Meribel Apres Ski ReportA day on the airbag leaves seasonnaires feeling satisfyingly deflated
27th January 2012
This week myself and my colleagues were treated by ski and board lesson company ‘Magic in Motion’ to a day of throwing ourselves at high speed off a ramp onto a huge airbag. Near to the top of the Rhodos lift and a short ski down from the top of Altiport is the location of Magic’s ‘Big Air Bag’.
It was a great day and an excellent way to build up your confidence trying out freestyle tricks that you would otherwise be far too scared (or wise) to try out on the slopes or in the park. For beginners with no freestyle experience it can be a real confidence boost as it gives you an idea of how it feels flying through the air on your skis or snowboard. Check with Magic in Motion to see when their airbag is open to the general public. I highly recommend it, even if you just go down to laugh at your friend's futile attempts to do backflips. Just make sure you wear a helmet or you will not be allowed on the bag.
For a change of scenery I decided to go against the grain this Wednesday and avoid the Rond Point for once. Instead I chose to get my après fix at Jack’s bar just near the Chaudanne. This meant I could happily drink a much beer as I wanted without the worry of the hairy drunken ski down to town afterwards. There were pros and cons about choosing Jack's as our après venue. Unlike the Rond Point which has indoor and outdoor seating areas as well as the bar/ dance floor, Jack's is more of a party hard or go next door to Evolution type affair. This was fine be me though, the bar was bustling and the atmosphere was great. Unfortunately I missed the live music on Wednesday but they have regular bands and DJs throughout the week. As I mentioned last week, next door at Evolution is a great place to head for dinner after you are 'apre’d' out!
For those of you that don’t fancy throwing yourself off ramps or getting drunk at the various après events around town, the Olympic centre (next to the Chaudanne) hosts a weekly hockey match. The previous week it was Meribel vs. Les Houches. Sadly, for patriotic ‘Meribellians’, our team didn’t put on the best performance and were, for lack of a better word, thrashed. It was a great night though and with tickets at just €5 for adults and €3 for kids, next week’s match against la Rosiere would be an ideal night out for the family. Look out for the guys selling €2 hockey pucks throughout the first 2 thirds of the game. During the second interval you are invited to throw your puck towards a target in the centre of the ice rink. The closest puck (identified by a raffle ticket number) wins a prize.
For those of you with children in tow, if a day on the slopes isn’t enough to wear the little tykes out, there is a free ‘Sledging by night’ evening on Thursday next week up in Mottaret (big kids are more than welcome to get involved too). From 5.15 until 7.30pm the Doron magic carpet lift (this is a lift similar to an airport travelator, not something from the popular Disney film, Aladdin) will be in operation. The event is completely free, all you need to bring is a bum board or a sledge. The Cote Brune restaurant is situated right next to the magic carpet and they sell a nice pizza at a very reasonable price and a cracking vin chaud.
I will leave you this week with news of a side project I have been working on since last season. The Saulire Sessions brings together the musicians and entertainers of Meribel to showcase their talents in a unique way. Over the last year, different acts from around the alps have been performing tiny acoustic gigs inside the Saulire gondola lift going up from Meribel Centre. This week I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session by Meribel veterans Adam (of Hobo Chic) and Westy. They performed a swing version of Billie Jean and an exquisite Latin medley. Footage and information on the Saulire Sessions can be found at www.facebook.com/ SaulireSessions