January is traditionally one of the quieter months in the skiing calendar which makes it a great time of year to find a bargain on a Meribel package deal (and the slopes should be pretty crowd free too). This doesn’t mean you’ll be skiing in a ghost town - Meri’s après scene rarely sees a dull moment with a whole host of parties taking place at lively bars like Jack’s and Evolution.
There are usually all kinds of competitions taking place in Meribel, which have included the likes of the FIS World Cup in recent years. When there’s a competition in town, it can be a brilliant time to visit – there’s plenty of over-enthusiastic cowbell ringing and the atmosphere is lively and friendly.
January Snow History
Average snow depth
Average snow depth
January ski rating
One huge selling point of Meribel during the coldest months of the year is the fact that the majority of its slopes face south, west or east which makes it a comfortable place to ski in January (the other resorts in the Three Valleys generally face the north and will probably be colder and icier). On an average January day in Meribel, the temperature is usually be around 0.6 degrees at resort-level with highs of 4.9 and lows of -3.8 possible.
This isn’t the snowiest resort in the world, but with an average snow depth of 95cm at the top of the Mount du Vallon piste (2952m) and 55cm at the bottom (1,450m) there’s very rarely a distinct lack of it! There are also a whopping 700 snow cannons, which make sure that 55km of terrain (36%) is adequately covered, regardless of whether there have been any recent dumps.
Experts will love the popular Face run, which was built for the 1992 Olympics, it’s a blast first thing in the morning when it’s freshly groomed. If you need shelter from the snow or wind, check out the black Bosses run, a treed descent that feeds into a blue and is serviced by the Plan De L’Homme lift. Meribel is an absolute paradise for intermediate snow lovers as the area is littered with red runs. When visibility is poor, Raffort is a lovely tree-lined run and one of the longest reds in Meribel. Half way down Saulire, Manduit is also a treed red run that provides plenty of shelter. The resort is attractively surrounded by woods and this is where you’ll find green runs like Blanchot and Forèt, which provide shelter from the worst of the January weather.
This isn’t even taking into account the vast 3 Valleys, which thanks to Meribel’s position right in the heart of it, is pretty much at your doorstep waiting to be explored...
There’s rarely a dull moment at Meribel, even in quieter months like January.
If you want to be at the liveliest bars in town, be sure to pay Rond Point, Jack’s Bar and Evolution a visit.
Meribel hosts all kinds of competitions throughout the winter, including the FIS World Cup (Super G, Slalom, Downhill), Subaru Biathlon Challenge (around Altiport piste) and the French Freestyle Moguls Cup at the Bartavelle piste in previous years. Be sure to see whether these events are being held this January as the town will have a fantastic carnival atmosphere, making it a super time to visit.
Bizarrely, Jack’s Bar usually hosts an annual hot dog eating competition in January. If you fancy giving it a go, see whether it’s happening this year. If you manage to consume the most hot dogs in 10 minutes, there’s a 150 Euro Cash Prize to be won...
There are usually ice hockey matches taking place at La Chaudanne rink throughout the season and the atmosphere of a match alone makes it great experience.
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