There are several changes to the pistes and lifts around Méribel for this season. The Saulire Express gondola is now complete, and also boasts a completely redesigned bottom lift station and new entrance ramp to the front.
The Saulire Express will now reach the top of the Saulire in just 12 minutes, compared with a previous journey time of over 20 minutes. It has eight-seat cabins, carrying 2,400 people per hour.
The narrow blue run coming into the Chaudanne from the Saulire side, the Traversée bourbon, has been made easier. It is now broader and gentler at the bottom, having been re-shaped following the removal of the old Saulire pylons.
We are sad to learn of the death of Emile Allais yesterday, aged 100. Olympic medallist and World Champion in the 1930s, Allais was insturmental in establishing many resorts in France, including Méribel, with Major Peter Lindsay.
At the higher resorts about a meter of snow has fallen in the last few days, and another meter is expected over the next 24-36 hours. Méteo Chamonix is advising people to stay off the mountain today. Val Thorens are issuing warnings to travellers arriving or leaving this weekend, and many roads to higher resorts risk closure due to avalanche risks. In the Three Valleys, avalanche blasting began before 6am this morning, and electricity to many villages was cut.
After the snow drought two weeks ago, we are now seeing some of the largest snowfalls in recent years. Val Thorens is reporting 120cm of accumulated snowpack, with much more to come.
When the weather starts to clear next week however, the avalanche risk is sure to be high, so take care if skiing off-piste.
Resorts are warning that snow tyres / chains are mandatory, and likely to be required this weekend, due to the heavy snow forecast.
The Ladies World Cup Slalom and GS races due to take place in Courchevel on the 17th and 18th December are still in doubt, despite the recent snow. The FIS verdict on whether the race will go ahead is due tomorrow.
It’s snowing ….
6pm this evening, and snow is falling from around 1700m. After a very grey and sleety day, temperatures have fallen as evening approached. Not much, but enough to be turning the mountains from an estival green to a wintery white. The latest forecasts from Méteo France suggest that snowfall is predicted to become heavier tomorrow, and possibly continue for the coming week.
Still rainy lower down, but with falling temperatures, this could turn to snow.
Now leave a comment… share our excitement !
Following the decision to postpone the planned opening this weekend, Méribel have announced that the resort will open next Saturday 10th December. Temperatures are expected to fall next week, allowing greater production of artificial snow. Some natural snowfall is also expected over the coming week. The links to the rest of the Three Valleys are also expected to open on 10th December.
Due to lack of snow, three of the four World Cup races due to be held in Val d’Isère on the 10th and 11th December have been cancelled, and will instead be held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Courchevel are doing everything possible to ensure that they are able to open on 3rd December, as planned. Priority for snow making is in the Verdons-Saulire sector, the slalom course for the World Cup, and the beginners areas. The snow canons will operate whenever the temperature permits.
Source: Le Dauphiné Libéré
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