All Saints Catholic School Ski Trip to Zell Am See-Kaprun
The following blog was written by a teacher on their Ski Adaptable school ski trip to Zell am See at Easter 2014.
Day One & Two
On the afternoon of Friday 4th April, 59 All Saints’ staff and students started the long journey to Zell Am See. As they waved goodbye to the parents on the side the coach filled with excitement with the odd student and parent having a tear in their eye! With a quick and loud ‘everywhere we go’ gracefully started by Charlotte the trip made its way down the Dagenham Heathway. This song along with ‘do you want to build a snowman?’ from Frozen became the trip motto. Once we arrived to the hotel all smelling like roses after the journey the view made the 20 hours all worthwhile.
Sunday 6th April was really the start of the trip……skiing, the excitement was clear on the bus to the slopes. On arrival at the slopes the group were divided into their ski groups and the skiing had begun. The views were absolutely amazing, breath-taking in fact. Initially there were clearly two groups, those who could ski and those who had no idea, with the majority of the staff in the latter! As the day progressed the two more able groups began to tackle the blue runs, this was amazing and had never happened before in the previous 2 years. Normally on the first day of a ski trip all groups had to learn the basics but not this year, we were off and running. The 3 more novice groups had fun learning the basics, picking yourself up once you fall. Staff were generally the main problem.
As the day developed all the groups made great progress and were developing really well, frustration at the start was turning into enjoyment and excitement. However by the end of the day the aches and pains had started to set in and how failed to leave by the time we returned to the bus on the start of day 2. With the instructor’s advice we moved to different slopes, these slopes were perfect for the group and gave students more of a challenge. Even Harry who spent the majority of day 1 and half of day 2 on the floor, ended the day moving smoothly down the mountain. The clear day and amazing views allowed students the opportunity to appreciate where they were and why they came. The top groups were challenged attempting the red runs, although there were many falls, (some very entertaining) progress had been made. It was amazing how much progress they had all made in two days skiing, in fact unbelievable if you had seen the first morning.
Day Four & Five
Both days were very similar, tired eyes in the morning along with aches and pains. The noise on the bus in the morning was non-existent, to the staff’s delight! However in the evening the group were really starting to gel together with Chris & Charlotte leading the songs which were fantastic to hear and unbelievable to see. These journeys back to the hotel highlighted how close the group had now become, with students from different years laughing, playing and happily joining in on the songs on the bus. In terms of the skiing the group were making good progress, particularly the bottom groups. These groups looked like they would never be able to ski certain slopes but now they were looking to the next challenge or the next red run. .
Today began with the ski race, a time trial down a blue run!!!! All students lined up on the starting line, one at a time they tried to beat the best time. Observing from a distance, it was unbelievable how much progress had been made by these students. Some of them had no fear and a few looked like skiers! By the end of 59 runs there were two surprises, the winner; he didn’t come from the top 2 groups but from a group that had never skied before. A perfect example of application and a joy for speed, George was the champion winning by a comfortable 2.5 seconds. Well done George. And the second surprise was that Mr Siva made it down the mountain before we left for home on Friday!
Days Seven & Eight
The students really didn’t want to get out of bed or on the slopes due to aches, pains and sleepy eyes! However once on the slopes the excitement and progress continued, even the bottom groups were now attacking the red runs and the technique had hugely improved. To the point that some of the students were attempting ski jumps, successfully I would add (well almost everyone).
The evening entertainment was led by the ice hockey game, a sport where no one member of the group had a real idea what was going on! However the excitement in the stadium was amazing and the group supporting the local team really added to the atmosphere. I don’t think the locals had ever seen anything like this before!! Quiz night followed the next evening, the tension and excitement was amazing and enjoyable to watch. The student’s ability to work as a team was a joy to watch. The highlight of the evening was the BGT round; Mollie eating 6 pieces of chocolate cake in 1 minute 30 seconds, Oliver’s extremely long tongue but probably the most surprising was Ellis singing the current smash hit ‘happy’. This performance shocked everyone; the whole room went silent and just listened. He had the whole room on their feet; the only disappointment was that he stopped rather than sing the whole song!
Quotes for the students/staff;
“What an amazing experience, never enjoyed a school trip so much”: Olivia Yr 10
“See you next year”: Tommy Yr 9
“What amazing views, I have never been up so high”: Harry Yr 8
“The instructors were amazing, day 1 I couldn’t ski day 6 I am a legend”: Bilimae Yr 10
“I have never skied before, but I will be back next year” Staff member
“I have never been on such an enjoyable trip; hotel staff, bus driver and ski instructors couldn’t do enough for us. We are certainly booking for next year”: Group Leader