There’s no better feeling than clicking your boots into your skis and breathing in the mountain air before doing your first run of the day. I find it hard to describe the feeling I get when in the mountains – the freedom, the excitement. Growing up in Cornwall I was convinced I was a hot holiday/beach girl, but since I’ve discovered skiing, I’d say I prefer being in the mountains.
I’m not someone who grew up going on annual ski trips – I first went with my family for my 21st birthday to La Clusaz in France. I spent a week in ski school and felt like I picked it up pretty well, confidently skiing down most of the slopes and having a nice time. But I don’t think at that point I’d really fallen in love with skiing yet. Sure, I liked it – I enjoyed it, it was fun, I liked the holiday.. But it didn’t give me the same amazing feeling I get from skiing now, until my third time skiing in Flaine. I didn’t necessarily ski brilliantly all week by any means – I had some wobbles, left my ski school because I freaked out on one piste and had hurt my knee… Skiing always includes a fair amount of tears for me – but that doesn’t make me love it any less. I don’t really believe in my ability, and quite often will freeze and have an ‘I can’t do it’ tantrum. But I always do do it (I’ve only once taken my skis off and walked down the piste – the first time I skied!) and I think it is the pushing yourself, fear and adrenaline which make me love it so much. The sense of achievement when you look back up at the mountain you’ve just come down, feeling the crisp mountain air burn your cheeks… There’s nothing quite like it.
For all the reasons above we decided to do a season in Morzine, France last Winter. This only made me love skiing more – even though I got off to a rough start. During our first few weeks we only skied a handful of times and when we did there was hardly any snow, meaning the conditions weren’t great. This left me feeling like I’d lost any skill I had had previously, and leaving such big gaps between each day was new to me – I’d only ever gone on holidays where I’d skied 7 days straight – all day, every day. Going from this to a couple fo hours once a week meant I felt like I was going back to square one every time. But this was only for a few weeks, and a month in I was loving it. I’d started to know the runs, know which I could do and feel super confident on the ones I’d once frozen on. By the time we left I was gutted – I wanted to stay forever. Even now I wonder why I’m back in the UK and not just living in the mountains (spoiler alert, hopefully we won’t be next winter!).
I always used to annoy James as I’d be constantly stopping at the top of the mountain to take in the views. A piste you could be down in a few minutes would take me a considerably longer time, just because I wanted to take it all in. I’m not scared of heights but they do make me feel a bit funny, yet at the top of a mountain I never felt scared, I just thought it was incredible. I’ve only ever seen the mountains in the snow, but I hear they’re just as incredible in the summer. Some lifts stay open, pistes turn into bike tracks and there are amazing view points to walk to or sit down at for a picnic. When you only know somewhere as a snowy paradise it’s strange to imagine it as anything but, yet seeing the photos of Lake Montriond in the Summer makes Morzine top of my list of places I’d like to go back to and see in the sunshine. It seems as if the whole town transforms – imagine living somewhere with proper seasons like that!
I think the hardest thing about not being able to travel is the possibility of not being able to ski this year – I really hope this is something we’ll be able to do! Until then, I’ll sit at home watching my favourite ski films and looking back through old photos from days on the slopes. I’ll be back soon <3
This post is written as an entry for the AliKats’ Dream of Mountains Challenge.