Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Meribel Part 3
Fourth day was marked by the struggle between clouds and the sun. I had hoped I could finish up the glaciers in Val Thorens. However weather kept me from doing it, there was no snow, but the wind was amazing in high altidutes. That's why they closed the connection to Val Thorens. I decided to venture up the south slopes of Meribel. There are not many slopes on the south side, but the slopes are long and very demanding:
I also recorded the video below. Next year I will find a way to attach the video camera to my helmet securely so that I can shoot more of this videos, for those awful moments during summer when my craving for skiing peaks.
Fifth day was extremely windy. The cable cars were shaking in the middle of the air giving most of the ladies in the cars the creeps. I used this opportunity, I hate crowded slopes, to ski in Courchavel. Courchavel is the the rich part of the valley which is obvious when you start skiing on the well-groomed slopes. Courchavel 1850 (which is actually 1750 meters high) also has a large shopping mall complete with a glamor photo service who takes photos of the rich dining on various chalet style gourmet restaurants. This photo-service was the first of its kind that I've seen on the Alps, and reminded me of the 10s of photographers who fight for a pose on Uludag. Incidentally, it turned out that the photo shop was owned by a Turk.
After skiing the open black pistes on Courchavel,
I had to go back home because of the wind, which made skiing impossible.
The night before my last skiing day it started raining. It is the worst thing that can happen on a mountain, the snow turns into a mash, the skis get stuck, and it is not fun at all. Avalanches happen often in such weather. Thats why they closed both of the connections to Courchavel and Val Thorens. I was somewhat dissapointed, until I came across Moon Park, a snow park full of jumps, half pipes, and rails. I spent almost 3 hours there, and guess what I didn't break a single bone!
As a grand finale to the best skiing trip I've had, I skied down the slope where the giatn and Super-G slalom of 1992 Albertville Olympics took place...
To wrap up, I definitely recommend Three Valleys. If you go do stay in Meribel Mottaret, you can enjoy skiing instantly, and still keep in touch with the partying (it costs 10 euros by taxi to go back from Meribel, and there are buses every 20 minutes). The slopes are not very well groomed like in Austria so be prepared. If you want to rent skis do not pay more than 100 Euros for a week. Do try the amazing cheese-burgers next to the Sherpa supermarket. Eat Creme Brule and Balsamic Pizza in Pizzeria Mottaret, and pay the money and try a Savoyarde Grill in Meribel, its worth each cent...