Thursday, 29 October 2015

My name's Annie and I'm a Mountain Mile Muncher // #SkiExplorer


I had an email from Crystal Holidays asking what kind of mountain person I am. Well let's look at the bigger picture, I am a snow bunny there is no doubt about it. Living and working in the mountains was probably one of the most memorable parts of my life to date. Waking up each morning to fresh power, stunning blue skies and knowing that I'm going to have fun on the mountain, was worth all my hardwork in the chalet.



To pigeon hole myself is a bit hard because if you hadn't guessed from my blog I am a bit of a chameleon in all aspects of my life. I'm a little bit of all the skiing/snowboarding types out there... I love a good gadget, I'm a big fan of slope style, I like luxuries, I'm known for clocking up with miles... and I am renowned to packing a flask but also misplacing my gloves. However like my other activities in life I'd say I'd be best suited as a Mile Muncher.



Mile Muncher

You spend most of your time… racing to make the last lift

You’re capable of taking on most of the mountain, and this year you’re going to cover every last metre. Your gear’s showing signs of wear, but nothing that a bit of gaffer tape won’t fix. With your ‘On the slopes 2015′ playlist blasting through your headphones, you set off each morning for a new peak, only returning when the last lift is called. Unless that is, you miss it.


The last time I went to the mountains was way back when I was a chalet host in 2009. My boyfriend and I (now husband!) ran a little chalet together. To head back to the mountains not having to worry about others would be a dream. Don't get me wrong we loved it, but to go to ride without a care would be wonderful... and I imagine it going something like this...

 *Beep beep, beep beep* The alarm is buzzing frantically, I look at the clock it's time to get up. I'm not getting up to start work, I open the curtains and see snow. I completely forgot it's our first day in the mountains! Woo-hoo snow!

Like every aspect of our lives we're up early to do as much as we can with our day. Shall I ski or should I snowboard? Debating between outfits is clearly the first thing on my mind because I've carted loads with me. Working out if I wear my bright patterned jacket and toned down trousers, or maybe a simple jacket with my crazy printed bottoms... the indecisive girl in me spends far too long deciding, when I notice my husband tapping his watch at me with eagerness to get going. I throw together something, zip my coat up and give him a thumbs up. We are ready to rumble! I've decided today I'm off on the skis for a casual ride, before heading to apres ski as a reward later. To justify stopping for apres ski I definitely need to clock up some good mountain coverage.  

The lifts have just opened. We've gobbled down breakfast, made a packed lunch, taken a customary "we're heading up the mountain" selfie, when excitement and nerves begin to fill the air. It dawns on me that I haven't been in the mountains in forever... can I even remember how to ski? 

Stepping off the lift near to the piste I look around and remember why I'm here. The view is mesmerising and something I didn't appreciate as much whilst doing a season. Difference then was I was a lot younger, having missed this place for so long I don't want to let the feeling go I'm having right now. I look at my husband and both of us grin at each other, there is an unspoken moment where we both feel extremely happy to be where we are. Our noses are now slightly pink from the chill of the morning air, but we're up here and the first on the piste... it's time to go.


I feel the crunch of the snow as I shuffle my skis over to the piste map, we quickly plan our route and head to our first run. The adrenaline of being here has taken over me by now, Nick flies down in front of me on his snowboard, I gulp and start to drop my skis downward to follow him, I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go... I'm going, I'm going...I'm skiing! What I thought was going to be hard to remember was like riding a bike! I am gliding over this fresh snow, the cool breeze is tingling my cheeks and I'm finally back to my happy place. Why ever was I worried about this? I've missed this feeling so much.

After an hour or so we stop to tick off where we have skied and reward ourselves with a hot flask of tea. We've covered a lot of miles already, but to break it up Nick wants to head to the park. I am not quite ready for this, but as he is awesome on his snowboard I let him have his moment and record him doing a jump. The sun is out and everyone who was tucked up in bed has now emerged, I feel almost virtuous for knowing we've been skiing for ages before any of them even woke up. We got to ski first when it was untouched and now the sun is glistening across the snow. It's perfect.


It's time to call it a day when we both say that this will be the final run, but in winter sports when you think the next is your final run, you've done enough.  The apres ski party has started, so as a reward we stop for a drink before heading down the mountain. We calculate our miles at the bottom of the piste, agree how many we want to do tomorrow and head back to change and indulge in a warm meal. Do we go out or not? The ultimate debate for Mile Munchers like us, we decide on a good nights sleep for tonight, but tomorrow we're all about the apres ski - well it'd be rude not to... perhaps my alter ego is the Apres Animal!

Need more convincing? Check my video out....

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