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Les 3 Vallées 2020/21 - Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens etc

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A little later than originally planned due to an ongoing series of eye operations it is probably time to kick off this coming winter's thread (we did have snow on the Grand Bec in late August after all...).

Sadly I am going to kick this thread off on a negative vibe, as the environmental destruction continues, all in the name of the 2023 World Championships and the revamped Jockeys piste (henceforth to be known as 'L'Eclipse' apparently - I shudder to think how much they paid a marketing company to come up with that...). Apparently the Col de la Loze was a massive building site this summer as they tore it apart to put in a reservoir (below the Freeride face) for snowmaking to serve the new piste. They have also continued ripping out trees and to top it all off the other day they were helicoptering them out individually from Le Praz... (ie from very close to a perfectly serviceable road).



Why they have massacred the trees around the 25m ski jump is anyone's guess but it does mean that the youngters of the jumping club willno longer have any shade on their summer training sessions (my son used to come back drenched with sweat...).

Anyway, on that happy note, here's hoping that we have some sort of a ski season this year!!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They've fckd up Jockeys? B@stards.
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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?
Can anyone tell me if you can get by bus down to Brides-les-Bains in the evening? I’m aware of the gondola stopping at 5 but I’d like to have a beer or 2 and still be able to get down.
Thanks
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@andybomb1, not easily. There might be a service bus going from Meribel to Moutiers, but even if there is I don't think it will actually go through Brides-les-Bains. If you could get them to drop you off at the point where the Meribel road reaches the valley road it would only be about 0.5 mile walk into Brides. Winter timetable not yet published, and not sure if there is an evening bus, other than perhaps on Saturday changeover days to link up with trains.

Might have to be taxi.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Further to the above post, apparently the trees round the top of the 25m jump were diseased spruces - the plan is to allow some more varied trees to grow back/actively replant. However the whole bottom area has been widened to allow for Murettes to still be open when the 'Jockeys/Eclipse' piste is in competition mode...
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andybomb1 wrote:
Can anyone tell me if you can get by bus down to Brides-les-Bains in the evening? Thanks
No. Meribel doesn't go lower than Les Allues and Courchevel stops at La Perriere. There was a one day a week service last year on Sundays but I'm not 100% sure it's actually a ski bus, I think it might be pedestrian only. Also, it hasn't always been on Sundays, I think it used to be Tuesdays so could change again - I wouldn't rely on it without checking first nearer the time.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Nothing to add other than I'm really looking forward to getting back to Courchevel this season. Not been for a couple of years.
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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!
I guess the only 'good' news is that they'll have artificial snow on L'Eclipse???
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Lots of snow forecast for next week!
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Snowing already just now!
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Lots of snow on VT and Maribel cams. Will it stay? snowHead
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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.
Oleski wrote:
Lots of snow on VT and Maribel cams. Will it stay? snowHead


No chance.
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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
Oleski wrote:
Lots of snow on VT and Maribel cams. Will it stay? snowHead


Not sure I will be skiing down to the Chaudanne just yet...:



Though in all seriousness what is down above 2500m on North slopes will probably stay, but that is not necessarily a good thing...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Always good to be reminded of the wonderful Mr Skifan, who is (I think) part of the team that manages the lifts in Val Thorens. He documents all the new lifts and pistes here, together with many other comings-and-goings in Les 3 Vallées

https://www.flickr.com/photos/skifan/

https://www.youtube.com/user/vacanski/videos

Of interest for the 21/22 season, is the big new gondola in Le Menuires to the top of La Masse. This will replace 3 lifts: Masse 2, Lac Noir and Rocher Noir. It all looks great; but some folks are moaning that means you have to ski all the way to the bottom, and you can't just stick around skiing at the top half. Scheduled to be ready by December 2021.

Map of the new lift here:

https://www.remontees-mecaniques.net/forums/uploads/1557493680/gallery_4132_2931_1239590.jpg
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Are they taking out LM1 as well.

Nostalgic for 123_456"s photo's
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Poster: A snowHead
I wonder if big new gondolas will actually be as beneficial as first thought in the post Covid world.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stevew wrote:
Are they taking out LM1 as well.


