Les 3 Vallees
Saturday 29 December 2001


Dreadful. Raining at resort level.


Very heavy .. Wet slushy snow. Visibility awful.

Friday 28th December 2001 - Journey to the Alps

Not quite the journey we had in mind.

It started off well enough. We left home as planned at just after 7am and had a clear run to Folkestone, arriving at the channel tunnel at about 8:40

Checking in took 20 minutes and when we got to the front of the queue, we saw signs "Service Disrupted" and only 2 trains per hour instead of the normal 4. We originally hoped that we would get an earlier shuttle than the one we booked. That was out of the question. We were warned that our shuttle would be 45 minutes late. So we made an unscheduled visit to the terminal building for breakfast (toast without butter) additional cash for the apartment deposit and the opportunity to buy Sue a digital camera.

Apparently there was a maintenance train stuck in the tunnel. By the time we arrived in Calais we were just over 2 hours late. On the road at 2:10 we still had 500 miles to drive.

The first 150 miles were OK, then the weather deteriorated with patches of heavy squally rain. Then there were reports of heavy traffic and a 45 minute hold up on the Autoroute. Checking with our overnight hotel, we discovered that it locked its doors at 11pm and if we were late we would not get in.

We stopped for a quick dinner and then set off South with about 250 more miles to do in about 4˝ hours. From that point things began to look up. The traffic jam had dissipated, the weather improved slightly and we ended up getting to the Camponile Chambčry by 10pm.

  Saturday 29th December 2001 - Arrival in Meribel

When we woke on Saturday morning, the rain was pouring down. We were pretty sure that we would need chains in the mountains, but the road to Merribel was passable without them. It has been sanded and the freezing level was above the resort so it was still raining. We did need chains to park the car once we arrived.

We had plenty of time. We arrived at about 10:30am. According to our booking, our apartment would not be ready until 5pm. So we took our time over a cup of coffee and then sorted out our skis and boots. It was still raining.

The reception for the apartments opened at midday. We joined a rather disorganised (i.e. French) queue only to find that our apartment was not ready. However, when we asked for a TV, we were moved to a different apartment which was ready. Finding it was a challenge. The map provided by the reception was misleading to say the least and it was a long way from where we parked the car. It was still raining.

Once again, things started to improve. I collected the car and double parked outside of the entry door to the apartment block. One of the other cards needed to move, so we had a parking spot. Out apartment was nicely equipped, with plenty of room and very close to the ski slopes and the gondola down into Mottaret centre.

We went out for a light lunch. When we were finished it was still raining.


Cathy, Chris and I decided to go out for a few runs to orientate ourselves. It was still raining. We took the easy run from just outside our down down to Mottaret Centre and then the Arolles lift to just above out apartment.

Arolles (769) : Furet

One more run down to the centre was enough. Visibility was dreadful and we were drenched, so we took the Chalets gondola to the door of our apartment and decided enough was enough


Chalets (360) :

After a quick trip (on foot) down the Gondola to Mottaret, we got Pizza A Emporter from the supermarket and all got an early night.

The Chalets gondola

The Chalets gondola

Chalets Gondola

Looking down into Mottaret

Mottaret centre


Looking towards Meribel


The opposite side of the valley

Rocks above Saulire

Inside the apartment

Inside the apartment

Cathy's bed

The dining table


Lift Vertical Easy Runs Intermediate Runs
Getting there
Arolles 769 Furet
Chalets 360
End of the day
Total vertical 1129

Last updated: 1/15/2002