The best ski touring routes in Méribel, in the heart of the 3 Vallées

January 23, 2023

For your next holiday in the mountains, it's decided: you want to discover new sensations.

The fresh snow covering the slopes of the 3 Vallées ski area makes you want to try another activity and leave the ski pistes behind. With the winter sun, wouldn’t it be a good time to try ski touring? Climbing the peaks without using the lifts brings personal pride and leads riders to overlook great views.

However, ski touring requires a certain amount of technical skill and knowledge of mountain risks. We recommend that you start with an instructor or guide.

Find the best ski touring itineraries to try in Méribel and the advice of the professional freerider, Jérémy Prevost.

We asked Jérémy Prevost

Professional freerider and former competitor of the Freeride World Tour in 2011

How do you prepare before a ski touring session?

For an off-piste ski touring session, I start by looking at the weather forecast, the BERA (bulletin of avalanche risk estimation), I also sometimes call friends who are mountain professionals to get their feedback on the current conditions. I can also look at the Iphigénie and Topo applications, to familiarise myself with my route.

I then pack my gear, including ski and off-piste safety equipment (avalanche beacon, shovel and probe). I put water, food and a change of clothes in my bag (e.g. gloves and a small down jacket).  I generally make sure that I tell someone close to me about my itinerary.

What does ski touring bring to the person who practices it?

Quite simply a feeling of freedom. You go hiking to find peace and solitude. The aim is to get away from it all and the whole outing should be seen as a journey. If you want to eat up negative altitude changes and focus on the amount of downhill, don’t go. But if you want to enjoy and find beautiful, unspoilt corners, then this is more for you!

After all, some people see hiking as a sport activity such as running or trail running, with the objective of climbing as fast as possible and sweating a lot!

To each his own practice and his desires, there is something for everyone.

What are your favourite ski touring routes in Méribel?

I often say it but it depends on the weather conditions and also on the snow cover. The mountain changes every season and the outings can be different.

To warm up, or when the weather is bad, I can do simple climbs such as the marked itineraries of the resort for example. In fact, in Mottaret, there is an itinerary of 370m of positive difference in altitude and 2 km. A good way to start without getting lost in the mountain.

On a good day, the Borgne glacier is a magnificent place with a 600m climb, but it is really only recommended for those with an expert level. Beware, the area is wild and far from the marked slopes. You head into this area at your own risk.

As to timing, it is very variable depending on the people, the equipment and the snow conditions. For me, I have a cruising pace of about 600 metres per hour. I like to look at the mountain, take pictures and enjoy the moment.

I’m a beginner and I want to try ski touring, what do you recommend?

Simply surround yourself with professionals such as instructors or guides. They will always be able to give you good advice and accompany you as you progress. Moreover, they are on the skis every day and so know the good places that will correspond to your expectations. They will also explain the use of the touring and safety equipment, which is essential.

An ideal itinerary to start with: Le Roc in Méribel-Mottaret

This year, discover the new marked ski touring itinerary, ideal to try this physical activity. Le Roc is an uphill slope entirely dedicated to the initiation to ski touring.

For 2 km and with 370m of D+, this itinerary allows you to take your first steps with skins.

From the Chalets gondola at the Hameau in Méribel-Mottaret, head towards the Chalet du Lac. When you get to the top, take a break and admire the view, before heading back down the slopes.

The route in the forest: Les Mûres Rouges

From the Châtelet shuttle bus stop, walk to the Tueda nature reserve.

At this point, put your skins on your skis and start the ascent by following the snowshoe trail to the Vallon path. Embark on a beautiful itinerary among snow-covered pines and views of Lake Tueda.

It takes about 1h30 to reach the beginning of Mûres Rouges and 2h15 to reach the top.

You can go back down by the blue Ours trail and take advantage of the forest crossing to breathe a little.

The panoramic route: Col de la Loze by the Altiport

If you are used to ski touring and you are looking for a nice physical route, we advise you to climb to the legendary Col de la Loze from the Rond-point des pistes. This itinerary combines sunny sections with a passage through the forest.

After about 600m of D+, enjoy the 360° view on the Courchevel and Méribel valleys. Come back down on the blue Boulevard de la Loze trail following the route of the Tour de France.

Top tips: always ask the ski slopes service or the Tourist Office about the state of the runs before setting off with your touring skis.

Now you have several ski touring route ideas to try during your next stay in Méribel.

To guarantee that your first outings will rhyme with safety, confidence and pleasure, book a guide or an instructor.