Little Wild Thoughts

Oh I love Interseason

Folder
Morzine Life
Date
8th Feb 2024

Its funny what happens here when the lifts close. After the last chalets have been cleaned, the mountain restaurants and bars have been drunk dry and most of the snow has gone from Pleney; it’s May, Interseason. That weird bit that happens here twice a year around Spring and Autumn.

 

The change of pace in the town never fails to take me by surprise. The influx of seasonal workers go home or on to more travels, A lot of businesses have their annual holidays, so not as many shops and restaurants are open. Lots of accommodation providers close down until they’re ready to open up for summer, all of a sudden it’s so quiet. And goodness me, now, ten years on, I love it.

 

It’s a bit strange moving to a place where work is generally so defined by the season. It’s hard working a year round job in a place where a lot of your friends work crazy hours in the winter but then slow right down for the rest of the year, it takes a lot of getting used to. As my friend said during the Easter holidays; ‘I can’t wait to drop the kids at school then lie on the sofa until it’s time to pick them up again’

 

I’m not a seasonal worker. I work year round from my treatment room, maybe add in a few more hours in the winter but in general strive to find a year round balance in a town with great peaks and troughs of busyness.

I work a nice and steady 3/4 days a week, have a six year old daughter and look after our rental apartment. I try my best to not get caught up in the crazy of the ‘seasons’ and try my best to remember that I chose year round work and better balance over the seasonal way.

Perhaps I was too ingrained into the UK way of working, I definitely found it hard to get used to being so much quieter after the winter when we first moved here, but after a while realised that not just for my own mental health, but as a place of retreat for my clients, year round work was what worked best for me.

 

It’s easy to forget that Morzine is a year round town. A mountain town, not a ski town.

Yes, the lifts switch off, the shutters of the fancy chalets close and not all the restaurants are open but there are so many of us here living regular lives amidst the up and down of the seasons.

 

We take our kids to school, we shop in the supermarkets, we go to the garden centre, the library, the gorgeous toy shop. We work, some of us digitally, or remotely, some of us in those businesses that a real town needs to survive: the bank, the post office, the insurance agencies, the accountants, the estate agents, the treatment rooms!

 

It’s May and I’ve just mopped the floor of our little rental apartment and popped in a bottle of wine for our guests arriving later today. Interseason or not our little apartment has guests almost every weekend and often weekdays too through April, May and June, after the ski lifts close and before the summer lifts open.

The apartment is on the ground floor of our house and it’s only small so it’s fairly easily to manage the changeovers alongside our other jobs. At first I never really thought that we’d get bookings outside of the seasons, but seven years in and I can absolutely say that people love coming to the mountains in the quiet time.

 

A couple of weeks ago we had guests who came for a wedding at Lac Montriond, then a young family with two little ones looking to ‘explore in the fresh air of the mountains’. We had an older couple who came during the week with their dog to hike and this weekend it’s the start of the road biking crew, a couple of guys who’ve come specifically to ride the Joux Plane and Col de Ramaz.

 

There might not be as much going on physically in the Springtime as there is in the ski season, but the splendour of the mountains should be seen all year.

We’re lucky that we have a fantastic view of Pleney from our home so each spring we play the ‘when will the snow be gone?’ game and everyone guesses a date. FYI this year we’ve had a lot of spring rain and the last blob of visible (to me) snow disappeared on May 12th.

All that rain means that the mountains are so green! So many shades and tones of green that you can’t even count them, the trees bud almost before your eyes and the tulips and daffodils bring a riot of colour. The river rushes along and the waterfalls are unbelievable, majestic crashes of water where you can’t hear yourself speak.

We walked around Lake Montriond today and although I probably say this every time, today was the most beautiful I’ve seen it.

 

At work I always talk about grounding, about connecting with the earth, with the world around you. About feeling and welcoming in the energy that surrounds and flows through all of us. Here, in our mountain town, especially in these quieter days you can readily feel it. You can stand with your feet bare on the earth, or in the river, close your eyes and listen to everything around you. You can hike to the top of a mountain and look back at what you’ve achieved. You can breathe as deep as you like, you can be as slow as you like, there’s no pressure to be anywhere or meet any deadlines, you can sit in the same place all day and just watch the clouds move whilst you read a book if you want to.

That’s the beauty of a mountain town. The mountains aren’t going anywhere, they know the value of being slow and coming here in interseason really teaches that to you.

 

Traditionally Spring is when we’ll be planting our seeds, setting our intentions for the year ahead, getting ready for the growth and activity of Summer, then the harvest of Autumn. I honestly can’t think of anywhere better to be in the Springtime than in these mountains; slow, quiet, reflective, so beautiful and full of promise for the rest of the year.

 

So much we think of Morzine as a seasonal town and it’s hard to see beyond the winter and high summer seasons, well I say, when those lifts close is when you really get to see the magic of Morzine, the colours, the change and it’s this time, this time that so few are here for is when you really feel the energy and breath of the mountains. So next time, why not try it? Our year round mountain town. It’s good for your soul, I promise.