On the 15th February a fearless bunch boarded their coach for the annual trip to Italy for a week of skiing. Little did we know what sort of adventure we would be having this year!
Due to some significant weather issues on arrival at Dover we were told we were being moved forward to and 18:45 sailing instead of the 21:00, however the bad news was it was delayed by 3 hours. Fortunately it was not too choppy and we arrived in France ready for the 12 hour plus drive to our hotel.
Once we finally made it we had dinner, sorted our kit out from the ski hire shop and collapsed into our rooms ready for our first day on the slopes.
Day one on the slopes and the cadets are split into ability groups from those that have never skied to those that can almost take on the black (steep) slopes blindfolded! Each group of 7 cadets has an Italian Ski instructor or one of our own Ski Instructors and another adult to assist with mopping up at the rear.
Those in the top groups disappeared for a couple of hours over the mountains whilst the beginners stayed on the local gentle slopes and after 2 hours were amazed that they could actually ski!
We book 5 hours of skiing a day, this is 1 hour more than most schools. We know this will push the cadets to the fullest possible but will give 25 hours worth of ski tuition in the 5 days we are away.
At the end of day 1 the senior team took the senior cadets out for a hot chocolate and cake or ice cream. This is our way of saying thank you for looking after the junior cadets whilst we are away. It is also nice for them to get an evening where they can quiz us about things without others disturbing us all.
Day 2 and everyone got ready much quicker today and we were ready for the slopes in no time. It is amazing to see the difference a sleep makes to those new to skiing the advancement in skills is so fast. We had a hard and tiring day.
Day 3 and 4 we are off to different slopes which are as short coach ride away. Today in Bormio using some of the Olympic slopes, not quite to olympic styles! However the sun is out and everyone is getting a nice tan. During some of the evenings some adults and cadets were getting some training so that they could gain a qualification. This qualification allows them to go off in groups of 4 as a minimum with no direct ski instructor being present but just on the same mountain slopes. This enables further our senior cadets to truly understand the role of leadership in stressful and different situations.
After skiing and evening meal on day 4 it was time for a trip out this time to do some curling. Always fun learning a new skill. Not everyone was that good at it but we soon found that we had some cadets with championship like skills, even the event organiser stated he would happily keep a couple of cadets to join his team.
Day 5 soon arrived and we were back to our first set of slopes and how easy they seemed to be. Everyone had progressed so much in the last few days even the group who found skiing to be hard ended up on a red slope today, the second most hardest. Our departing image was cadets making our name on the bottom of a slope for all to see.
So after a week of pasta, but some really amazing food it was time to board the coach to start the trip home. As the journey started a question was posed by a parent, “Are you in Lombardy Region and have you heard about something called Covid?”
Fortunately after lots of phone calls and internet searches we were nowhere near the outbreaks that had occurred and we were all safe from Covid, we were in fact over 200km away. What we were not safe from was the weather on the channel, which was again playing up and resulted in an 8 hour delay to board. Good job we have plenty of DVD’s to keep us entertained.
That ended our 2020 ski expedition to Italy, all in all a fantastic week and we look forward to the next one we can have, whenever that may be.