Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mountains, snow

We got the Eurostar from St Pancras, to wake up in the mountains and the snow. Sounds romantic, is actually less so when you factor in the upright, uncomfortable seats, fellow passengers playing Eminem through speakers at 3am, the never-dimmed lights, waking every 45 mins because your back is seizing up (me) or not sleeping at all (M and the others).


All of this does not change the fact that on a Friday night at 7pm you are boarding a train post-work at St Pancras, and Saturday morning at 7am, still dark, there is the crunch of snow under your feet and the cold, fresh scent of it in the air. And that by 11am you are on the slopes, a million miles away from the artificially lit-office and the post-Christmas, post-New Year blues.

I'm not a particularly hardcore or adventurous skier. I can get myself down a mountain, mostly, and sometimes even with some elegance. But I've never been a first lift up, last run down sort of girl. I like the breathtaking views. I like the peaceful moments on the chairlifts, sun on your face, the soporific swoosh of skiers down below. I like rushing down a slope you know well, fast, thinking about nothing but the moment, then stopping for a hot chocolate. I like the end of a good days skiing, peeling of the layers, toes slowly thawing, stepping into a hot shower, warmth and water enveloping you and an evening of good company and card games ahead.

There were six of us. We mostly skied together, sometimes skied apart. Developed in-jokes and nicknames for each other. Ate lunch on the mountainside. The snow was fantastic, the weather glorious. We took it in turns to cook in the evening, drank snow-chilled beer and wine and cider from the balcony. On the final night ate our weight in melted cheese and could barely move from the restaurant. I practised my poker face, worked my way through a trashy novel (oh Jilly, how you kill me with your similes!), re-read Atonement, tears streaming. It was a wonderful week, and it took a big chunk of January, which let's face it can otherwise be miserable, with it.


  1. Sounds like how I like to ski. It's looks like you had the best time I love all of your photos.

  2. You just summed up everything I love about skiing holidays I haven't been in two years I need to go back! I'm not an adventurous skier either in fact I look back and think do I really throw myself down those inclines sure;t that wasn't me?!

  3. I love to Ski... I was in Les Arcs last winter! Actually your 4th photo down is a shot of the chalet i stayed in! I'm off to Alpe D'heuz in March... fingers crossed the snow stays!

  4. These pictures are beautiful and your trip sounded absolutely dreamy!! Uhhh i hear you on uncomfortable travel O_O I took a ten hour night train from croatia to venice when i was in europe this summer, it was horrendous! Our compartment was packed and an old man fell asleep on my shoulder :(

    Im so envious of your week and your skiing talents! Last time i went skiing i really needed the loo and my friend made me laugh so much that i pee-ed myself >_< and it nearly froze to my leg bahaha. Woopss sorry for this wordy (and revealing) comment! <3 xxx

  5. Love your mountain photos and the beer and the pony.

  6. Beautiful!

    I want a pony, and a sledge! I'd settle for some snow though!

    Atonement is spectacular. What did you think of the film in comparison?

    I am so glad you managed to rid yourself of a chunk of dreary January. And now, it is February, both short and nicer!

  7. Oh gosh I am so jealous! I've really, really missed not having snow this year! (I went to visit a friend in Norway at the start of the year and there was a little snow which was lovely.) Love the blue of the sky and the sunsets... and the beers in the snow! You're so making me want to go now!

  8. the beer in the snow is delightful! What a lovely tale from afar. January is a month most definitely put to bed, like other commenters have said, and it is grand that you have been away and had a lovely time.