For some it is the intended experience of having an adventure. For others perhaps it is their Plan B, or C or D, after all the alternatives have failed. Regardless of how one comes to find oneself living in a mobile home, cut-off by snow for the duration of the harsh winter, it is a predicament which one usually does not intend to repeat. There are some however for whom it is simply their choice of lifestyle, not a fall-back solution at all. They have given up the material goals and comforts of our consumer focused world and have embraced life on the road, traveling seasonally from one job to another one.

Independence such as this nevertheless comes with its own hefty challenges, surviving the harsh winters is probably the greatest. The extreme cold of the Alps during winter freezes pipes and the energy generating solar panels that normally power this lifestyle with such efficiency struggle to provide enough heat or light even for these tiny homes.

It takes a special character to survive autonomously in the mountain during this part of the year. In a handful of municipalities there are camping areas that may provide basic facilities such as additional electricity, toilets and, when it is not frozen, a source of clean water. But these services, managed by local city councils and centers of social action, cost money and are, for the truly autonomous, an expensive luxury. Even if these seasonal travelers decide to stay and pay the rent, they remain cut off for a few months, snowed-in, anchored in place, their nomadic wanderings frozen for a time.

Laure Maugeais

This work has been selected in: Les Nuits de Pierrevert, July 13 and in Centre de la Photographie, Geneva, OpenShow
This story has previously appeared in DOC!magazine (Poland) and Nothing Mag #5 (France)