|Ski Trip 2014
After 20 fantastic Giggleswick ski trips to Courmayeur in Italy, the mould was finally broken this year and as we ventured further down the Aosta Valley. Our destination, a new one for Interski (our trusty providers), was Champoluc, in the Monterosa region an extensive ski area referred to as the ‘Italian three valleys’.
The trip down to Italy followed the usual route to Dover, a chance encounter with one Mr Muckalt who was taking his school group to Claviere, and then through France overnight, breakfast and finally through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy. We stopped briefly in Courmayeur and then Aosta for boot, ski or snowboard fit and a very welcome lunch.
We then started our climb up a well hidden, steep sided valley which tested the skills of our coach drivers with numerous hairpin bends and finally arrived at Le Soleil Hotel – our home from home for the week, warm, cosy and newly refurbished. We were greeted by Geoff our coordinator and intermediate ski group instructor and Salvatore and his family our hosts for the week. The remainder of the day was spent settling into our rooms, the obligatory fire drill, snow suit and helmet fitting a welcome talk, a fantastic dinner and some chilling out before early bed in anticipation of a day on the slopes.
Our coach took us the short distance to the resort proper; where each day we travelled up a very steep funicular railway to the piste and lift complex which extended over the three valleys with beautiful mountain, snow and glacier scenery including views to the Matterhorn. We had one snowboarding group and novice, intermediate and advanced ski groups who were very well taught throughout the week by Interski instructional staff and everyone made great improvements to their boarding and skiing technique and got plenty of distance under the planks on many of the wide and long runs, ranging from blue, through red to black!
The weather over the first four days was stunning, blue skies and unseasonably warm which allowed us to eat lunch outside. Snow fell late on the Thursday and on Friday allowing us to ski in fresh powder and the resort was extremely quiet all week which meant no queues until the Saturday when it was a little busier.
Apres ski activities took place in one of the villages, Brusson, where we visited shops, enjoyed a great pizza night and ice cream on another occasion. We had a film, cards or chill out night in the hotel, a quiz night with some interesting answers and presentation on the final evening.
All on the trip conducted themselves well, stayed injury free and enjoyed the opportunity of taking part in a challenging winter sport in a fantastic setting whilst also sampling the language, food and culture of the Aosta region. On presentation evening the instructors mentioned the many qualities of their groups and the progress made and a good number of the more advanced boarders and skiers received their coveted five star awards.
Finally, a very big thank you to all staff, parents and pupils for their part in making the trip a rewarding and memorable occasion.
Staff: Miss Arnold, Mr Clark, Mr Ogilvie, Mr Taylor
Parents: Mr and Mrs Magell, Mrs Ogilvie
Pupils: Charles Allison, Toby Brook, George Collins, Guy Daws, Laurie Daws, Henry Guy, Tom Humphries, Randal Jackson, Matilda Jaggar, Marie Lothian, Thomas Lothian, Ben Magell, George Magell, Jake Magell, Robbie Magell, Sam Morphet, Cameron Ogilvie, Euan Ogilvie, Antoine Orenga de Gaffroy, Santos Orenga de Gaffroy, Freddie Scott, Benedict Willacy, Jasmine Williams