Sex, Snow, and Cocaine: My Life As a Ski Resort ‘Chalet Bitch’
Belle de Neige (“Beautiful Snow”, if you didn’t take French) is a blog about what people who work ski seasons get up to when they’re not fixing snow blades, or delivery apres-ski drinks to Jemima Khan and whoever else goes on ski holidays. The writer just condensed a bunch of her blog posts into a book, so we asked her to condense her book back into a blog post. This is that.
I’ve been blogging about all the unpalatable shit people get up to on ski seasons for five years. And I’d say I’ve covered all the major bases: sex, ill-advised drug consumption, orgies, avalanches, immoral workplace behavior, rich delinquents, Russian prostitutes—everything you’d expect when you mix young people with high altitudes. So wrapping that all up into one snappy article should be easy, right? All I need to do is reel off a few anecdotes involving undignified sexual encounters as a result of British teens exporting British drinking culture, and I’m set.
But the problem is that I don’t want to start out like that, because perpetuating bullshit myths is boring. And because not everyone behind the scenes of Europe’s ski resorts are Harrovian drop-outs or braying packs of Hollister homeboys. In fact, many “seasonaires”—the word for people who work ski seaons up in the mountains—aren’t like that at all. Many of those who I know are laborers, or lost their jobs in the recession.
After the collapse of Communism in Russia, as state assets were divvied up and privatized, a few individuals stepped in to take the reins of this entrepreneurial experiment. Rewarded with massive fortunes and fame, they came to be known as “the oligarchs.”
To see how the .00001% lives, we met up with infamous Russian oligarch Sergey Veremeenko and spent quality time hog hunting and helicopter joyriding at his private estate outside Moscow.
Watch the documentary
You Will Never Be as Rich as These Pets
When you’re about to be kicked out of your squat and are scanning the sidewalk for enough change to buy some ramen noodles, you always dream that someday you’ll somehow land in a fat pile of dough. Maybe it’ll be the lottery, or a personal-injury lawsuit, or a trust fund your parents forgot to tell you about. Hate to break it to you, but it’s never going to happen. You’re going to die a poor, sad schmuck.
But do you know who is richer than you? Yes, a bunch of fat right-wing white guys, pasty tech geniuses in hoodies, and shady Russian oligarchs, but also a lot of animals. Yes, animals! The following pets are all millionaires, and you’re still trying to use that expired student ID to get two bucks off at the movies on Tuesday night. And you know what? That’s just the way the world works. Might as well accept it and move on.
Gunther IV: Worth $373 million
This German shepherd—the world’s richest dog—inherited his money from his father, who was left $80 million in 1991 by his owner, German countess Karlotta Liebenstein. The other $300 million came from money his trustees made in investments. Yeah, he has people who work for him. He also owns Madonna’s old Miami mansion. How many of you are wondering if you can marry a dog?
Toby Rimes: Worth $80 million
The rich keep getting richer. Toby’s great-great-great-dogfather, the original Toby, was the pampered poodle of crazy rich lady Ella Wendel, who left him all her money when she died in 1931. The endowment, passed from dog to dog ever since, has been growing as your chances of getting a job dwindle.
Luke, Layla, Sunny, Lauren, and Sadie: Worth $30 million
Oprah Winfrey won’t even give us one of her favorite things, but her will reportedly provides a fortune for whatever dogs she leaves behind when she dies. That is, if Oprah is not immortal, which I find hard to believe.