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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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March Snow Conditions In Meribel

Posted on
March 29, 2017

One of the many advantages of working as a Ski Instructor based in Meribel, is being up the mountain pretty much every day. This means accurate first hand knowledge of snow conditions. Granted, webcams provide reliable images, and of course there other sources of information. However I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on the current snow conditions.

Before I do this though I'd like point out that all of the photos on this blog page were taken during the month of March this winter (2017). Spring is an interesting season in the Alps. When the sun is out it can feel like summer. But occasionally the weather can revert back to full on winter when a storm passes through.

Here is Suzie pausing for thought earlier this month, in the Altiport area.

This March we've been on the receiving end of prolonged periods of sunshine. This has meant we've enjoyed many days of gorgeous visibility and views, relaxing hot chocolate stops and lunches on mountain restaurant terraces. All good for topping up the tan.

Having the sun is of course a real pleasure, but it does transform the snow conditions both on and off-piste. From late morning onwards any aspects facing the sun start to soften. Up at high altitude this transformation has less of an effect. However lower down, the snow can turn quite heavy due to the higher temperatures. Most nights (but not every night this March) the temperatures drop considerably which means that the soft snow then re-freezes.

Typical March scene this winter, at the top of the Plan de l'Homme chairlift above Meribel.

This transformation of snow is very common each winter. The secret is to choose your pistes carefully depending on the time of day. Altitude, piste aspect and time of day need to be taken into consideration.

We have experienced a couple of hearty storms this month, with the most recent only a few days ago. The snow/rain limit was just below the level of the village, and we received up to thirty cms of gorgeous fresh snow. To say it freshened up the mountain would be an understatement. We all had an amazing day's skiing in the fresh snow before the transformation process started again.

So what are the current snow conditions like? The top half of the mountain is holding up very well indeed, especially the north facing slopes. I don't believe the winter of 2016/17 will go down in the record books as a vintage one, however there is still plenty of good skiing to be had as we head towards the end of the month. The transformation process is having an affect on the lower slopes, but again, if you are up early and can choose your pistes carefully all is good.

For the sake of diversity, I guess I should post a photo of a slushy piste, instead of all these lovely images of fresh snow. Second thoughts, maybe not - slushy pistes aren't particularly photogenic. Don't forget, these have all been taken this month. I heard on the radio this morning that the temperatures we are experiencing at the moment are between eight to ten degrees higher than normal !?!

We are now racing towards the Easter holidays, and there is still plenty of time for more storms to come and give us a reminder that the winter isn't over yet. If you enjoyed this article, you might like to look through the archive to find other related reports. Feel free to follow mh2ski on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ where I update more regularly than on this blog page. Have a great week everybody, and do come back soon. 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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