The Purbeck School Ski Trip – St Anton, Austria
This was the biggest school ski trip The Purbeck School had ever undertaken. So, with slight trepidation 79 students and 9 members of staff set off on the 23 hour journey through France and Germany towards our destination Austria.
After an exhausting journey we were greeted with warmth by the staff of our new home for the week Hotel Sonne and we were given the good news that there had been lots of snow and were expecting lots more snow, so conditions for this week were going to be perfect.
Now, day one on the mountain was an eye-opener, 79 students ascended upon the slopes at the top of the gondola and caused a traffic jam. This was then proceeded by all the students trying to get across the slope towards the instructors, on skis, when some of them have never been on snow before. Already the masses were falling like flies and us teachers panicking, however after a sigh of relief all arrived safely for a morning of basic skills on the mountain in glorious sunshine. By the afternoon ski groups were organised and the students were raring to go.
In complete contrast day two was probably one of the most extreme weather conditions we have seen on top of a mountain. You were in the thick of a blizzard in complete white out conditions and visibility was very limited. On the plus side, there was lots of snow so falling over wasn’t going to be too painful!!
We ate lunch every afternoon in the Mountain Café and students took the opportunity here to come and tell us all the goings-on of the morning or night before so we were inundated with nominations for the fancy dress costumes. This year‘s theme keeping it nice and healthy, was fruit and veg. So we had a pineapple, strawberry, carrot and pea. Much to students dismay and their friends delight we saw lots of different people (including staff and ski instructors) all week donning the outfits, needless to say we didn’t go unnoticed and I’m sure brought a smile to fellow skiers faces when seeing an array of fruit or veg skiing down the mountain.
Not only did students throw themselves wholeheartedly into skiing but they also took part in all the evening activities with enthusiasm and vigour. Whether it be great team work in the quiz, creativity and swagger in the fashion show or busting out their moves on the dance floor.
We were fortunate to have no significant injuries and the progress the students made skiing was tremendous. The weather and conditions were picture perfect and as the weeks skiing came to an end students never stopped smiling and giving it their all.
It was without doubt physically and mentally exhausting but all students did themselves proud. They showed resilience, endeavour, made huge progress, and were so respectful, polite and funny. There were tears of laughter continuously and this truly was a trip to remember. Both the ski rep and the manager of the hotel said the Purbeck School were the best behaved students they had ever had and as staff what started as trepidation ended in admiration, we all thoroughly enjoyed every minute and this trip is up there with the most memorable and successful trips ever!