It’s been nearly a month since you last heard from us and if you’re wondering why it can be summed up in two words – TRAINING WEEK.
They’re probably the two most dreaded words in our industry (after you’re fired of course.) Nothing can every quite prepare you for it. It’s an intense world of learning how to cut potatoes, mastering the etiquette of cleaning toilets and adjusting to living at altitude. Employers hate it because it’s a week of useless questions and maneuvering a bunch of 18-60 year olds who all train in one resort before being cattled across the Alps. It’s like planning for the apocalypse. The biggest threat any of us TO’s face – arming them in one week with everything they’ll need to know to survive the winter.
You make friends very quickly – I remember one winter, I sat next to my new colleague on the flight from London the Geneva. I hate it when people do this to me. I don’t like flying as it is and I especially don’t want to sit next to stranger while I’m having a panic attack. Yet just as I had been warning her of my fear, SHE threw up because the landing was so bumpy. We were fast friends.
You only get one suitcase – One suitcase of 20kg to last you 6 months. It’s nothing and it makes it hard to pack. Everyone claims to ‘own’ skis so they can shove as much as possible into more bags. The best is watching as these then have to be meticulously carried across London’s underground to get to the airport. At a certain time of year you can watch this spectacle across London.
People move on fast – Our first winter it was only on the second night a guy was sent home after he broke his ankle in six places at the pub. His mother rang to complain. It’s very icy in the mountains.
Romances are formed – I think at least five of my closest friends in relationships met (or broke up) during this precious time.
Enemies are made – I mean you go from the comfort of your room at home to sharing a 60’s looking closet with 5 other people. Some of which are 30 years your age. It’s intense and sleepless to say that least.
It’s also great – I’ve seen people cry once it’s over and their training roommates all head off to different resorts.
This year we enjoyed a whole t h r e e weeks of this fun. It was crazy. Great to have so long to invest in the staff, but really it was three weeks of barely no time to breathe as we opened up chalets and cleaned until our fingers bled. I think we’ve forgotten what skiing feels like, but now that the 14 hour days are over, we can get out again!
So if you’re ever considering doing a season, remember – training week is tough, but if you can make it through it you’re guaranteed to have the best winter of your life.