Ski Trip Austria 2018

On Friday 30th March at 9:30am we set off from Rye Hills on a coach and travelled to Dover, stopping once at Peterborough Services for lunch. Just before we arrived at Dover we stopped to swap our driver for the 2 drivers who would be accompanying us on the trip abroad. We also met our PGL leader Matt who joined us for the rest of the journey and holiday.

We were on the ferry early evening just in time for dinner. It was busy and full of lots of other groups from schools heading across the Channel for the Easter break. The journey was a calm one and most of our students amused themselves in the café or browsing in the duty free.

Once in Calais we started the long drive across Europe through France and Germany overnight. We watched several movies on the coach before sleeping. We stopped near Munich for breakfast: the students were very happy to see a McDonald’s (the second one they had encountered since leaving home!) staff enjoyed a more traditional German breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and salad.

The final leg of our long journey was to reach our destination in Aschau Im Zillertal. We arrived a little earlier than expected at First Mountain Hotel so were not able to check in immediately. The weather was very warm and sunny (no snow to be seen apart from on the peaks of the surrounding mountains) so we enjoyed stretching our legs and wandering around the hotel grounds. Once checked in to our rooms we had free time to shower, unpack and rest. We later walked in to the town but found everything apart from cafes and bars were closed. Students were then fitted with their skis, boots, helmets and poles which they then stored in the hotel.

Our first Austrian meal at the hotel was buffet style: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetable balls, gravy, soups with bread and a wide range of salad to accompany. It was delicious and very welcome after all of the travelling. We had more free time that night and students were given instructions about the plan for the following day and encouraged to get an early night.

Each morning we had an early start, breakfast was at 7:30am. Lots to choose from including cereals, bread, ham, cheeses, and a variety on conserves. Students were encouraged to eat plenty as we would be needing a lot of energy for skiing. We made our own sandwiches for our packed lunch and set off on the coach to Zillertal Arena at around 9am taking all of our equipment with us (which we were allowed to leave at the ski resort for the rest of the week).

Once at the ski arena we were split into groups of around 8-10 and allocated an instructor according to our ability: most of the students and two members of staff were beginners or had never skied and learned the ropes together, the few students who were advanced level spent their time on the higher slopes accompanied by our other staff. We had 4 hours instruction each day with an hour for lunch. Each day we reassessed the groups to ensure everyone was working at the correct levels. We gradually worked our way up from the nursery slope, we fell over a lot but it was all part of the learning experience.  Within a few days we had advanced to the blue slopes and trails and most of us were feeling quite confident on the red slopes and trails by the end of the week. Weather on the slopes ranged from bright sunshine to freezing cold snow and blizzards. We had fresh snowfall overnight most days.

On evenings we took part in a quiz at the hotel, played Austrian skittles, visited a swimming pool with a wave machine and slides including a 360 loop the loop and went to a Tyrolean Evening of music, dancing and singing which was highly amusing. On the last night some of the group asked to order pizzas from the local pizzeria as they were craving ‘normal’ food.

Each day we selected a ‘Donkey of the Day’ to the person who behaved in the silliest or most amusing way, ‘King/ Queen of the Slopes’ to the students who did really well at something that day, ‘Coming on a Treat’ to the person who was really putting in effort to advance their performance on the slopes. Hi-vis bibs were issued daily to be worn on the slopes. Students enjoyed this light hearted competition.

We had one final 2 hour ski lesson on the Friday and then headed back to the hotel to shower, return our equipment to the hire shop and pack up the coach for the long journey back. There was a slight delay of a few hours in Germany as we got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a road traffic accident on one of the main roads. Due to this we arrived in Dunkirk a little later and had to get a later ferry.  The group arrive back in Redcar around 6:15pm on Saturday.

All students behaved impeccably throughout the trip and we all had a wonderful experience, so much so that Mr Marshall is organising another ski trip in the Easter break 2019.

If any student would like to attend this letters were available from tutors or here.

Check out out Twitter page to find out more: @SkiRyeHills2018

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