Seems not. They are leaving it in place so some folks can just go half-way up for the blue runs; and also, incase they have to close the new lift due to weather conditions at the top — then folks can at least use La Masse 1.
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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?
@Poogle, tah. Does seem a long way top to bottom. Bit Mt Vallon.
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stevew wrote:
@Poogle, tah. Does seem a long way top to bottom. Bit Mt Vallon.


Nothing to stop you taking refreshing break — for medicinal purposes only of course — at Le 7eme Ciel restaurant/bar at the top of La Masse 1 lift. snowHead
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Such a shame they are scrapping Lac Noir. A slow / cold chair but access to some great off-piste.
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Unless you used to jump off halfway up the chair (!) you should still be able to ski down Choucas to access exactly the same off-piste.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Back in July we saw the new version of Les Cretes restaurant going up (on the ridge between St M and Meribel) big building works on site . I fear it’s going to be another swanky one. Haven’t got a photo as I went by on my bike. But I guess the plan is to be open by this winter.
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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!
@ecureuil, Frequently exited chair (at the top) and headed up to the right before dropping back down to Rocher Nior chair and repeat. Great fun.
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Poogle wrote:
stevew wrote:
@Poogle, tah. Does seem a long way top to bottom. Bit Mt Vallon.


Nothing to stop you taking refreshing break — for medicinal purposes only of course — at Le 7eme Ciel restaurant/bar at the top of La Masse 1 lift. snowHead


The big downsides will be on days when it is snowing to 2200m (as an example..) and raining below. Each powder lap will require skiing porridge and getting soaked, when a mid station and above lift would avoid that. I am not a fan of the new concept...
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I agree. It is a shame they didn't also scrap Masse 1, and have a single lift to the top with a mid-station around where Masse 1 currently ends and Masse 2 starts. Perhaps there is some terrain reason why that wouldn't work, or just the expense?
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Snow canons are in action in VT this morning. Test run?
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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.
View from our house webcam 2 mins ago. 1450m, still snowing too!
That puts a smile on my face Very Happy



Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 1-12-20 10:09; edited 1 time in total
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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
That’s all very exciting @Perty
We are going to Meribel in 2 weeks! Can’t wait!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
What a shame to hear the Rocher Noir lift will be going. That was a lovely peaceful way to start a ski day from our apartment.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
L0ve2ski wrote:
That’s all very exciting @Perty
We are going to Meribel in 2 weeks! Can’t wait!


I thought France was shut?
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Poster: A snowHead
Meribel at 1800m.

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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oooh... enticing!
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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?
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=154174#4684936


Following up on our communication from last week, we inform you that we will be opening our station on December 18th for the end of the year celebrations.

The ski lifts and public facilities will certainly be closed, but we will be able to offer a different offer to our customers wishing to take advantage of our wide open spaces and the magic of the mountains in winter.

We thus share with you the elements of language to date proposed by Méribel Tourisme to best inform our future vacationers.

Regarding activities, the entire footpaths (from Tuéda to the Altiport via the paths leading to La Traye, Les Allues, Méribel Village, La Petite Rosière, etc.) will be maintained and accessible. These walks will be an opportunity to discover the valley and its panoramas from a different angle, to recharge your batteries in the heart of nature, to dive into the history of the heritage of the valley by visiting the different hamlets of the resort, to discover the fauna and the flora of the Vanoise National Park in a fun way through the activities offered by the Kénothèque (reception area for families) located in the Maison de la Réserve this winter ...

The equestrian center will also be able to offer its offer to our customers.

Close to these hiking spots, a large number of restaurateurs will offer take-away or click and collect sales, thus allowing our customers to combine effort and comfort.

The various picnic areas outside the ski area will be accessible.

The free shuttles will run from December 18 with a reduced frequency, we should receive the precise schedules as soon as possible.

The cinema of the Auditorium of Méribel Center will be open every day and will offer 3 daily screenings except Tuesdays when shows are offered by Méribel Tourisme. Access to these sessions will be in full compliance with current health and distancing rules.

We are also delighted to be able to promote the shopping offer in our stores (equipment, textiles, decoration, souvenirs, food, etc.) and take-out / delivery in our various restaurants, bars, etc., thanks to your mobilization to open your establishments in adapting you to the constraints and sanitary measures.

