Blue Black White, locked up

Maxence Gallot is experiencing the confinement in 26m2 with his partner in the resort of la Plagne. It isn’t, unfortunately, an experiment carried out by the resort’s ski instructors for a trip to Mars, but a real situation. This is a chronicle of a skier trapped on the edge of continuously virgin slopes.

Maxence Gallot

Day 3

I had begun this text, before the crisis we are going through, by boasting about the well-being of loneliness in the mountains. And then, the machine stopped. The resort is silent with the closing of the ski lifts. Nature is reclaiming its rights. The purity of the white forms gives way to the appeasement of a dark blue landscape.

Maxence Gallot

I’m writing again, locked between four walls, in full confinement. The sky has fallen on our heads in this fantom resort. It is a timeless season which is looming. Our white paradise is melting into an epidemic of darkness. I have to admit, isolation has taken quite another dimension, it is no longer the idyll which I had begun to describe. I had thought that this period would give me inspiration, an active pen and efficiency. In its place, facing me, is a big void. A page, white as the snow, and my ideas bouncing against the walls. My spirit is atrophied and my disconnection with the outside world hinders all the creativity which nourishes my internally. I need oxygen in order to create. My brain is crushed by the daily news about the destructive effect of this virus. I have the impression that it is a bad film and yet it is reality. On a caustic note, this crisis will, without doubt, result in fewer victims than worldwide pollution when our society is functioning ‘normally’.

Maxence Gallot

Jour 5

Ouch, ouch, ouch. The slap. The month of March feels cold. The weather charts announce that is is going to snow! As surprising as it may seem, and for the first time in my life, I find myself frustrated. Isolated from all the populace in an austere building which has the air of “Shining”, I see the return of snowflakes whose colours we will not ski. This experience of isolation is a true introspective questioning of my ability to put up with both my girlfriend and myself. But, so far so good …

Maxence Gallot

Day 7

Each day I do the same thing. I open wide the curtains upon waking up and I sigh at the confinement. I like admiring this great whiteness in the early hours, it is my freedom which winks at me. I am deprived of it. I tap my forehead against the tiles and I defer to my other half which doesn’t know what to do with me any more. I must exchange metres of height gain against square metres. And, despite everything I am not to be pitied, my head is hot but it is not a fever. My atris arrived a week ago, the day that La Plagne closed, but there is no witchcraft from the black crow. I am going to admire them under the packaging and from under the quilt dream about them until next winter. No, the mountains did not move, but the theatre’s curtain did fall on the world.

Maxence Gallot

Day minus 10

Ten days before confinement, on the eve of the crisis without precedent , I took advantage of our open spaces, those which offer serenity and contemplation. I was without knowing it on my last ski tour of the winter… (extract).

“Climbing made me feel good, my steps cracking the snow as I moved forward. Breathing slow and heavy and with heels lifting up, I arrived at the top on my own, I lived the moment. Dusk was approaching gently and little by little its blue tinge. The valley became sombre, the last shadows appeared on the summits. The mountains feel asleep and closed up their secrets until the following day. I had chosen to perch, to escape. The moon helped my descent. I don’t care about an artificial head-torch which would obscure the natural light. Here nothing superficial, the descent is done naked, the old legs cutting through..”

The heart is nostalgic, I keep mulling over my first tracks in the gullies, the memories of the great straight lines… What luck to live at altitude, what cloud were we living on so as not to notice? In what bubble were we isolated? Then, all of a sudden it blew up in our faces!

Maxence Gallot

Day 10

The prospect of not knowing what will happen tomorrow has never been as real as it is today. It is difficult to lose one’s way, cloistered in one’s living room. And yet I’m losing my bearings, running around in circles. Usually our resorts are amusement parks but still the happiness of all those moments spent in sliding, gathering together, drinking and kissing… And then, nobody. But on the horizon, the planet is still breathing as before and displaying incredible light.

Maxence Gallot

Day 13

It’s my lucky day, I’m finally interested in this fucking Covid19 exercise map and realise that the authorised perimeter is one kilometre. It is larger and more interesting than I had thought. Skis on the boots therefore take an entirely new dimension. I even got a little scared this morning. I screamed with joy on the right-footed turn. I made THE loop of my new life and I walked back up on foot like a breathless hiker who hasn’t walked for two weeks listening to the mocking crows whistling at me. Conscious that this circle must be much less hilly and much more concrete elsewhere, was enough for my happiness. All my photographic approach is still in the frame. I wanted to see what I could get out of this space without cheating. Here is my new adventure playground, my new frontier not to cross, if not it is 135 smackers.

Maxence Gallot

Day 14

My way of looking at the mountains has changed. I no longer have the urgency to leave on the stroke of 9 to get the first bin, head-on to the usual lines. Its the eulogy of slowness . I surprise myself by discovering itineraries among these summits which I thought I knew. I spend hours on Fatmap, because technology is very present in my sequestered daily life. It is one of the last links with the outside, as boring as it might seem. There might be a gully that I haven’t seen, another way of attacking the outing… Anyway, my spirits are already sliding towards next winter. And, when my brain makes bubbles, I go and watch the sunset. Armed with my permission to go out and my ephemeral freedom, how good is that.

Maxence Gallot

Day 15

Music has always played an important place in my life as a skier. At the moment, the Marshall basses resound at full volume in my flat. Sometimes I pity my neighbours, sometimes I don’t care, my brain activity electrifies itself. Viewing sliding images on the screen galvanises my still body and stimulates my imagination. Between two articles “compl’autistes” and several theories about the end of the world, I manage to to make my way to the right pages and start to polish up on all the cult freestyle films, from “Apocalypse Snow” to “Session 1242” and all the “X Games real ski edits”. Freedom of mind skiing is very important in a brain as small as mine.

Maxence Gallot

Towards infinity and beyond

We have always felt we were dominating the world, we are now much less powerful and much more insignificant. Raymond Depardon had portrayed the praise of wandering, in the sense that time and emptiness could rub shoulders so long as they agreed to be a part of it. Ignoring the past and future and letting oneself go in observing one’s environment. Let it go. Surely there is a recipe for boredom. Not fighting against time will help us to turn the clock faster, solve this puzzle of the void, find the missing pieces of this humanity which is spinning out of control. So, when we have to reintegrate into the rhythm of life, we will have the key to open the new lines.

As for you, do you like Chloroquine ?

Maxence Gallot

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