Les 3 Vallees
Thursday 3 January 2002


Clear skies.


Early season conditions with thin cover. No new natural snow, but snowmaking in full flow.


Last day but 1 of our time in Meribel and the major objective of the day was to get Cathy's confidence back. For me, the objective was to wear in my new boots. She hatched a "plan", involving blue and green run, so Chris agreed that he would head off on his own. Cathy did not want to ski too far on any single run, so went down to Mottaret on the gondola, while I took Furet and met her at the bottom.


Everytyhing almost went wrong on the run down to Meribel. Near the top, Cathy found the only slick patch on the whole run, but carried on. The rest of Truite was fine.

Le Hameau in the early morning

Le Hameau in the early morning

Snow making equipment just below Mottaret

Plan de l'homme gondola station

Chris skied with us as far as Meribel centre and then went off on his own, going back to Mottaret and over to Courcheval via Col de Saulire and meeting us for coffee later.

Rhodos 1 (861) :

The plan went very slightly wrong almost immediately. We got out of the Rhodos gondola at the mid-point, rather than at the top. That turned out to be a minor problem .. There was no queue so we got straight back in.

Rhodos 2 (670) : Blanchot

Blanchot was a known quantity from our first day; a relatively short cruise to the bottom of the Loze lift.

Loze (1617) : Col de la Loze, Lac Bleu

I started the day with the idea that I would ski down Tétras run to look for the glasses I lost on the previous day. As we went up Col de la Loze lift, there was a sign that Tétras run was closed due to poor snow conditions, hardly surprising given the conditions of the previous day. The first run on the Courcheval side of the Col, was the gentle Col de la Loze across the plateau and then the rather steeper Lac Bleu. Cathy started off tentatively, but gained confidence and at the bottom of the run wanted to do the same run again.

Tétras run from the Loze lift

Lac Bleu (604) : Loze Est Lac Bleu

The Lac Bleu drag lift, which was virtually unused, took us back to the top of the Lac Bleu run. Cathy started the run this time with a lot more confidence and carried on past the bottom of the lift.

Cathy on Lac Bleu lift

Biollay (1181) : Verdons, Biollay Verdons

Biollay took us slightly further into Courcheval. This seemed to be the main lift used by ski school, which meant that we encountered the longest queue of the day, several minutes!

Col de la Loze from top of Biollay

Coqs (1251) : Cretes

Coqs took us back towards the Col de la Loze. Cretes run is not very interesting and the lift is very slow.

Cretes (525) : Cretes

Cretes took us back to almost the same place. The antics of the paraskiers provided welcome relief on the lift.




Blvd Arolles

Boulevard Arolles took us down to the bottom of Doe des Lanches, the high speed lift back to the Col de la Loze and our agreed mid-morning stop. The run leads from the bottom of Cretes onwards. The top was not very encouraging, rather narrow and with lots of loose rocks on the surface. It improved! There were one or two bare spots, but overall it was a reasonably pleasant run through the trees. The bottom section near the lift was not very good, with some icy patches.

Dou Des Lanches (1445) :

We got to the café at the Col de la Loze about half an hour before the agreed time to meet Chris. When we phoned him, he was on the run below the café almost at the chair lift. By the time we had ordered his hot chocolate, he was with us.

Cathy at the café at Col de la Loze

Col de la Loze, Lac Bleu

We had plenty of time before lunch, so we took one run back into Courcheval. Chris had not ticked off the Lac Bleu drag.

Lac Bleu (604) :

Cathy and Chris on Lac Bleu

Cathy on Lac Bleu

Chris on Lac Bleu

Chris on Lac Bleu

Col de la Loze (251) : Blvd de la Loze

Return to Meribel was via the Col de la Loze lift and then the Boulevard de la Loze run. Cathy, sensibly, did not ski all the way down into Meribel. She coped well with the slope down to the top of the Rhodos gondola, which was smooth in places. The final section of the run down into Meribel was not pleasant. With no new snow, the efforts of the grooming machines were negated by lunch-time.

