Méribel - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Méribel - Ski Resort in The Three Valleys, French Alps - 150km of Piste (1100m to 2950m)
In 1938 a British Officer created a ski resort, Méribel, in an almost abandoned mountain valley. Today Méribel is one of the world's greatest ski resorts. It now has an apartment built off-shoot, Méribel Mottaret, at 1750m.
Key Facts for Méribel
|33km||Cross Country Pistes|
The French ski resort of Méribel is part of the Three Valleys ski area with access to 600km of downhill skiing, with 497 individual pistes, served by 200 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Méribel itself (150km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Three Valleys ski resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens.
With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Snowmaking :- Méribel is able to augment natural snow, on 55km of ski runs, with 688 Snow Cannons.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 61 Ski Lifts of Méribel are able to uplift 75,465 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There are four Airports within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Méribel are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Méribel
Méribel's location allows skiers based there to make the most of the Three Valleys. To the east is Courchevel's world famous skiing, to the west the high altitude slopes of Val Thorens with Les Menuires below it in the Belleville valley. Méribel's own central valley runs north - south and so skiers can keep in the sun all day, with the whole valley in the spotlight around lunch time.
The choice of skiing here is vast, with 150 km (93 miles) of trails in the Méribel Valley alone and of course more than five times that much lift-linked together in the neighbouring valleys. Which, incidentally, are a far more realistic bet for inter-area skiing through a variety of snow conditions that many other big areas, where vital links may only be maintained during a month or so of heavy snowfall mid-season.
Méribel has invested very heavily in its lift system and today has more high-speed gondola lifts than any other resort in the world. As modern gondolas are the fastest lifts there are, with the exception only of ultra modern funicular railways, faster even than the new breed of high capacity high-speed four, six and eight-seater chair lifts, this point cannot be over-stated.
Downhill choices are as close to limitless as they can be and, whilst the 3 Vallées generally receives the ubiquitous title 'intermediates' paradise' there is really plenty for experts to enjoy too, such as the off-piste Mt. Vallon face above Méribel-Mottaret or the legendary Les Bosses black. The Women's Olympic Downhill is not to be sniffed at either, nor the powder or tree skiing.
Easier choices include the 3.6km (2.2 mile) long red run down the Combe du Vallon or the Pic Noir descent through the trees from Col de la Loze. Beginners have easy runs up by the Altiport and Rond Point des Pistes, as well as a special beginners' area at Méribel-Mottaret.
The ski and snowboarding school employs a huge staff able to teach all disciplines and with some speaking most of the world's major languages.
Cross country skiers have plenty of trails in the Méribel and Courchevel valleys, including two exceptional routes around the Tuèda Lake and the Altiport Forest.
Snowboarding in Méribel
Méribel operates several snowboard parks and of course there are lift links to others around the 3 Vallées. Numerous competitions are organised for snowboarders throughout the season.
Méribel Aprés Ski
Méribel's has some of the livliest apres of any ski resort anywhere - so long as you stick near the village centre. Méribel-Mottaret and the other outlying neighbourhoods are mostly quiet.
Méribel Snow Reports by e-mail
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Ski and Snowboard Holiday Specialists - Méribel
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Méribel in brief
Méribel Ski Resort is:
Excellent for Expert Skiers.
Excellent for Intermediate Skiers.
Very good for Beginners.
Excellent for Snowboarding.
Méribel Season Dates
Open from : December 7, 2013.
Closes : April 25, 2014.
Usual opening - Early Dec.
Usual closing - Late April.
NOTE:- Opening subject to Snow Conditions in Méribel.
Méribel Piste Map