Mountain of the month January 2019; Mont Vallon, Meribel, France

Like Glastonbury all good things deserve a fallow year and ‘Mountain of the month’ fell slightly by the wayside in 2018. After reflecting on a year full of fun but slightly lacking in mountain times I’ve decided to bring ‘Mountain of the month’ back in 2019.

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A gorgeous sunrise set a beautiful tone for the week

Things got off to an exciting start as January’s mountain was one that was skied! Mont Vallon is part of Les Trois Vallees ski area and is accessed by cable car. There are two red runs descending from the top; Combe du Vallons and Campagnol. The peak is at 2952m and has spectacular views out into the backcountry.

What goes up must come down though and after taking in the beautiful view it was time to ‘bend zee knees’ and get down the piste. It had snowed heavily overnight and the Combe de Vallons was allegedly in superb condition. There were a few turns when I could feel my skis flying in a controlled, beautiful manner but I had made a slight error in being part of a mountain expert guided group and being very, very much at the not expert end of it. Before long my thighs were on fire as the ski guide happily bounded through the powder on the edge of the piste and exclaimed that we weren’t even a third of the way down…

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The red devil leads the way down Combe du Vallons

The run descends over 3km from top to bottom losing 960m of vertical height. It was one I am proud to have skied but, one that, due to the speed it was necessary to descend at to keep up with the group, one that ruined me for the rest of the week!

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Pushing the boundaries of the term ‘salad’

It felt so luxurious to spend a week in the mountains so soon after Christmas. We had great weather; snow at the beginning of the week and two absolutely bluebird days. We stayed in Les Menuires, which was the perfect low key resort. Food and drink in resort and on the mountains was of excellent quality; we particularly enjoyed eating at Brasserie des Bellville in La Croisette where their ‘big salads’ are certainly that and the lovely chalet hut Chalet des Neiges at the top of the Roc 1 gondola.

We stayed in the incredibly relaxing Les Menuires Hotel and Spa which was run by Neilson. The half board was excellent and the sauna and pool with mountain views were much needed at the end of each days skiing.

A weeks skiing felt like a real treat and going on a package tour was so stress free compared to our usual multi-stop, independently organised holidays. If only my skiing skills could match up to the 10/10 experience the rest of the holiday provided!

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One of the distant mountains is almost definitely Mont Blanc

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