We’ve got a policy. Nobody ever says “one last run then?”. Never, ever, ever. It’s probably fatal, we’ve never risked it to find out.
However, we couldn’t really let the moment pass without acknowledging that, standing on the ridge between Morzine and Les Gets, we were about to have “one last run then”. This was going to be the very last blast of our season in the snow.
We’d already decided there would be a Winterized Project: Season 2 so that had gone some way to making it a little less painful but James and I gave each other a knowing look and set off for Les Get town centre where we were going to grab a baguette, have a final lunch in the mountains and then head downhill for the long way home.
It was lovely until James typically decided now was an appropriate time to start learning to ski backwards at speed – which inevitably resulted in a shunt and a very graphic explanation, at considerable volume, as to what specific part of his anatomy had been impaled on a ski binding. He’d barely got away with it this time and I put my foot down. No more fart-arsing around. We had got out of a season in the mountains relatively unscathed and this is the way our motorhome ski adventure was going to conclude.
We gingerly took the approach into the aire at Les Gets (it’s ski in, ski out – if you want to know about the place, check here) and then the hooligan in James surfaced again as he pointed the tips of his skis downhill and yelled something incomprehensible about only living once and ‘all that’. Emotion took over, I followed, and somehow both of us arrived 10 feet from the motorhome a few minutes later.
And this is where the motorhome ski part of our adventure ended. Unless you count the 2 hours it took us to fathom how to rejig the space inside the motorhome for travelling to the forest.
Low and slow.
James and I are by definition a horrible cliché. Had a life crisis, jacked it all in and headed for the hills. Nothing too odd about that. In fact, I can’t think of anyone we came across who wasn’t slap bang in the middle of an episode of ‘running away’ or seriously considering it and testing the water with a mini-adventure.
Our cross-country journey was somewhat painful. An incredibly beautiful route that we barely noticed as we were both in a colossal sulk and trying desperately not to take it out on one another. Examples of our exchanges included “You do recall that this machine has 6 gears don’t you…babe?” (the ‘babe’ was intended to soften this passive aggressive question but really didn’t work) and “It’s too hot. Why’s it too hot? Turn the heating down. Why is the bloody heating on???”.
And the road went on. We got lower. It was slow. It was stupidly hot. And the supermarkets stopped selling snow chains. And everything was moving too fast.
And that’s when we realised that there were a few very unexpected (yet obvious when you think about it) things that were considerably different about our new life, now we had moved out of the hills. And that is just how fundamental it felt. One minute we were mountain people, the next minute we were acting like remote Amazonian tribes people who’d been confronted by civilisation for the first time.
- James’s ‘chamois’ esque facial hair, complete with goggle tan and my Umpa Lumpa toned facial features, which in the mountains went completely unnoticed, now relegated us to hobos to the peoples of the lowland hypermarkets.
- It turns out that inflation didn’t shoot up by 100% whilst we were uphill and you can buy a packet of French beans for less than €6.
- It’s frowned upon to trundle aimlessly down the middle of the road (where the grip is better – obviously), and people use cars an awful lot. People don’t bother so much in mountains preferring to haul their shopping home by sledge or rucksack – it’s much less faff than digging your car out, jump starting the thing and then rallying to shops that don’t have car parks because they’re now lethal and/or parking for skidoos and snow clearing machinery.
- Everything moves too fast. Which seems odd since for the last 4 months we’d been whizzing about on slippery planks at breakneck speeds. We are still not ok with the speed of everything.
The list went on. In an effort to put a positive spin on it all, we discussed the upsides of being down the mountain.
- The variety of food on offer expanded 100% – although we now became completely incapable of making decisions with the amount of choice on offer
- Mindlessly opening skylights doesn’t come with the same level of jeopardy – think gunge tank but with snow
- General motorhome living is so much easier it’s barely worth comparing the two
- Leaving the the motorhome is synch. I liken this to Michael McIntyre’s skit on the difference between leaving the house with children, and those who don’t have children. Substitute with kids of ‘in the snow’ and you get the picture.
So – what now?
Well we went to Fontainebleau climbing (amazing but not snowy), we headed slowly up through France, Luxemburg and Belgium to the Netherlands where we stayed for a week to adjust and be bumbling tourists.
We’re now back – we have a million things to sort out and so much info, footage and imagery to edit and post, it’ll take us until next season to get it all done I’m sure. However, for those of you are considering a motorhome ski adventure, we will be updating the website with information we would have found invaluable had it been somewhere!
The Winterized Project Season 2 is already in spreadsheet format so watch this space.
If you’ve got any questions about motorhome ski adventures, living in the mountains, our kit, anything at all really – comment below or find us on social media and we’ll do our best to answer!