Hazelwood Ski Trip to Val di Fassa
The following blog was written by Tom Lloyd from Hazelwood School about their recent school ski trip to Val di Fassa, Italy in March 2016
Having arranged a very sociable meeting time of 8:30am at Gatwick, the whole group were fresh and raring to go (my friend's school group had to meet at 2:40am - not with Ski Adaptable obviously!). The EasyJet staff were very helpful checking us in and we were through security in no time. The flight was short and sweet and the coach transfer of 3 hours was easily manageable for the group.
The Hotel Dolasilla was to be the hidden gem of the trip - by far the nicest 3 star hotel I've ever stayed in!
Luca, from the Dolasilla, had arranged our ski fit at Tony Sport and the whole group (25 staff and pupils) were booted up and ready to hit the slopes within half an hour...fastest time yet! The Catinaccio ski lift is only a short walk from the hotel but Luca kindly did shuttle runs throughout the week for the children and their ski equipment - this made the whole process much easier for us all. There wasn't much snow at town level but there was plenty at the top of the lift.
Our instructors for the week were true to Italian form; very pleasant and their English was fantastic too.
As far as aprés activities go the town of Vigo is pretty quiet but the hotel had plenty of space to spread out, play cards and board games....who doesn't love a bit of Uno and Bananagrams!
After a cracking feast for breakfast the group were ready for their lessons. Each group were making solid progress already - quite hard to believe after only 1 day but with the slopes to ourselves it was hard not to. The beginners were venturing off down the blue runs, the middle group down pista Thoni and the top group tackled the Tomba. The skiing has been great so far, the hotel is perfect and the food delicious which all makes for a happy bunch of skiers.
Everyone loves a good movie night and the TV room was accommodating for all with plenty of seating for everyone to enjoy the movie with a few hot chocolates thrown in there too.
To quote our instructor Paulo "the snow is super good in the morning for sure, so let's enjoy it". There were very few people on the slopes early doors and we had the run of the mountain, it made for fantastic skiing.
After another bowl of fine Italian pasta for lunch the groups ventured a little off piste through some great tree runs as the snow was a bit slushier in the afternoon. Having explored all of the available runs in this area the instructors were keen for us to go further afield tomorrow. The top group needed more lesson time to venture off into the next ski area so we arranged for a 4 hour block of lessons to start in Buffaure for the morning. It was good of them to suggest this option to make the lessons more worthwhile and the skiing more enjoyable.
After a bit of tricky organising to find transport for the whole group to Canazei to go swimming (the local ski buses stop running at 6:30ish so we had to get a local minibus to help drive us there and back). It wasn't a cheap trip out but the kids loved it so it was money well spent. In hindsight the best way to keep the cost down would be to return from skiing earlier and use the local buses and catch the last one back at 6:38pm. The facilities were excellent, the pool was nice but the big hit was the slide. The merry-go-round whirlpool and the outdoor pool that overlooked the mountains were pretty cool too.
It was a little colder and a little windier than we had grown accustomed to over the past few days; still a cracking day though! As planned, the top group ventured over to Buffaure with thanks to Paulo and Luca for driving. Although the longer lesson slot was a bit more demanding the group were ready for it and it was certainly worth the switch. The views atop the Catinaccio are almost unbeatable but the new runs and variation were brilliant. With some long swooping runs and some fun off piste the kids loved it. With the middle and beginner groups making solid progress Theresa and Igor were keen to give them a change of scenery too. The afternoon was spent in Carezza tackling new runs, weaving through some trees and popping off jumps in the park.
After a long day skiing yesterday, the beginners and middle group stayed closer to home while the top group went to explore Carezza a little more. The different runs - one gorgeous black run which was long and sweeping (plenty wide enough so wasn't tricky) and of course the park were good fun and made for a great morning. Just be sure to take all of your equipment with you on the bus!
After a week sharing the slopes and the hotel the evening challenge was to design a t-shirt for the staff to wear on the last day. There were some interesting and colourful designs but Mrs B's science themed shirt had the right formula to take the prize.
It's Friday which means race day! I was up extra early to do my stretches and practice my turns through the gates just to keep my edge. The ever more confident skiers have been catching me up all week and I wasn't fancying my chances. With little Franz Klammer and Lindsay Vonn zipping past the gates the staff and instructors were all mightily impressed by everyone's performance. Of all the resorts we have visited this was by far the best "last day races" we've ever had.
The ski fitting on the first day went super smoothly and the return was just the same - it's the little touches that make the whole process more pleasant and not an ordeal.
Back home we go. With huge thanks for the flight options being at such a reasonable hour we were able to wake up only slightly earlier and enjoy a decent breakfast before hitting the road. The windy roads are always tricky on the tummy - a well planned visit to the pharmacy to pick up travel sickness tablets was a good move. After a clear run to the airport we were there in under 3 hours and ready to go.
Another successful trip done and a whole host of happy and strangely tanned faces heading back home to their eagerly awaiting parents at the airport.
If you are interested in organising a school ski trip to Val di Fassa in Italy please contact Ski Adaptable today to start planning your school ski trip