Please check back regularly to keep up to date with what has been happening. (last updated 4-4-13 at 11.00pm)
Saturday – We awoke in France a few miles away from Calais and caught the 9am ferry. We got to Bromsgrove just after 2pm and said farewell to our partner school, Catshill Middle School. From there it was a steady drive down to Exeter, where we arrived at school at 6pm.
Friday – Below are photos of the skiing groups with their instructors, who awarded them with medals and certificates for their performance throughout the week.
Wednesday – Today’s reports are from Ross and Kale:
Ross – We are getting better at waking up on time – and remembering our beakers. It was a bit of a surprise this morning because it was snowing again. Once we’d had breakfast and all got our kit ready we took one gondola and then another one up to a higher part of the mountain. We practiced our turns and stops and then got a chance to go really fast which was great. Then it was very funny because Simon – our instructor – noticed that someone in our group had their boots on the wrong feet. He was so amazed that he actually took a picture to prove it had happened. The second time we skied down we went on a little path through the forest that has small jumps. We went one at a time so Mr Housecroft could take our picture. Tara likes to scream a lot when she skis – and this time she really screamed a lot.
After lunch, we took the gondola back up to the next stop where we went a different path and took a ski lift up even higher where it was foggy and you could barely see in front of you. It was meant to be a blue, easy slope but because the weather conditions were so bad Simon said it would probably be a red slope. There was a skier behind me who didn’t see me and nearly collided with me, so I said sorry, but Simon said don’t say sorry because it wasn’t my fault. We skied for a bit more down that path and then went back over the path with jumps. It was really funny because Lawrence went in first, in front of me, but I came out first because Lawrence collided with a tree. When he came out he said ‘I’m a tree-hugger’
Kale – Today was really exciting because it was the first time our group – the intermediates – had been on a red slope. Unfortunately some people had a bit of a collision but everyone was all right. We all did so well that we even went on a bit of a black slope, amazing! Tomorrow (Thursday) is the day we show off what we’ve learned to the other groups so we all want to do well.
Before dinner we went on the monkey ropes high up above the basketball and beach volley courts. It was really scary, even though you were attached. There were lots of different ropes to climb along, like the tightrope and the steps – and even a ball that you sat on to swing across to the other side. When I lost my footing I was just dangling in the air until I managed to get hold again (but I quite liked that bit). Vaani was going really fast in front of Lawrence and Piers, and Declan just whizzed round.
Straight after dinner we went off in the coach to watch the big Wednesday night ice hockey match Zellumsee vs All stars. It was full with fans and music and we all made lots of noise. Finally Allstars won in a penalty shootout, but not before there’d been at least two fights on the ice. The whole night was amazing and funny..
Lawrence – We had to get up at 7am so I set an alarm with the most annoying song ever – full blast at 6.40. Our room – Vaani, Ross, Kale and me – woke up in a hurry and nearly forgot our beakers – again!
To get to the slope we go on the cable car, it’s really cool, you can see the glacier. We met Simon – our instructor – at the top and attached our skis. Simon is a well-experienced skier, having won many freestyle competitions in his time; he even taught Bono how to ski! We took the chairlift to nearly the top of the mountain and Simon led us in single file down the Blue slope. He confiscated our poles to make us lean more on our turns and improve our balance. After we had done the slope a few times we went to the very top of the mountain, Simon knew a few shortcuts that had jumps on – it was surprisingly fun. Towards the end I even managed a parallel turn.
For lunch we sat next to the cable car docking at a cafe and caught up with the other group. They have an instructor called Mad Max. After lunch we had a giant snowball fight which cooled us down as the sun was out and it had got quite warm. Simon told us that on Thursday we are going to have a race day and the instructors will award prizes in the evening after our meal.
Declan – In the morning, we met at the top of the slope and immediately Max – our instructor – came out and told us to put on our skis. Then we caught the longest chairlift at Zellamsee. I’m in the Intermediate group, along with Vaani, Kale, Lana, Brianna, Piers and Jacob. We did a few jumps this morning and in the afternoon we went through parts of the forest. Then we were told to meet at the green and blue sign which led to hill number 3. On the way a few skiers, including me, fell down – but immediately got up so no one noticed. The best part of the day was when we went through lots of bumps at the side of a hill with lots of opportunities to jump and clear the ground.
At lunchtime I had a ham, cheese and salami sandwich and after that the sun came out and we went to the top of the mountain where we usually do parallel turns and stops.
