enough overnight that they'll blow some snow to keep the lower runs ticking over. That maybe wishful thinking. A bit early to say but forecast looks like temps will drop some next week.
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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?
No shame in downloading, we did yesterday at 4:30ish, and skiing back today around 3 I don't think I saw another person until Troika so many must already be doing that. Folyers was actually fine except for one bit where it was almost broken, at I guess 2-300m above resort.

We have local passes so won't be trekking across to Val T etc, and looks like there should be plenty to keep us going for the week in the Courchevel area.
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Nooooooo !!!!!
According to the live 3v map on courchevel.com the biolley piste to St Martin is now closed, which scuppers visiting my favorite 3v terrace lunch at La Loy next week. Sad
...and to add insult to injury the Folie Douce in Meribel closes on 8th so that will be shut next week too.

OK other than Bouc Blanc, where else across the 3v has a nice sunny terrace, that does similarly good and similarly reasonably priced meals and plat du jours (by which I mean Bouc Blanc and La Loy sort of prices and quality) ?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chalet des Deux Lacs in VT
Soucoupe in Courchevel (just below Chenus)

I think the Eterlou in 1650 is shut (lovely outside area and cracking pizzas) but not sure if it's been replaced by something else?
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Le Tivoli in VT is where we pitched our metaphorical lunch tent this year. Off the top of the big magic carpet (Castor & Pollux), it's slightly (30m) off the slopes in the street on the left (as you look up the mountain), first restaurant you come to in that street. Did a Plat du Jour for 13.90 euros, pizzas for ca 15, etc. Pretty good food, friendly service. Choice of Affligem or Pelforth as a draught beer. Terrace in the sun, and not too busy (never had a problem getting a table outside, this at February HT). A good bit cheaper than the two places at the top of the carpet on the slopes. Free digestif the last day (having eaten there 5 days out of 6 to be fair).
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@franga, Eterlou had changed name to something else last time I was there ~3 years ago. Don't know if same ownership but it was very good.
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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!
Thanks @franga, will look at Deux lacs. I thought Soucoupe was somewhat more expensive, certainly a notch up the pricing food food chain than say the Bouc Blanc ? Maybe I just haven't looked properly.

Eterlou down in 1650, is one that's already on my go to places list along with Bouc Blanc and La Loy, it changed to "Arc en Ciel" a few years ago and still does good pizza's, plat du jours and cafe gourmand etc, for a reasonable price, although it's just resort roadside rather than on mountain - still nice though. Actually along with Bouc Blanc its probably my favorite place the Courchevel end of the 3vs for balance between quality and price.

I'll check out Le Tivoli, thanks @mad for chelsea.

Anyone got any suggestions for Meribel or Les Menuires ? Normally one of my favorite days from Courchevel/La Tania, is head over to Las Masse for a couple of laps then head to St Martin to La Loy for lunch, so I need a replacement for that. Somewhere in Les Menuires or the West side of Meribel (right hand side on the piste map) would be a suitable replacement - weirdly in all the years I've been to the 3v I've never stopped in any of the Meribel restaurants for a proper lunch (other than once a quick burger from a cheap snack window in Mottaret).
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@Gazzza, Soucoup and Bouc Blanc aren't really comparable. I love them both, but Soucoup is very much a treat where you can get top notch grilled beef & lamb with some pimping wine. BB is a fuel up on local dishes with the house plonk and put your feet up while the kids lap La Tania.

