While far away the clouds from this cold spring morning mingle, in a white uniform, with the tops of the mountains overlooking Méribel, the start is given. It is just nine hours. The 1500 skiers component of the 500 teams of the 17th edition of the “3 Vallées Enduro” race on the trails freshly groomed for the largest ski area in the world. By being accessible to skiers of all ages and levels, the 3 Valleys Enduro is cut, since its inception seventeen years old, a pretty reputation in the world of ski French.
the Ten events to accomplish in a day, regardless of the order, for a final ranking in three categories: pro, amateur and family. For one day these three valleys, all the fans of snowboarding on the planet envy us, will become a vast playing field where there will be events scattered over the 600 km of slopes, is 62.000 meters of elevation gain. A competition in which Le Figaro has had the privilege of participating, worthily represented by Sylvain Chatelain, assistant news editor of the Figaro Live , Jim Jarrassé, deputy editor in chief of the political department and Vincent Jolly, reporter at the Figaro Magazine . Three skiers, three services, three titles of the group gathered together as the pole of Tourism of le Figaro, for a team that runs as a single man a few minutes after the starting signal.
“We have made several changes on the plans of the slopes, to create paths more accessible to move between the different stations. “
barely sitting at the edge of the chairlift, and before the obvious superiority in the logistics of our competitors in the radio RTL, the development of a strategy is required. One of us removes a glove to read the plan almost hieroglyphic, which we had been distributed, braving the cold, the snow and the gusts of wind that whip the faces. “Need to go down Big Tougne to reach les Menuires, and do the slalom before going up to Val Tho to move quickly,” analysis, with a sagacity for which he is not foreign to the Jim Jarrassé, our team leader by default. To save time, and without knowing that this was going to lead to our failure, we decide to skip a test requiring a walk in the park to frolicking in the powder. After having completed the slalom in a time to rival the gold of the olympics, we leave full of enthusiasm to continue the competition.
The team “Figaro”, from left to right: Jim Jarrassé, deputy editor in chief of the political department, Sylvain Chatelain, assistant news editor of the Figaro Live , and Vincent Jolly, reporter at the Figaro Magazine. Vincent Jolly
For connoisseurs, the Three-Valleys are a playground without common measure. For the uninitiated, and particularly by bad weather, this paradise for skiers will soon be transformed into a small maze of lifts: nearly 200 in all. Find out on the seven stations (Brides-les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Orelle, Méribel, Courchevel, Val Thorens and les Menuires), even if the Enduro would take place on the last four, can meet the challenge. “It is true that it can be intimidating for newcomers and skiers unconfirmed”, admits the director of the association of the Three Valleys, Olivier Desaulty. “We have already made several changes on the plans of the slopes, to create paths more accessible to move between the different stations.”
“READ ALSO – Special snow: Méribel, the asset in the heart of the Three Valleys
It is barely noon when our valiant team crosses the finish line of the third race – a dangerous bordercross, during which our plucky cameraman Sylvain Chatelain door its goal more closely (too closely?) of skiers. Galvanized by our performance, and a right ankle at least for one of us, in the direction of the fourth: a jump on an airbag giant, that all members of the team Figaro pass with the grace of a young chamois.
After a pose beneficial in one of the booths provided for this purpose, which are served large portions of croziflette to competitors hungry, it is necessary to leave the trail. We échinons yet to decipher the plan to know what to choose between the lake and Saulire Express to reach our antepenultimate event… That we will never reach.
We climbed finally to the finish line, two events are missing on our list, but not without dignity, with only one idea in mind: to do better next year. A certain modesty we silenced the score to be sparkling that this team Figaro has obtained, for this first participation in the 3 Valleys Enduro.
On the field of the Three-Valleys Vincent Jolly BOOK PRACTICE
● Package the Three-Valleys – closing-April 22: 55,8€ / day for adults.
● Last snow in Val Thorens, the last station to close in the year, on 5 may.
● Access to Meribel and Val Thorens by TGV train from Paris to Moutiers. After a 45-minute drive to Méribel, an hour and a half to Val Thorens.
● Accommodation in Meribel: Hotel Eterlou ***, access to walking trails, outdoor heated swimming pool and sauna from€ 180 per night the week of April 15 to 21.
● 3 Valleys Enduro. Registration of€ 22 per person. Is usually held the first Sunday of April. For the edition 2020, the appointment will be on 5 April. Mark your calendar!
View this publication on Instagram