learn improve
enjoy
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

MH2SKI Blog

Subscribe via RSS

First Thoughts On Mountain Upgrades - Part 2

Posted on
December 29, 2021

Hi everyone, and welcome to what will be the final blog post of this year before New Years Day this coming weekend. First off, I cannot begin to say how relieved I am to be back ski teaching again here in Méribel. It has been a long wait since mid March 2020, when the pandemic closed the French ski resorts. Putting on my ski instructor's uniform, and being able to teach again has been fantastic. It's been slightly spoilt by the French government closing the borders to Britain recently, but fingers crossed this will evolve favourably at some point soon?

I recently published a post about my first thoughts on some of the mountain upgrades here in Méribel and the 3 Valleys, click on this link if you missed it. This is 'Part 2', mainly because quite a lot has changed the last couple of years since the ski lifts have run. First up, the brand new mountain restaurant called 'Maya Altitude'.

The 'Maya Altitude' mountain restaurant.

It is located at the same place as the old 'Crête' restaurant. And what a location, it is beautiful with views across to Mont Blanc on a sunny day, and the stunning Belleville valley in the other direction. It has a slightly larger footprint than the old 'Crête', with an expanded terrace, and two floor levels inside.

You are immediately made aware of how colourful the restaurant has been both decorated and furnished. It is said to be influenced by the Himalayas, a part of the world I've never visited, so can't comment on this. It is however beautiful inside, and different to other restaurants which is refreshing. Before starting work last week, I popped in for a coffee and a nose, and took a few photos for this post. And then last week I was lucky enough to be able to have lunch there with clients who were interested in visiting this new option up on the mountain. So how was it?

The meat grill.
The colourful interior.

The menu was interesting indeed, there wasn't much reference to being in the Savoie. There were a few meat options, which are cooked on an open fire place similar to Le Clos Bernard above Altiport, and other restaurants over in Courchevel of course. There was a slight curry theme, but not too domineering. I chose a chicken brochette (skewer) which had a light lemon marinade and was garnished with several fresh herbs, it was served with a small salad on the plate. Notice I said small. Many of the main courses would benefit from side dishes such as vegetables, or fries. These are available on the menu, but need to be ordered separately! The food was very tasty, and everyone I ate with enjoyed their food. I've spoken to a colleague of mine at the ski school, and they reported the same from their visit.

The price point I would say is between the middle to upper end. I was impressed by the numbers of staff available. And each and every one of them were very friendly and professional. I don't think this is anything to do with me wearing a ski instructor's uniform, because I was observing them at other tables as well. The 'Maya Altitude' is certainly a good addition to the list of mountain restaurants in the Méribel valley, and I'm sure it will be popular.

Next up, let's head over to the Courchevel valley, and in particular La Tania. Before I worked at the Méribel ESF ski school, I worked for another ski school over in La Tania. Although I enjoyed my time over there, it was challenging teaching beginners due to the nature of the terrain, which was too steep to help give confidence. This has now changed with a re-design of the snow front area in the middle of the village.

The new remodelled entrance to La Tania

Located at the bottom of the fabulous Folyeres blue piste, the old nursery slope and drag lift has now been taken out. The gradient has been landscaped to be more user friendly for beginners, with the main piste diverted and separated from this more secure area. The bottom of Folyeres is directed left towards the apartment buildings.

Inside the enclosed area are two covered magic carpets, perfect for beginners, and also non skiers who enjoy playing in the snow. For beginners I think this is an absolutely fantastic upgrade, and something that should be applauded. When I first saw the plans for this on social media, I wondered how wide the main piste would be, it looked as though there might be a pinch point to get past the nursery area. In fact it isn't too bad. Some might grumble, but if everyone behaves and slows down safely enough I can't see why this new layout will have a problem.

Why do I mention La Tania, it isn't everyone's favourite area. But I have to say that in bad weather, La Tania offers some wonderful tree lined skiing that protects you from wind and snowstorms. And in nice sunny weather, you can't beat the mountain views, it is beautiful over there.

Now let's go even further afield, and all the way over to the other side of Val Thorens, the Orelle Valley (also known as the fourth valley). The old bubble coming up from the Orelle valley has been updated. For us skiers based in the 3 valleys, this makes no difference because there isn't a piste that goes to the bottom.

However, opposite the mountain restaurant (that also doubles up as a Refuge), and the Rosael and Peyron chairlifts, is a mid-station of this new bubble. For the first time this winter, you can jump on and be whisked up to the Cime Caron high above Val Thorens in no time at all. This is a new link up to the top of the cable car that comes up from the Val Thorens side.

Looking towards Cime Caron, with the mountain restaurant terrace to the right.

It's an impressive lump of engineering. And although it doesn't open up any new pistes, it now gives a second option of leaving the fourth valley. Although the Rosael chairlift is efficient and doesn't often have queues, sometimes in average to poor weather it can be a very windy chairlift indeed. Countless times I've sat on this chair in a howling wind that whips through the Col at the top. This bubble will protect you from this experience.

At the top of the brand new Orelle Caron bubble at 3,200 metres. The Cime Caron cable car from Val Thorens is out of sight to the left.

One slight downside, and I hate to sound negative, is that the old rickety mountain restaurant at the top has now disappeared. I don't know the reason for this, possibly space was a bit tight. However, the smelly chemical toilet hut is still there. Small victories I guess?

Finally, time to head back to the Méribel valley, in particular the Roc de Fer sector. Over the last few years, the Roc de Fer sector has been tinkered and fine tuned. Back in 1992 at the Albertville Winter Olympics, Méribel hosted the womens speed events; these events started on Roc de Fer and finished all the way down on the Stade at Chaudanne.

The new larger tunnel.

Méribel has gradually built a reputation of providing world class skiing events, and after the winter Olympics, the end of season 2015 Alpine World Cup Finals was hosted here as well. Well....... over the course of the next two winters, Meribel will host two further major events; the 2022 Alpine World Cup Finals, and also the 2023 Alpine World Championships (co-hosted with Courchevel).

This meant that in the past when these events are being held, and also other races, access to this ski area was very difficult. Not so any more. A large tunnel has been constructed that takes the top of the Gelinotte piste under the Roc de Fer piste. Problem solved.

So there you go everyone, I hope that this post has helped keep you up to date with the upgrades for this winter. All we need now is for you to have the chance to come and visit again. I'll keep my fingers very much crossed that you will be able to soon. Until next year........Live With Passion. Martin.

Blog

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

Transport yourself to the slopes of Meribel with MH2ski's blog. All of life is there. Philosophy. Croissants. Fine wine. And skiing, lots of skiing.

Read more MH2ski blog>

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Gallery

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

I am a keen photographer, working as a professional in the summer. See some of my favourite photos of skiing and the mountains here.

Enjoy my Gallery>

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Latest blog article

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>

How Was The Winter

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another post from Méribel, an early spring edition. Since the previous article, Méribel has remained busy leading up to the Easter Bank Holiday, providing me with plenty of ski instructing work. I've enjoyed teaching a whole variety of people including a Corporate Group from the UK, a private school from Lincolnshire, a mum and daughter combo from South Africa, a lovely Irish family and a regular Dutch husband and wife team.

Follow us on Twitter

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?

Ski lessons & guiding>