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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Went for a New Year's Day leg-stretcher today and took a run down the new 'Eclipse' piste. Stuck the GoPro on so if anyone wants a look see below - warning - flat light at top and a mixture of dust on crust, drainage ditches and barely covered rocks low down so not the most dynamic skiing...!!
Happy New Year all!


http://youtube.com/v/WvxY0PDHWyw

Looks to me like they have created a new top section of Bouc Blanc skier's left of the parapente hut (but maybe my memory is failing me?), loads of new snow cannons in down skier's left of BB, new bridge/tunnel where the piste crosses the boulevard coming from Foret chair down past the top of La Tania bubble, and massively widened down all of what was Jockeys - not quite sure where the racer's are going to go 'into the shade' (one of the reasons for the name Eclipse apparently) as the piste is so wide...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oh yes, and lots and lots and lots (and lots) of netting...
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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?
Out for a little tour around 1650 today - flat light but snow was OK all the way down into Les Avals...



Visibility had brightened up until just before we dropped in...










Very little snow in the forecast currently - would be nice to get a top up!!
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offpisteskiing,

That looks great. Thanks for posting. Very Happy

We dream on...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'm going to be basing our trips in the 3v's 21/22
I've not been since 1998 there.
This time I'll be with a wife and 2 kids in tow.
I'll be doing the 2 Easter weeks in VT.
For our other trips xmas/ny and feb half term, Does Meribel have any major advantage over Les Menuires or the other way?
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Meribel is in the middle, so getting into the other valleys is dead easy. If your kids are good skiers then some of the steeper busy runs into Meribel might not be too much of a bother, but they can be tricky, hard and crowded on peak weeks.
Les Menuires. Older parts v ugly, especially compared with Meribel. ( I worked a season in Les Men 15 years ago) Skiing is convenient to almost all accommodation. For Xmas/Ny I’d be tempted to stay somewhere with trees so that you have cover if the weather blows in, so Meribel might be better. My own personal recommendation would be to look at La Tania, Courchevel 1650 or St Martin de B. All have a nicer more “villagey” feel. Yes, early season the snow might not be so good, but the snow making is excellent.

What sort of accommodation are you looking for?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Self catering, we'll eat out maybe every other night.
is Courchevel not too far over. Les Men I liked the sound of due to the aquapark and play centre. prob do Les Men feb half term and somewhere for Xmas and New year. im governed by ski schools that have lessons plus lunches. That gives us some time to get funky ourselves then have a couple hours with my girls skiing.
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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!
how old are the girls? you might want to consider Mottaret, loads of apartments, car free centre and very easy access to other valleys
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@Mother hucker, agree with Perty about trees at Xmas - however whilst La Tania has most scope in 3V my go to is Les Coches.

I prefer Menuires over Val T even at easter. Just don't see the attraction of staying further up the mountain personally. Never used aquapark or play centre though. One time in Tignes we went to the aquapark after skiing everyone was too knackered and got too cold after half an hour. We tend to still ski on bad weather days though which is probably when they are most useful.

Also bear in mind we don't eat out so for us plentiful cheap apartment options and access to skiing are the priorities.

Links to all my family TR's if that helps
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There is also Aquamotion which is convenient to both Courchevel 1550 and 1650. I really like it but it’s priced for Courchevel.
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@Mother hucker, Courchevel 1650 has some great skiing for intermediates, the snow keeps well as the slopes are more north facing, and a good range of ski schools. Not sure about the lessons and lunch issue though. Is it too far over? I suppose the question is "too far over from what?". It's dead easy to get about wherever you are based and certainly you would have a wonderful range of skiing on hand in the mornings while the kids are in ski school- as it's dead easy to get over to the main Courchevel areas, and there is a bus service to from the other Courchevel resorts too if you need to get back in a hurry.

Skimottaret will probably disagree with me (and he is the expert on Mottaret and Meribel here! Very Happy ), but my own big issue with Mottaret is Aigle-the run down from the Courchevel side. It's a slope that I admit I only ever ski mid afternoon on the way back to the Belleville valley, but at that time of day it's just unpleasant, hard and icy. Not a nice run to finish the day on if you are staying in Mottaret.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Perty wrote:


Skimottaret will probably disagree with me (and he is the expert on Mottaret and Meribel here! Very Happy ), but my own big issue with Mottaret is Aigle-the run down from the Courchevel side. It's a slope that I admit I only ever ski mid afternoon on the way back to the Belleville valley, but at that time of day it's just unpleasant, hard and icy. Not a nice run to finish the day on if you are staying in Mottaret.


I agree. In hundreds of days of skiing THAT run (like you, always late pm, "on our way back") we've never had decent snow. And I don't mean powder. We aren't fussy. Anything resembling hardpack would do... wink We usually go off piste and ski the bumps on the left side, thus avoiding the careering, out of control hordes.
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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
@Mother hucker,
Quote:

For our other trips xmas/ny and feb half term, Does Meribel have any major advantage over Les Menuires or the other way?

