Austria Ski Trip (February Half Term)
The agony of the 26 hour coach ride was quickly dismissed when the 50+ group of staff and students stepped onto the Austrian ground. Immediately, the cultivating mountains and the fairytale like houses caught my attention I was struck by the beautiful sights surrounding where we lived that week. Gathered around the hotel cafeteria, the staff and students were briefed on the following week’s events and hotel rules by our lovely hotel manager. Soon after, the exhausted group fell into their silky sheets, something we all lacked the previous night.
On the first ski day, we were split into groups based on our experiences and ability. Inevitably, everyone was placed in groups with fresh faces – a catalyst for blossoming friendships. We all started on the ‘baby slope’, but slowly, one by one, the groups got sent to the mountain. The gondola ride we took every morning was a crucial part of the day, we would chat, catch-up and of course, discuss the snack selection of the day (our favourite activity).
The itinerary was filled with a range of ‘after ski activities’ including but not limited to visiting an ice cream parlour, a pizza meal and the collective favourite – bumboarding! Personally, it was my favourite activity as the laughs and cheers energised and lifted each other’s moods! Above all, I enjoyed viewing the teachers under a different light, where they unlocked their inner child and raced us down the baby slope. In hindsight, I appreciated how a simple activity requiring a piece of plastic and some snow invoked so much joy for us all.
Across the week, we were blessed with blue skies however this meant the snow condition was not ideal. The lack of snow meant we were skiing on very icy texture and were faced with a run of moguls. I found this very challenging due to the lack of decisions we had in terms of where we could turn and many of us ended up in the air more than on the snow. Our group were brought onto a black slope on the second day, personally I hadn’t been on one in years so anxiety filled my body. However the supportive environment and encouragement from Dr Pugh slowly but surely lead me down the frightening slope. On this trip, we learnt new skills such as carving and I really believe, as a group, we have improved drastically since the beginning.
I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to bond with my peers and make new friends in an environment away from college. This was my first trip away with college and there will definitely be many more to come.
– Abbie, 6.1.