Once the skiing had finished we had bowling and pizza, and some had ice cream. After an hour’s rest, which was needed, we burnt off all the extra sugar we’d consumed in the day with an hour of trampolining.
Monday – Blue sky and sunshine this morning. A great day for skiing! Below is the view from my hotel room as I am typing. You can see the gondola up to the slopes at the bottom left corner.
A special mention for Declan who, after his first ever day of skiing, was promoted to the intermediate group.
Today’s report comes from Hannah:
The good news of the day is that Tara found her ski that she lost! The hotel is amazing, it has trampolines, basketball and football courts, a hammock room, a massive indoor beach volleyball court and above it an assault course hanging from the ceiling! On Sunday night, after we had our first ski lesson (for some of us the first time skiing ever!) we all played volleyball against the school we came with, it was so much fun and everyone joined in and had a laugh, especially when Ross went to hit the ball and it ended up hitting Vaani in the face! On the first day we went out and skied straight away, our instructor was really good and helpful and everyone had a great time, even when we went down a steep hill and everyone fell over each other! After the skiing we all have time to relax and do stuff around the hotel, this is usually the time when all the embarrassing and funny moments happen! Just like when Tara was walking along the corridor dancing in her socks then slipped and fell flat on her face and everyone saw! Don’t worry though, she was crying with laughter anyway! Even though we have only been here a few days, everyone is having so much fun and it has been brilliant, we can’t wait for the rest of the week, with all the laughs that are yet to come!
Sunday – We were up early for breakfast at 7am this morning (although it felt like 5am due to the fact that we had both changed time zone and moved to summertime). The good news, however, is that as I am typing it is snowing!
We have all made it back safely from a successful first day of skiing. this evening we are going to the new BBQ reataurant in the hotel and then there will be the option of playing football, basketball and beach volleyball before bed.
Below is an account of the day’s events by Brianna and Miss Shields:
Everyone was a bit shocked at having to get up for breakfast at 7am in the morning – particularly when the clocks had just changed. But we all enjoyed a help-yourself breakfast and managed to make snadwiches for lunch. Rule No.1 is do not lose your beaker, and after one mealwe only had one left behind.
We all got kitted up in our thermals and headed off to get skis. It was snowing as we left for the slopes, very atmospheric! Split into Beginner and Intermediary Groups, we met our instructors Simon and Max.
Max and the Intermediaries (Brianna, Lana, Piers, Kale, Vaani and Jacob) practiced technique on diffferent runs, holding the poles in front of us as we went down the mountain and trying out different turns. The Beginners – with Simon – got to grips with the basics, learning to stop. This took quite a while for some, although declan and hannah took to it like pros! By the end of the morning though, Tara, Ross, Lawrence and Joe were doing perfect snow ploughs.
Lunch was a quick sandwich and plenty to drink, before heading back to the slopes. Intermediaries spent the afternoon doing runs, but Beginners at last got to ski – and Joe turned out star of the day when he made it down the slope first as everyone else fell over on the moguls (lumpy fresh snow).
Tired but happy, we headed back to the hotel and filled up on barbecue before rounding off the day with a competitive match of beach volleyball – Catshill Middle School were the worthy winners, coming from behind to take the victory. This should be a good night’s sleep.
Quote of the Day; “I’m tired” – Brianna
Losses tally: 3 beakers, 1 ski glove (Miss Shields) and 1 ski (Tara)
Saturday – From midnight it was lights off on the coach, but some of us still found it hard to get to sleep. After a breakfast stop we were treated to the film Home Alone, then it was a lunch stop followed by the film Racing Stripes. Suddenly we were in Austria and there were mountains! At 3.30pm (local time – 2.30pm at home) we arrived at the newly extended hotel – Club Kitzsteinhorn. Luckily, we have been put in the new building which also houses a lot of activity facilities including beach volleyball, climbing wall, bouldering room, trampolines, sports halls and even indoor high ropes courses! Once all of the bags were in rooms it was time sort out the all of the equipment hire. Next it was a welcome meal of soup followed by spaghetti. Having been fed and watered, for most it was a case of having a shower, then collapse into bed.
Friday – We took 3 hours to get to Bromsgove where we met up with Catshill Middle School, who we have been partnered with. We had an hour’s break to stretch our legs and answer the call of nature before setting off on a luxury coach for Dover. The ferry was on time and soon we were in France.