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Meribel Ski Area
Méribel’s lift system is modern and continually being improved, with 15 gondola lifts and 19 chairlifts. The neighbouring resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Val Thorens and Les Menuires can all be reached quickly, making Méribel the ideal base from which the explore the vast Trois Vallées.
The newly improved Saulire Express gondola now whisks up to 2400 people an hour from the centre to the Saulire peak at 2700m, taking 12 minutes (halving the previous time). From Mottaret the revitalised Plattières gondola takes nine minutes to reach 3 Marches at 2704m.
The height of these peaks, along with Mont du Vallon (the highest point in Méribel’s local ski area at nearly 3000 metres), mean good snow throughout the season.
The East-West orientation of the valley makes it advisable to start on the west flank and work your way over to the east for the best snow in the afternoon sun.
Beginners can find their balance in the Zen Zones, separated from the main pistes to avoid distractions, before graduating onto the green and blue pistes of Altiport.
Intermediates will love the long groomed linking trails throughout the valley. Be sure to check out the classic reds down to Saint Martin de Belleville or for a nice long run, take the Tougnette gondola where you can also test yourself on the Ladies Olympic Downhill.
For advanced skiers, almost every peak in the Meribel valley offers exciting challenges. For off-piste, you can’t beat the slopes down from the Mont du Vallon or there are fast steep trails on either side of the Pas du Lac and massive moguls to the left of the Roc de Tougne lift.
Meribel Snow Parks
Snowboarders and park addicts will be keen to try Meribel’s snowparks, the Plattieres Park in Mottaret which has two half pipes and a boardercross, or the Moon Park in Meribel (popular with freeriders) where you’ll find a competition and a beginner half pipe plus jumps, boxes, kickers and rails. Children can also practice their skills on the P’tit Moon boardercross.
The Trois Vallees
The Trois Vallees is the largest and most famous linked ski area in the world. In each of the resorts it is possible to buy a local lift pass covering just that resort (e.g. Meribel), these are great for first time beginners or for those that do not want to venture too far.
To make the most of the pistes a full area lift pass is available from each resort that covers all three valleys. Due to the great links between resorts and a variety of runs connecting each, anyone from intermediate ability and above will benefit from the full area lift pass which will allow them to enjoy and explore a world class ski area.
Cross Country Skiing
There is a total of 90km of trails in Meribel, Courchevel and La Tania. Both classic and skating forms of the sport are accommodated, usually side by side.
Meribel has 33km of prepared cross country trails in its valley. Situated in two different areas of Meribel one at the Lac de Tueda in Mottaret and the other around the Altiport area of Méribel.
Some tips for skiing in Meribel
- Stick to the bright Tougnete side of the valley in the morning and take in the afternoon sun on the Saulire side when it has softened up
- Avoid the last section of Martre/Aigle into Mottaret and at the end of the day and the Doron into Méribel Centre - there’s no shame in taking the bubble down to avoid the crowds and a potential accident!
- Snowboarders watch out for the Ours and Truite runs, both with a few long stretches of flat – you may need a skier friend to lend you a pole…
- Use the Col de la Loze to cross over into Courchevel, the top of Saulire gets very busy at times. For the most backcountry experience to be had on a powder day head over early to La Masse on the far side of Val Thorens, a bit of a journey but well worth it!