The winter isn't over yet in Méribel, but April promises to be a fantastic month - don't forget your sunscreen!
The Easter holidays bring families back to Les 3 Vallées for a short end of season break in the mountains. The warmer spring days also brings a party-vibe to the town and the sun / snow conditions obviously warrant a longer lunch break on a sunny terrace to top up the tan, and après-ski seemingly starts a little earlier.
To make the most of the longer sunny days we like get out on our touring skis and split-boards, get away from the lifts, and find that last bit of untouched snow.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout April.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in Meribel in April?
As winter draws to a close for another year, the snow on the lower slopes is usually much heavier by midday. The temperatures rarely dip below freezing, usually falling between a low of -2ºC and a high of 6ºC, plus there's still the chance of snow as April averages ten days snowfall, and therefore a powder day isn't out of the question.
What's on in Meribel in April?
Defi de l’Olympe
If running up mountains is more your idea of fun, you won’t want to miss this trail running event for individual runners and teams. Simply run up the steep mountain path linking Brides-les-Bains to Les Allues as many times as you can in a six-hour period. Your legs are allowed a little respite; the downhill part is made by the Olympe ski lift.
Les 3 Vallées Enduro
This fun contest claims to be the biggest amateur ski event in the world, with 1,500 people competing each year. It takes place around the entire Les 3 Vallées ski area, with different challenges to complete at every resort. In teams of three, you’ll take part in a Freeride, Giant Freestyle, Biathlon Experience, Big Air Bag, Boardercross, Belleville Triplette, Transceiver Project, Photocall, Family Schuss and Skicross events. There are categories for all levels, including a family category, and there’s a convivial lunch and prize-giving party afterwards.
School holiday Skiing
Easter is a popular time for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the holidays begin. Fortunately, Les 3 Vallées ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas: try to avoid the busy main linking routes between valleys and head for calmer areas such as Méribel’s Roc de Fer, Courchevel-Moriond (1650m) or Courchevel Le Praz (1300m). Check out these little-known runs in Méribel: Hulotte, Gypaète, Daguet, Coqs, Eterlou, Mouflon and Mauduit. Black runs are generally deserted too – the best are Face, snow-sure Bartavelle, empty Grande rosière and high-altitude Ecureuil
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Bars & Clubs
There's still time to enjoy some après-ski partying before the season comes to an end, and if you come late enough in the season you can enjoy some legendary closing parties.