31 pupils accompanied by four members of staff enjoyed a fabulous week’s skiing in Alpe d’Huez over the Christmas holiday. They were treated to very favourable weather conditions, with blue skies and fresh snow greeting them on arrival, and staying with them for most of their week-long stay.
It was lovely to see boys and girls of all ages on the trip, and of all ski abilities. After a quick assessment by the excellent ESF instructors on the first day, the group was rapidly divided into beginners, intermediates and advanced, each with their own objectives and challenges to ensure they continued to develop their skills throughout the week.
The advanced group proved themselves more than capable on some of the toughest runs in the resort and demonstrated great nerve and stamina, setting their sights on clocking the fastest speeds and the greatest distances of the whole week on their final day.
The budding “park rats” (the intermediates) favoured the snow park where they could try their hand at the boxes and kickers to slide on and jump over, the softer snow providing a better landing for those who couldn’t quite stomp their landings!
The beginners made steady progress, taking the chair lifts ever higher up the mountains until they finally made it onto the “scare chair”. This elusive chair lift had been talked about all week by the other groups and it was quite an experience for the final group. It’s the closest they could get to a roller coaster without being buckled in!
The après ski proved just as varied and stimulating with ring-side seats at an exhibition game for the local ice hockey team, bum-boarding , snowball fights and ice skating. Mealtimes were equally enjoyable with colourful recounts of each day’s activities ensuring an endless flow of conversation.
It really was a fabulous trip, for pupils and staff alike and Mr Kirby (almost a convert from snowboard to skis!) is certainly looking forward to seeing everyone back on the slopes in 2015.