Fab French Trip – Risoul Skiiing

The ski trip to Risoul, France took place from March 22nd to March 29th 2014.  Fortunately, due to the upgrade to flights, the journey was a much quicker and efficient one.

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After winding up the mountains of the French Alps for the best part of 3 hours, there was a concern that there would be no snow. How wrong could we be? In resort it was pouring with snow, and approximately 20cm came down in a matter of a few hours. The students had not seen snow like it before.

After settling into the hotel and getting skis and boots fitted, the students couldn’t wait to get out on the slopes. After meeting their instructor Olvino on day 1, they soon progressed into good skiers. From starting on the baby slopes and skiing what appeared to be more or less flat ground, they were skiing from 2,800m by the end of the week. The students started on beginners slopes, struggling to find their feet on the first day. Day 2 they moved further down the slope and were relishing the challenge of steeper and precarious slopes. A quote from Asim when I pointed out what he will be skiing down from by the end of week was ‘No way Sir, you ain’t getting me up there’.  It was astonishing to think that all of them were on these types of mountains by day 3 and 4.

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As well as the skiing there was some fun evening entertainment, with luge and bum boarding stealing the limelight. Where the bum boarding is concerned, the students appeared to have more intent on injuring myself than anything else, with Charlotte completely wiping me out followed straight after by Bryony and Paul crunching into the back of me when I was nursing a leg injury. All students found this particular incident incredibly amusing!! In all honesty though, it was great fun and it is brilliant to see the students get the most out of their trip.

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On Day 3 and 4, instructor Olvino showed students how to use a chair lift up to the top of Risoul resort. I think he was extra careful here because the group struggled to use the drag lift, with a 5 or 6 person pile up being caused after they fell off.  The chair lift brought more mayhem, with Owen colliding with a fence after Darnell kind of nudged him over so he could keep his own balance….how selfish!!

Day 5 saw some excellent skiing, with all students competently skiing with the snow plough in a good formation behind the instructor. Some by this point were starting to parallel, particularly Sean who was a natural from Day 1. Olvino was so impressed with their development that he treated them to a day out on the Friday in Vars; a resort on the other side of the valley. It was very different in this resort, but the students loved it, and they were the only students in resort who went due to being so competent. All of them skied very well on this day, and even had a laugh at my expense when I flew off a jump and completely lost my balance and nearly went into a fence. Well, as long as the kids are happy, eh?

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The trip through the mountains on the way to the airport to come home was an interesting one, but after getting on the plane we got home safe and sound. We arrived back at the Academy at 7.30pm Saturday.

In my experience of taking students on ski trips, our students made the most progress without a doubt. I want to congratulate; Sean, Aabid, Owen, Richard, Paul, Asim, Bryony, Charlotte, and Darnell for doing so well and excelling in a new sport that they had never done before. Hopefully, we can go again next year!

I would also like to thank Mrs Millett for her wonderful support during the week.

Student quotes:

  • ‘My favourite part of the trip was the skiing because it was fun to learn a new sport’. Paul 
  • ‘Skiing was enjoyable. It was also great to have Olvino as an instructor as he taught us so much’. Bryony
  • ‘Skiing was a challenge but fun because we learned something new every day’.  Richard
  • ‘It was extremely funny watching people fall and it was a great overall experience’Darnell

By Mr, T. Woolgar, Ski Trip Organiser