So you have a few ski trips under your belt already and you're pretty confident cruising the blues and a few reds. Well welcome to the intermediate skier's paradise.
Wide, cruising blues and reds connect the whole area, allowing you to tour from mountain to mountain, village to village. With such wide open pistes, you can sweep effortlessly from turn to turn. Take in those amazing views.
The sheer scale and variety here is mind blowing. With 600km of pistes, you can barely scratch the surface in a week-long holiday. The vertical drop is 1850m. That's double the height of Scafell Pike, England's highest peak. Imagine skiing down that twice without stopping!
With all that skiable height and distance, you need good lifts to get you back up again. Luckily, the ski lift infrastructure in the Three Valleys is world-leading. No fewer than 200 ski lifts! With the vast majority being high-speed lifts, you can back up top in no time at all.
If you've found your groove on skis or a snowboard but want to take it to the next level, then Meribel really is the perfect location to break away from the intermediate's plateau. Find out how and why...
Intermediates and advanced skiers if you haven’t been to Meribel or the 3 valleys before you really should be asking yourself why, because it really is one of the best in the world. The following route map works best for those of you keen to get up and out in the morning catching that first 9 am lift. With this attitude to your holiday not only will you get at least 2 hours of perfect skiing on freshly groomed runs but also be able to avoid the rush of ski schools and lift queues.
My Meribel ski routes for Intermediates and advanced skiers have been created for those that can get out there at 9 am and ski until that last lift. Remember if you’re seeking off-piste then definitely take a look or ask me about hiring a guide from a ski school.
This daily route map is based upon the weather being fine and good snow conditions. Failing these two be sure to head out anyway and enjoy yourselves with a treat of a nice long lunch.
Heading from La Chaudanne take the Legends chair followed by a ski across the left to Tougnete 2. Make full use of first lifts and lap this lift with a nice first run down Combe Tougnete. Take Dahu to Matre, take the recent addition of the chair lift Roc Du Tougne (previously a drag lift). Up here are two great runs, take Lagapede onto Matre down to the Chatelet chair. Whilst on this lift be sure to watch out for the people throwing some moves in the Meribel Snow park there are some great ones out there. Ski through the gap down towards Plan des Mains and the Mont Vallon gondola. At the top here you have the choice of two of the longest runs in the valley. Take Combe du Vallon first on the right-hand side and enjoy a wide but steep beautifully groomed run. Take Mures Rouges and Mont Vallon again where you can now ski Campagnol. Head back to your starting point and stop off for lunch in the Plan Des Mains (head upstairs).
Get out and enjoy those quiet pistes whilst everyone else enjoys their lunch. Take Plan Des Mains and Cote Brune to ski Venturon and Plan Des Mains take the run towards the snow park. Now here’s a secret, head into the park but take an immediate left. This unnamed piste is always groomed and rarely used. Ski through down to Mottarett but be careful as this piste can be busy. Head up Pas Du Lac to the top and get ready to enjoy the afternoon sun. Head right onto Biche and hang right onto Chamois. Head down Altiport and Lapin to Village (if you’re ready for a coffee try the Terasse at Lodge Du Village (LDV). Taking Golf, Altiport and Dent De Burgin take Renard followed by the Loze chair and ski the Bd De La Loze either to the Folle Douce or The Rond Point (Ronnie) for a spot of Apres to end a great first day!
Taking Saulire Express head for the best first tracks run in the whole 3 Valleys Creux all the way down to Aquille De Fruit take Marmottes at which point Chanrossa should be open. Take Roc Merlot, Pyramides, Ariondaz and grab a coffee at BEL AIR. Be sure to book lunch here if you can. If pisted be sure to take Bel Air to the Chapelets chair. Rochers will take you past Bel air again, join Marquis into Courchevel 1650 and take the Aviondaz gondola to lunch at Bel Air.
Take the Signal chair, followed by Easy way onto Roc Mugnier to Aquile De Fruit. Taking Altiport and Bellecote you will find the Chenus gondola. Ski Lanches and grab a coffee at the Bouc Blanc (they have one of the best Cafe gourmonds here if you didn't have a dessert at lunch). Finally, take the Dou Les Lanches chair to Bd De La Loze to The Ronnie for apres and a lift home.
