The ski season in Méribel lasts from early December to late April, and offers fairly reliable snow cover. Failing that, almost half of the slopes are armed with snow cannons that provide a constant white coating, as long as temperatures are low enough.
The lift system radiates from two central hubs at Chaudanne and Mottaret, linking Méribel to the neighbouring resorts of Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, which make up the vast Trois Vallées area. This grouping of pistes is so big that skiers need not ski the same run twice during a week in the resort.
Méribel is a resort that welcomes newbies, with numerous intermediates runs, and good beginners' areas too. Beginners can practise on the green pistes below the Altiport, before progressing to the easy blues beneath the mid-station of the Tougnette chairlift and the Marmotte, Biche, Geai and Belette blues on the Saulire side.
Most intermediates will want to bag the Mauduit – a challenging red that was once an Olympic downhill course – and the two long, exhilarating red pistes that descend from the summit of Mont du Vallon.
Classic black runs include La Face (another former Olympic downhill) and the mogul fields of Les Bosses and Bartavelle. There’s also plenty of epic off-piste terrain on Mont du Vallon and Mont de la Chambre, and further off-piste action in nearby Courchevel and Val Thorens.
Freestylers can choose between two snow parks: one accessed via the Arpasson chairlift, and the other from the Plattières gondola.