The season trap

It’s almost getting too much. I know I keep going on about it, but now that snow has started falling, I really, really want to get out to the mountains.

This week pictures of snow in the Alps, Whistler, Colorado, Utah and even Scotland have been flying around the social media sites, pushing my resolve to settle down and do a ‘proper’ job, to the absolute limit.

View of Whistler on 15 Oct

For at the same time as these pictures and videos of snowy mountains, and even powder, are appearing in my news feed, the first reminders of the reality of winter in the UK are also starting to creep into my consciousness. The Indian summer which delayed this onset for a while finally seems to have come to an end, and besides, the effects of climate change aren’t able to alter the rising and setting of the sun and there’s been no hiding the fact that, for a while now, the days have been rapidly drawing in.

Video of opening (powder!) day in Wolf Creek which tipped me over the edge

And if this wasn’t depressing enough, work is starting to get really busy in the build up to the start of the season. That’s the problem with working in this industry. While it’s great to work in a field that you’re passionate about, talking to people who are out in the mountains while you’re stuck in an office in an invariably grey and dreary London, can be tantamount to torture.

View of Chamonix on 9 Oct

It’s a reminder of why I made the decision to swap the office job for winter seasons in the mountains in the first place. Why would I want to put myself through having to contend with travel disruptions in London due to ‘inclement weather’ in order to get to an office where I spend all day sat at a desk talking to people who are “just on the chairlift”, “having the most amazing powder day” or “just having a few après beers in the sun”? Why indeed…

The other day I even found myself looking to see if there were still any interesting jobs going out in resort, ready to renege on all my well intended efforts to ‘further my career’, and leap at any opportunity to get back out there.

First snow on Iron Mountain, Park City

But then I remembered why I’d made that seemingly questionable decision to break out of the season cycle. I had several reasons. I may well even have written a list where the ‘cons’ outweighed the ‘pros’; am too old, doesn’t pay well enough… and, erm, I sure there were more! But the overriding factor was that it can become a cycle (to precede that with ‘vicious’ would be going too far) that it’s very difficult to break out of. While it’s amazing to spend 4-5 months in the bubble that is ski resort life, when the snow disappears, so do the majority of the jobs, and you inevitably have to return to reality.

Not quite so inviting, but it's snow ... in Scotland ... in October!

In these challenging economic times, it can be really tough returning home and trying to find work, invariably having to settle for something that you’re vastly over-qualified for, just to get some money in the bank. But it’s summer, so it doesn’t seem so bad, and you can stick it for a few months… So, by the time summer starts to draw to a close and thoughts shift to the impending winter months, it’s nigh on impossible to resist the allure of doing another season.

I don’t want to deter anyone who’s about to head out to do a ski season, far from it. It’s an incredible way to spend a winter, or several! And if truth be told, if I could, I’d be sorely tempted to head out for another one. But as it stands, I’m going to try to convince myself that focusing on my career is the best plan for now… and start planning some consolatory snowboarding trips!


4 responses to “The season trap

  1. The cure: Book yourself a cool ski holiday and see it from the other side… the long parties, empty wallet, the holy shit yet another load of newbies to deal with, “I can’t go out every night and drink jagermeister – feeling” then doing it!, the lack of cash, the “I have eaten in every restaurant; I miss Salt and Vinegar crisps” mantra gets boring by Xmas.And the every weekend having a pal come and stay in your home and treat it like a hotel! NAH – season is for the yout’ – Keep it real and induldge in your passion with luxury and wonton abandon – for a week or two twice!

  2. Sounds great in theory! Not sure if my ski industry earnings will stretch to much luxury though…! You’re right though, I do remember being out in resort and feeling envious of holiday makers who can ride all day and drink all night without having to worry about work!

    And I do like salt and vinegar crisps 😉

  3. Bless. It’s this time of year that I have exactly the same thoughts!

    Soo..I just booked 4 star + luxury, including ski carriage, Espace Killy lift passes, chalet board with anhanced and unlimited booze etc etc for £528 in Val D! Get on it! It’s all about the early season deals, and after that it’s Christmas, and then another trip in Feb time maybe.. then a long weekend, then the snow’s getting rubbish and you’re glad that you’re not looking for a crappy Summer job!

    • That’s an amazing deal! And only a month until you’re there! Not sure if I’m going to manage too much this year, but hopefully I’ll be enjoying luxury skiing holidays again before too long! 🙂

Over to you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s