When Spring sprang in the Alps

Typically, one associates Spring with fresh starts and new beginnings.

The sun came out

And even though its been getting depressingly melty…

it’s been literally amazing.

It’s been HOT. We’ve been tanning as we ski.

Sunbathing in the snow…

Apres-ing in a t-shirt.

Finding little streams and embracing new photo opportunities.

And for the first time, you could ski among the trees and hear the birds and smell that awesome foresty-piney-earthy smell. LUSH.

But otherwise, there has been little freshness to our Spring here.

We seemed to just descend deeper into seasonaire nuttiness.

Now so adept at our jobs that we could hide how much chalet wine we were really consuming only work three hours a day and could cook the entre menu half cut with our eyes shut… there was nothing for it but some hard core partying and skiing. We stepped up, and took it to the next level.

Rude not to when life is such a dream.

So hands down, March has been the maddest month.  Hence my blogging silence as I lost the time/intellectual capacity to put fingers to keyboard and share the adventure.

Well, here it is. Finally. When I’ve got one week left.

But this last week, and what comes after it, will be a whole different blog post. Pieced together mostly from photographic evidence once I awake in the UK from my its-the-last-week-lets-go-mad coma.

Anyway, what DID Spring bring?

I mentioned beauty…

Did I mention onesies?

Oh, there’s been some corkers.

Aside from 80’s slope fashion, another of March’s highlights was without a doubt the X-Games!

With just as much nervous excitement as an OCD child given 120 wonky fridge magnets, we undertook a messy road trip to witness the spectacle of the snowboard super-pipe final.

It was a sweet, sweet day.

It began, naturally, with an attempt at skiing before the big competitions kicked off.

I say attempt, because I think we did about one run before realising our bodies were so broken from three straight days of partying… that our gear was soon back in the van…

In exchange, logically, for beer.

However, I probably shouldn’t have bothered.

Because six far-too-hastily-consumed beers later, while everyone else stood at the edge of the super pipe and witnessed the one and only Shaun White and his tumbling ginger locks do a 360 RIGHT ABOVE THEIR HEADS….

I was… guess what…. Looking. For. A. toilet.

Yep, I missed this gold-medal-winning display http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-W-Z8ug4Sk

For something resembling this

Mel Elderfield- Nearly wetting herself at every opportunity since 1988.

My bladder is like a crème egg. Far smaller than you expect it to be.

Anyway, obligatory wee dramas aside, I still had a blast.

And the day ended, as any good day should, with a spot of après.

…And a naked guy on the roof.

BOOM.

Which leads me nicely to our own après exploits.

The photos say it all. Future employers look away now.

Im not quite sure why, but it just seems a good idea at the time. Put it this way, I can’t get half naked on a skidoo when I’m 90 (but if I do, I’ll be the best 90 year old in the world).

Our après sessions indeed usually tend to get out of hand, and the walk home is no exception.

The slopes become a playground.

But I will maintain that it all starts out fairly civilised.

Give or take.

And then we just get chatting to people. Usually people with costumes.

And then our guests turn up and start dancing on tables, and it would be rude not to join in.

And of course there is usually an immense band on, and an array of onesies on display, and its day off, and everyone just gets quite generally quite excitable.

Especially Pete ‘show us ya meat’ Carson.

Its worse if you have cool guests though.

Who, despite being casually abused..

Still buy you drinks

Some of them are crazy generous, like this mad Welsh bunch

Possibly, just POSSIBLY, my favourite bunch of guests.

Now, you do hope that sometimes guests will embarrass themselves more than you

But with these guys, I don’t think that was the case. Im certain of it.

Chaos did ensue the week the Welshy’s were in, and I 100% blame their drink buying generosity.

Especially the morning I came in with a black eye because I face planted up the piste when one of them had to walk me home. Which was further compounded when I head-butted my bunk bed the next night. Ouch!

For being such legends, they got the special reward of a night out right before changeover day, which we NEVER do. When you’re still doing tequila shots at 2am, and then serving breakfast at 6:30am… well, it’s not pleasant.

That was possibly the worst changeover day of the season. The hangover was the least of our troubles though, it was more the SEVEN chalets we deep cleaned in a row. We worked solidly from 6am until 9pm, and it was HORRIFIC.

But we still had fun!

And it seems that despite our hectic ways, my hosting was approved of. And I quote, straight from Tripadvisor:

‘Having been on 10 previous chalet trips I can honestly say this was the best yet. The reason for this was our host Mel. She cooked excellent meals that were always tasty and on time but more than that she actually socialized with us. On the second night she gave us a tour of the town and recommended the best bars and events that were on during the week. You could take the best part of the ten previous hosts I have experienced and put them into one human being and they still would not compare to Mel.’

A ‘tour of the town’ is an incredibly diplomatic way to put it, and I am eternally grateful for such vague terminology. And the 20euros such a positive review adds to my meagre wages. Thanks Tom!

So, X-games, sunshine and Apres have been the adventures of March. What am I missing? Oh yeah, that little thing we’re all supposedly here for, the skiing.

We’ve skied a lot. Including a cheeky road trip to Val Thorens to pick up a box of crap from my old apartment say goodbye to Matt and Alfie and the rest of the team.

This is Will looking very happy in a gondola in Val Thorens.

And this is Paula wiping out.

Indeed, now we have all got to the same ‘lets just hack it everywhere’ level, we always have a lot of fun with our ski sessions.

I do believe I am trying to do ‘the plank’ here. Im not sure I could even do this without skies on anymore, such that my Chalet Girl Ass has become.

But that’s just it, it’s all about living in the moment. I can diet when I get home. Pffft. I can sleep when I get home. But I cant ski when I get home, I can’t après when I get home, and I certainly cannot behave like such a nutcase when I get home!

And that, ladies and gentlemen will be the closing sentiment of this account of the beginning of the end of skeason. Where has the time gone? It’s gone to the FUN FUN FUN of living in the moment.

And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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