Pupils and Staff from Cokethorpe have set off on their pre-Christmas ski trip to the Risoul resort in France!
Saturday 16 December
On Saturday 16 December at 4.30am, 47 pupils and 5 staff set off for the resort of Risoul in the French Alps for the school ski trip. It was a hassle free journey and despite a small delay at passport control in Grenoble airport and an unprecedented amount of snow, we made excellent time to arrive at our accommodation. The staff of Hotel Club Le Morgan gave us a very special welcome and have been at our beckon call ever since. Ski fit was a lengthy process but we went to bed fed and watered feeling well prepared for our first days skiing.
Sunday 17 December
The group were treated to a lovely breakfast before the first full day of skiing. We met our ski instructors and quickly organised into groups based on skiing experience. The sun was shining and all groups were raring to go:
Day 1: Beginners Group
The beginners group had an eventful day, with little knowledge of skiing whatsoever. It was certainly a challenge. We started by meeting our instructor Pascal. With a few bruises we started off with the basics. Some falls pushed us to lunch time where we filled up on snacks and lunch. In the afternoon we headed up the mountain on the ski lift and enjoyed some stunning views. When we eventually reached the top it was a long ski down. Many falls occurred but we gradually got more confident and lessened the rate of our falls. After Mr Cook’s close call with the edge of the mountain and Jack ‘The Killer’ Harding’s kamikaze attitude to skiing, we finally reached the bottom in one piece with plenty of smiles.
Riley Weston (Second Form, Vanbrugh), Ben Orton (Second Form, Swift) and Harry Furlong (Second Form, Vanbrugh)
Monday 18 December
Day 2 - Intermediate Group
Today was amazing! It was packed full of parallel turns, big crashes and stunning scenery. In the morning we set out with a good breakfast in our stomach all dying to get out to the slopes to met our instructor, Marco. First we went to the peak of the mountain and skied down the first piste to warm up. Let’s just say some warmed up quicker than others. Pearse Chapman for example, skied off attempting to impress the girls but flew into a batch of powdered snow. The girls weren’t too impressed when he landed on his face close to the edge.
We earned ourselves some pizza at lunchtime which was delicious energising us for the afternoon. The afternoon was fantastic, bombing down the hills and jumping every little thing that could get us any amount of air. All round the day was brilliant and we hope tomorrow will be just as good.
Tom Orton (Third Form, Swift) and James Chapman (Third Form, Swift)
Evening Entertainment This evening we went bum boarding. There were many different types of sledges including discs and double sleighs. People were spinning down the mountain having so much fun. It was a nice and relaxing treat after a serious day of skiing. Sasha Wilson and Emily Martland were lightening quick with Phoebe Carter and Rachael Elliott slowly tumbling down the hill after them. The Lower Sixth were also very quick and didn't stop until they got all the way to the bottom of the slope. Even though it was getting dark and cold, Mr Cook and Mr Hughes managed to catch us in a snowball fight. Sadly it all had to end when it was time for dinner but we are looking forward to tomorrow evening where we will enjoy a Quiz Night!
Rachael Elliott (First Form, Feilden), Phoebe Carter (Second Form, Queen Anne),
Sasha Wilson (Second Form, Feilden)and Emily Martland (First Form, Vanbrugh)
Day 3 - Tuesday 19 December
This morning we were joined by the staff and hoped to challenge them with some cool tricks. We did many things like red slopes, half pipes and deep off piste. It was really fun. Many people wiped out but nobody got injured – except for one ski pole (death by chairlift). Skiing a half pipe was really fun, but you had to be careful to not to gain too much speed and fall over. We also went on some off piste, the snow was really nice and deep. Overall we had a great day in all groups and we hope that tomorrow will be as good, or even better!
By Leo Volynski (Second Form, Harcourt) and Daniel Ferrier (First Form, Vanbrugh)
This evening we went head to head in a quiz competing in our passport groups. Carter’s crusaders only needed one point to win, closely followed by a team which didn’t have a name (Lead by Mr Hughes). However, it was Floyd’s Fantastiques who came out on top claiming a stunning victory. There were some very interesting questions such as, which Caribbean island went to the Winter Olympics, How many sides does a snow flake have and where did Ice Hockey originate from?
