Even if this year winter seemed a bit shy at the beginning, by the beginning of December changed its mind. It was definitely in a rush to arrive and take its place in the mountains after autumn. It started hitting hard with about a meter of snow in the valley, and sent few more dumps over the following two weeks. Courmayeur was first to open and gave me the opportunity to ski and ride lines that normally are not in great condition until late January.
The amount of snow outside my flat and in my little garden should give you a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about:
With all this snow, avalanche risk is very high at the moment, so yesterday I decided to leave my Splitboard at home and went over to the Gran Massif to ride the resorts over there with some local friends.
This is how Les Praz looks like at 7.30am when I leave Chamonix:
I love Saturdays. It’s the changeover day in Hotels and private Chalets and always the quietest day of the week in the resort. These are the ski slopes in Samoens on a typical quiet January Saturday morning.
Even if my body is comfortably seating on a chairlift, it doesn’t take long to my mind to start wandering outside resort boundaries. When I get to the top of Tete De Saix, the first thing I look at is a peak called Le Môle:
I’ve been looking at it for the past few winters, but for one reason or another, I still haven’t climbed and skied it. When I had the right crew the conditions were not right, and were conditions were perfect, I wasn’t around. I might say that this is going to be the winter I’ll finally stand on the top of it, strap in, and ride down, but I can’t really tell, can I? And to be honest, I don’t really care. If it happens, I’ll be happy; but if it doesn’t again, it’ll be fine too.
Society makes it harder to live in the present moment, and truly be content with what we have right now, without planning or expecting something else, something better that what we already have. It’s always about what we are doing next, either this afternoon, tomorrow, or in six months. The aspect of my routine I like the least is planning ahead, but it’s the price I’m choosing to pay to squeeze in my life places, passions, and people. I hope I’m getting a little bit better at it though.
Over the past few years I rushed around quite a lot, uncertain what exactly to look for, waiting for my life to happen. I remember finding it rather unsettling at times. I’m in a better place now, because I know that sometimes it’s just a question of taking a deep breath and daring to stand still long enough. I now let life flowing down, and settle around me, just like snow!
This was my first line. I’ve been dreaming about this for a while: few turns floating on the powder field at the top, then dive into the tall trees, along a little path, and then back at the chairlift for another loop. I could do this all day. In fact, I will do it all day.
Sometimes in life happiness really is all about flowing…and floating.