Moving to a ski town can be a bit of a spur of the moment decision. More often than not, it comes at the end of a long period of day dreaming from behind a desk. That’s how it happened for me, at least.
This time last year, I was working for a respected Alpine company in London. Since then I’ve quit my job, upped sticks and moved back to the mountains.
I’d like to just say I’m at least a tiny bit older and wiser than I was the last time I lived in a ski town. Not that I really know what I’m doing, but still. Older. Wiser. Whatever the case though, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years about living in a ski town.
People are going to judge you
Moving to a ski town isn’t the soundest financial decision one can make; there’s a reason that the stereotypical ski bum lives on the poverty line. A whole bunch of people are going to hear this decision, and they’re going to bandy around words like ‘directionless’ and phrases like ‘should really be thinking of settling down by now’
You can think of those people when you’re hiking up for fresh tracks on a Tuesday morning, and thank god you ignored their sound advice and moved anyway. They wish they were you right now.
The best skill to have is managing a hangover
Drinking is sort of an integral part of ski culture, and having a few beers (and maybe a tray of jagerbombs) after getting down the mountain is as much a thing when home is less than a mile away as it was when home was a day’s travel. If you’re thinking of moving to the mountains, you’ll quickly discover that literally any job can be done with a hangover. Not that I’m speaking from experience here.
Being able to manage your hangover is the difference between successfully not being sent home from work and vomiting in the gondola in front of your guests. I don’t need to tell you that the latter is embarrassing, and probably best avoided.
There will always be someone better or more knowledgable than you are
There’s this weird temptation, when you first move to a ski town, to assume that means you’re hot shit. Nobody will talk to you at the bar if all you can talk about is how awesome you are; the chances are pretty high that the people around you have lived there longer, can shred harder and know the area a whole lot better.
Make friends with those guys, and they might give you free tips show you the best powder stashes. Piss them off, and you might as well consider switching ski towns next season.