Surviving Ski Season

It’s all downhill from here! Best to joke and laugh our way down the ski slopes, especially since neither of us had skied much before this year. The season is officially over and we’re happy to announce that we made it through unscathed! We managed to make our way to several popular slopes in Switzerland and France. Each had something different to bring to the table and all come with their own set of memories.

Verbier, Switzerland

With Andrew in busy season at work and having skied a couple times before, I took to the mountain with fellow beginners to catch a lesson in Les Diablerets, which was incredibly helpful. We found it ideal to take lessons at a smaller resort saving money and having less people to crowd us. I then made my way to Leysin to test out my newfound skills. With confidence left over from the lesson, I was ready to send it down the slope. I wasn’t ready. It was fun going with fellow newbies as we looked down the run and laughed. Skis definitely went flying and butts definitely got busted but it pushed us to improve quickly. The views Leysin offers made all the bruises worth it.

Leysin, Switzerland

After taking the time to recuperate, I made my way to Gstaad. This was another one of my favorite spots. Wide open runs allowed me to go down as I pleased and not have to worry about weaving through people or getting in others’ way which was nice. The moment I realized I was able to relax, take in the views, and ski simultaneously was while in Gstaad. Previously, I’d focused purely on making it down not even taking a minute to soak in the beautiful scenes around me.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Next stop: Chamonix. Accompanied with a large group of Andrew’s coworkers we set out for their annual ski weekend. Chamonix is one of the more well-known French locales for skiing, Mont Blanc being the most popular. The town was so fun! Catering to an abundance of visitors, there was quite a bit to do. Plenty of shopping spots, eateries, bars, clubs, etc. We had some of the best hotdogs at Cool Cats. Our diet on the mountain consisted of frites, chicken nuggets, beer, and meat plates. Probably not the best thing for us but hey, we burned it off right? The weather in Chamonix didn’t treat us very well, nor did the hangover from the night before. With the slopes being unpredictable, we set out for a day of ski to find heavy sleet at the top. Ice pelted us as we were whipped back and forth by the wind… it wasn’t ideal. We made it down two runs before deciding todays not the day. We had a nice layer of ice on us by the time we made it off the slopes!

Nendaz, Switzerland

Our next big ski adventure took place in Nendaz, just an easy train/bus from Lausanne in the 4 Vallées. We and a group of our expat friends rented a chalet for the week, prepared for some ski shenanigans. The view from our window was dreamy. Nendaz is part of the 4 Vallées which is a massive chain of mountains, Mont Fort being the largest. It’s actually the largest chain in Switzerland and the 3rd largest in Europe. This makes for an endless amount of skiing depending on how much time you have on your hands. The weather can really make or break you when you’re out on the slopes. Most of the days we skied in Nendaz we had some thick fog to contend with. The fear of running into someone or something was real when we could only see a few feet in front of us.

Before reaching the fog: Nendaz, Switzerland

Verbier is also part of the 4 Vallées which we made it to several times this season. What we love about Verbier is that there are so many runs that it’s difficult to get bored and we never ran out of options. With that being said, this also means if you don’t know the slope like the back of your hand you definitely want a map as it’s not hard to veer onto the wrong course! We no doubt took a wrong turn or two but now it’s funny to look back on. Being surrounded by the Alps makes us feel so small and it never gets old. It’s one of the things we wish everyone could experience. The epitome of a breath of fresh air from the top… truly good for the soul! We’re excited to get back out on the mountain again but for now, bring on the heat!

Gstaad, Switzerland

Maybe it’s the winter blues but we’ve missed friends and family a lot lately. Luckily, we have both visiting within the next two months! We’ll stay busy until they touch down… making arrangements and deciding on some of the things we’d like to share with them. We’ll be travelling around with them quite a bit as well so that should make for some fun times! We really have a great group of people to spend our days with in Switzerland. We’ve enjoyed taking trips with everyone and doing some non-casual things casually… sharing a chalet in the Swiss Alps or road tripping to Germany for the weekend. We feel completely grateful for everyone we’ve met and everything we’ve seen and done so far. Yesterday marked exactly one year since we’ve moved abroad. Sure, we’ve found times of struggle in missing people, making adjustments, and learning to work together in a new way. But we’re so happy with things and are only getting happier. Here’s to our next fun filled adventurous year!

The crew: Nendaz, Switzerland