Sawtry Village Academy Ski Trip to Vaujany-Alpe d'Huez

The following blog was written by Ashley Yeomans from Sawtry Village Academy about their recent school ski trip to Alpe d’Huez, France in March 2016 

On Friday 25th March, 53 students and 6 teachers departed the college on a lovely sunny day for Alpe D’Huez. The excitement of the students was illustrated by the smiles on their faces and the anticipation of what lay ahead. A whopping 35 beginners had no idea what to expect and the surprise of what lay ahead was thrilling. After 16 hours and 4 films later, we arrived in Porchery a tiny village around 2km from Vaujany. The first day was to be the hottest and sunniest day of the trip with bright blue skies and gleaming sun shining over the lake. The hotel facilities were excellent with the students enjoying the table tennis table, table football and basketball courts that the hotel had to offer.

Day One

Day one skiing and the buzz of the students in the morning was electric. The 7.15am wake up was not needed with most students up, ready and dressed. The first laugh came at 9am when George found out that he had forgot his salepets so had to wear the spare, purple, garish pair for the rest of the week. Watching so many students for the first time entering the cable car, to travel 1600m up the side of the mountain, was incredible.

The views never seem to fail my expectation, simply breath taking. The intermediate and advanced group skied off together for the morning to remind themselves of the basics while the beginners got used to the snow by rolling around and having snow ball fights. I have to commend the beginners this year for being very committed and determined with no moaning at any time even when they fell over every which way possible. By the end of the first day some beginners had picked it up so well, they were skiing 2km to the chair lift. Amazing achievements for their first day. Après ski was where the kids and adults divulged in singing Disney songs and there was a spectacular dance off between Dan and George.

Day Two

Second day and all the beginners already had the skiing bug with everyone wanting to get their boots on ready for a prompt 9.30 start. They were now split into 3 groups and assigned their instructors. Some were still perfecting their snow plough turn and controlling their speed while others were beginning to build some speed on the blue slopes. The advanced group skied over to Alpe D’Huez after having a technical coaching session in the morning. The evening activity was broom ball and what a game it was! I expected more injuries here than on the slopes. A game played on an Ice rink with trainers which makes it very entertaining. The aim is very much like ice hockey, to get the ball in the back of the net with sticks. Very fun and entertaining to watch with so many epic and comical slips.

Day Three and Four

Day 3 and 4 saw snow fall all day so goggles were out in force. The beginners were consolidating their techniques and were beginning to really look like skiers until a tricky push button lift bought them all crashing back to reality with 15 students falling off half way up. This was a scene of carnage on the slopes and later, won a well-earned award in the presentation. The advanced group skied the longest black run in the world, 16km long in all and very challenging in places with moguls. The students were starting to build excellent rapport with their instructors who describe the group as able, lovely and a little crazy. The Après ski activities included a film night which was ‘Fast and the Furious 7’ and bowling which was won with a score of 129 by Aaron, only just beating birthday girl Charlotte.

Day Five and Six

The last two days the sun came back out and conditions made it much easier to see. Day 5 and all students skied over to Alpe D’Huez on the other side of the mountain. Here students had some fun on the ski park attempting to land jumps, however, it was to be more about the amazing stacks and bales than landing them. Luckily no injuries all week so students maximised their skiing and really made some excellent progress. The last two evenings were spent swimming and Ice staking. For a fair few students it was also the first time staking on a lovely rink. We also were lucky enough to see the local ice hockey team training before our session on the ice.

I could speak all day about the benefits of a school ski trip for students including learning a new skill outside their comfort zone, teamwork, appreciation of other environments and cultures- school ski trips really do offer everything. All in all, it was an amazing ski trip that created many lasting memories for students and teachers alike!

If you are interested in organising a ski trip to Vaujany-Alpe d’Huez in France please contact Ski Adaptable today to start planning your school ski trip 

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