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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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A Spring Surprise

Posted on
March 24, 2013
A Spring Surprise

Having just passed the Spring Equinox, you would be forgiven if you expected more sunshine, warmer temperatures and longer days here in Méribel. So when John and Gilly booked private ski lessons for a couple of full days and four afternoon sessions, I thought we'd have to make allowances for the normal snow conditions expected of Spring, ie firmer pistes in the morning followed by softening slush in the afternoon. Not this winter.

Our first day together at the beginning of last week was just as a new storm rumbled across the Alps. It snowed, and snowed, and snowed. Various figures were being published over the internet as to how deep the powder was. I don't know exactly but it was anywhere between 50 to 80 cms. The temperatures stayed low, and we couldn't believe our luck yet again.

Off-piste skiing in Méribel

John and Gilly are keen off-piste skiers, so this latest weather gave us a few more options. However we had to be careful with where we skied due to risk of avalanche. There had been significant strong winds just before the snow fell, alongside some serious snow depths which increased this risk. Plus visibility was constantly coming and going. After much deliberation I proposed a route that we had skied together before last winter, the Col du Mont-Vallon or also sometimes known as the Petit Vallon.

Powder skiing in Méribel

There is a beautiful book called 'Les Clés des 3 Vallées' written by Didier Givois who is a high mountain guide. In this book he descibes this route which "does not seem popular with the off-piste crowd as the bowl's vertical drop is modest given the flats that follow it". I certainly agree with his opinion however it was a hugely popular route with John and Gilly last year and they were keen to ski it again.

Off-piste skiing on Mont Vallon

What tends to happen the day after we have received a heavy snowfall, is that the off-piste routes get tracked out very quickly leaving few un touched areas to enjoy later that same day. We reached the Col at about 3.30pm, and noticed only about five other tracks left by skiers. This gave us loads of space for the lovely, deep, fresh powder.

Powder skiing on Mont Vallon

We selected our route down this 'modest' off-piste route using our experience from last year, and also by looking to see what was available to us. 

Off-piste private ski lessons

One of the best things about this route, other than the gorgeous snow, was being able to get away from the crowds. We didn't see another skier until eventually making it back to the village of Méribel Mottaret. We did bump into a couple of friendly snow-shoers, close to the Lac de Tueda, other than that we didn't see a soul.

Private ski lesson in Méribel

This route is a real off-piste gem for Méribel. Nothing hard core, just plain simple, 'get away from it all skiing', and off the beaten track. And to receive these conditions so close to Easter was quite a treat.

Off-piste private ski instruction

The only slight thing to note here is that it is a slog to get back to Méribel with a fair bit of walking and pole pushing. But both John and Gilly are as fit as a butcher's dog, and they seem to thrive with such physical effort. Bravo Team. This particular Méribel Private Ski Instructor was proper pooped at the end of the afternoon. The following day we all agreed that we had slept very well indeed after this adventure !?! Live with passion everyone.

Off-piste adventures in Méribel

Martin

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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