On Good Friday, Perins took 67 students to Kuhtai in Austria for the annual ski trip. After a twenty four hour coach journey, we arrived to our quaint hotel in a sleepy Austrian village, fitted ski boots, measured poles and got settled into lodgings. We ate soup, salad, chicken and polenta and headed to bed, all of the students (and staff) notably excited for our first day on the slopes.
As Sunday morning dawned, we breakfasted and prepared our lunches and rucksacks for the day. A short drive into Hochoetz and a visit to the ski kit shop equipped us with skis, helmets, boots and poles. The students at least looked like they knew what they were doing … even if they were told that the snow wasn’t good enough and therefore hiking was on the agenda – an April fool.
The conditions were good, warm but overcast and a quick assessment of skiing ability for those who had been on snow before and division of beginners into groups lead to us meeting our instructors –off we went! It was a difficult day for beginners; perfecting the ‘snow-plough’ can be arduous on the legs and frustrating, too. The expert and intermediate groups were also ‘finding their skis’ for the day – taking it easy and getting used to the snow.
Back down on the gondola we went, and back to the hotel for breaded pork and chips – no complaints there. After awarding the ‘Stack of the Day’ headwear, the students were given some well-earned time to relax, then off to bed, ready for another exciting day on the slopes.
Monday brought aching legs and blisters but also eagerness to get back onto the snow. It also brought Mr Fuccio’s soaring confidence and disappearance of control – he snapped a student’s ski pole and managed to zoom off the side of a red run; well done, Sir. Conditions were excellent but very, very hot – lots of water and sun cream needed! It was spaghetti for dinner and a trip out to a local village for ice cream afterwards.
Tuesday proved to be a day of confidence – our experts were honing their skills; our intermediates and advanced beginners were building confidence and our beginners were becoming much more independent. Quiz night after the day’s skiing was run by Mr Barber and Miss Smith – Mr Barber’s dancing accompaniment was questionable, but the students enjoyed it and our Year 10 girls were the winners.
Wednesday took us to a new ski resort – Kuhtai rather than Hochoetz; we still had the same instructors however. It was much different in its scenery: barely any greenery but miles of bright white slopes. Kuhtai provided a chance for the beginners to develop their skills more; the beginner slope was a lot longer and therefore the students could have proper runs and be waiting for the button lift less frequently. Wednesday was also the day of the helicopter visit to Innsbruck Hospital for one of our Year 10s.
After the day’s skiing, we swung by the hospital to check on our injured party, explored Innsbruck, went bowling and made our way back to the hotel, all before dinner! Safe to say: everyone was very happy to climb into bed that evening.
On Thursday, we were back in Hochoetz. By this time, the confidence in our skiers was phenomenal. Just to think – on Sunday some of them had never been on skis before! Eddie the Eagle, eat your heart out. At the end of the day, we said good bye to our instructors and descended the Hochoetz gondola for the last time.
We needed to pack all of our cases by bedtime as, once we visited Soelden the next day, we only had time to shower, wolf down some dinner and get on the road.
Friday morning was busy! We vacated our rooms, breakfasted and organised ourselves for the day skiing. We met new instructors for the day and skied in lovely, but very hot, conditions at the filming location of James Bond’s ‘Spectre’. We ascended to the highest point and took in a phenomenal view, snapped a few selfies and a group picture and made our way back down the meet the coach.
The journey home also meant stopping off at the ski shop to return our boots, skis, poles and helmets – all ran seamlessly. We made our way back to the hotel for the last time, showered, ate, loaded the coach and climbed aboard for the return journey.
Safe to say… the drive home was a very quiet one!
Download our video here– Ski Trip 1 video