It’s a sweltering 30 degrees in London and here I am starting to write a blog on snowsports. This might strike you as a little strange, but when you work in this industry and skiing/snowboarding are your bread and butter (as well as your bread and butter pudding!) they tend to be at the forefront of your mind all year round.
As the sun beats in through the office window, I’m looking at pictures of fresh powder in Saas Fee and talking about snow conditions in Tignes in December. And as I bake on the common during my lunch break, I’m thinking about saving up for the snowboarding camp that I desperately want to do in March.
When you work in the ski industry one of the most common questions that you get asked is “what do you do in the summer then?” The simple answer is “a lot”! While you do have a reprieve from the chaos that ensues as soon as the first lifts of the season open, in many ways, planning for the season ahead can be an equally busy time. There are contracts to negotiate, programmes and training courses to plan and promotional materials to produce, to name but a few of the tasks that are currently in hand.
The same is obviously not true of seasonal jobs, so unless you take on a summer season job or choose to prolong the winter by heading to the southern hemisphere, the answer to the question may not be quite so straightforward. Securing a decent full time job for a short period of time can be difficult, and particularly so given the current climate. As a result many seasonaires find themselves taking on whatever they can get to tide them over during the summer months.
However, none of us are in this industry for the money, and it’s a love of the sport rather than a big pay cheque that keeps us here. It is ironic though that we should earn such a pittance when skiing/snowboarding are such expensive pursuits. Fortunately we do get quite a few discounts, freebies and work trips though! Like many snowsports enthusiasts, it does mean that we will invariably forgo a summer holiday so that we can afford to spend more time (and money!) in the mountains.
So, at least the sun’s shining here in the UK, allowing us to enjoy the distractions that summer offers, even if it is sometimes difficult to quash those cravings for the white stuff. I guess it probably doesn’t sound all that surprising to be dreaming of snow when it’s 30 degrees and 80% humidity outside, but this longing to be back on the slopes is definitely more than just a reaction to the hot weather.
And besides, with the air conditioning unit above my head spitting out icy cold air, for a fleeting moment I do actually feel like I could be at the top of the glacier in Tignes! If only…