Life at work has been interesting and not in a good way. With big layoffs in December, affecting my team more than others, I’m left feeling confused, angry and frustrated. Sure, I’ve still got a job, but is it where I should be? Yet I have no time for doubts. I’m conducting interviews for my master thesis and I’m so close to wrapping up over 2 years of studying alongside a full time job! I can’t let this new situation hold me back. So it was perfect that I had already planned to spend a lot of time in the Alps this winter, starting with 2 weeks in January.
I had barely recovered from a sleepless start of the new year, when I had to get up at 3am to go to the airport. My flight landed in Geneva around 8am and I strolled to the train station. A train took me to Cluses, from where I hopped on a local bus. It is the kind that only goes every 2 hours. But early in the afternoon I had already arrived in the tiny village of Morillon, too early to check in since there was no one at reception until 4pm. Luckily the cleaners let me in to wait inside the living room.
On Sunday I hit the slopes early. I walked through the still sleepy town, where the locals were setting up a few stalls for the weekly market. There was still no snow in sight really. Even arriving at Morillon 1100 by gondola didn’t change much. The snow line didn’t start until a bit higher, so my expectations were pretty low. Additionally, there were a lot of low clouds, drifting around the mountain. At times it was so foggy I really couldn’t tell up from down. So skiing was challenging and my orientation of the resort nonexistent. The signs were covered by a thick layer of snow, so I decided not to worry about directions until I wanted to return. But to my surprise, the snow quality was excellent and I quickly got my ski legs back.
The second day already offered some precious moments without clouds and by day 3 I was breaking through the clouds, skiing on top of them. Or rather, sandwiched in between the clouds in the valley and the clouds in the sky. The views were pretty spectacular and I could finally see how the different resorts and slopes connected. But it wasn’t until today that I had bright blue sky! Unfortunately the locals, all the way to Geneva, had noticed this as well and had come out en masse. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve seen such big lift lines! And the French are the worst! There is really no system to get on the ski lifts. Everyone fights for their spot, stepping on others’ skis, pushing to the front, elbowing someone along the way… One lady rudely pushed me aside, then turned around and said “oh, c’est très gentil”. WTF! There was no niceness in this picture.
In one week I’ve had many different conditions. Sometimes I found the perfect slopes, with excellent snow and nobody on them. I’ve found some fun moguls to play with, ungroomed slopes, little bits of powder on the side of the slope, the boardercross… But today I found my biggest nightmare. Finally they had opened up the lift Coulouvrier, so I had to check out the blue run that led there. What a mistake! The run hadn’t been used until today, but it was so scraped down by all the skis that it was one big ice slide. My skis wouldn’t grip and I was just sliding and sideslipping until I hit the bottom. I was in survival mode.
I have another week in Morillon and then 1 month coming up in March. It’s so nice to live this simple life. You ski. You go to the local bakery. You relax. You swim. You walk. You breathe in fresh air. You walk around in comfortable clothes. You don’t wash your hair because your helmet will ruin it tomorrow anyway. You watch some Netflix. You listen to music. Ok, maybe I should factor in some more time for studying… But the point is, life doesn’t have to be stressful. So how can I get more of this?