Cathy and Mike on Col de la Loze

View from Cole de Loze lift

Col de la Loze lift

Looking towards Col de la Loze from the lift

Col de la Loze run

The top of Col de la Loze

Col de la Loze

Col de la Loze - Mike and Cathy getting off the lift

Mike and Cathy getting off the lift

Rhodos, Doron, Chardonneret

Plan de l'homme (1921) : Perdrix Grive

Meribel back to the apartment was via the Plan de l'homme chair and the easy route down. By lunchtime, the morning's objective had been achieved. Cathy had her confidence back and more importantly, her weight in the right place.

Table Verte (1538) : Martre

After lunch the plan was to try the same itinerary that proved to be a problem for Cathy a couple of days earlier. This time, Cathy came with Chris and I, rather than taking the gondola to the Roc des 3 Marches.

Sittelle (363) :

Chatelet (1231) : Bouvreuil 2

For all of the time we were on Chatelet lift, the gondola was stationary. We tried to convince Cathy to take an alternative run, but she prepared to wait. Meanwhile, Chris and I took 1 quick run down the more difficult of the two Bouvreuil runs and back up Plan desw Mains lift. The gondola started again when we were about half way up the run.

Plan des Mains (937) :

Plattieres 3 (974) : Grand Lac

This time the plan worked. Cathy enjoyed the run down Grand Lac and on down to the bottom of the Saint Martin 2 lift. The only problem was one extremely unpleasant face near the bottom. The loose snow was almost completely skied off, leaving a lot of hard pack. The number of skiers trying to negotiate the slope was a bigger problem than the conditions themselves.

Mike on Grand Lac

Mike & Cathy on Grand Lac

Mike & Cathy on Grand Lac


Saint Martin 2 (2006) :


At the top of the long St. Martin 2 lift we stopped for a drink. There were plenty of options for skiing towards the Vallee de Belleville or back down to Meribel. We chose Faon which was probably the most unpleasant blue run of the week, with relatively steep stretches with lots of bare patches. Cathy took her time, but got down comfortably.

The top of St. Martin 2

Col de Tougnete

Col de Tougnete

Choice of runs

Col de Tougnete

Mike at the café at Cretes

Mike at the café at Cretes

Mike & Cathy at the café at Cretes

Tougnete (1508) : Perdrix Blaireau

At the bottom of Faon, Cathy decided that she yhad skied enough for the day and headed back to the apartment. Chris and I decided on a couple more runs. Blaireau was rather more pleasant than Faon even if it was a little steeper in places.

Table Verte (1538) : Perdrix Combe Tougnete

We finished with one final run from Table Verte down our favourite black run Combe Toughnete

Late afternoon sun on Saulire

Late afternoon sun on Meribel

Sue was still not feeling too well, so we stayed in for Pizza for dinner. The new boots? They were not as comfortable as the old ones, but I did ski all day without major discomfort.


Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs Top Intermediate Runs Advanced Runs
Chris's morning
Rhodos 1 861
Rhodos 2 670 Blanchot
Loze 1617 Col de la Loze, Lac Bleu
Lac Bleu 604 Loze Est Lac Bleu
Biollay 1181 Verdons, Biollay Verdons
Coqs 1251 Cretes
Cretes 525 Cretes
Blvd Arolles
Dou Des Lanches 1445
Coffee Break
Col de la Loze, Lac Bleu
Lac Bleu 604
Col de la Loze 251 Blvd de la Loze
Rhodos, Doron, Chardonneret
Plan de l'homme 1921 Perdrix Grive
Table Verte 1538 Martre
Sittelle 363
Chatelet 1231 Bouvreuil 2
Plan des Mains 937
Plattieres 3 974 Grand Lac
Saint Martin 2 2006
Coffee break
Tougnete 1508 Perdrix Blaireau
Table Verte 1538 Perdrix Combe Tougnete
End of day
Total vertical 21025

Last updated: 1/15/2002