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Méribel in January 2014
Méribel in January 2014
Méribel is located in Alps
Location in the Alps
LocationSavoie, France
Nearest major cityChambéry
Coordinates45°23′48.23″N 6°33′58.57″E / 45.3967306°N 6.5662694°E / 45.3967306; 6.5662694Coordinates: 45°23′48.23″N 6°33′58.57″E / 45.3967306°N 6.5662694°E / 45.3967306; 6.5662694
Vertical1,502 m (4,928 ft)
Top elevation2,952 m (9,685 ft)
Base elevation1,450 m (4,757 ft)
Runs76 (8 green, 36 blue, 23 red & 9 black)
Lift system53 (capacity 75,565 ph)

Méribel (French pronunciation: ​[meʁibɛl]) is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie department of France, near the town of Moûtiers (45°24′04″N 6°33′56″E / 45.401°N 6.5655°E / 45.401; 6.5655), called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.

Méribel Les Allues is a ski resort that was developed adjacent to the traditional hamlet of Morel, with its centre situated at about 1400 metres above sea level.[1] It was founded by a Scotsman, Major Peter Lindsay,[2] who was looking for a new site for winter sports away from the ski resorts of Austria and Germany, because of the growing strength of the Nazi regime. In 1936, he visited the town of Les Allues for the first time. He then imagined how the town could become a ski resort. Firstly, he decided to create a property company in order to develop finances strong enough to build the resort. In 1938, the first lift was placed above Les Allues. A year later, he began the construction of the first chalets and hotels in the hamlet of Méribel. Three years later, the war would stop the development of the resort, but when it was over, development continued. Now a Colonel, Peter Lindsay used specialised architects, Paul Grillo (Grand Prix de Rome in 1937) and his partner Christian Durupt, so that all buildings would be in harmony with the Savoyard style, using wood and stone for the walls, with slanted slate roofs. In 1950, the Burgin-Saulire gondola was built to link the resort to Courchevel. Lindsay's family continue to hold a financial stake in the resort. Lindsay's ashes and those of his wife are scattered on the Burgin mountain.

Méribel was home to events of the 1992 Winter Olympics hosted in Albertville.[3] It hosted the ice hockey and the women's alpine skiing events.[4] Until 2011, Méribel was the host to the Altitude Festival, with acts such as KT Tunstall, Marcus Brigstocke and Omid Dijalili performing in the bars and nightclubs around the resort. For 2011, it has been announced that the festival will be moved to Austria, with the organiser Richard Lett citing a reduction in support from the Méribel Tourist Office.[5]

The ski resort is part of the Trois Vallées ski area.[6] The Three Valleys area comprises 180 lifts, 335 marked runs (over 600 kilometres) and over 130 km of cross-country tracks. The Three Valleys was expanded in 1996 to incorporate a fourth valley, though the area kept the name Trois Vallées. The area comprises the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle.[7]

The resort comprises the sub-villages of: Méribel-Mottaret, at an altitude of 1,750 m towards the head of the Allues Valley—served by the Plattiers gondola which provides access to neighbouring resorts Les Menuires and Val Thorens; Raffort and La Gittaz, which are served by the Meribel Olympic Gondola; Chandon, which has free bus access to resort; and Méribel Village at 1,400 m on the road to Courchevel 1850 at the bottom of the Lapin piste and start of the Golf Chair to the popular beginners skiing area The Altiport.

