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Ski Trip to Italy –

It had been a while since Beeston had offered a school ski trip, so it was with great anticipation and excitement that our skiers left at the crack of dawn on the Saturday after term finished to fly out to Ponte di Legno / Tonnale in Italy for some fun on the slopes. And what fun we all had!

With Mr King (having never put on a pair of ski boots before) and Mr Ewart (having put on a pair once in his earlier youth on a dry slope in Kent) joining the beginners’ group, it was a wonderful and unique experience for the children to learn something at the same time as their teachers. The second group had a little more skiing experience between them – most have been coming along to Ski Club on Thursday nights at Trowse and had had a week or so on snow before. Both groups met for a hot lunch on the slopes every day and were equally as good at consuming hot chocolate (really thick and gooey in Italy) at various mountain hangouts.

All the children progressed amazingly during the week, but special mention goes to our own Ethan Hunt (Ethan F in Year 8 to you and I) who really did achieve an impossible mission: having never skied before, he was moved up into the intermediate group after only two days and was skiing backwards, as well as slalom race training, by the end of the week with the instructor echoing “He’s incredible!” Henry K, Mia W and Maddie P had been working hard on the dry slope and had never skied on snow before, so it was an absolute joy to see them fly down the slopes, understanding for sure just how much fun skiing on the real stuff in the mountains is. The weather was kind to us too: it was super cold but we had lovely clear days with good visibility and excellent snow. On the last day it had snowed overnight and we woke to powder to our ankles and blue skies – textbook perfect skiing!

Skiing highlights were the glacier day, with everyone appreciating the amazing views, the afternoon where both groups skied together on a slalom course set by our instructor, the beginner group all achieving a red run with determination and style and the intermediate group smashing a black and partaking in slalom practice for the forthcoming IAPS. Non-skiing highlights include managing to catch the “Italian bubble”, the 360 degree rainbow we saw, a tour of an igloo being constructed for a pop concert and Pizza Night at a local restaurant.

We also had an afternoon of snow survival with the Italian army, where the children learnt about different shelters in the snow – igloo, tree hole, fox burrow and trauna – and had the chance to see how comfortable a fox hole was. They made pine needle tea (rich in vitamin C apparently) after melting snow and building their own fire. Also, they saw how to make snow shoe “racquets” with pine branches and heard a bit about Otzi the 6000 year old iceman who was discovered only a few miles up the valley.

All of the instructors who worked with the  children commented on how “well educated and respectful” the children were and off the slopes the children got along really well and had lots of fun with one another, so it was a real pleasure to be there with them. Dorm captains did an excellent job: Ethan F keeping charge of Henry B and Joey H, Kit P looking after Henry K, Mia W taking charge of the Coghill girls and Maddie P overseeing Mietta P and Flavia B. Maddie P’s dorm was definitely the most giggly, Joey H and Kit P’s the most sleepy, Mia W’s the most organised and enthusiastic and Ethan F’s the most magical – I am not sure quite how much time Ethan F and his glamorous assistant (Henry B) spent perfecting the bathroom door key trick but it was very entertaining! And Mr de Falbe and Mr Lloyd-Peck will be pleased to know that we kept the Wednesday night Beeston letter writing tradition alive on the slopes by sending postcards home!

With everyone enjoying and improving their skiing and snowballing, snow angel imprinting and giggling snow trains slipping down slopes (Maddie P, Mietta P, Flavia B, Evie C and Penny C), pizza dough tossing (Mia W, Joey H and Kit P), burning it down the hill bum boarding (Henry K) and souvenir shopping  (Henry B and Ethan F you were good!) we all made lots of memories and it proved to be an absolutely fantastic week. We are looking forward to next year already! We will look to do a trip with the same format next year: same ski resort, same week (as soon as the Michaelmas term finishes on Saturday 14th December to Friday 20th December 2019) so we hope you are able to Save the Date to join us! Full details will follow via email in due course.

Ms. Kay