We set off from MBA at lunchtime on Saturday 4th February for the 23 hour trip to the stunning Aosta Valley, Italy. We left in torrential rain, and despite the storms that had hit the coast over the preceding days, we had one of the flattest crossings for any ski trip. The journey finally ended with snow from Geneva and up through the mountains. The snow continued to fall on the Sunday of our arrival and there were many smiles and wows from the coach as Mont Blanc and her alpine neighbours gave us a brief glimpse of her snow covered beauty.
We received a very warm welcome from the family at the hotel and staff old and new at Interski. The learning for the students started on arrival as we prepared to be safe in the mountains and equipment was fitted, briefings given and then we refuelled on the local cuisine!
We woke on Monday morning to a clear sky with 46 very enthusiastic students raring to go. The attitude to learning and adventure really impressed all the staff. The students’ enthusiasm and commitment, from all ability groups, was inspiring. Looking after each other, laughing with one another and being caring towards each other was certainly a major positive of the trip. This helped with learning new skills and allowed students to progress quicker.
We saw progression from all groups, regardless of ability, from day 1. Those new to skiing and boarding spent the day on the nursery slopes, not only beginning to gain new skills but develop and linking them together. It was great to see the more advanced skiers developing and mastering skills, and it didn’t take long to blow away the cobwebs and rediscover their ski-legs.
The week continued to throw excellent snow conditions at us, and on day 3 we awoke to rain! But for those of you who know the mountains, rain in the valley often means snow on the peaks and we were not disappointed. As we took the gondola from ski fit in the town we ascended into the snow, and it didn’t stop all day. These conditions bring with them a different skill set and the students adapted well to differing visibility, thick snow and heavier conditions.
Day 4 again brought cloud and snow as we travelled up the mountain. It was a hard day with visibility down to 10 metres at times! With lots of snow and almost whiteout conditions it was a real test of the students’ skills and put all their learning into practise. The groups had to look out for each other throughout the day, being caring and safe in very demanding conditions. Being well prepared for the mountain ensured that all groups concentrated on the skiing and boarding and not the weather.
The apres ski was a major success with students taking part in ice skating, 10 pin bowling (won by Mr Raggett!), a trip to Aosta town with a visit to the ice cream parlour and shopping and finally a pizza night! Although the students were exhausted from the daily skiing, they always found the extra energy to participate in the apres!
The skiing continued to be excellent for the remainder of the week with fantastic progress and commitment shown by all. The Year 9, 10 and 11 students were able to be assessed for their GCSE PE grades and we are confident of good scores with lots of progress being made.
On Friday night the ski instructors came to the hotel for the presentation evening. All students were awarded their certificate and badge to show the level they had achieved over the week. The instructors were very complementary about the MBA students and their commitment to what is a very challenging and steep learning experience.
Saturday was our last day on the slopes and we were treated to blue skies once again. Once the day was over and we were fed and watered, it was onto the coach for the return journey home. However the excitement didn’t stop there! Our coach drivers were Welsh and our leaving time coincided with the Wales vs England rugby game. Thanks to 3G technology, we were able to watch the game and I am pleased to say that most of the coach were happy with the result, especially Mr Nowell!
We would like to thank the students for an amazing trip and we hope that you continue to progress in your snow sport skills.
Student comments from the trip:
We all had a great day today and managed to get down the blue slopes! Today we learnt how to snowplow and parallel turn. It’s great fun and we can’t wait for the rest of the week. (Thomas Hughes)
Things have been going really well and I have made so much improvement. My instructor has suggested that I move up a group. I’m really pleased with this. The staff are really nice. (Dylan Jones)
I’ve been having a great time and enjoyed learning to ski. I can now parallel turn and have skied red slopes. I even got the cool award today. (Rosie Prowse)
It’s really fun and it is helping me master my parallel turns. (Lucy Egan)
So far we started off with drills for turning. Later on in the day we went down some of the harder red runs. One of the next things we are going to do is starting to carve. We have really enjoyed today. (Lottie Davy/Ella Boulter)
We have been having an amazing time and my group and I have spent the day skiing red slopes. The weather was so bad that we couldn’t see down the slopes so we had no idea how steep they were! (Elsa Woodhead)
So far we have been going down the blue and red slopes. We were learning how to carve and pole place today! There has been a few tumbles and turns down the slopes when it comes to doing jumps! We cannot wait for the rest of the week and are happy to be starting on the black slopes tomorrow – wish us luck! (Megan Byrne)
Had an amazing day! We went down the red and blue runs today, so foggy we couldn’t see a thing, had a great laugh as many of us were falling over. (Esme Adams)
So far we are having fun mastering the technique of carving and have conquered the half pipe and 360’ turns. We are working on perfecting the correct body position. (Eva Hawken)
Today we had a good day. Despite the low visibility the snow was very good, we took advantage of the conditions by learning about powder skiing. Overall the day was good and we improved our technique as well as having a good time. (Joe Manser)
Today we did some hard runs and it made it harder with the low visability. I felt today has boosted my confidence on the mountain in different terrains and weather conditions. (Pierre Dormeuil)
First we went on the blue slopes and learnt how to strap our feet in, also we learnt going down frontwards and backward. Today we have moved onto a different slope and have been doing turning. Lunch times have been good too and also it is great because we get to meet other people. (Beth Tubb)
Today we started on the nursery slope to perfect our basic turns. Once the rest of our group came we took the chair lift to Baby Goraz to develop our basic turn on a bigger slope. After lunch we were then taught standard turns on the nursery slope. I ended the day being able to complete this without an instructor guiding me. It was a great day and I ended on a high. (Beth Tubb)