That time of year is nearly upon us – when I have to start blocking people from my social media feeds who constantly post pictures of powder and blue birds and white-outs. Winter is near, which means you seasonnaires will soon be packing up your bags, saying goodbye to your folks and hopping on a bus at Fleet Services to the Alps. Or on a plane to Canada.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that moving to the hills for the winter, away from the British rain and mizzle and choking grey, is the best thing in the world to do. But there are some things they don’t tell you when they sign you up to clean toilets for 6 months.
1 – You will get fat
Bacon. Eggs. Porridge. Cheese. Bread. Beer. More beer. Cake. More beer. Every day, all day for six months. Any idea you had of coming home with a toned, snow-trained body is a lie – you need the extra carbs to survive the cold after all.
2 – You won’t make it up the mountain every day
Not only will you be plagued by hangovers on a relatively regular basis thanks to chalet wine, but you’ll soon find yourself becoming a snow snob. If the weather isn’t sparkling blue skies, then there’s no point going out. You’d rather slowly stream Netflix from the bar across the street than ride in flat light.
3 – Mid season blues are a very real thing
But you will get over them, I promise. Invest in some serious mountain time, get your head stuck in the park and remember, when you make it home you’ll wish you were back on the slopes.
4 – Hangovers still exist at altitude
In fact, they’re worse. That little thing called water that you’re supposed to drink more of at altitude because you’re more dehydrated? Yeah. Drink it. Especially after a session at La Folie Douce.
5 – Your season friends will become your family
You will spend the next 6 months working, eating, sleeping, partying, riding, relaxing and sleeping with your fellow seasonnaires. Within two weeks you’ll be best friends, within a month you’ll know everyone’s bathroom schedules and by the end of winter you’re sure that you’ll suffocate when you part on English soil. Season friends will, and do, become family for life.
6 – Love could likely be in the air
Ski resorts have a bad rep for being filled with commitmentphobe boys who don’t wash their hair and girls who just want to have a little bit of fun. But have you ever actually looked around a ski resort? Couples holding hands everywhere and plenty of chalets owned by long-lost seasonnaires of age.
7 – You will be broke
You can’t survive on £250 a month and come home with dollah.
8 – You’ll never get it our of your system
No matter how old you get, how settled you become, there will always be a little part of you that longs for another winter in the mountains. To dredge through thick snow to find fresh lines on days off and to come home with aching thighs and chapped lips. There will always, always, be a huge part of you that longs to be in at altitude. And that’s OK. The hills shaped you.