What I like about Chamonix is that every person here (except for sightseeing tourists) risked his, sometimes hers, life to have that drink at the end of the day. They all come with their own story: the mountains they climbed, the canyons they jumped into, the air they glided through… It all comes down to the good company over a drink at the end of the day. With no fear for the future. Just the happy faces appreciative of the day gone well, with no accidents, with no injuries, and with good memories shared with good friends.. It’s not about money. Your status is frowned upon here. It’s about your character. And physical abilities. To meet and greet the real world head on. Solo. And not with army of management team. It’s about your attitude. Not your authority. The only authority these guys have is mother nature. And it’s far beyond any human being. No matter what many human beings think.
The people of Chamonix are crazy. It’s a different breed. You can smell it in the air. And I’m not talking just about the mountain sweat smell. It’s adrenaline infused risky lifestyle that is the norm. There are so many joyful ways to get yourself killed here it’s a joke. But it’s the breeze of ease that these activities are undertaken with that amuses me. You can find yourself clinging onto metal rods on a vertical rock face with no safety, just because your guide thought you had “a confident face”. No shit you had a confident face! You hadn’t worked on your face so hard since your last job interview (if you ever had one, that is). You had that face confident because you didn’t want all those tarzans with ropes over their shoulders to think you were some loser who couldn’t make his way up a pathetic vertical rock of 300m without shitting his pants.
So yes, it’s an amazing place, with amazing people. Who make your life look anything but amazing.
I fell in love with Chamonix long ago. But you will never fall in love with Chamonix just by bar hopping or munching on that delicious local produce. You have to get out there and live your adventure. That’s what it’s all about.
And for now, my mussels and wine is here. Cheers!