At those times of year, and with 2 children, I'd probably just favour Les Menuires, for the non skiing activities you mention. Also it has fairly easy, open and sunny south facing slopes, useful at Xmas/NY in particular. As well documented, Les Menuires is not attractive architecturally but functions well I think. Bit further to get over to and back from Courchevel but easily doable for intermediate skiers with reasonable stamina. La Masse being on the doorstep is a big plus I think.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@PeakyB, ] What it looks like aint too much of an issue, a bit of snow makes everything look acceptable.
With us skiing so many weeks cost comes in to it. Les Mes ski school and lunches is 60€ a week per child cheaper than the other 3 big resorts.
Not knowing the area we'd be doing something like a snoworks off piste guided type course, how long to blast up from Les Mes and down in to Meribel in the morning would it take?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Depending where you are in Les Menuires, and where you want to get to in Meribel it could be a matter of one lift up and one ski down, or involve a second lift. If no queues that would likely be half an hour, but if half term queues then could be much longer!
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@Mother hucker, what @kieranm, says. If needing quick blast to Meribel early morning, location of Les M accommodation becomes more important.

Yes, incidental costs a bit less extortionate in Les M and potentially cheaper if you're eating out every other night.

I think @Perty, makes good point about Xmas/NY...
Quote:

My own personal recommendation would be to look at La Tania, Courchevel 1650 or St Martin de B. All have a nicer more “villagey” feel. Yes, early season the snow might not be so good, but the snow making is excellent.

If you're keen on using one base for all weeks then Les M I think. But there are advantages in different bases for different weeks/seasons.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Village plan for Menuires

https://static.lesmenuires.com/files/5d95f7521337c.pdf

I stayed in Bruyeres (Adonis) back in 2009 (off peak) and there were was a bit of a queue for the cable car of the same name in the morning at opening time. Don't believe it's been upgraded.

More recently stayed in Croisette (Lac de Lou) and you could either get Menuires or Roc 1 chairs up in the morning. It was second week of Easter, no queues.

Two lifts and over.

If heading to the main Val T bowl you would take similar Bruyere 1 & 2 or Menuires followed by Mont de La Chambre depending on where you were starting from.
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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?
Perty wrote:
[b]Skimottaret will probably disagree with me (and he is the expert on Mottaret and Meribel here! Very Happy ), but my own big issue with Mottaret is Aigle-the run down from the Courchevel side. It's a slope that I admit I only ever ski mid afternoon on the way back to the Belleville valley, but at that time of day it's just unpleasant, hard and icy. Not a nice run to finish the day on if you are staying in Mottaret.


Don't disagree at all, Aigle sucks late in the afternoon on all bar snowy days. It can be quite good early in the day when sun is out and not been skied as most head up and over to Courchevel first thing. When I'm with peeps with tired legs I almost always offer to bubble down from mid station pas du lac when returning from Saulire on the run home...
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Agree that the time to get from Les Men to Meribel for a course can vary depending on where you are.

@Mother hucker-FWIW-from the bottom in St Martin - I can do it in 30 mins. It would probably take a little longer from Les Men as the most direct route is through Mottaret (If you are in the centre of Les Men -take Roc 1, Roc 2-then Mouflon, then Truite).

The Bruyeres bubble had an upgrade a couple of winters ago. There are also 2 newish chairs in the area-the Reberty chair at the bottom by Masse 1, which takes you back up above Bruyeres followed by the Sunny Express from just above Bruyeres. Though it doesn't get you to the top, it opens up linking to Roc 2 or Becca -so the pressure on the Bruyeres bubble is less. Bruyeres wouldn't be ideal as a location if you needed to get to Meribel quickly.

To get to VT there is what we call "the back door" which you can get to from the top to Bruyeres 1, so no need to head to the top. With a bit of careful piste map reading you can go via a piste called La Chasse (not always the nicest red admittedly as snow cover gets thin). On the plus side, you get to ski past Chez Pepe Nicolas which is one of the nicest mountain restaurants in the area, then take the Plan de i'eau chair. It keeps you away from the hoards heading down into VT from to top of Mont de La Chambre, plus you can ski from the top of Plan de L'eau directly to the Cime du caron cable car.
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@Perty,

Cracking route via the back door. Never thought of that and looking forward to using it one day.
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skimottaret wrote:
Perty wrote:
[b]Skimottaret will probably disagree with me (and he is the expert on Mottaret and Meribel here! Very Happy ), but my own big issue with Mottaret is Aigle-the run down from the Courchevel side. It's a slope that I admit I only ever ski mid afternoon on the way back to the Belleville valley, but at that time of day it's just unpleasant, hard and icy. Not a nice run to finish the day on if you are staying in Mottaret.


Don't disagree at all, Aigle sucks late in the afternoon on all bar snowy days. It can be quite good early in the day when sun is out and not been skied as most head up and over to Courchevel first thing. When I'm with peeps with tired legs I almost always offer to bubble down from mid station pas du lac when returning from Saulire on the run home...

Depends a lot on where you are staying in Mottaret. If on the Chatelet side then I agree Aigle can be a pain. But if on the Laitelet side or at Le Hameau, it is as easy and pleasanter to drop into Meribel and return via Legends/Tougnete 1 and Perdrix.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Well winter finally seems to have decided to show up again. 40/50cms on top of the car this morning down here at 850m.

Went for a short skin up to St Bon and put first tracks in on the meadows back down to Bozel - a few bits of 'texture' under the snow on a few turns (not surprising given it was back to grass), but warmer temps today plus more snow overnight should start to put in a good base now!



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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, enjoy!
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