By Leo Volynski (Second Form, Harcourt), Malachy Brown (First Form, Queen Anne),
Sebastian Wall (First Form, Harcourt) and Max Quartley (First Form, Swift)
Day 4 - Wednesday 20 December
We woke up early to croissants and orange juice, then briskly went off to the slopes once again. Amongst the exited faces were also some tired ones too, day 4 of skiing was taking its toll, Mr Hughes and Mr Cook however remained upbeat and exited for the day ahead to try out their new found talents. The advanced group were pushed into a tricky half pipe in the off piste of the Risoul resort, even the best skiers were challenged. After lunch, we headed down the other side of the mountains which involved some lovely smooth blue runs and some tough off piste jumps which caused a few tumbles into the powdery snow. Later on after another tiring day on the slopes we once again had warm soothing hot chocolate and cookies.
The final event of the day was an exciting treasure hunt around Risoul, providing us with a rich embrace of the local culture. It also allowed us to appreciate the surroundings of the village we are staying in and some of the small details we hadn’t noticed before. We explored the small lanes down the side of the main shopping street, trying to recognise different signs which included little gift shops, restaurants and patisseries and cultural details such as the marmot which is a local animal to the Alps. It was a great adventure through Risoul. Congratulations to The Scorpions who were the winners of the treasure hunt and treated to Mocktails from the bar.
(By George Williams (Lower Sixth, Vanbrugh), Fred Gray (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne), Jack Smith (Lower Sixth, Swift),
Dominic House (Lower Sixth, Queen Anne) and Katie Reid (Lower Sixth, Harcourt))
Day 5 - Thursday 21 December
Lower Advanced Group
On Thursday, the lower advanced group went to the top of the mountain and across to Vars. We went down the amazing half pipe again, with many crashes, wipe outs and barrel rolls. We did the usual selection of red runs and blue runs, however today I managed to convince our instructor; Marco, to take us down a black run, so it allowed us to say, “we had completed a black”. We handled it quite well but there were a few more crashes, with Alex Petrou getting stuck in some deep off piste snow hidden behind a tree and Freddie Quartley's ski’s flying loose and one escaping down the forested hill. Many people were not very comfortable on the black run but at least Reuben Miller, my trusted blogging side-kick saw the experience as really positive. Lunch was a delicious meal of hot wings and potato Wedges.
Our evening entertainment followed dinner which was a brilliant Indian, with home-made onion bhaji, naan bread, rice and a fabulous curry. The disco didn't disappoint and took place a local night club which we had all to ourselves with the equity staff. We had classic party music playing, like the Cha-cha slide that got everyone up and dancing. Special mention is to be given to Mr Cook and Mrs Floyd for their amazing synchronised dancing.
(Katie Reid (Lower Sixth, Harcourt) and Reuben Miller (Third Form, Gascoigne))
Day 6 - Friday 22 December
It has been the most fantastic weeks skiing. We have enjoyed a warm and friendly hotel, an unbelievable amount of snow, empty perfectly groomed slopes and glorious daily sunshine. Each group has made significant progress in their personal skiing which was recognised today in the awarding of skiing performance badges. Each instructor has individually commented to me during the week on how much they have enjoyed working with our pupils and how polite and hard working they have been. (I had no doubt the the would be the case!). To emphasise how brilliantly our beginner group has progressed we all embarked on a ski expedition this morning enabling us to venture further into Vars and beyond. Many groups enjoyed the snow park to practice their jumps and tricks and we all met for a picnic lunch on the mountain. The views were absolutely amazing and I hope the pictures have done it justice.
During our final evening we were treated once again to cake and hot chocolate before returning our skis and boots to the store. The group had the opportunity to buy gifts and pack their bags for an early departure tomorrow morning. Dinner was outstanding comprising of tomato soup, fillet of pork with roasted carrots and potatoes followed by apple pie and custard. Shortly afterwards we held our own awards ceremony which identified some pupils for their endeavours and the equity staff presented medals to each pupil. The full list of the awards is below but congratulations to Hannah Craig for being voted Skiers Skier. It has been a wonderful week that has unfortunately had to come to end, thankfully though I am confident that the memories will last a lifetime.
Mrs K Floyd
Best Dancer: Phoebe Carter
Most Stylish Skier: Georgie Vallance
Best Wipe-Out: Jack Harding
Most Helpful: Katie Reid
Best Bum Boarder: Sasha Wilson
Best Dressed: Dominic House
Super Trouper: Emily Mumford
Most Improved: Max Quartley
Skiers Skier (Voted by the pupils): Hannah Craig