Have you tried Bel Air? By the bubble above 1650. Price and quality somewhere between SC & BB.
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If you can get to the top of Biolley do go to Le Corbelys. Nice terrace with good food at decent prices. We stopped there a couple of times this year, although had to hunker down inside as it was early Feb. The local sausage and polenta chips are a favourite. Then just nip back up on the St Martin Express!
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Thanks @Dr John, yes that's what I thought. We're with the kids every lunch this trip as they're not going in lessons this time, hence we are looking for Bouc Blanc type places. Good local grub, carafes of wine and a kids menu.
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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.
Thanks @Rhoobarb, Corbeleys looks like perfect for what I'm after - similar to La Loy, menu/price wise by the looks of it, cheers. At the moment looks like skiing is possible down to the bottom of St Martin Express/top of St martin gondola, so fingers crossed them to stay open next week. Looks like a scorching weekend in store, with temps due to fall middle of next week, with some precipitation maybe coming the middle of next week too - fingers crossed it comes overnight whilst temps are lower and may get a bit of snow instead of rain. Too early yet I guess, but I'm keeping everything crossed.
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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
@Gazzza, another two places to try which I would class as similar to La Loy and Bouc Blanc in terms of pricing, food and large terraces are the Chalets des 2 Ours off the Boismint chair at the lower end of Val T, and La Ferme de Reberty in Reberty/Les Menuires.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
In La Tania and the Foly is done. Practically closed and a week of warm weather will see it done. It's treacherous in 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:
I skied the top half at 4pm today but abandoned at the chair turn off as it went gloopy there, back to the top for another run on the red and downloaded on the gondola.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Gazzza, as an option for the far side of Meribel you might want to take a look at the Restaurant Les Crêtes just down from the Tougnette 2 chairlift.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Gazzza, Bel Air would also fit that description, as would Le Coeur De Cristal (my favourite in Meribel valley) above Meribel on the rhodos piste, Saulire side.
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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?
I am arriving in Meribel on Sunday. I am perfectly satisfied that Cour and VT will have loads of skiing but the forecast are still saying rain in the village.

What is it like over there at the moment? The webcams look like all signs of winter have left the town and that is not an issue but it would be nice if it isn't drizzly as the forecast may suggest.
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There's a place called Eterlou in the tabac just along the street from the 1650 gondola. Find it with the chickens outside. Good cheap food and lovely people running it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We are also arriving this weekend. Are there still lots of (or some) blue and greens that are in decent condition in the Meribel valley? Or will be need to go further afield?
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Thanks for the varying suggestions @juliad and @Dr John.

@New to ski, looks like all runs to lower resorts are getting poor, although up top looks like plenty of skiing.

The Doron blue down to Meribel Chaudanne now looks to be closed according to the live map, which means days we want to tour 3v from La Tania, we'd now have to download in Rhodos to get through Meribel Sad Can anyone currently out there confirm ?

(obviously we could go over Saulire and down the Aigle red to Mottaret instead, but it's further from La Tania and I'm not sure how my 6 y.o. will fair on Aigle first thing in the morning when its icy).
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@New to ski, You can see which runs are open here http://ski-resort.meribel.net/the-resort/interactive-map.html

Actually seems to be down at the moment, but you can see the same on Courchevel's live map : http://www.courchevel.com/ then clicking on Live information then Ski Maps.

Most the upper stuff is open.
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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!
Looks like the last run down (red Murette's) do La Praz is now shut, so no skiing down to 1300, not unsurprising I guess. Looks like the Plan Fontaine down La Tania is also now closed, leaving just Folyeres open in the lower La Tania sector. Fingers crossed they can keep it open.

Right. 15 minutes left at my desk then I'm heading off to the tunnel and driving South, overnighting in Reims.

I hope everyone heading to the 3v, or anywhere else for that matter, next week has a good one ! Looks like temps could drop around next Weds/Thursday so you never know might get some fresh spring snow up high Happy Here's hoping.

Cheers

snowHead
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We've really enjoyed the skiing all this week, best snow has been on the steeper more shaded runs above the mid station. Flatter runs have been more susceptible to mushyness as the day goes on so timing has been more critical on those. Some nice spring snow off piste in places too, again better above mid station. Have been downloading on the gondola (La Tania) last few days. Home tomorrow, but would gladly stay for more.
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Gazzza,
In March we checked out the prices at Alpage mountain restaurant, just outside Val T. We didn't eat there but it looked great - lovely, sunny terrace and very reasonably priced food & drink e.g. Spag Bols €12.50(!) & a cappuccino €3.50.

It's at the bottom of Mont De La Chambre blue piste, or the bottom of 4 Vents (red) - accessible from the top of Bruyeres gondola, Mt De La Chambre chair, or Cote Brun chair.
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La Tania clinging on at 1300m.

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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.
@Gazzza, the chalet de la masse restaurant would fit your criteria. It's on the blue runs back to the base of la masse, where the vallons meets the enverses.
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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
May I ask all you knowledgable Snowheads, if this years snow in the 3 valleys has been worse than it usually is? We had a boiling week at half term and are planning to book 1st April next year with two little ones. But I'm a little worried about skiing in slush as they are young. That said at HT this year in Les Menuires it was pretty slushy from the sun and we all managed ok.

