This year’s much awaited Switzerland skiing and snowboarding trip began when 41 eager students from Dover and East packed their equipment into suitcases and travelled to the lovely ski resort of La Tzoumaz over the Chinese New Year holiday week.
Every morning, we experienced the behind-the-scenes, not-so-glamorous part of doing winter sports as we lugged our skies up a few flights of stairs and finally onto a chairlift. As we made it to the top of the mountain, the clunking of our boots picked up the pace as we gained the energy and excitement to ski or snowboard down the red slopes.
Our beginners made speedy progress and hit the slopes to join the rest of the students, after just 45 minutes of skiing on flat ground on the first day. Over the course of the week, the instructors encouraged us to make the switch from doing a ‘pizza stop’ to parallel turning, which gave rise to competitive discussions at lunchtime. Therefore, our meals were often complemented by hilarious stories of people tumbling down the slope, and laughing about how we dried our sweaty faces with the strong winds.
Halfway through the week, we were able to ski in Verbier, which was a busy ski destination on the other side of the mountain, populated with advanced skiers and snowboarders. A lucky bunch of students even shared their gondola with adventurer and television presenter, Bear Grylls! The clear skies and sunny weather meant that we decided to lose the fatigue and spend most of the day skiing and snowboarding. In between some challenging runs, we soaked in the view of the stunning mountains and the vastness of the Swiss Alps. The view felt like something out of a dream.
When the evening came around, our roommates took turns to take a shower and freshen up, while the rest of us had the opportunity to unwind and relax with a hot chocolate and Nutella on toast. After that, we participated in evening activities, which included a simulated game of a crime scene investigation, where the kids interrogated suspects (played by the instructors) in an attempt to find the perpetrator. On another day, we turned the TV room into a disco and enjoyed singing and dancing to our favourite songs. Additionally, swimming and skating provided great opportunities for us to come together.
Lastly, of course the trip would have been incomplete without a visit to the local supermarket where we raided the shelves for chocolate and chewing gum to the point where their stocks ran out. We celebrated the completion of an exciting yet exhausting week by indulging in the delicious Swiss dish, cheese fondue.