Starting again at La Chaudanne take Legends and ski across to Tougnette 2. Begin to take the Gross Tongue until you reach the Granges chair. Take Alamonds and be sure to check out the scenery on this route. Its amazing. Taking the Becca chair and the Becca run onto Allee. Stop for a coffee at Roc 7. Follow Petite Creux and Menuires through the gap in the Crossiette of Les Menuires. Taking the run and breaking away on the left to Rocher Noir chair sweep round to Masse 2. Off here is some amazing off-piste and if you want to experience I cannot recommend Marmalade Ski School for guiding through some amazing trails. Take Bouquetin into Fred Covili and Les Enverses to the Doron Chair. Catch Mont De La Chambre. Skiing from here is amazing follow D.Douillet into Boyes and grab lunch at a sunny spot called Le Ferme Reberty, it’s perfectly placed sunny terrasse on the side of the piste makes their even more reasonable lunch the icing on the cake.
Taking Bruyes 1 & 2 you will find yourself placed at the top of the Valley and crossing into Meribel by taking Venturon (be careful it can be bumpy up here). You will find yourself at the Plan Des Mains chair and following the same route into Mottarett as on Day 1. Finally, take Pas Du Lac for one final run of the day down into Meribel (Ronnie) on Biche.
Taking Legends from La Chaudanne traverse across to Tougnette 2 down Gross Tongue to Granges. Be careful not to miss Alouette (it’s hidden through a gap) and you will find yourself at the Cote Brune Chair. Sweep through into the Val Thorens (VT) Valley and take the first run on the right Pluviometre. If you’ve reached this nice and early you will surely be rewarded with a great long groomed and quiet piste. Crossing the bridge and skiing through the bottom of VT take the Moutierre chair (it can be a cold one) ski across to the Grand Fond gondola. Taking yourself down either Mauriennaise or Gentianes you find yourself in Orelle. Be sure to grab a coffee here, it's the only restaurant in the valley. Take both Peyron and Bouhet chairs to reach the highest point in the 3 valleys. If you’re feeling up to it and it is a Bluebird be sure to try and take the zip wire across to VT. If not following down Coraia and Peyron take the Rosael lift back to the top of VT. Skiing Chamois, Eterlou and Fond stopping at Bar 360 for some lunch.
You’ll be pretty tired after all those Km so there is only 1 thing for it. Take Pionniers chair followed by 3 Vallees. As you head into the Meribel Valley be sure to take the Blue Lac De La Chambre as the red can be a nightmare in the afternoon. Keeping some speed at the bottom to the Plan Des Mains lift. Finding yourself at the top of the snowpark follow the same secret route to Mottatrett. Take Pas Du Lac 1 & 2 and ski down Biche just in time for the 2 pm Folle Douce Show. Enjoy a good apres both here and The Ronnie.
Intermediate skiers sometimes suffer from a feeling of stagnation. "I've been doing that for a while now. I keep doing the same runs with the same techniques. I feel like I could be doing better."
Well first off, there's nothing wrong with staying at the same level. You're on holiday, after all. You're skiing for fun, not to be the next Olympic champion.
But what if you are enjoying your skiing less than you used to? What if you start to feel that frustration that you're not pushing yourself any more? What if you are feeling ready for new skiing challenges?
If that's you, then it's time to escape the intermediate plateau. And where better than Meribel?
Meribel has some amazing ski schools. After all, The Three Valleys is a Mecca for the world's most talented skiers and boarders. With so many top-flight instructors on hand, ski lessons in Meribel really aren't just for first-timers.
Learning something new and finding new challenges are what it's all about. Isn't that what got you hooked on skiing in the first place?
Joining a group for half-day lessons can provide an affordable way of sharpening your skills with others of your ability.
But some one-to-one lessons might be even better for you. When was the last time a real specialist took a good, hard look at your skiing and broke it down for you?
With a good instructor, one single afternoon could give you enough to think about for your next two or three ski holidays.
More importantly, it could take your skiing to the next level and reinvigorate your passion for the slopes.
Another way of creating a new challenge for yourself is to go right back to the beginning. With a totally different activity.
Meribel has so much to offer besides skiing. If you've always skied, then you can look for new challenges elsewhere. Snowboarding, telemark skiing, cross-country skiing, even sledging. Or perhaps hire blades for a day or two. They're short skis (with no poles) that are very easy and fun to use on the pistes.
Meribel offers a world of variety. It almost seems a shame just to stay on the groomed pistes. The off-piste skiing here really is some of the best in the world, with great infrastructure to match.
But there are also some amazing snow parks, mogul fields and more. If you tend to ski groomed pistes only, then why not make it your aim to try some new terrain this year?
A private lesson or two might be a good way to get started with these new challenges.
Last Updated: 26 August 2020