Lift system[edit]

Name Type Persons per hour Year of construction Manufacturer
Table Verte Chairlift fixed 4 places 1250 1981 Poma
Burgin 1 Gondola 6 places 1700 1982 Poma
Burgin 2 Gondola 6 places 1700 1982 Poma
Plattieres 2 Gondola 6 places 2200 1983 Poma
Plattieres 1 Gondola 6 places 2200 1984 Poma
Plattieres 3 Gondola 6 places 2200 1984 Poma
Arolles Chairlift fixed 4 places 1800 1985 Skirail
Rocher de la Loze Chairlift fixed 4 places 1500 1988 Poma
Mont-Vallon Gondola 12 places 3400 1988 Poma
Rhodos Gondola 12 places 2025 1989 Von Roll
Mures Rouges Chairlift detachable 4 places 1800 1989 Poma
Roc de Fer Chairlift fixed 4 places 1460 1990 Poma
Olympe 1 Gondola 6 places 920 1990 Poma
Olympe 2 Gondola 6 places 920 1990 Poma
Olympe 3 Gondola 6 places 920 1990 Poma
Olympic Express Chairlift detachable 4 places 1500 1990 Poma
Morel Chairlift fixed 3 places 700 1991 Poma
Côtes Brune Chairlift detachable 4 places 2070 1991 Poma
Combes Chairlift detachable 4 places 2400 1994 Doppelmayr
Pas du Lac 1 Gondola 8 places 3000 1997 Poma
Pas du Lac 2 Gondola 8 places 3000 1997 Poma
Adret Chairlift detachable 6 places 2400 1998 Poma
Dent de Burgin Chairlift detachable 6 places 2400 2000 Poma
Altiport Chairlift detachable 8 places 3400 2000 Poma
Plan des Mains Chairlift detachable 6 places 3000 2002 Leitner
Plan de l'Homme Chairlift detachable 6 places 3000 2004 Poma
Châtelet Chairlift detachable 6 places 2200 2006 Poma
Chalets Gondola pulsed 6 places 522 2007 Poma
Tougnète 2 Chairlift detachable 6 places covered 3600 2007 Poma
Tougnète 1 Gondola 6 places 1500 2008 Poma
Golf Chairlift detachable 4 places 1500 2009 Poma
Altiport Button lift continuous 500 2009 Poma
Doron Conveyor belt covered 2010 Poma
Les Loupiots Conveyor belt Poma
Foret Rope tow Poma
Combe Button lift detachable Poma
Cotes Button lift detachable Poma
Escargot Button lift continuous 2005 Poma
Arpasson Button lift continuous 2006 Poma
Roc de Tougne 1 & 2 Button lift detachable Poma
Aigle Button lift detachable Poma
Sitelle Button lift detachable Poma
Stade Button lift continuous Poma

Past projects

  • For the 2012 season, the Burgin-Saulire 2 gondola is being replaced, and the new lift will be called Saulire Express 2. It will be constructed by Poma, and will take a new route up the Méribel Couloir, arriving at the same position as the Saulire cable car from the Courchevel side.
  • For the 2013 season, the Burgin-Saulire 1 gondola is being replaced, and the new lift will be called Saulire Express 1. It will be constructed by Poma, and will be joined to Saulire Express 2 for a continuous journey up the mountain, first gondola station in France MULTIX to sections decoupled amount of work 24 million.
  • Plattieres 1 & 2 are being replaced by a new gondola constructed by Poma, called Plattieres 1. This new lift will cut the journey time from 25 minutes to 9 minutes, and the new cabins will replace the old six seat, back to back gondolas with more comfortable 10 seat cabins. Construction will begin at the end of the 2011 season, and the old lift will continue to run through the 2012 season.

Tarentaise Valley skiing[edit]

The Tarentaise Valley has the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Espace Killy (Val-d'Isère and Tignes). A weekly lift ticket in Méribel/Les Trois Vallées offers a choice to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the - by far - largest ski area in the world. However that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meribel ski resort guide". Alpine Action. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  2. ^ "A short History of Meribel". October 2019.
  3. ^ "Olympic movement official website". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  4. ^ 1992 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 106–109. (in English and French)
  5. ^ "Altitude Festival to quit Méribel". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  6. ^ "Vallées Official".
  7. ^ "Three Valleys Skiing Holidays | Three Valleys Ski Resorts".

7. Meribel Unplugged - A full on guide to Meribel and the 3 valleys ski area.

External links[edit]