Intermediate Ski RoutesFor those new to the 3 Valleys check out this very comprehensive guide to the 3 valleys, kindly put together by long term 'saisonaire' Rob Smart Meribel Unplugged intermediates ski guide. Useful information to help you get the best of the 3 valleys. Advice for all levels.
These are not particularly challenging slopes but there is something very nice about the feel of them, hard to define but easily recognizable. In the early mornings, the Tougnete area is the best side of the mountain to start your Meribel skiing. It has the morning sun, so in early season will not be so cold and in late season will not be icy, as is the Saulire side before midday. Saulire gets the afternoon sun, so the snow melts and freezes overnight. If you ski the Saulire side too early in spring, the snow will not have transformed and it is like skiing on corrugated iron! The Tougnette side is a great way to warm up, with beautifully groomed pistes. From La Chaudanne (central lift station in Meribel) take the Roc de Fer & Olympic Express superchairs to the top. Take the blue Grande Duc piste, followed by the Cherferie drag, then ski down the blue Choucas piste, with gentle rollovers, thereafter take Caves drag and ski down the blue Grive piste to Tougnette 2. From the top of Tougnette (2434m) there are 2 choices. You can ski the red Pramint piste, or ski along to the Crets restaurant for a great coffee stop (stunning views) and then ski down red Jerusalem piste. Both these runs then join the blue Biolly piste which takes you down to the very attractive hamlet of St Martin de Belleville and is a great place for a lunch stop.
The Saulire side of the mountain offers superb descents for intermediates. The runs are long wide and open and you have a mixture of reds and blues crisscrossing the mountain. From La Chaudanne take the Saulire bubble directly to the top (2738m) and follow the signs into Meribel. You also have the choice to ski into Mottaret. The red Mauduit piste is over 1000m and was made famous by ex world Champion Georges Mauduit (a local) who was runner up to Jean Claude Killy in the 66 Olympics. It is a fabulous run down, and from here you can choose to ski back to la Chaudanne or make a slight detour and ski Meribel valley all the way down the pretty tree lined run to Meribel village. The Lodge du Village is a good apres ski bar at the bottom of the piste for a cool beer & live music.
For some very pleasant cruising on usually uncrowded pistes the area above Courchevel 1650 is excellent. Take the Saulire bubble all the way to the top, from there descend into the Courchevel side down the red Creux. Having rounded the pronounced left hand bend towards the bottom of Creux look out for and take the Chanrossa chair climbing to your right. At the top of this chair you have the ski area of Courchevel 1650 before you, follow it down and explore.