At 10.30am yesterday morning an excited group of pupils and staff set off to Claviere in Italy for seven days of skiing. This blog will allow you keep updated with the daily activities they have been involved in and to see a selection of photographs.
Following a very busy first evening devouring a gorgeous 3 course dinner we settled the group into their rooms. We awoke at 6.45am for an early breakfast ready for ski fit and there has been huge excitement particularly when we arrived at the ski area.
We have been really lucky and any fears I had of limited snow are now over, we have skied plenty all morning and now having a break for lunch in the glorious sunshine.
Mrs K Floyd
Being the lazy ones in our dorms it felt like Christmas Day as we were awoken by excited roommates. Breakfast was slow, as the Fourth and Fifth Form were only half awake, drinking their unusual cups of tea. We're still unsure about how anyone could wrongly prepare such a sacred drink. Following this, we began our preparation for the long adventurous day that lay ahead.
With salopettes, jackets and goggles at the ready, we fetched our weapons (skis and boots) from the ski hire, merely a convenient 5 minutes walk from the magnificent Hotel Savoia. The lack of snow meant we had to cross the border into France. As treacherous as this seems, it was only a five minute drive. Strange to think that within two hundred metres of a each other two different languages are spoken. Soon after our Arrival to this new found winter wonderland, we were greeted by our ski coaches, and sorted into four groups, which were each led by a personal instructor who had extensive knowledge of the slopes. Then the enduring yet incredible day of skiing commenced, stopping only for a hasty pit stop as we refuelled our energy levels. Although many of the slopes were closed due to the lack of snow, we still had brilliant runs down numerous blue and red slopes with the occasional wipe out making it a more enjoyable time.
As the day of skiing ended, we returned for a relaxing evening at the hotel, with the older years making use of time and revising for their prestigious mock exams that follow the Christmas holidays. Dinner was super tasty. Now time for a well earned sleep ready for tomorrow's quest. (We love metaphors).
Wilf Cartwright (Fifth Form, Queen Anne) and Fredi Traish (Fourth Form, Swift)
After a much better night we woke up to a sunny yet chilly morning. Once again, excitement flooded through our rooms as we prepared for day two on the slopes. At breakfast, everyone was blurry eyed and tired, still recovering from the first day. However, when we caught site of the coach the excitement returned and we were eagerly awaiting a great day of skiing.
Having driven by coach the short distance to Mongenevre, across the border in France where there is enough snow for a full days skiing, we were glad that any teething troubles with skis and boots had been sorted out the day before, and our lessons began in earnest. The weather was amazing again, and with clear skies and strong French sun, Mrs Cooper was on hand to give out sun cream which gratefully we plastered our rosy faces.
After familiarising ourselves with some untried routes, a few of us chose to film our skiing antics, which included a few 'deliberate' falls, fortunately without any serious injuries. Some of the best films include Wilf and Matt attempting, and failing, to look impressive in mid air.
Back at the Hotel Savoia, after another fantastic day, we showered (yes, really!), and sat down for a suitably filling supper of lasagne and schnitzel. This gave us the energy to play some entertaining games, including old favourites like the cracker game (how many can you can fit in your mouth), and the chubby bunny challenge which Stuart looked set to win, but was pipped at the post by an impressive performance by Grace.
After another full-on day we have earned the right to a good nights sleep, ready for an early start tomorrow. Can't wait!
Matt Dray (Fifth Form, Gascoigne) and Cam Knox (Fifth Form, Feilden)
Today went really well as usual and we all had a great time. The instructors have told our teachers that they are very impressed with how much we have improved!!!! Despite being very chilly, it was still really sunny and we managed to get in a full four hours of challenging skiing.
Even though it was our third day, some people still managed to fall over. Millie Richards (Second Form, Vanbrugh) took a tumble for the first time this week and Hugo Robathan (First Form, Gascoigne) got completely wiped out by George Donald (Second Form, Queen Anne) being as fast as meteorite! Dominic House (Fourth Form, Queen Anne) and Matthew Christensen (Upper Sixth, Swift) had a great crash as well, having skied for the first time ever, what do you expect?
We found a rubber crumb football pitch that we played on when we returned to the hotel. We all loved it, although it seemed to become a rugby game some of the time. The end result was 5-4 to Sam's team. Emily Mumford (First Form, Feilden) scored three cracking goals and out skilled anyone who dared to challenge her!
Evening entertainment was a DVD in the cinema room and board games.
Hugo Robathan (First Form, Gascoigne) and Tom Orton (First Form, Swift)
It was an exciting morning as we were informed during breakfast that a number of new runs had been opened which would would allow us to ski from the French resort of Montgenevre into Italy towards Claviere. We were not disappointed as they had been well prepared and groomed for our pleasure and as there were a mixture of blue, red and black standard pistes we all had an opportunity to experience them. The highest point at the top of the Rocher De l'Aigle chair lift took us to 2500meters and the views were absolutely stunning.
The beginner group continue to impress their instructor Stephano and they will look to cover much more of the mountain over the next few days of skiing. The intermediate and advanced groups have been challenged throughout the week with drills and practices to perfect their technique, though I am sure though most of the time they would prefer to do tricks and little jumps off to the sides of the piste.
Before dinner there was a spot of shopping in the local shops and many of the pupils chose to play another round of football in the little gem of a facility that we have been able to hire for a small charge. Thankfully this gave them a huge appetite for our evening meal which had the usual monumental sized portions of pasta bolognese to start then meatballs and peas followed by a section of deserts.
