During the Christmas break, a group of 25 pupils and four staff set off for a week in the mountains to St Michael im Lungau, Austria. The group of pupils from Years 10 – 12 departed from Dean Close at the civilised time of 10am and flew to Salzburg. Just a short transfer later, the pupils caught their first glimpse of snow as they arrived in the resort. Dinner and unpacking were followed by an early night, ready for the first day on the slopes. Some even laid out their ski outfits ready for the first day!

In the morning, the skiers were split into groups, ranging from beginners to advanced. The five beginners headed to the nursery slopes to master their turns and the all-important snow plough while the remaining 20 pupils competed in a ski-off to determine the intermediate and advanced groups. A jam-packed first day that included guided off-piste skiing, some even attempted a few jumps (and falls!) at the snow park.

Pupils were put through their paces with intense technical drills in the mornings and it didn’t take long to see vast improvements from all members of the group. Lunches were enjoyed on the mountain and followed by several epic snowball fights. The mountain food was also very popular, ranging from small personal pizzas to the double decker house burger!  The afternoon sessions were more relaxed, with some free skiing, putting in to practice what they had learnt that morning.

The advanced group took on the ‘trust short turns’ drill; where the first person skied downhill with their eyes closed, while the  second person held their poles and created short turns to slow their fellow skier down. The intermediate skiers were also challenged technically and made excellent progress, including a visit to the black slopes. The beginners made steady progress throughout the week and all successfully made it down the red slopes.

Evening activities included an excellent quiz hosted by the staff, with rounds on General Knowledge, Christmas, Music, Logos, and Countries. Bingo was also very popular with Toby Greaves proving to be a first class second caller! Mr Mochan’s party games included; cup flipping, transferring smarties with a straw, building the tallest cup tower, balloon slalom and the after eight game.

After a week of glorious blue skies, the final day was slalom day, where all the groups took part in a downhill race. Several skiers took a tumble but all finished, and the day ended with Olly Hodgson being crowned the overall winner. A fantastic end to a wonderful week; a few falls, a few lost poles and gloves but all of the group returned safely and ready for Christmas with their friends and families.

Trip leader, Sarah Paterson, said,  “The pupils were exceptionally well behaved and a pleasure to travel with, thank you to Mrs Davis, Mr Mochan and Mr Winter who also provided excellent company and were exceptional dobble opponents!”