Year 9 student Kirstie Higbee and Tim Norman report on Dane Court's ski trip to the Pila A'osta Valley which took place during the Easter holiday:
The trip started out at 5:00pm on a sunny Saturday. The coach arrived, later than everyone else; thankfully Miss Brears had arrived already! We loaded our suitcases onboard and told the parents to evacuate! (because we had to shut the gates after us) and as the coach left the premises all the parents cheered.
The coach journey was very long and quite boring. We watched 3 films on the way there; Despicable Me, Night at the Museum and the latest Batman. The films were turned off at about half one so people could go to sleep but Tim and Kirstie, who were sitting right behind the teachers, decided to talk until five in the morning!
About an hour away from the hotel, we started our ascent up the mountains and went through the monstrous Mont Blanc tunnel, which crossed us into Italy. When we got out the other side of Mont Blanc the views were amazing! The tops of mountains looked really snowy so we were excited about there being good snow! We had to go straight to the ski hire which took us an hour and then finally got to the hotel. The hotel was quite small as we were the only ones staying there. It was very traditional but basic. The family that owned the hotel were lovely and we all made friends quickly! Lunch was next after a 14 hours journey it was needed! Two people served us for the whole week, a man and a woman. The man looked exactly like Drake the singer so we named him Drake and we thought the lady would be left out so we called her Nicki after Nicki Minaj. Afterwards, we walked into the local town. It was lovely and nearly everyone bought ice cream.
The next day we woke up early at 7:00am which was difficult for everyone. Breakfast was different to what we'd have at home, then we got on the coach and went to the ski hire to get our skis and board the gondolas. The gondola journey took 20 minutes. When we got to the top the snow was surprisingly good considering it was the end of the season, although it was a little cloudy.
The second day it was raining in the valley which meant it would be snowing up the top. The normal routine kicked in and we got our skis quicker and were up in the gondola at 9am. When we got to the top the snow was amazing it was snowing really thick and everything was snowy and cute! In the evening we had a karaoke night. It was very fun to watch as Mr Ballard, Mr Buttery and Mr Lyons sang 'Don't Stop Me Now!' and Jessica Dolton, Miss Riley, Miss Brears and Mrs Manser sang 'Wannabe'.
The week progressed and it got hotter and hotter! The snow was still really good. By now the advanced group were up the top doing blacks and off-piste and all the beginner groups were onto blues and reds! Everyone by now was doing really well and after a long day of skiing we would come back and have a yoga session with our residential yoga instructor, Mr Lyons! After dinner everyone would get ready for après ski, every night was different and it just got better! One night we went to a disco, which was situated in a club where we were with some other schools. Another night, some of us went swimming, some got some extra sleep, some got taught different versions of Uno by Miss Brears and some went with Miss Riley down to the town again.
The end of the week came and everyone had made loads of progress! But now the sad bit came, leaving. If you're organised you would've packed the night before but a lot of us didn't finish until the morning. After our last day of skiing we brought down our bags onto the coach and went and had dinner. Everyone was sad and the coach drivers were grouchy because they had only just woken up. So our bags were on the coach and we were ready to leave but it got very emotional and everyone was sad to say goodbye to Drake and Nicki. Just before we left a few of us went outside to soak up the last drops of sunlight as it was very warm where we were. As we left it was the last time we would see Pila, Italy and everyone was so sad! When we got to Mont Blanc we knew that this was the beginning of our journey home!
We would all just like to say a very big thank you to Mr Buttery, Mr Ballard, Miss Brears, Mr Lyons, Mrs Manser and Miss Riley who put up with us for the whole week! We all had a great time and all felt like a big family.