Les 3 Vallees
Friday 4 January 2002


Some clouds in the valleys at the start of the day and build up of clouds to the West. Mostly clear skies, colder than previous day.


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


Final day in Meribel. Once again we sp-lit up. I went off with Cathy, while Chris set off on his own. Cathy took the gondola down into Mottaret and met me at the Pas du Lac gondola station.

Chris set off towards Val Thorens and back via Mont Vallons and we all met up again at lunch time

Pas du Lac 1 (1746) :

Pas du Lac 2 (1538) : Creux

The first challenge was to get down from the Col de Saulire. All of the runs down were red on the trail map. There was a gondola alternative, but I wanted to get Cathy to try one of the red runs. She took a look at Creux and agreed to try it. The run itself was fine, wide and well groomed. If anything, however, it was a little long. However, we did make it to the bottom and Cathy was fine.

Cathy at Saulire

Antenna at Saulire

Prameruel (627) : Blvd Gravelles

The lift we were aiming for was out of action (mechanical failure). Pramuruel was the alternative.

Creux (1066) : Unnamed Run

Creux drag lift had lots of warning signs at the bottom. Someone needs to teach the people who put the sign up some geometry. The sign warned of a 40% slope. It was nowhere near as steep as that, but there were places where there was nowhere to go if you fell off. The "unnamed run" took us past the Altiport and down towards Courcheval.

We stopped for an early break just above Courcheval-1850 and then continued down to the 1850 level.

Above Courcheval 1850

Unnamed Run

Bellecote (614) : Unnamed run

The Bellecote drag lift was great. It has a very easy grade and runs up the main run back to Courchecal-1850 before turning in the trees for its final section. At the bottom, we watched one young teenager on a snow board trying to use the lift. After three attempts, he hadn't got further than about 25m.

The Bellecote drag

Clouds just beginning to form

Coqs (1251) : Chenus

From the top of Coqs we took one run back down, navigating past all the ski school groups, before heading back towards Meribel.

The top of Chenus run

Ski school on Chenus run

Coqs (1251) :

Col de la Loze (251) : Dou des lanches, Bouc Blanc

While Cathy had a rest at the Col de la Loze, I had one run down the Dou des Lanches run, which was fine at the top, but rather bare and hard-packed lower down.

Col de Loze from Dou des Lanches

Dou Des Lanches (1445) : Rhodos, Chardonneret, Blvd de la loze

We tok the same route back to the apartment as on the previous day. Once again, Cathy took the Rhodos gondola to avoid the hard packed section of the lower slopes into Meribel village.

Looking up to the Col de la Loze from Meribel valley

The top of the Altiport lift

Meribel centre

Meribel centre

The Stade de Slalom in Meribel

Plan de l'homme (1921) : Perdrix Grive

Snow making on Lievre

Snow making on Lievre

Snow making on Lievre


Chris and Cathy had yet another plan for the afternoon. Once again, Cathy took the gondola down to Mottaret and met us at the bottom


Roc de Fer (1228) :

The plan involved the Roc de Fer and Olympic chairs which run up the Meribel downhill race course and a looping cruise down Grand Duc. The plan worked fine.

Olympic (1647) : Grand Duc

Cherferie (940) : Choucas

At the bottom of Grand Duc, we separated. Cathy took one run off Caves while Chris and I took a run of Cherferie, one of the difficult drag lifts up to the ridge between Meribel and Belleville valleys. This lift proved to be one of the delights of the week. There were two bends in the lift. The final section was along the crest of the ridge in bright sunlight. Choucas, the run down, was almost deserted and in great condition.

The top of Cherferie drag lift

The top of Choucas and Cherferie drag

Cherferie (940) : Choucas

At the bottom, Cathy was waiting. We persuaded her to take the same run. At the top, we stopped for a few minutes to phone Sue back into the apartment.

Cathy on Cherferie drag

Mike on the phone

Cathy on the phone

Chris on the phone

Mike and Cathy at the top of Choucas

Cathy at the top of Choucas

Chris at the top of Choucas

Chris at the top of Choucas

The top of Cherferie drag

Mike at the top of Cherferie

The top of Choucas run

The top of Choucas run

Cherferie drag lift

The top of the Choucas run

The top of the Choucas run

Mike at the top of Choucas

Mike and Cathy at the top of Choucas

Caves : Grive

Tougnete (1508) : Cretes Buse, Blaireau

After the run down from Cherferie, Cathy decided that she had had a great day and returned to the apartment. Meanwhile, Chris and I headed upwards with the intent of taking Jerusalem down towards St. Martin de Belleville. This didn't work, because the run was closed, so we had to try again and use the gondola to get a little higher.

Tougnete 2 (1624) : Biollay, Pelozot Pramint

This time we did find an open run all the way down to the centre of St. Martin de Belleville. The face which was so unpleasant the previous day was in much better condition.

Saint Martin 1 (1416) : Verdet

St Martin de Belleville

St Martin de Belleville

St Martin de Belleville

Saint Martin 2 (2006) : Perdrix Combe Tougnete

Once back at the top of the lift, we took the black Combe Toughnete run. The top section, which we had not done before was pretty steep and mogulled. Our biggest problem was getting round the people who had fallen. After the top section, the rest was familiar territory.

At the end of the day, we needed to get ready to go home. That meant getting rid of my old boots. We had a final visit to Le Crocodile and a combination of the local Raclette and cheese fondue.


It proved to be an excellent week. We would certainly go back to the sameresort and apartment again. The claims that the 3 valleys can "swallow" crowds at the busiest time were validated. The only problem in Mottaret was the shortage of green slopes.

Mike disposing of old boots

Mike disposing of old boots


Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs Top Intermediate Runs Advanced Runs
Chris morning pictures
Pas du Lac 1 1746
Pas du Lac 2 1538 Creux
Prameruel 627 Blvd Gravelles
Creux 1066 Unnamed Run
Coffee break
Unnamed Run
Bellecote 614 Unnamed run
Coqs 1251 Chenus
Coqs 1251
Col de la Loze 251 Dou des lanches, Bouc Blanc
Dou Des Lanches 1445 Rhodos, Chardonneret, Blvd de la loze
Plan de l'homme 1921 Perdrix Grive
Lunch Break
Roc de Fer 1228
Olympic 1647 Grand Duc
Cherferie 940 Choucas
Cherferie 940 Choucas
Caves Grive
Tougnete 1508 Cretes Buse, Blaireau
Tougnete 2 1624 Biollay, Pelozot Pramint
Saint Martin 1 1416 Verdet
Saint Martin 2 2006 Perdrix Combe Tougnete
End of day
Total vertical 23019

Last updated: 1/15/2002