Out Of Season

Out Of Season, French Alps

It was very strange to see so many chairlifts completely deserted whilst hiking near Sommand in the French Alps. I’ve been on a few similar adventures so far this year, but this was the first that took me to a ski resort area.

The contrast to high season was incredible. Not only does the landscape look very different under a blanket of snow, but the crowds of people create a hustle and bustle about the place throughout the winter that is completely at odds with the emptiness of summer. I think I saw four people in an entire afternoon, it was fantastic!

I wanted to capture that out of season feeling, so an obvious subject was the empty lift in front of me. Against the backdrop of green, snow-less mountains and some blue sky it was the perfect opportunity.

As a first attempt I took this shot while the sun was hiding behind a few clouds so the light was a little flat. Fortunately it decided to show itself a few minutes later, so I rushed back to this spot to reshoot with some shadows. A little bit of light makes a world of difference!

Have you ever visited somewhere out of season? Did you enjoy the experience? I’d love to hear from you!


12 thoughts on “Out Of Season

  1. acuriousgal

    I always wondered what it would be like to go to these places off season. Since I am not a fan of crowds I gather I would love it. I find your pic very beautiful, even in its loneliness

    1. Ben Post author

      If you like some solitude then you would really love it Barb. I love that feeling in the mountains, when you are just alone with your thoughts and the fresh air. Unless I’m getting lost, then having a few other people about is useful!

  2. Feisty Harriet

    Our ski resorts run lifts year round, but in the summer people take their mountain bikes up instead of skis and snowboards. And sometimes they just go up for the ride (or hike up and ride down).


    1. Ben Post author

      Some of the more popular and touristy spots around here keep their lifts open year round. But there are also a lot of these smaller resorts that are just completely empty in the summer. Hiking up and riding down would be fantastic!

  3. Hayley

    I used to love going to these resorts in the summer, it’s such a contrast and always interesting to see the difference. Sommand is actually where I got my amazing ski sunburn when I went with Lena the day before the drinks at the Shorts house last year! We didn’t get the chance to go in the summer but I can imagine the views as in winter they are spectacular!

    1. Ben Post author

      Hi Hayley! Haha, I’m not surprised you got burnt there, there is pretty much no shade during the day. I got it pretty bad on my legs after the weekend, first time this year wearing shorts! Was it a good place to go downhill skiing?

      1. Hayley

        It was a great place to ski, a really good variety of runs. We went on a Wednesday too so it was pretty quiet. If you go next winter, just don’t forget the sun block!

  4. SPFischer

    Great story behind this wonderful shot, Ben! Though I haven’t been in many years, one of my favorite off-season places to visit is the beach. The solitude and cooler days in late autumn is just magnificent.

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Stacy, that’s true the beach also makes for a great off season destination. Although like you I haven’t been for a while!


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