Many people are put off by the thought of a school ski holiday due to a long bus journey and having to spend a week with teachers. However, to everyone’s surprise, these factors make the holiday. We left school on a sunny Friday morning after watching our friends embark on a day of hard graft in school. We set off knowing that in twenty four hours we would be in our resort. Apart from a few rubbish films and Mr Soroko’s snoring, the bus journey was smooth and we soon arrived in Altenmarkt, Austria.
We arrived at the resort earlier than planned. This was the result of fantastic bus drivers Les and Skippy of Mainline Travel. After going to get our skis and boots fitted, which was a quick and easy process, we were left with a full day to unpack and pick up supplies from the local supermarket.
Sunday morning was the first day of ski school and for those who hadn’t been before, the traditional rendition of Sunshine Mountain was performed on the bus. The experienced skiers got what they had been waiting for and the beginners fell in love with the sport just like every beginner before them. Conditions were fantastic and the resort never fails to impress both experienced and beginners and this is why the teachers make the ‘tough’ decision to return year after year.
After settling back into the bindings, we started with a nice ‘easy’ run on the women’s world cup downhill run (according to our instructor) and an action packed day overall. Bowling was Monday night’s entertainment where everyone competed in a full-on bowling battle led by the most competitive teachers in the school. The teachers beat the pupils in the final round: Pupils-0 Teachers-1.
Tuesday, we enjoyed a sunny day on the slopes taking in the amazing views of the Alps. A couple of falls later and we were off swimming in the thermal baths or as the teachers saw it ‘The Olympic Games’. A swimming race was arranged with the competitors being Lewis Cartwright, Joe Isaac, Miss Gavaghan and the favourite to win, 6ft 4in Mr ‘The Machine’ Mortimer. To our surprise Miss Gavaghan won her race with outstanding technique and power. It all looked good for the second leg of the race, however, Lewis who had earlier warmed up with butterfly, flew through the water overtaking the Giant and taking the lead to win the race: Pupils-1 Teachers-1.
Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be another two beautiful days skiing with Thursday being race day! The competitors lined up at the start gate. The beginners set off surprising everyone with how they had come on during the week. After watching everyone, the anticipation was building as the favourites took to the start gate. Joe Isaac flew the track, followed by Lewis Cartwright. Georgia John showed her talent on the skis, however we all waited for the master of the slopes. With no fear, Jack Penberthy flew out of the start gates narrowly missing every gate. The crowd cheered as he reached the bottom and was a clear winner with the time of 28 seconds, 4 seconds quicker than second place. Thursday night was presentation evening and the well-deserved winners were delighted with their trophies.
Friday was a day skiing in Radstadt, the conditions were perfect. We skied a full day and skied right up to the door of the rental shop at the end of it. A fitting end to an amazing week.
We arrived back at school on Saturday afternoon with many disappointed to be home. A true example of just how amazing the trip is. The list is full for next year, with the reserve list even fuller. Bring on 2015!
Many thanks to the staff who gave up their holiday to take us away. Mr Soroko said “It’s a tough job, but some-one has to do it!”
Written by Sophie Gibbon and James Lamb