Skiing in Meribel

Skiing in Meribel

After appreciating the diversity of the terrain in Meribel, it becomes clear why the resort pulls in so many avid skiers and snowboarders year after year.

Meribel is a real hotspot for snowboarders, and is often the favoured spot of boarders when holidaying in the French Alps. They come to enjoy the varied terrain of the area’s two snow parks and the numerous tree-lined runs. There are lots of opportunities for free-riding on Mont du Vallon and loads of off piste action, too.

The incredible off-piste areas are also favoured by expert skiers in Meribel, where the less sunny right side of the valley is the favoured spot. It’s covered with deep, powdery snow, while the left side is best for fast, challenging runs. Most peaks in the area have mogul runs and long, steep runs for the advanced skier to try their hand at, too. When the weather turns bad, ice can add an exhilarating – or scary – edge to these runs. Those who would rather avoid the extra thrill should head below the tree-line to the varied terrain of the area around Combes Chairlift.

For intermediates, Meribel’s famous long, steep trails – especially around Courchevel and Val Thorens – are bound to excite. With over 600kms to explore, and a network of 52 lifts, it’s possible to cover some serious mileage without ever having to retrace steps. Advanced intermediates have the upper hand, as most of the red runs are quite tricky. However, there are runs for every level on both sides of the Meribel Valley.

Beginners may well find the scale and pace of Meribel a little intimidating at first, but ski and snowboarding schools will soon allay any fears. For the slightly more confident, the area’s newly opened ‘Zen Zones’, for skiers and snowboarders, are a great place to practise on gentle nursery slopes and the quiet, un-crowded spaces work as confidence-builders to move first-timers on to some more challenging runs.

With such a vast number of pistes to choose from, it’s possible to build up very gradually. Altiport is usually the next stage for beginners, where the wide slopes will take skiers right down into the town, where the après ski cocktails will be waiting.