If you’re visiting Méribel, it’s likely that you’ve chosen this mountaintop retreat for its spectacular Tarentaise Valley pistes as opposed to its ski lift facilities. |
Even so, such things as the number, type, and make of the lifts can’t be underestimated in terms of their importance to your skiing. Anybody who has experienced problems and delays with ski lifts elsewhere will attest to that.
So, just how well do things work in Méribel?
The Facts and Figures
When visiting Méribel, you’ll be at the heart of the vast and legendary Three Valleys ski and recreational area. It actually encompasses a number of major resorts spanning France and Switzerland, of which Méribel is only one. The number of ski lifts in this area is incredible. A grand total of 169 lifts can move over a quarter of a million skiers each hour!
When visiting Méribel itself, the resort has a total of 46 lifts. They encompass the traditional French categories of:
• TC (for télécabine) – essentially an enclosed gondola. • TK (for téléski) – a surface lift that drags skiers uphill while they remain on the ground. • TPH (for téléphérique) – the familiar cable car. • TS (for télésiège) – the much loved chair variety.
Typically, all lifts will be running both Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and other public holidays too – though do make sure to double-check during the summer, when some lifts might shut down during public holidays.
Maintenance and Spending
As experienced skiers will again confirm, some lifts in certain resorts can leave a little to be desired in terms of their cleanliness and reliability!
If you’ve ever been stuck waiting for mechanical problems to be sorted out, or alarmed by all sorts of worrying noises and wobbles when using a lift, you’ll know how big of an issue that can be. Fortunately, you’re not likely to see anything of the sort when visiting Méribel.
In 2012 alone, the Three Valleys invested the enormous sum of €50 million (roughly £37m) into further development and modernisation. Just about all the lifts you’ll see here are ultra-modern and impeccably maintained.
Passes and Costs
Of course, ski lift prices are inevitably a cost you’ll need to take into account during a holiday here. Few would argue that these costs are trivial.
You can get some pretty good deals and de-facto discounts by purchasing ski lift passes, which are available for groups and over a specified period. You can also buy them in advance online, which is a smart move if you’re looking to save time once you’ve arrived.
Don’t forget as well that some of these lifts are open during the summertime, as mentioned above. Although it’s often assumed that visiting Méribel is something that’s exclusively associated with winter sports. In fact, it’s also a popular area for summer holidays, too. The mountains are as beautiful when carpeted with lush alpine greenery as they are when covered with snow, and make an excellent backdrop for summer sports such as paragliding, hiking, climbing, and cycling. So, why not give Méribel a try in the warmer months as well as in winter?
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're visiting Meribel for a ski holiday, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you get to and from the airport swiftly and safely with your luggage and ski equipment.
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