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Meribel/Three Valleys...who's been?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey everyone,
I'm 18 and next year i'm doing a 14 week BASI GAP instructor course in Meribel during my gap year.
Basically i am just looking for any comments on the 3 valleys and Meribel specifically from anyone who's been. I've heard good reports about it, and it's obviously a massive ski area, but is the skiing really as good as people say.
Also, what's the apres ski like...are there many good bars etc. for going out in the evenings? And another thing-are there some good shops for testing and buying skis (i would imagine so) as i will most likely buy another pair of slalom skis while i'm out there as we will be doing a slalom test technique at the end of the course
Really, i just want any general feedback on the resort, because to be honest i'm pretty excited! snowHead
Cheers,
Chris
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They will eat you alive out there!!

Ive been to La Tania and Courchevel, the skiing was great, think Meribel is very Brit focused, but theres loads of people on here who know far more than me, so i'll let them give you the nitty gritty - good luck!
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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?
Spent a week in Meribel over New Year this year. Stayed in Brides-Les-Bains down the valley which is cheaper than Meribel or Meribel-Mottaret but a gondola ride up (20mins) to Meribel La Chaudanne, from where there is a good choice of lifts up the mountain. Rushing back for the last gondola back of an afternoon was a bit of a pain...

Brides is very quiet night-life-wise so if you are looking for the party try to stay in Meribel itself (Chaudanne) reportedly much more lively, or Mottaret. (One of our party had stayed previously in Meribel Chaudanne). I also hear that the bar at Rond-Point is a good spot for early evening beers.

Ski area is huge and varied - hardly scratched the surface whilst we were there and never got out of the middle valley. My party of beginner boarders and intermediate skiers found a good selection of runs. A couple of advanced skiers staying in our hotel tried out the tougher end of the mountain and got over to Val Thorens - they had a blast. The greens and blues around Altiport, Rond-Point and back into Meribel were carnage much of the time - avoid - but I don't guess you'll be spending much time there. Once we got further up (e.g. Tougnette, Platieres telecabines) it was a whole different ball game - well prepped, reasonably quiet pistes you could really enjoy. And there's the old olympic downhill run......Can't comment on the off-piste (maybe in a couple of years Smile )

There's a good selection of ski shops in Meribel - but we weren't demoing or buying.

It is a bit little britain - as nadenoodlee says - but I'm sure that if you're there for the year you'll find some local culture. It's also a bit pricey.

Top tip - try the restaurant at Chaudanne tucked behind the Burgin gondola (on the right as you come into Meribel from Mottaret down La Truite) - can't remember the name. Went with instructor for coffee and had a couple of fantastic and very reasonable lunches there - less of a lunchtime tourist trap than some of the places in the centre like Cactus (but try here for a game of pool or footy on TV!)

Overall - great resort. Would definitely go again. You're gonna have an amazing time!

Good info here:
http://www.merinet.com/
http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/resorts/gssg/introduction.asp?intContactID=44714&strOrganisationName=Meribel
http://www.meribel-unplugged.co.uk/

Enjoy!
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levitator, welcome - great first post!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chris_5000, yes, yes, and yes. The skiing is as good as they say - although read what is said very carefully & take care not to inflate what you read. Of all the 3V villages Meribel is probably the best appointed with services for the ski-holiday market, and is definately predomiantly Brit orientated (don't expect to improve your French here - Meribel the one ski resort in France where I've walked into a number of bars, ordered a round in French & been asked in midlands English "You what?" rolling eyes )

There's plenty of feedback about Meribel & 3V on this forum - a search will reveal screeds of useful info.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Chris_5000, the skiing of the 3V is as good as they say, and Meribel is slap-bang in the middle. Mottaret is slightly further up the valley and has quicker access over to Val Thorens but my choice would be Meribel itself for the apres.....

.......which is superb. I wish I had gone there when I was 18! Check out the Pub, Scott's, the Taverne, Dick's Tea bar, etc....... there is no better place to be on the pull in the alps, it is jam-packed with gorgeous chalet maids. (I'm assuming you are a "Christopher" and not a "Christine"! wink ) Rond-Point a bit pricey as it is right at the foot of the slopes: drinks in the Pub about half the price and not much further away.

Speaking french there is (almost) a total waste of time, but make an effort. Meribel itself is probably slightly smaller than you might expect, and is full of row after row of identi-kit chalets, but you will lap it up!! You won't want to come home.

(Written by a jealous old man.)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Haha, cheers guys...
Just the sort of comments i wanted to hear! Very Happy And btw, yeah, i am a "christopher" and not a "christine" the ice perv!
levitator-cheers for that-all v.useful info.
Manda-yeah i've heard a few people say that there's not much point speaking french there...however...we have to take french lessons as part of the course, so looks like i may be speaking at least a bit of french...should be interesting!
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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!
So guess your doing BaseCamp if you are you'll probably be staying in the Orion appts or the ones next door. If so you are slap bang in Merihell central opposite La Taverne bar and rest (one of my favs) near Le Pub (live tunes many nights) and a not unreasonable stagger down the hiil to Richard's Tea Emporium if you must go there (you don't but you will) probably won't notice walk back. The higher bars Rond Point included are a bit of a pest to get to in the evening but if you get time after skiing and you won't get much for a swifty after skiing then you'll probably go directly to the Ronny you'll probably have to split off from your Trainers as they tend to go back to base as their office/kit is there. Plenty of shops 5-10? to test from Freeride as good a place as any but don't stick only to Brit shops, Georges Mauduit??( I think) have good technicians (got my own skis there) not keen on discounts though beat them down in the end and Interski bit tucked away but good prices. Remenber if you're doing Instructors course you'll need something you can demonstrate perfect snowplough on and other low speed manoeuvres on as well as off piste, park, race blah blah, and you're not going to know what each day's programme is in advance - a bit of each probably. The terrain as I'm sure others will be only too quick to tell you is pretty vast even after a season of being guided by your trainers there will probably be some (minor) piste that you realise you've never been on and the range of off piste opportunities is similarly huge. Meribel is pretty perfectly situated in the middle of the 3 1/2 valley although arguably it has the weakest snow of them all very prone to ice/erosion around home area.

Have fun learn lots remember you're training to become a junior instructor not freeski god (although that's nice too). If you are with Base Camp say hi to Pierre-Francois and Go Go (if he's still there) oh and Fergie. Cheers Edd
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Cheers snoflake...
Yeah i am guna get (probably) a pair of rossi B2's before i start the course just as an all round ski to use most of the time. My brother did the same thing in Val D'isere 2 seasons ago and now gets around 50% discounts on rossi and salomon gear, so i rekon the B2's are probably the best option.
Cheers for all the info...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Oh well you know the routine then. Looks like your bro owes you a nice new pair of cheap Rossis then, gotta be your B'day or Crimbo soon.
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