Who you’re about to meet in the Alps
See you at La Folie Douce hun
It’s the season of snow-bragging – anyone who goes on a ski trip just HAVE to let you know they’re in the Alps.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re heading to Alpe d’Huez, Meribel, Courchevel or VT, it’s that time of year again and the ski trips are always loose af. You’re snow soc might think they’re the maddest, but they’re not the only people you’ll encounter in amongst the powder.
White furry ear muffs don’t fit underneath your helmet, sorry Isabelle. You got this one wrong. The one who only came for the aprés and because everyone else in her corridor was going, Isabelle is underprepared and overexcited. Whinging when they’re getting boots fitted, shivering in the cold one minute then tops off in the snow the next, Isabelle is the liability on the ski trip you do not need. She only came to party and didn’t realise how cold it was.
Your Snowsports exec are inevitably trashed the entire time. Playing port 2 port and throwing up on each other before they’ve even reached Calais, they somehow manage to make the first lift and be the last ones out of the club. At Folie Deuce by 3pm EVERY DAY without fail, they’ll miss the last lift, ski down the wrong side and hitchhike back in time for the night. They’re superhuman, clad in vintage one piece ski outfits and pouring Belvedere down your throat. Just wait for the hungover 26 hour coach journey home. No one, particularly them, is your friend on that coach.
It’s their fourth year running, and we just get wilder and wilder. Summers spent in Ibiza, winters in the mountains, Austin, Grace and the gang have it made. That’s how it seems on day one, when this is set to be the best week of your life. Then one of them gets drunk, has sex with one of the students and Austin loses his shit. He thought Grace loved him. After VT had melted, they would return to Newcastle and finally get jobs after all those years of bumming around in the snow. For the rest of the trip, you learn all the politics within the crew of reps and envy their lifestyle less and less.
Mad girl with their tits out
Look at Alice. She’s got her tits out. Isn’t she mad? Don’t you wish all girls were this fun? That’s what she wants you to think. Mad Fun Tits Alice. Fuck off Alice.
Wears a mankini for a laugh but then immediately regrets it
It seemed such a good idea at the time. Skiing. In a mankini. It’s Borat on Ice. It’ll be classic. But when Henry tentatively emerges from the flat, his flat white arse shaking uncontrollably, you just feel sorry for him. There’s no going back now. We’re passed the point of no return. He sits down on the chair lift, wary of the people starting to stare. A ball pops out. He’s turned whiter than the snow. Is that a tear in his eye? No matter. He reaches the summit. People point. Henry looks sad. He drifts down alone, like a luminous snowflake waiting for the ground to swallow him up. Both balls pop out. He reaches the bottom, as does his dignity.
Breaks their leg on the first day
At least there’s a nice view from the chalet, Jen.
Teddy and his pals thought it would be fun to use up some holiday, take a week off their soulless jobs in the city and join the old squad in Val Thorens for a blowout on the slopes. Except no one wants them there. Like the kids who used to go back to their old school to visit the teachers, the atmosphere is too awkward for you to handle. You’ll catch them at Folie Deuce dancing on tables. They’ll still be wearing their stash, buying everyone drinks and creeping on freshers. They think everyone loves them, but they’ll never take anyone back to their 5* chalet their dads rented for them unless there’s free Bollinger on offer.
Only skis off piste
Oli works as instructor in New Zealand every summer and laughs in the face of VT’s mogul-ridden black runs. He disappears early morning only to emerge, ragged, dishevelled but having had the best time of his life. He can be found throwing himself off the biggest hills and reaping the rewards at the bottom. On the slopes, he’s a superstar. But back home, practising backflips on a trampoline doesn’t quite cut it. Give him his 15 minutes of fame, this is his playground.
Insists the whole group of mixed abilities stick together
“Let’s start with a blue – it’ll be fun to all go down together first.” Isi has never been so wrong. The seasoned pros fly down, leaving Liv and Jenni stranded at the top. The rest of the squad wait while Callum takes off his skis, runs back up to and guides them down, metre by painstaking metre. Now Dom has fallen over and can’t get his ski back on. Emma needs the toilet. And where the fuck is Tom? Two hours and three runs later, you decide to split up. It’s for the best.
Goes to bed at ten o’clock and up at seven thirty
He’s got four sets of goggles, his own skis and boots and he is ready for the pow pow. There’ll be something distinctive about Laurence – either he’s got some ridiculously hi-tech Spyder jacket which glows in the dark for no point whatsoever, or he’s the sort of weirdo who wears a cape. The problem with Laurence, he’s trying to go to sleep while you’re pre-drinking, soothing himself by watching his go-pro videos over and over again. And when you come back trashed after your night out as the sun comes up, he’s doing his stretches in his thermals, ready for the first lift.
The naked people on the balcony
Tell me Laura, did you ever leave the balcony? Or was the whole trip spent knocking back cheap Sambuca and having after-party followed by after-party with Bondax and all your new mates? This ski trip was for the profile pics that look like the YouTube backdrop for a house banger, and nothing else.
Spends £500 on emergency call out
Even as a kid, Hugh was always falling over and hurting himself. The one in secondary school who wore crutches like they were part of the uniform. Now at uni, Hugh decided to try his hand at skiing. The amount of times he’s fallen over and hit his head on nights out has got to have affected this decision. The first day goes well, if he manages to get there without forgetting his passport. The second, not so much. Whether it’s falling off the chair lift when he tried to keep the barrier up, taking the wrong turn on a blue and hitting some thick pow, or going too fast when he’s following the more experienced of the crew off piste, Hugh will end the day in a stretcher, waving as mountain rescue ski past you to A&E. Hope you had insurance Hugh.
Stays up for the first lift in the morning and is still drunk
It’s hard to know what Johnny smashes more – the slopes, aprés or nights out drinking prosecco from his ski boots. From the moment you step on the coach, he’s there, Carling in hand, chanting, telling stories of that time last year when he banged the rep and generally making sure no-one’s getting to sleep. He’s the first one on the slopes and last one off. Now he’s dancing on the table at Folie. Now he’s naked. Now he’s bolting pints and trying to sleep with Beth from Trent. Now he’s there with Laurence, bleary eyed, ready for the first run. Johnny is fun. Johnny is loose af. Johnny is a legend. Does anyone actually like Johnny?
Frederick, Juan and Jean-Pierre may come from all corners of the globe, but they’re all cut from the same beautiful North Face cloth. This is your eighth time skiing, but you take amateur lessons anyway just so JP will cradle you down the beginner’s slope. He says your name in that thick, distinctive French accent. He flashes a smile, baring teeth whiter than the early morning powder. Your heart skips and worries slide away. I love you, JP.
Brings dissertation work
You’re really not going to do any work here are you, Emma? You’re only making us feel more guilty. Put Mill’s On Liberty away and embrace true freedom for once.