Snow, Snow and More Snow

Another 30cm of snow fell at 700m today, bringing road closures, electricity cuts and general chaos. Over two metres is now reported on the summits, and while Méribel and Courchevel will open tomorrow, the Three Valley links will remain closed. Meteo France is predicting an avalanche risk of 4-5 tonight and tomorrow, possibly dropping to 3 on Sunday. Snow is expected to continue through tonight until tomorrow morning. Access roads to the resorts will be difficult tomorrow, but we will try to battle through to bring you news and views from the slopes.

Méribel piste and lift changes for 2012-13

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.

New Saulire Express

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.

Latest from Méribel

Wonderful skiing conditions in Méribel over the last few days, with intermittent snow, some sunshine fresh tracks and no crowds. High winds and continuing avalanche risk has kept most of the higher lifts closed over recent days, but the skiing lower is excellent, and many pistes have been left ungoomed.

This picture taken today shows Méribel from the Moonpark

This photo shows the view across to the Saulire as the sun appeared mid-morning, along with some blue sky.

… and in our last photo for today, Ollie getting a little air

Snow falling…resorts opening

As the snow continues to fall, around 20 resorts should be open by this weekend. Whilst the weather outlook over the next few days looks very uncertain, another half meter could fall at altitude before the weekend. In addition to the Savoie and Haute Savoie resorts already open (Courchevel, Tignes, Val d’Isère and Val Thorens), we expect the following will probably open on Saturday:

Les Arcs, Avoriaz, Chamonix/Grands Montets, Châtel, Flaine, Les Menuires, Méribel, Montriond, Orelle, Peisey-Vallandry, La Plagne, La Tania and Valloire.

Méribel planning to open on 10th December

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.

Snow hopes melting away?

Hopes of snow towards the end of this week are fading fast. The outlook from the last ensembles show a much-reduced level of precipitation than hoped for, but we remain optimistic in the outlook for next week.

Temperatures have fallen, and the resorts are busy making snow, but this has only been enough for an extremely limited opening in Courchevel this weekend, while Méribel have delayed opening altogether. The wiggles do show a strong possibility of temperatues continuing to fall, along with some possible precipitation, but the season is starting with a wimper.


Méribel Cup every Thursday

During the ski season, Méribel hosts a giant slalom race every Thursday evening at the Stade de Corbey, La Chaudanne. The race is open to all, and admission is free. It generally includes all standards, from intermediate holiday makers to local kids from the race teams. To participate, you will need to register for the “Coupe de Méribel” at the tourist ofiice before Wednesday afternoon. Then simply turn up at the stade on Thursday before 6pm, find your start number on the list, grab your bib, and go for glory.