Following dinner they were tasked with cleaning their rooms followed by an inspection before settling down for the night with a Quiz. The rounds consisted of general knowledge, christmas, a sports picture round and a specially written set of questions from Sam Bird (Third Form, Vanbrugh) and Alex Wallace (Fifth Form, Swift) about the Ski Trip. The victorious team included Chris Singleton (Fifth Form, Queen Anne), Sam Bird (Third Form, Vanbrugh), Cameron MacDonald (Second Form, Queen Anne), Tom Orton (First Form, Swift), Emily Mumford (First Form, Feilden) , Jamie Hammond (First Form, Gascoigne), Zach Newcombe (First Form, Harcourt), Ben Clarke (First Form, Vanbrugh) and Isaac Brown (Second Form, Harcourt).
Mrs K Floyd
We all woke up to cold beds this morning which was a shock to the system as the temperature outside was much lower than normal and even though the sun was still shining the peaks were covered in white frost and sheets of fog layered the rooftops. This did not stop us from jumping out of bed and getting ready for another day of skiing.
We arrived swiftly and made our way to the ski lift. We were so eager to get going that at one point Milo Howden (Third Form, Harcourt) and Louis Rawlinson (Third Form, Harcourt) battled for the same chair lift and ended up it being one person too many. All the people waiting were bunched together like sardines but luckily the wide-eyed operator stopped the chair before it took off.
Today each group had to perform a ski test depending on their level to see how well they had developed since the start of the week, this will go towards the final certificate and presentation tomorrow. We also had the opportunity to test out the new slopes that had been opened overnight under the supervision of each instructor.
Louis was tasked this evening to perform the evening brief instead of one of the teachers which was very funny but he did a really fantastic job, he gave us instructions about the evenings activities and the timings for breakfast in the morning. Tonight's evening activity caused a bit of excitement as the whole group were really upbeat as we left for the Igloo Club our venue for the karaoke party.
Matt Christensen (Third Form, Swift), Dennis Catrini (Third Form Gascoigne), Stanley Floyd (Third Form, Gascoigne), Louis Rawlinson (Third Form, Harcourt) and Milo Howden (Third Form, Harcourt)
Our final day on the slopes turned much colder catching out a few of our onesie enthusiasts! The mountain tops were covered in heavy cloud and the sun was struggling to find its way into the valley. Not deterred, the groups enjoyed an action packed and fun filled day of skiing topped off with a presentation evening from the instructors. Each pupil had been graded against their performance and achievements over the course of the week, and awarded with a certificate and pin badge.
After a fantastic pizza dinner we held a presentation evening of our own. There were a number of prizes commencing with the six for skills for life awards where each category had a specific criteria. The worthy recipients were presented with a certificate and a gift. We also had a number of other prizes which have been listed below.
The pupils made presentations of their own to Carlo our hotel owner for his excellent hospitality and to Nicole our Equity tour rep and to the teachers.
The evening ended with a spot of packing and room tidying ready for our 5.30am wake up call in the morning. It really has been a wonderful trip and we hope you have enjoyed following the blog. The pupils can now look forward to a great Christmas with their families.
Mrs K Floyd
Skills for Life Awards:
Fairness & Respect - Wilf Cartwright (Fifth Form, Queen Anne)
Resilience & Motivation - Dominic House (Fourth Form, Queen Anne)
Leadership & Commitment - Sam Bird (Fifth Form, Harcourt)
Teamwork & Trust - Emily Mumford (First Form, Feilden)
Responsibility & Personal Best - Joe Ferrier (First Form, Vanbrugh)
Collaborating & Communicating - Fredi Traish (Fourth Form, Swift)
Games Night Winners- Stuart Barbour (Fifth Form, Harcourt), Alex Wallace (Fifth Form, Swift), Tom Orton (First Form, Swift), Fredi Traish (Fourth Form, Swift), Cam MacDonald (Second Form, Queen Anne), Jack Crudgington (Fourth Form, Vanbrugh) and Dominic House (Fourth Form, Queen Anne)
Quiz Night Winners - Emily Mumford (First Form, Feilden), Tom Orton (First Form, Swift), Ben Clarke (First Form, Vanbrugh), Jamie Hammond (First Form, Gascoigne), Sam Bird (Fifth Form, Harcourt), Cam MacDonald (Second Form, Queen Anne), Isaac Brown (Second Form, Harcourt), Chris Singleton (Fifth Form, Queen Anne) and Zack Newcombe (First Form, Harcourt)
Top Boy Skier - Isaac Brown (Second Form, Harcourt)
Top Girl Skier - Izzy Coles (Secdon Form, Swift)
Best Dressed Skier - Cam Macdonald (Second Form, Queen Anne)
Best Singer - Grace Ettinger (Second Form, Harcourt)
Best Onesie - Jenny Allen (First Form, Harcourt)
Most Improved - Stuart Barbour (Fifth Form, Harcourt)
Skibola Performance - Tom Orton (First Form, Swift)
Best Wipeouts - Isaac Brown (Second Form, Harcourt), Zack Newcombe (First Form, Harcourt), Dennis Catrini (Third Form, Gascoigne) and Dominic House (Fourth Form, Queen Anne)
Tourers Tourer (voted for by the pupils) - Sam Bird (Fifth Form, Harcourt)