The ski trip this year proved as popular as ever, with 60 pupils from Year 10 to Upper Sixth travelling to St Michael in Lungau, Austria. The 4:00am start on the first day of the Christmas break left most of the group bleary-eyed but once they had landed in Slovenia and passed through a mountain tunnel and out in to a winter wonderland the early morning was forgotten. There was already plenty of snow on the ground and that evening, as the pupils collected their ski equipment, there was another heavy snowfall.

There were plenty of snowball fights that evening and it also meant that our first day on the mountains yielded more fresh powder than we could have hoped for. On the first morning pupils split in to ski instruction groups for five hours of tuition a day. The ‘elite’ group were rarely seen and only then fleetingly on account of their speed and technique which refined throughout the week. Groups 2a and 2b tended to be heard before they were seen, such was their enjoyment of the slopes. Groups 3 and 4 made fantastic technical progress during the week and were in the perfect place for people who wanted to be challenged but also enjoy the view. The beginners’ group started out on blue runs and, through determination and resilience, were hitting the blacks by day three. The instructors all spoke about how brilliant our students were; they all listened, pushed hard, were polite and looked out for each other.

The fun didn’t stop on the mountain! The après ski activities included bowling (Austrian style), an ice cream night, swimming, movie/board game night and presentation evening. There was also a collective sigh of relief when they discovered that there was a ‘Hofer’ (Austrian Aldi) supermarket within walking distance of the hotel. Trip leader, Alan Spring-Wall, said: “The students were positive, enthusiastic and excellent company throughout the trip and a credit to their school. Thanks must go Mrs Davis, Mr Cradock, Miss Gordon, Mr Stanley, Miss Stewart and Miss Paterson for their invaluable support.”