After a very early departure (3.45 am) from Clyde Valley High School on Saturday, 24th February 2018, 24 pupils along with Mrs Whitelaw, Mr Conway and Mr Hoffman set off for Edinburgh Airport en-route to Le Corbier in the French Alps for the Valley’s first ski trip in many years. Everyone was very excited to see the resort and as the bus from Turin Airport climbed up through the valleys and mountain roads, we got our first glimpse of Le Corbier with its plentiful ski runs surrounded by beautiful, jagged peaks. On arrival in the resort at lunchtime, the first task was to have the ski/snowboarding equipment fitted and then go and explore!
Sunday, our first day of skiing, brought low cloud and low visibility but nothing dented the Valley pupils’ spirits. Everyone was raring to go and was allocated into their ski groups/snowboard groups. Despite lots of challenges and lots of falls, all returned to the hotel full of stories about their achievements and raring to go again the next day.
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Monday initially brought better visibility and with it our first proper view of the whole mountain in the daylight, however the lowering cloud base presented some challenges for those who were beginning to venture a little further with their instructors. Après-ski activities included, of course, afternoon tea and cake, pool, table-football, shopping and exploring the resort.
Tuesday began with a wonderful view of the whole mountain and those who had progressed well with their instruction had their first taste of the chairlift which took them to the top of the mountain and the beautiful views of the huge ski area and the surrounding valleys. Despite some cloud cover in the afternoon, all managed to conquer the challenges presented by their first ever experience of a chairlift and skiing/snowboarding at altitude and came back to the hotel eager to share their experiences with each other and the other groups.
Despite -24 degrees Celsius, everyone was eager to get out and experience the sunshine and stunning visibility which Wednesday morning brought. With more of the pupils progressing to the more advanced groups, more of them were able to experience the chairlift and the beautiful views and wide open, easy skiing which the top of the mountain offered. A visit down to the pretty little chalet village of St Jean d’Arves offered stunning views across the Alps although snoods were required for the return journey up the mountain on the chairlift to stop noses and faces freezing.
Heavy snowfall overnight on Wednesday meant that we woke on Thursday to over a foot of new snow! Powder skiing! The snowboarders were particularly eager to get out to experience their first taste of skiing in powder snow and the excellent visibility allowed them to get up to the top of the mountain to enjoy some stunning views and challenging skiing. The skiers were able to explore more of the mountain with everyone now managing to master the chairlift and experience the new snow.
Lots of new snow combined with low cloud and mist made the last day of skiing a challenge for all, some opting to stay on the lower slopes in the resort while others braved the conditions to spend their last day on the upper slopes. There were some very happy and proud faces at the end of the day when the ski and snowboarding medals at the end of the day from Karine, Isabelle and Jacques, our ski and snowboard instructors.
Saturday brought a very early start (5am) to get the bus to a very snowy Turin airport where, after an hour’s delay, we finally took off for Edinburgh Airport, arriving at the school at around 5pm, happy to be home and see families again.