Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Ski Trip 2016

Fantastic Ski Video and Photos!
Ski 2016 Video

As we approached the ski trip of 2016, it was really unusual to be looking at snow reports of zero snowfall for large parts of the Alps and Dolomites. Some areas had better conditions than others but stories of New Year holidays in snow free zones where skiing was difficult if not impossible seemed to loom larger on us as Feb 13th approached. As it happened, San Martino di Castrozza had its first snowfall in a long time the week before we travelled and there was more to come!
Probably the longest transfer from Airport to destination we have encountered was not helped by a late arrival in our hotel and the hours for sleep were few before ski fit on Sunday morning at 7.30!
Tired but excited, we transferred to the main lift area to take the gondola up to meet our instructors. The day was snowy and visibility was quite poor so conditions were tough all day, particularly for the less experienced when cloud and snow all around you can be a little unsettling. However, all got moving and the ski area was impressive. A really good nursery slope gave our beginners a good challenge and some took to the sport like ducks to water. Parallel stops after one day is quite impressive!
The following days brought an incredible contrast in conditions. We saw two fabulous days of sunshine with excellent snow conditions and another few days of low cloud and poor light. Our visit to the local skating rink was for skating on a thin layer of snow on the outdoor rink. When the sun shone, the scenery and skylines were breathtaking with chair lifts and slopes bringing us through dramatic mountain scenes.

The group were absolutely brilliant with smiles and enthusiasm meeting the sun and good humour and a bit of grit getting everybody through the tougher days. Unfortunately, we saw a fairly high level of sickness during the week but all tried to keep the time away from the mountains as short as possible.
There was a night time flood-lit slope in the town but given the conditions during the previous few months it was open only occasionally. On the night it was open during our week there, the temperatures had dropped and the preparation work on the slope being minimal, the word was that it was somewhat dangerous. We had a scout out to see what the truth of this was and the word back was that it wasn’t safe so the plan was, unfortunately, scrapped.

The ski area separate from the main mileage in San Martino is in the nearby Passo Rolle which we took a bus to on our last day, accompanied by our instructors. A bright morning gave way to a more overcast afternoon but saw an ever more confident group tackle the slopes in a spectacular setting.
The fatigue of the first day forgotten, the week went in a blur of activity, fun and friendship. Once again, as staff, we found ourselves in the company of a great group of students who have a great deal to offer the world in their lives ahead. We wish them all the best and hope that this week might encourage them to return at some future time to enjoy the fantastic sport of skiing.