Spring is here. The signs are all around, but it’s not daffodils, new-born lambs and blossom like I’m accustomed to in England.
Marmots have come out of hibernation from their wintry burrows below the snow, playfully scurrying around together, as rejuvenated and energetic as we’d be after a really long sleep! Different ski runs close each day, rocks beginning to push through and grass patches slowly winning their ‘turf’ war (get it?) over the snow, the sun proving too powerful an ally. I gaze at off-piste lines I tackled in winter’s youth, which look considerably less appealing now; the mountain falls away down steep, scree slopes, big boulders and shrubs now visible. It’s like someone pressed rewind on the remote control for January, February and March, and condensed the ensuing snow melt all into the past week. I fall asleep to the patter of rain on our balcony each night, as the season’s snow accumulation on our roof slowly thaws. Having said that, we have also seen actual rain, the cloud’s burden no longer falling as snow for the first time in 4 and a half months. Temperatures are increasing! The reservoir emptied a fortnight ago; now the abundant rivers cascading down the mountains, a silver rush of water, amidst the white snow file into the reservoir, slowly filling it up.
It’s bizarre watching everything we watched build-up, and constantly willed for more of, suddenly disappear. It was never promised it would be around forever, and we all knew the clock was ticking… but 5 months of endless skiing kinda felt just that: endless. But, amidst the disbelief, as the end rapidly approaches, I feel ready to go home. I love skiing, and am loving it as much as ever right night, but, as with anything 120-odd days in a row, a break would be good, and I’m ready to do something new. I see these new rivers forming and long to get in a kayak. I see rocky faces shedding their winter coat, and desire to go climbing. Similarly, for someone who loves travelling, being restrained to the same 5km by 5km mountain resort, means I’ve seen each mountain peak from every angle. I ache to travel, and to see new horizons. I’m excited to see family and friends from home, after so long apart. I’m greatly anticipating the cycle tour, and feel ready to pursue the next adventure that’s lurking out there!
That’s not to say I’m not still enjoying it. I’ll continue to make the most of the final weeks, appreciatively skiing in a hoody, under cloudless, dark blue skies, sun bearing down from high in the sky, on slushy snow, resembling water skiing just as much as the skiing I had become accustomed to. Now the snow has melted to some extent, it has also uncovered many geocaches, opening up new opportunities.
The end of the season is near!