The Olympic Park will be closed and therefore the Christmas mass within it cannot be held. A Christmas mass will certainly be organized in the Saint-Martin des Allues church while respecting the authorized tonnage for places of worship.

Regarding the opening of the cross-country ski trails, the practice of ski touring and any other activities that we could offer our customers, we will keep you informed at the beginning of next week. A 3 Vallées meeting will also be scheduled in order to harmonize the practices authorized in our areas.

The situation is complicated and complex but we must remain mobilized and optimistic to best inform our customers wishing to come on this period but also and especially for those to come for the rest of a season that we are lucky to be able to offer until until April 23, 2021!


The Méribel Tourisme teams are at your disposal to assist you and will contact you to find out how to open for the Christmas holidays. Do not hesitate to contact them from your end as well. All your take-away, delivery, click and collect openings and offers are promoted on our website as well as by our teams who provide daily information to our customers.

We inform you that from December 7 the Méribel Tourisme teams will be put into partial activity.

Thus, the reception of the Tourist Offices will be open every day from December 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for Méribel Center and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for Méribel Mottaret.

As for the Place de Marché teams, they can be contacted every day: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
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Starting to look a bit like winter around these parts:



I haven;t been up the hill yet due to be flat out with work the last few weeks and also still figuring out eyewear options for my newly mangled left eye, but sounds like lots of people have been out and also sounds like a few people may have returned home and put their underwear in the wash, as per this photo from my mate JC, looking into Couloir des Belges under the Vizelle - quite a reasonable skier-triggered slab that went quite far... Definitely worth bearing in mind that there has been little or no avvy control work done around resort so normally 'safe-ish' bets are not as 'safe-ish' as normal...



Hopefully will get out for a slide in the next day or two and see how things are...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Oh yes, meanwhile the environmental madness continues as they were helicoptering in snow to the stade for the WC races this weekend... No more needs be said really...
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Managed to sneak out for a quick skin today before office-time kicked in...

Bottom of Granges (Courch 1650)



Top of Chapelets with quite a few tracks...


...but everyone had stuck exactly to the piste so plenty of space to head off for some soft turns:


...and some more:


SNowpack still very thin - approx 40cms of soft on grass lower down, maybe 50/60cms tops on the top section of Chapelets, but all may change tomorrow as more precipitation expected with high freezing level (sadly).
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A nice Christmas present yesterday, with 20-30cms of fresh up above resort level, 5-10 down to the valley floor.

Went for a couple of laps on Dou du Midi this afternoon to stretch the legs. Nice fluffy powder on a slightly crunchy base in places, with the odd bit of vegetation sticking up and a few ditches to jump low down. Lots of people out and about ski touring, bus-skiing etc... but more snow still needed!

Some big family groups out getting to grips with touring:



Starting to look wintry again:





Lap 1 done, about to set off for lap 2:



Nice to get out and have a slide after a summer of trials & tribulations with a disintegrating eye - my new super-expensive prescription sunnies from Julbo worked a treat, but I still haven't figured out a glasses/goggle combo that will work for me - in-goggle inserts just seem to be weirdly positioned and create even more double vision, and OTG goggles don't actually seem to fit over my glasses...
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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!
offpisteskiing,

Great stuff!

We all feel like kids with no money, pressing our noses up at the sweetshop window... rolling eyes

Or Bullseye. Here's what you could have had! Very Happy
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Bergmeister wrote:
offpisteskiing,

Great stuff!

We all feel like kids with no money, pressing our noses up at the sweetshop window... rolling eyes

Or Bullseye. Here's what you could have had! Very Happy


In fairness it hasn't been that good for the last week or so - rain crust, twitchy snowpack higher up - work & family conspired to keep me off the mountain mostly but I don't feel I missed much...
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Another small snowfall in the last 24 hours... nothing major but a few more cms.

Went for a wander up from Plan du Vah via bottom half of Creux then up Marmottes. There has been some pisteing going on at some point on the main runs (Creux, Combe de la Saulire etc) though given the current situation I would be very surprised if the lifts opened in January (sadly).

Flat light and a dying phone battery killed all but one photo today - did salvage one from Marmottes - not often you get to put first tracks in on here without hordes pileing in behind you!

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