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Easter conditions Meribel

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking to book Meribel this Easter.... But a friend who went last year mid -April said many runs & lifts were closed and they were bussed round to Val Thorens. Were conditions last year particularly bad? Or is this now to be expected? I was looking to stay in Mottaret ie fairly high up the mountain and assuming that Plattieres lifts would be running with access to Vallons and over to Val Thorens.

Second week of Easter is a fair bit cheaper than first, but conditions will be that much slushier. Any thoughts on what difference a week makes?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@chomski, Easter this year was quiet and links to the three valleys were open. Snow cover was excellent.
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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 links to Vallon and Val Thorens were open until the last day of the season so no idea why your friend would spend over an hour on a bus each way to VT.
The last week of the season (20th - 26th) there are always left lifts open but before that most things are still running.
Easter was very late last year so they may have been there that week but Easter is a week earlier next year.
Yes it can be a bit slushy lower down later in the day but so can anywhere at Easter.
Second week of Easter will probably be similar conditions just a few less lifts and pistes open.
What makes the biggest difference to how slushy it is is how cloudy it is at night. If it is clear you get a good refreeze and the slopes are firm first thing and then gradually soften, if it is cloudy then there is less of a refreeze and things get soft sooner. Last Easter was cloudier than normal so there were less nights of strong refreeze. The year before we didn't see a single cloud in April and there was a strong refreeze every night. What it will do next year no one knows, it could be cloudy one week and not the other but which way round?
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In my experience everything remains functioning until the very end, but you do have to pick your itinerary and slopes according to aspect at certain times of day-this can make a big difference from having some great conditions for the time of year to skiing in shin deep mashed potato. My own hints and tips.
Mont Vallon-get there early and definitely avoid late afternoon (very mushy at the bottom).
Aigle (the run down from Courchevel to Mottaret) is unpleasant late in the day too.
East facing slopes above Meribel tend to stay firm for longer and, because they don't see much sun, less less melt/refreeze, so they don't get (as) icy overnight.
Over the ridge in Menuires-Allemands is banging first thing.
La Masse is generally better, but busy in the morning. In late afternoon the top half, which is in the shade, offers very quiet slopes and often great on piste conditions with squeaky snow.
Courchevel 1650 can be surprisingly good before 2pm as the slopes face north.
Ditto Folyeres into La Tania. This can be a joy mid/late morning as people have decided to head high for the day, leaving the lower slopes empty on a warm day. It pays to do the counterintuitive thing in the morning sometimes rather than head to VT with everyone else.
If you're lucky enough to get a dump of fresh snow which extends below 1400m, head up to the top of the Olympic chair and ski down to Le Raffort. There's going to be a new red run down that way this winter too. It's a real delight to ski down there on fresh snow first thing, get there early!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@chomski, where was your friend staying?? We've been to La Tania for years at Easter and never had an issues skiing back to 1400m or over to Val Thorens! No buses needed!!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
My TR from 3V at Easter this year:

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=142858&highlight=menuires

You won't need to bus it. your friend is passing you fake news.

Conditions are never going to be getting any better week on week at that time of the year but I wouldn't sweat going first or second week.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@kitenski She was staying in Meribel Village. She said that at the start of the week they could use ski-lift, to get out of, and just about get back to village but later needed car or ski-bus. I possibly misinterpreted her about bus to Val Thorens --she may have meant taking bus up from Village to top end of the valley. Impression I got was that conditions above VT were good, but it was tricky getting there. (She had young children with her) She also mentioned that many piste-side ski restaurants were closing up by second week of Easter.

Encouraged to hear that a good time may still be had in April
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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!
Perty wrote:
In my experience everything remains functioning until the very end, but you do have to pick your itinerary and slopes according to aspect at certain times of day-this can make a big difference from having some great conditions for the time of year to skiing in shin deep mashed potato. My own hints and tips.
Mont Vallon-get there early and definitely avoid late afternoon (very mushy at the bottom).
Aigle (the run down from Courchevel to Mottaret) is unpleasant late in the day too.
East facing slopes above Meribel tend to stay firm for longer and, because they don't see much sun, less less melt/refreeze, so they don't get (as) icy overnight.
Over the ridge in Menuires-Allemands is banging first thing.
La Masse is generally better, but busy in the morning. In late afternoon the top half, which is in the shade, offers very quiet slopes and often great on piste conditions with squeaky snow.
Courchevel 1650 can be surprisingly good before 2pm as the slopes face north.
Ditto Folyeres into La Tania. This can be a joy mid/late morning as people have decided to head high for the day, leaving the lower slopes empty on a warm day. It pays to do the counterintuitive thing in the morning sometimes rather than head to VT with everyone else.
If you're lucky enough to get a dump of fresh snow which extends below 1400m, head up to the top of the Olympic chair and ski down to Le Raffort. There's going to be a new red run down that way this winter too. It's a real delight to ski down there on fresh snow first thing, get there early!


This is pretty accurate and my experience. Picking your itinerary is key as the slopes do get slushy and sometimes worn. That said it is a beautiful time of year to ski especially if you have kids.
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Quote:

She also mentioned that many piste-side ski restaurants were closing up by second week of Easter.

As this was the last week of the season it is not suprising that the resaurants were closing. They tend to do that in most resorts.

Meribel village is quite a bit lower than Mottaret and the snow at that level can be poor in April. Getting a bus or lifts up and down is an accepatable way of dealing with cheep accommodation lower down the valley. Some snowheads even advocate doing this all the time. Mottaret, though a lot higher, can have poor snow and I have water skied across the puddles there before, but you can usually ski down to the resort and of course you take the lifts higher, where, as others have pointed out, there is usually good snow and very good skiing. Take the east facing slopes first thing and west facing later to maximise the spring snow.

By the second week of Easter, I assume you mean the week containing the bank holiday. Taking averages over all time then the later week will generally be warmer than the first, but not by much and it could be very variable. It could snow that week or indeed have a foen. If it were me I would take the chance and save the money (to spend on factor 50 of course)by going the second week.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I've lost count of the number of times I've been to the 3V. Never once had a bad time at Easter, had lots of Jan and Feb trips wrecked by poor conditions.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Perty's advice is very good..
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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.
I'd also look into booking La Tania, probably similiar pricing if not cheaper than Meribel and North facing which is a huge asset in spring.
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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
@kitenski, pretty low down there and can be pants going to the gondola, I would stay high in gods country Mottaret Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skimottaret, the blue home has opened to the end of the season and can be a fantastic run! If chopped up at the end of the day always the option to download! I’ve always found better snow over there compared to lowly Meribel
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Lowly meribel maybe but LT is 1400 ish and Mottaret is 1700M Wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Generally pretty crap but VT is hugh and Courchevel faces north. Just use Merihell as a base
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