Skiing was something I feared my entire life for no apparent reason. Strangely I grew up in a home that’s approximately half an hour drive from the slope, a baby one but regardless. Not taking a chance to learn in the past made me think that I probably should leave the idea of being a skier behind and move on to bigger and safer things like beaches.
When Ski Total asked me to come along to Meribel for a press trip to learn how to ski, I thought to myself it’s now or never. The universe is sending a signal that I should take a plunge and face my fears. This year I genuinely decided that I don’t want to do “New Year New Me” resolutions but more focus on improving my old self and facing what I fear. So I kicked the first month of the year with one of my biggest fears skiing. Paragliding would be my worst biggest fear as well as bungee jumping, but in all honesty, those actives are something I would never do. So I’m sticking to skiing as this scary thing that a girl in her 30’s decided to tackle.
Meribel is the best place to go as a first-time skier. I can say this because of how much support there is on the slopes as well as the size of the piste. I went to Verbier after Meribel and wished I was back in Meribel as Verbier was scary as hell but I went for it.
We flew to Geneva and had the airport transfer booked by the Ski Total team. It took us about 2 hours to arrive at the Chalet Hotel Alba. Locate in such proximity to the slope that it overlooks the Doron slopes, the Rond Point, as well as the entire Méribel valley. Each room furnished in chalet style comes with an ensuite and a balcony, making you’re waking up that much more exciting especially when It snows outside. The views are beautiful.
I also loved the communal areas as everyone staying in the hotel would come together in the evening before and after dinner to enjoy a nightcap next to a fireplace and perhaps have a cheeky game of quiz. Something I shamefully skipped since I don’t like to be put on the spot when it comes to general knowledge testing. We did, however, decide to enjoy an additional bottle of wine after dinner. Dinner and breakfast served in a buffet style with an option to have all inclusive which can be a little dangerous if you are a wine lover. Worry not, however, as the fresh mountain air takes the hangover away in a jiffy.
Meribel Ski School
Since the time of our arrival was past six, we picked our skis up the following morning from the Meribel town centre, after with we headed for my first ski lesson ever. I thought poor instructor, he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, but he does. There are thousands of people like me visiting Meribel each season and the instructor are so well used to beginners and have the patience of steel. They are so friendly and amazing that I wanted to be friends with them after I left the mountain. Its so funny how a stranger can convince you to trust them with your life within an hour of meeting them and I was so glad I did. I spent an amazing two days with my instructors Stephane and Olivier both Meribel locals and adventurists. The Ski School here is seriously amazing that I can’t recommend it enough. Without them, I would still be scared of skiing. Instead, I feel like I can achieve anything that I put my mind to this year.
Meribel Ski Terrain
The Meribel Ski terrain is indeed beginner friendly that it made acquiring new skiing skills that much easier. The slopes were wide, and you have enough space to practice your turns and plough braking. I only fell once in Meribel wherein Verbier I dropped at least five times, and I’m not ashamed.
Ski Range is from 1,400m to 3,230m. The state of the art system makes it easy to travel between the valleys, and the lifts can get you to a top of the piste in no time, leaving more time actually to learn how to ski. I was terrified of the open air chair lifts due to my vertigo anxiety, but my instructor helped me get through it making me face yet another fear. I did it guys; I did it.
Aside from the fantastic ski terrain and well prepared and patient ski school, the vast variety of chalet bar and restart will leave you wanting to stay for longer. I swear there is something about being in the mountains. People are friendlier and everyone is down for a little Apres ski action after tiring day on the slopes.
Ski Total offers all-inclusive packages starting at £750, and you can get more information here.
This post and my newly acquired skills delivered to you as a courtesy of Ski Total and Meribel Tourism Board. All of the opinions are my own 🙂