Club Holiday To Méribel - March 2013

Reporter: Deborah Massey

Meribel was only my second SCoM Holiday, St Christoph in January being my first. The early morning flight meant a 3.00am alarm call to meet John and Janet at the Jet2 desk at 4.30am. A quick breakfast in departures and we are on the plane at 6.30am, after the luxury of ample leg room, complimentary food and wine with Air Austria Jet2 was definitely Budget Airlines, anyway it did the job and we arrived at Geneva on time. We all gathered together and set off for the coach park, I thought it would be just outside and around the corner, but no it was miles away, well a bit of an exaggeration, but it felt like it, So glad Ian my husband had come on this holiday, I wouldn’t have managed my suite case, hand luggage, hand bag, boot bag and ski bag on my own! The long transfer was soon taken up with a little snooze, snacking on a Boots meal deal while admiring the beautiful scenery around Lake Annecy. It was about 2pm when we arrived in Meribel, the sun was shining and the resort looked like a smaller prettier Val d’Isere. I had gone on Google earth to research the location of the Hotel prior to the holiday; even so, I was still pleasantly surprised to see how close the Hotel was to the Chaundanne lift station, the main Lift and Gondola Station in Meribel. The location couldn’t have been better. We were met by Angus the Hotel Manager, who allocated our rooms and informed us that pizza’s where in the oven and would be ready in 10 minutes. We were extremely impressed that they had brought forward afternoon tea by a couple of hours for our benefit.
Apart from two families, one couple and a group of blokes, SCoM took over the hotel. The Hotel was basic, but the location, service, food & wine &, friendliness of the gap year staff was 5 stars. The dining room had a laminate floor, no curtains or soft furnishing and 35 loud squiffy SCoM members all enjoying themselves, you can image the noise we made. The group was half the size of the St Christoph, yet I knew less people, I was glad that I asked John to introduce me to the members I didn’t know on the first afternoon, it made it easier to bond, create friendships and feel included in the group, early on in the week.

We woke on Sunday to an overcast day, with poor visibility. I had met Tosh in St Christoph where he promised to ski with me in Meribel, He kept to his word, Janet and Liz joined and we skied down to St. Martin on corduroy pistes. We skied around Les Menuires until the lift stations warned of heavy winds and advised skiers to get back to their resorts. On the way back to Meribel we stopped for lunch at a mountain restaurant on the sittelle piste, above Meribel Mottaret that did the best French onion soup.

On Monday Janet and myself skied with Helen & Jan, Liz & Tosh joined the boys. The day started off overcast, with poor visibility then it gradually got worse with heavy snow. So we decided to ski down to La Tania. Janet’s son had recommended a Restaurant at the top of the La Tania gondola. Yet another fab restaurant to be visited next year. The weather had closed in after lunch, visibility was extremely poor, and so we slowly made our way home.

On Tuesday we woke to sun shine, blue skies and lots of powder, we skied up to Mont du Vallon to admire the views then down to Courchevel 1850, had lunch outside, at the Altiport restaurant, all those going to Courchevel next year start saving now, our omelette was 10 euro’s more than the day before and Helen’s cup of tea cost 6.5 euros.

On Wednesday we skied with the ski rep from SCGB, we skied all four valleys in challenging poor light conditions, had a long two hour lunch in a Hotel in Les Menuires where we had to take our boots off. Then caught the Masse 1 & 2 Gondola to Pointe de la Masse skied down quiet reds with the sun breaking through the clouds. By the time we reached Les Menuires we were on a mission to get back to resort before the lifts closed, we missed the last chair by 3 minutes, luckily we could ski back on the green route.

Thursday’s skiing was the best, sunshine and fresh snow. We skied our socks off, ending up at the Folie Douce for the après ski, catching the Saulire gondola home.

Friday, our last day was another sunny day, Gail joined us and we skied over to Val Thorens, had lunch in another fabulous restaurant on the Biolley piste above St Martin, the sun had started to melt the snow, the pistes were getting sticky and skiing back down to Meribel on the Gelinotte was tricky.

Saturday morning was another early start for our flight home with reports of snow at Manchester we were concerned our flight might be delayed. We arrived at Manchester on time with no snow, but it was a different story in Bolton.

Yet another excellent Holiday, thank you John David & Janet, looking forward to my next SCOM holiday in Val d Isere.