My name is Magali and I was born in the magnificent valley of Méribel les Allues. I have always loved living here. I like the combination of nature and the mountains as a huge playground. We have here a simplicity of life that does not exist elsewhere. After the winter season - 5 months which absolutely fly by - we find calm: we visit our bees, walk in the forest, quietly watch the woodpeckers for several minutes... A calm returns to our mountains and it's great to experience these two distinct states.
This is my 9th season at S3V. I started working at the Verdons gondola and I am now at Reception Control. What I love about this job are the people! The contact, the discussions, the information, the advice. I like to help people learn the names of local mountains, not just Mont Blanc! We have very beautiful summits: the Aiguille du fruit which is so majestic no matter from which angle you look at it, the formidable Grande Casse... I like it when visitors share where they come from, what they have done, what they are looking for from their ski holiday. I'm asked about everything: which routes are in the sun, itineraries according to the group’s levels... The 3 Valleys map is practical but we also provide personalised information, such as the less frequented routes according to timetables and according to ability. The hardest thing is when it's too hot: ski boots are made for the cold, not for spending a day at 15 degrees! But in general I am always happy to go to work.
In the summer I work at the Lac de la Rosière snack bar and I make salads and Breton crèpes (pancakes). I don’t like to boast but I think that we Savoyards are excellent at making Breton pancakes (laughs). And I climb! (Editor's note: her spouse has equipped part of the climbing wall in Courchevel with the CSO of Courchevel, in "Prameruel". The place is magical, lost in the mountains... An absolute must-do if you come to visit us this summer and you enjoy climbing, and it’s perfect on a hot day!).
I ski, mostly off-piste, and enjoy hiking and climbing. I also love ski touring, but in two very different ways. I go out with my partner who is a snowboarder – he’s got into splitboarding (note: a splitboard is snowboard that is cut into two parts which makes it possible to ski tour) and with him it's pretty full on! We put on the skins for the approach walk and then after a while we end up putting our skis on our backpacks to go up on foot. Not necessarily with crampons and ice axes because we don’t always think about taking them, but we’re not putting ourselves in danger! We always agree to turn back if we’re not feeling it - we'll be able to come back another time, the mountain won't move. Our aim is to discover all the facets of our mountains, especially those that we have in front of us on a daily basis. For example, now we could map the Aiguille de Fruit: apart from the faces we can’t go down, we have done pretty much all the couloirs. I feel really good on this mountain. The second way to practice it is with my girlfriends: we chose cooler, easier routes.
We feel free! No mask, we can talk nonsense and no one listens. Being scared is galvanising, but the pleasure it gives always comes after the adventure is over. When you're up high you only think about going down and when you're at the bottom, you just want to be up high again... It's very addictive. It's not even that I like to put myself in danger, because I am always in control, but I get out of my comfort zone, I surpass myself, I fully live the present moment. It is also about the pride of passing a milestone and seeing yourself evolve.
My favourite spot here in the 3 Valleys is the Aiguille du Fruit, as I said above. She is just so beautiful! But for a more gentle hike, I would recommend the Brêche de la Portetta (Editor's note: With a guide, of course!). Also the Vallée des Avals, and the Petit Mont Blanc for example. There are plenty of things to do! Out in the ski area, I love being on the Marmottes chairlift: it is perfectly located, next to the Aiguille du Fruit, and there are binoculars available for anyone to use to look for the chamois on the opposite mountain. Plus in Spring, the marmots start peeking out. The sun on the ridge as you get higher is just gorgeous… And the team is nice!
One dayI have tried to take the ski patrol exam, but I think I suffer from exam stress as I just lose it every time, I never ski as badly as during the exam! But I'm not giving up and I'll get back to it as soon as I feel ready.
Well, I don't actually make the pizzas, I sell them. They are made with love. A little passion and good ingredients makes a great recipe! I’m biased as the owner is my partner, but the Black Pearl pizza restaurant in Saint Bon is well worth a detour. With a background in physics and chemistry, Yann meticulously proves his dough and the pizzas are made with very local products: we pick blueberries, mushrooms; the honey comes from our bees; the rocket and the onions come from our veggie patch… And for the other ingredients, we source our supplies from producers who focus on sustainability and are as local as possible.
(Editor's note: Black Pearl Pizza Restaurant in Courchevel Saint Bon is a real treat and Magali and Yann are victims of their own success, you often have to book well in advance!