Ski Trip 2016

12 April 2016

Twenty-five plucky pupils and four sleepy members of staff jumped onto an early coach bound for the slopes on 26th March. After a smooth transition to the plane we were off! Mr Evans had been refreshing the weather reports on his ski app about every six seconds and the news was excellent. Great snow and brilliant sunshine were forecast for the week and everyone was keen to get to the slopes and ski.

On arrival, traffic out of Lyon was pretty awful, as a lot of continental Easter skiers decided to join us on our journey up the mountain. Nevertheless, the scenery was stunning on our way up and the views held our attention until we hit the snow line.

Montgénevre is a picturesque ski resort on the border of France and Italy, overlooking the slopes and it was with great relief we arrived and realised how close to the ski lifts our hotel was. We disembarked, met the lovely hotel staff, dropped our bags in our room and gladly sat down for supper. The food at the hotel was superb, and we all ate hungrily after our long journey.

Once we had our ski equipment fitted and the children gawped in amazement at the games room downstairs, we fell sleepily into our beds ready for the next day of skiing.

The next morning, brilliant sunshine peeked through the curtains of our rooms and we woke to see stunning, white slopes, glittering in the dawn light. After a satisfying continental breakfast, it was time to suit up and go skiing. A few less-seasoned skiers found putting on their boots rather a challenge, but luckily Mr Davey had some excellent tips to help us out and we quickly emerged from the boot room, blinking in the morning light.

A quick crossing of the road and we were on the slopes, meeting our instructors José, Didier and Thomas, with their classic two-tone tans and ESF scarlet suits. Our first lesson was ski-pole free to allow the instructors to get an idea of our ability and we made our way up the slopes on the drag lift.

After a beautiful morning’s ski, we made our way back to the hotel for buffet lunch and to contemplate the runs we would be doing in the afternoon.

After another brilliant afternoon of skiing, we had a chance to shower, rest and play in the games room before the evening. Coming down to supper we noticed fresh snow falling heavily outside, and realised how lucky we were to have snowfall this late in the season.

Once we had eaten, we kitted up once more for our evening activity, bum-boarding, and dashed out into the snow to hurl ourselves down the mountain, causing much laughter. The children were pretty tired, but happy by the time bedtime arrived, and we were soon asleep dreaming of snow.

And so the week continued in this way. Mr Strydom, our resident beginner teacher, found his confidence growing, although took advantage of the odd afternoon nap after the effort of the days skiing. The skiing was excellent, with all groups steadily improving and becoming more fluent the more they skied. The top group explored the infamous ‘Death Valley’ ridge, the middle group enjoyed trying out the new red runs and the beginners were excited about trying out the chairlift for the first time.

Our evening activities were great fun all week, with high spots being the games night, with much hilarity abounding around the scavenger hunt-based fashion show. We discovered a new hidden side to some of the children who turned out to be quite competent catwalk models and who had an interesting take on, ahem, interpretive dance. Karaoke night was also a hoot, and a lot of people left the dancefloor, voices hoarse from singing along to Adele and Coldplay, although not so sure about Mr Evans’ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Other delights were a trip to a local restaurant for massive pizzas and fizzy drinks, lounging on oversized beanbags eating popcorn for movie night and surprising Max with a cake and presents at tea for his birthday.

Thursday morning was interesting as the French ski lift operators were on strike, so we took a bus over the border to Clavier and skied for the morning in Italy. It was great to try out some different slopes and even watched a proper downhill slalom competition going on while we were there. Needless to say, despite Mr Davey’s eagerness, we didn’t take part ourselves.

Prep School

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