Nestled in the heart of the Trois Vallées, Meribel Village at 1450m has long been a favourite resort with the Brits. With over 600km of pistes accessible from over 180 lifts on the three-valley lift pass, there is enough varied terrain to keep everyone in a mixed ability group happy. The British have been buying up real estate in this area for years now – so much so that French is far from the only language you’ll here in this often overpriced and overpopulated resort.
- Highest Point: 2,952m
- Descent: 1,852m
- No. lifts: 169
Indeed, a large chunk of the seasonnaires seem to be UK teens on the ‘gap yah’. This popularity has its advantages though: a wide choice of accommodation, shops, restaurants and a lively après ski scene provides something for everyone in the two main villages of Meribel and Mottaret.
There’s also the cheaper, more authentic option to stay in Brides-les-Bains that’s connected to Meribel by gondola. wherever you stay you can bet that, with two well-maintained parks, extensive freeride terrain and well-groomed pistes, there’ll be some excellent riding to be had.
What’s new for 2019/20
Lots of new changes are taking place in Meribel this year. They’ve doubled the size of their reservoirs at the Altiport and Combes, resulting in over 50% of the ski area now being equipped with snowmaking machines – over 2,500 in total. If you’re looking for an early snow-sure resort, you can’t go wrong here.
There’s now also two additional red pistes. In place of previously blue slopes, the Roc de Fer area offers a slightly steeper alternative. Simply turn right at the top of the Legends chairlift and you’ll find your way to these new additions.
With more pistes, comes more establishments to get pissed. Meribel regulars may have been missing Jacks Bar over the last couple seasons, but the legendary après hotspot is returning in the place of Meribar.
SkiBro is also available at Meribel. Whether a beginner or expert, SkiBro is the innovative online platform that helps you get the best out of your trip. Find your perfect instructor, snowboard school, or mountain guide and book with ease. The best choice, best info and flexibility – check SkiBro out here.
The Parks – 3/5
There are two main parks in Meribel with plenty of features for all ability levels. The Moon Park is accessed by the Plan De L’homme chairlift, and has rails and boxes for all ability levels. The kickers aren’t worth getting too exited about, however.
“A three-day, non-consecutive park pass is available, making it a little more economical for freestyle addicts in need of a fix“
The DC Park accessed via Plattiers 2 is Meribel’s star attraction. Shaped by the DC crew and Hilltechnics staff, it’s popular with pros and the annual Shred Days event attracts the likes of Torstein Horgmo and Devun Walsh. At the top there is a perfectly shaped superpipe with roped off entry – making sure only riders that can drop in will be able to lap it and prevent those annoying ski schools from damaging the walls.
There is a step-up black kicker right after on one side leading into plenty of bonks, hips and suspended bells to jib. The left hand line has so many boxes and rail combos they will keep you busy for hours, whilst right next to the park there is a shipping container set up as a butter box, as well as a mini ramp for the skaters! Below the cabin, a channel gap leads into a decent 23-meter kicker, or if you prefer you can tackle a bunch of rails and boxes and a dedicated mini shred area.
And if all this wasn’t enough, there is a hip to do more jibs on the very bottom section before you arrive at the chairlift to do it all over again! DC have even set up cameras to allow you to record your run and re-run it online via the DC Live Park website. A three-day, non-consecutive park pass is available, making it a little more economical for freestyle addicts in need of a fix.