Season Opener, Meribel, December 2011

Season Opener
Meribel, December 2011

So it snowed. A lot. And just in time!

Group shot

The last couple of weeks before our Trois Vallees Season Opener were a nervous time for Team Inside Out. Along with everywhere else in Europe winter had not arrived and virtually no snow had fallen. Pistes were still green and cows could still be seen on the upper pastures. Things were beginning to look a bit "touch 'n go" for our coaching holiday. Around the time we were making contingency plans the weather forecast began to look a bit more positive. Then they began to look great, and then they began to look simply awesome and the snow eventually began to fall in amazing quantities! In the week before we arrived the Trois Vallees went from green to glorious white!

Everyone arrived on Saturday and settled in to the extremely comfortable chalet in Meribel Les Allues that was our base for the week. Spacious, comfortable and with a great jacuzzi it's our second year of using it and everyone seems really happy there. Great food, friendly and very helpful staff make it a great base for the week.

Grange7 Bedroom

Sunday opened to perfect blue sky, empty pistes and generally pretty good snow (although somewhat crisp first thing). Both groups headed towards Les Menuires for a warm up on the blues and reds and the first coaching session of the week. It was terrific to back in resort at the start of the season! The coaching sessions at the start of the week typically work on the technical fundamentals of skiing, looking at the range of movements we make, how quickly we need to make them and when in the turn we commit to those movements. This provides a great foundation for later work , as well as ensuring everyone can take advantage of the tactical and psychological challenges that lie ahead!

sualire1 coffee


Monday saw a change in the weather, bringing wind, snow, and occasional low visibility. This was to be the pattern for the rest of the week. It gave us great snow to work with, with powder on piste for some off-piste development and some easy off-piste, but plenty of weather to contend with. For some of the group it was their first time skiing powder snow, and everyone upped their game, making nice turns in the superb snow. With every coaching session we aimed to push everyone to ski as well as they could, and the whoops of delight seemed to indicate that it was working!

Group 2

Dave Linds

Jill Chris

Mid-week saw even more weather with high winds that eventually shut almost every lift in the Trois Vallees, but not before Scott's group had dropped down Saulire to the Courchevel side. Rob's group decided that Meribel was the better place to be, so skied down from Saulire in blizzard conditions, thinking the wearer couldn't get any worse. But it did, and Scott's group returned to Meribel just as links were closing for a well-deserved lunch at Lodge du Village. Along the way knee-deep snow was skied, and when off the ridge the wind was not so bad. Video feedback in the bar at the end of the day, listening to local band “Bring Your Sisters” was a good way to round off a good, but challenging day!

Group 3

Bar Bar2

By the end of the week everyone's skiing had made noticeable, and sometimes dramatic changes. Most people took a bit of a wipe-out from time to time, but emerged from the deep snow with a big smile. Unfortunately the final day was a bit of a wash out has high winds and warm temperatures meant the valley was shut down, but we took advantage of extended bar time to finish with some drinks and laughs.

Synchro 1 Simon

Jill-2 Group5

For more photos see the online gallery from this trip.

It will be good to see some of the Meribel team later in the season when we head to the Dolomites for the Italian Food & Fun coaching holiday...