The slopes in Les Trois Vallées never sleep, making it a happy hunting-ground for adrenalin-junkies – ski by day, party by night, and, if you’re lucky, sometimes both at once! With plenty of winter events in Courchevel and Méribel, you need never suffer from FOMO: but for those who did miss out this year, here’s a roundup of the headline acts:
Europa Cup, Alpine Skiing (23-27 Jan, Méribel)
First up on the piste was the Europa Cup, with the action kicking off left, right and centre. It features a Super-G speed event, a slalom technical event, and a downhill speed event, all combined to sort the pros from the rookies. It was not for the faint-hearted, even just to watch.
Snow and Fire Show (7, 14, 21 Feb, Courchevel)
Whoever said snow and fire don’t go together? They were the perfect match in this incredible show, which featured ski instructors performing with flaming torches and projectors, followed by a stunning display of fireworks. Generous lashings of mulled wine also helped proceedings go down with plenty of sparks!
International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art (9, 16, 23 & 28 Feb, Courchevel)
If there weren’t enough flames for your liking at the Snow and Fire Show, then this was even hotter. One of the biggest events in Courchevel of the year, it saw over 8,000 visitors flocking to the town to bathe in the glow of an enormous fireworks show. But it’s not just a spectator sport: hundreds of people took to the slopes for a torch-lit descent. This one was a definite favourite.
Verdons by Night XXL (22 Feb, Courchevel)
For a spot of night skiing, the International Fireworks Festival was only the starter – this was the main course! With the Verdons piste completely floodlit, music buzzing on the speakers, hot food stalls, amazing views from the lifts, and quite simply, an electric atmosphere, this was one hell of a night!
Samse National Biathlon Tour (11-12 Mar, Méribel)
Not all events in Courchevel stole the limelight – Méribel played host to the Samse National Biathlon Tour, a huge event combining cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting, which always gets off to an amazing mass-start. This was winter sport at its most competitive, and most compelling.
Finale Millet Ski Touring 2017 (23 Mar, Courchevel)
And now, perhaps the best for last? This was the grand finale of the ultimate ski mountaineering challenge which takes place every year and sees competitors trek 3.2km between Le Praz and La Croisette. It was the time for getting decked out in some fancy dress and booking your space at the finish line for the final, Vertical Race course. Once the athletes had all crashed home, the party moved to Courchevel’s Envolée gymnasium for an epic night of drinks and dancing.
Missed out this year? No sweat. Just reset the watch and get ready to repeat next winter. Block out your calendar now – winter events in Courchevel and Méribel are going to be even bigger for 2018, so start planning.
Luckily it doesn’t take much organisation to get out to Les Trois Vallées. All you need to do is fly out to Geneva (easyJet offer return flights from £60), and then cruise off in a pre-organised transfer from Shuttle Direct. They offer fixed, low-cost prices, and if you give them a heads-up when you make your booking that you’re bringing ski gear with you, they’ll make sure there’s plenty of space in the hold for your equipment. Save the energy for the slopes – see you in 2018!