Illusions vs Reality: How To Avoid First Season Faux Pas

Chalet bitch and guest blogger Belle De Neige tells it like it is...

Wait, did I lose my room key down there? Photo: Belle de Neige

We stumbled upon the hilarious blog Belle de Neige one quiet Wednesday lunchtime – and it had us hooked from the first post. Penned by an anonymous twenty-something British female seasonaire, it tells the gritty/hilarious details of being a chalet bitch in the Alps – from picking up other people’s disgusting stained knickers *vom* to advice on avoiding looking like an absolute tool on the slopes, with plenty of sexcapades on the side.

Once you start reading Belle de Neige, you honestly won’t be able to stop… Which is why we’ve got her to write this informative guest post. Enjoy!

If you’re heading out on your first season this year, you’ve probably already found that there isn’t much floating around the internet ether that can truly prepare your un-initiated arse for what’s coming.

Of course, there is all the trite, goody-two-shoes bollocks written by ski resort employers, or Ed Westwick gurning his way through that horrendous film Chalet Girl, but in my book that doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

Seasonaire life, as I’m sure you’ve been told, is certainly no cruise. When you boil it down, it’s about sex, booze, toilet cleaning and, of course, riding. Amazingly though, some people can’t even get that right. Clearly morons.

Although I’ve temporarily opted out of season life while I publish a book about my experiences in the mountains from Belle de Neige, allow me to give you a helping hand by delving into my memory banks and shattering a few of your illusions.

Illusion One: Season life is glamorous

Photo: 1000 Awesome Things/Belle De Neige


Yeah I admit, on my first season I had this fantasy of swishing down the mountain with a mysterious Italian snowboard instructor/lover in tow, sipping champagne with rich people and being bonked in the hot tub by holiday hotties.

I actually spent the entire time coated in vomit and sweat, or picking other people’s pubes out of plug holes in an eternal cycle of cake-baking-bed-making-dish-washing-toilet-scrubbing-hard-drinking-hangover-hell.

The bits in between when I got to go riding (or, more accurately, careering down a piste at balls-out speed while drunk) were ridiculously brilliant though.

Illusion Two: You’ll be pro level by March

Photo: Matt Georges/Cult of Money


You think you’re a pretty good rider, eh? Wait until you see some fourteen-year-old local doing front flips off the Eiger.

You might be able to link a few turns, but remember… your skills are unlikely to improve until you push yourself a bit or HAVE SOME LESSONS!

In lieu of turning into the next Aimee Fuller, what you probably will become quite good at is riding home pissed to the eyeballs in the dark.

Take care though. It’s a long, lonely journey home in January with a compound ankle fracture or worse.

Illusion Three: The nightlife will be good

Photo: Sun


Nightlife? Oh yes, there will be nightlife. Probably in the same three bars for the entire season.

By February, after you’ve thrown up in/been thrown out of/fucked in the toilets of all three, you’ll probably start losing the will to live. But don’t worry, there is a solution. Drink more Jäger bombs.

Illusion Four: The mountains are a good place to find romance

Photo: Chalet Girl/


You’re thinking you might have a torrid affair with a hot snowboard instructor or perhaps be wooed by a Russian oligarch with four gold helicopters. Forget it.

You’ll only be shagging other stoned, smelly, skint seasonaires like yourself. Usually in skanky, shared accommodation with no light bulbs under a duvet that smells like feet.

Take some condoms. Or antibiotics. Or both. I myself fell for a fusty, red-eyed type with his arse hanging out of his jeans. He’s now my long term squeeze. So think on.

Illusion Five: You will become healthy

Photo: Belle de Neige/Stock


Ahhhh, mountain air, exercise, sunshine, sex. What could be better for one’s constitution than spending six months doing your favourite activity and getting fit at the same time?

We’ll just gloss over the vitamin-free diet of cheese, vodka and stale croissants, that hacking cough you’ve had for eight weeks, flu, thrush, liver-damage and the fact you’ll probably leave the resort with four extra arse cheeks and a double chin (if you work in a chalet, anyway).

Illusion Six: Everyone you meet will be like minded individuals

Photo: Vans/BBC


Mountain creatures come in different shapes and sizes. About 50% of the people you meet will be awesome. Then there’s the irksome blonde 18-year-olds. It’s not true that they are all posh and called Arabella.

It is, however, true that most are bleary eyed, clueless, incompetent spoons that barely ever go riding and spend the entire season behaving like the punters off Snow, Sex and Suspicious Parents.

Steer well clear of these and you should have a splendid time.

Illusion Seven: You will need any form of smart attire

Photo: Stock/Belle de Neige


What you won’t need…

  • Half the clothes you’ve packed
  • Anything fancy
  • Ugg boots, trainers or Doc Martins

What you will need…

  • A 4-plug strip socket
  • Decent teabags
  • Your wits about you

For more information in this area I suggest you consult my guide on stuff you might not know you’ll need.

Illusion Eight: You will ‘find’ yourself in the mountains


Indeed, it’s true. You may well ‘find’ yourself, or at the very least find your ‘place’ in the world, but not if you don’t actually look.

Many of the seasonaires I’ve known have been overwhelmed by the work, the hedonism, the physically-demanding existence that is a season. My advice? Don’t be a pussy. Get out and ride. Every day. You get out what you put in.

Oh, and also, don’t ever get caught doing something you shouldn’t… the 11th commandment for any newbie seasonaire.

Read more tales of catastrophe, sex and squalor from the alpine underbelly on Belle de Neige.

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