Meribel Skiing & Snowboarding Guide For Beginners,
CHAUDANNE LIFT CENTRE MERIBEL. LIFTS UP TO TOUGNETE SIDE.
Do some ski preparation exercises for at least 6 - 8 weeks before your holiday. Maybe lose some weight ? You
sure are not going to lose it in Meribel, with all that chalet food, restaurants and French wine. Note that there were 13 deaths on piste in the Savoie region last season due to heart
|Skiing/Riding 1st & 2nd Days:
The following advice is for your first day or so free time so after your lessons finish. Why not ski/ride together with others from your class. Print out this article and you could be their ski guide for the week.
From Chaudanne catch the Rhodos bubble up to the Altiport area where there is a protected green run (Blanchot) for both skiing and snowboarding beginners. Practice here then either catch the Rhodos bubble back down or the free bus from the Altiport hotel. Unless you are very confident do not ski all the way back down on your first day or two. All the blue runs down get quite busy and are a fair bit steeper in places than the Altiport green run. After 3 days you should be able to ski down to Meribel Village by the blue lapin run. This piste is usually very quiet. A fast chair brings you back to the Altiport. There is also the free bus from the village back to Meribel Town (5 minutes).
The Altiport Hotel food is really excellent but expensive. Try a tasty take away sandwich from Traitor Gourmand in the same complex. The Rhodos self service restaurant is in a great position with average mountain food. After 3 days skiing you should be able to get down to Meribel Village. Lodge du Village is a lovely little spot for lunch. Nice interior and a sun terrace. Quite simple and not too expensive. Very nice plat du jour about 11 euros & cheap pizzas. It’s our firm favourite for a simple lunch in this area.
As your week in Meribel progresses then head for Mottaret. Catch the Tougnète gondola from Chaudanne to the mid station.Then take the PERDRIX run down to Mottaret. It’s a mix of blue and green and quite easy. The very first part is a little steep but short and wide enough to traverse. You can avoid this by a new track just 25m to your left as you get out of the bubble.
The middle section is an easy green path.
The last section in to Mottaret centre is more blue and gets busy so keep to the very left side and drop in to the beginner's slope by the Doron drag lift just past the Gran Sel restaurant. This brings you in to the very centre. Now take the same following advice as for Mottaret skiers.
Beginners Staying in Meribel - Mottaret:
1st & 2nd days:
A very good choice of 3 lunch restaurants right by the learner slope. We highly recommend Zig Zag, small
but good food and reasonably priced. Next door is Le Rastro similar prices.
Our favourite meal here is Trout with Almonds, and boiled potatoes. Stephanie is a very charming manager here.Service is excellent.
Mottaret to Meribel:
2nd & 3rd & 4th days:
DO NOT go all the way down to Mottaret centre by the "Ours" blue run. Lower down it becomes a fast narrow pathway with skiers and boarders hurtling down at high speed.
Mottaret: Skiing & Riding
4th & 5th & 6th Days.
Head for Meribel.
Tel 06 09 40 51 04.
St Martin De Belleville: 1400M
Don’t forget to buy your lift pass extension! If you do forget then just buy a book of single tickets at the bottom lift station.
Halfway down the draglift on the right set among old buildings. Really fabulous food here, with friendly service and wonderful quaint interior. (Note: no Sun Terrace here)
Courchevel: 1300M -1850M
3rd -4th-5th 6th days.
Important note: Lift Pass extension needed.
This, the highest and most famous resort of the Courchevel valley is very chic, expensive and full of very rich ladies wearing fur coats and carrying poodles. In January it is now also crowded
with Russians. However it is still the entry point for some of the best skiing & riding in all 3 valleys.
Nervous beginners: You can walk up 150 meters further up to the Verdons cable car. Take the cable car down. You will see the famous Courchevel couloirs on your left. At the bottom you have a wonderful choice of very easy green runs all leading to 1850. Apart from Courchevel 1650 this is the best practice area for beginners in all 3 valleys.
If you are quite confident then ski to the far side in front of you as you come out of the bubble, keeping to the right pathway, then follow that path round to the left down in to the bowl.
Thereafter it is quite easy down to Courchevel centre. Keep to the left side. You will come to a fork in the piste. Take the left one. The right side is often both steep and icy.
At the top follow the easy " LAC BLEUE" down to
Courchevel 1850 centre.
Excellent food,beautiful interior for bad weather.
Homeward skiing for Meribel & Motteret: Route 1
Missed lift connection:
If by any chance you miss the last lift you can either spend time in 1850 and get the free Courchevel bus to La Tania. Then in the ski lodge pub you might hitch a lift or get a cheap taxi to Meribel Village. From the Meribel Village you can catch the free Meribus back to Meribel centre, just in time for dinner if you're lucky. There is a bus evry day from Courchevel to Meribel at about 18.00. Check in the tourist office.