Just trying to get a gauge on normal weather... I realise that we have no way of knowing next year
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sun and slush later in the day is normal for this time of year. Having said that I was out last week and would say it's hotter and the slush is heavier than usual.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Bunches wrote:
May I ask all you knowledgable Snowheads, if this years snow in the 3 valleys has been worse than it usually is? We had a boiling week at half term and are planning to book 1st April next year with two little ones. But I'm a little worried about skiing in slush as they are young. That said at HT this year in Les Menuires it was pretty slushy from the sun and we all managed ok.

Just trying to get a gauge on normal weather... I realise that we have no way of knowing next year



It has been a bad season.

Few major snowfalls, limited offpiste, and many slopes open at the start and end of season only because of their extensive snowguns.

The 3 Vs is big and high enough that there will always be somewhere decent to ski from Dec to Apr.

The hero snow of Apr is better than the concrete of Dec and Jan.

Best time to ski France is mid-Feb to mid-Mar, when cold Winter meets sunnier Spring.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It is unseasonably warm in the 3Vs at the moment. Rain now on the forecast. Best to download from mid station in Meribel. All good in VT.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just started raining in Meribel Village 😟
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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?
Hmmm... it was Motteret that we were thinking of staying. We are tied to school holidays and hates the busyness of half term. I don't mind downloading at all, as long there is some snow higher up.

But my main question is whether this year is exceptional compared to the normal early April weather
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Hi @Bunches, we've been in Meribel village every Easter for last 6 years. Conditions have varied year to year but we've always had a good time and so have the kids!

This year there is less snow than previous years but it's still possible to ski down, just.

For an Easter trip with kids my recommendation would be to find accommodation with a pool if you can. Ours love that there's something else to do each afternoon after skiing.....
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hi there
My daughter is heading out to Les Menuires next week on a school trip and the ski school (Prosneige) have told the school that Les Menuires is not safe for beginners as they use the lower slopes which are showing rocks. They are recommending extending to VT. my daughter would be in the advanced group so I was wondering if the upper LM slopes were skiable or would she also need an extension although Prosneige have not mentioned this yet for her group? Or any general info on conditions would be most welcome please? We skied VT as a family last week of March and LM was looking pretty thin and slushy then-for example the access track to La Masse was clinging on for dear life! Far worse than the same time last year. Might colder temps next week help....?
Cheer.
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A few of us went to the Three Valley's today. Started in Val Thorens and had a bit of a surprise when on our first route. It had snowed a little overnight and we had fresh tracks! Amazing!

Just goes to show you never know what to expect! Back home now and it is raining outside down in the valley so I am hoping to find fresh powder tomorrow when the clouds clear and the sun comes back out.

Managed 6 routes today. Wanted to do seven, but they shut the Caron Cable Car just as we got there a few minutes early. Said it was due to poor vis and winds at the top. Having just skied down one of the faces from a peak nearby I was a little surprised they thought it was so bad, but they are the experts.

We covered a lot of ground today. One of route in Val Thorens, one going down to Orelle, three in the Meribel Valley and one in the Courcheval valley. Very mixed snow, but still fun!

I will post all the photos from our time in the Three Valley's this season in the coming days. Take a look at the Les Arcs Winter facebook page if you are interested in seeing what we have been doing away from Les Arcs.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LesArcsWinter/photos/
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A bit more cloud today so the pistes held up better across the 3Vs.

Got first lift out of Meribel Centre @ 9am so down into Orelle and up the other side by 1030. Felt like real winter snow in VT this morning, a real contrast to what we've been skiing in Meribel/Courchevel for last few days......BUT with good snow comes the crowds.

Middle of VT very busy, crowded pistes, eyes in back of head required!

Snow conditions holding up well considering how warm it is. I'm starting to think they might achieve the impossible and keep the piste open to Meribel Village until we leave on Saturday

Very Happy
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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!
@snowhound, top of Pointe Masse very good first thing, soft even high up by lunch. Route down to LM closed from pointe masse . Beginner slopes above LM very soft and many broken. Sun forecast all week Sad route to le Bettex closed as is the chair down
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How is Motteret doing this week?
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Hi @Bunches, when we skied through yesterday the lower slopes were a mixture of mud, stones and snow!

As with elsewhere in the 3Vs lower slopes are (being kind) not great, get high however and the snow cover is still good......
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