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Beautiful snow conditions remain in Méribel

Spring continues to provide us with excellent skiing

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Martin Hemsley | Meribel Reporter | Published

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Beautiful snow conditions remain in Méribel

Dreamy snow conditions are still available here in Méribel, and the generous snow base that we've had all winter is serving us proud towards the end of the season.

Sometimes there can be a rapid decline in the conditions this far into April, especially if the sun is ragingly strong. So far this hasn't happened and we are benefiting from some lovely skiing every day.

Spring can be an interesting season, reminding us that summer is on the way with long days and sunny blue skies. However, it can also poke us in the eye, and quickly take us back to winter. This was what happened a few days ago and it felt like we were transported back to January. Snow goggles, buffs and mittens had to be dusted off again, delaying any storage for the summer. We've had a few dustings of snow over the last week, with sunny days inbetween.

Every morning the piste skiing has been very good, thanks again to the sub-zero temperatures that freshen up the snow. The snow-grooming continues to provide us with beautifully clean and smooth pistes. The official snow depths are 60cm at 1450m, and 210cm at 2700m. There are currently an amazing 60 pistes still open out of a total of 64. The avalanche risk is 2/5.

A real positive at the moment is how quiet we are, not only around town (with all of the shops, bars and restaurants still open), but also on the mountain. Yes, the Easter school holidays have started, however it feels as though it is one of the quietest weeks of the season. The pistes in the Méribel and Courchevel valleys are very quiet this week. It can feel busier over in Val Thorens, however this isn't unusual as it's the highest ski resort in the Alps at 2300m, and many skiers head over there for the quality of the snow and skiing at this stage of the season.

So where is the best skiing to be found? As ever for this time of the season, head high and aim for north facing pistes. This is where you will find the best snow that will feel nice and wintry, ie dry and grippy. Some examples are Combe Tougnete, Faon, Choucas, Lagopede, Mouflon, Venturon, Lac de la Chambre, Biche, Geai and the Mont Vallon pistes. Méribel's radio station, R Méribel, gives lift and piste information at about 08:20 every morning, including two recommended pistes for each day - one for Méribel and the other for Méribel-Mottaret. The higher altitude pistes continue to stay in good condition, but the lower pistes do soften up from around lunchtime onward. One of the many benefits of the mountain being quiet is that these pistes aren't chopping up that quickly. This is because of reduced levels of skier traffic.

This shouldn't be a surprise, because after all we are in spring. We are all different of course; one of the best ways of making the most of the conditions in spring is to have a hearty breakfast and be on one of the first ski lifts when they open. Then head high to find the lovely wintry snow, which would've been groomed to perfection. You can then take a late hot chocolate stop for a squirt of energy and a quick rest, and ski again until having a late picnic or lunch up the mountain. After that, perhaps head back to resort before it gets super slushy at the bottom. There is always the option to download on some of the ski lifts to save the thigh burn.

We are just over a week away from the ski lifts closing in the Méribel valley, and with the expected reduced number of visitors next week, some of the ski lifts will close for the winter. Announced today by the Tourist Office, the following lifts will be closed from April 13th: Olympe bubble (coming up from Bride-Les-Bains), Roc de Tougne, Chatelet, Arpasson and Caves.

Read more from our reporter Martin on his website.