Blog: Middle and Upper School Ski Trip 2015
14 December 2015
A group of Middle and Upper School students have travelled to Jasper, Canada to enjoy some skiing at the Marmot Basin ski resort before Christmas. Read the latest updates from trip leader Mr Steve Gorman below:
Thanks to 321ski and Jasper, Marmot Basin for delivering a great trip. Having led many ski trips over the years I have never received such excellent support and service by a provider or ski resort. This was the best ski trip yet with many of the pupils still talking enthusiastically about the experience and producing videos to share with friends. Thanks to the staff and pupils for making the trip so enjoyable
Planning is well underway for next year’s trip to Zell am See, Austria.
- Steve Gorman
Saturday 19 December
Updated information from the group: they will be back in Oakham at 5pm, rather than 3:30pm as planned.
Thursday 17 December
Our final day in Jasper has been fantastic. More blue skies, a great amount of snow, and only a little colder than yesterday. Today students had the opportunity to try out snowboarding. They made such good progress that they were coming down the full mountain after only a day of snowboarding lessons. After skiing, all the students were presented with certificates for their skiing and snowboarding achievements this week. Tonight we are going to be ice skating, snow shoeing, and riding fat bikes on Pyramid Lake. Tomorrow we are all very excited about visiting North America's biggest mall! It has a theme park and water park inside!
Wednesday 16 December
Day 5 has probably been the best day yet in Jasper. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, the conditions on the mountain were fantastic and everyone was chomping at the bit to ensure that made the most of our penultimate day at the Marmot Basin. Every group was taken to the best parts of the mountain by their instructors and given the opportunity to improve their ability whilst having a lot of fun at the same time. The same goes for Mr Gorman himself, whom fell over at least three times, whilst trying to descend the mountain in record speed. Apparently there was a problem with his bindings – whatever you say, Sir! Other highlights included some angelic skiing from the “Queen of the slopes” Megan King and the opportunity to witness pupils from Dulwich College, Harrow, Wellington College and Reeds School compete for the Canadian Cup ski racing trophy. The group was also treated a geocaching session put on by Parks Canada who challenged our pupils to use GPS devices to find various hidden messages on the mountain to solve a puzzle – only one team successfully managed to gather all six clues, but, just like the day before, everyone got a lot out of the session. The afternoon was equally challenging for our pupils who were all encouraged by their instructors to improve their skill level, whilst at the same time getting the opportunity to explore new runs. Consequently, everyone returned from lunch with high hopes of improving their technical ability even further. This would be no small achievement given the mileage of our skiers, and the inevitable fatigue in their legs.
In the evening the group split into two with half going on a snow shoe walk through the forest followed by some wolf howling, hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. The other group made the most of the clear skies above Jasper and did some star gazing through three high powered telescopes.
Monday 14 December
Today is much colder with blue skies all around. The slopes have been empty as the weekend skiers have gone home, leaving the resort pretty much to us. Most of the runs are spookily empty but brilliant to ski on, and as far as lift queues are concerned, there aren't any. The morning ski lessons went well and all seemed to have had a good time. During our lunch break we had a lecture on avalanche awareness and safety. During the afternoon sessions several explosions could be heard and with our new found knowledge we knew what was happening and why. The wildlife came to visit us today in the form of about 20 elks stood on the street corner, quite a sight. The evening activity was room cleaning/tidying before heading out in to town. All are looking forward to another queue free day skiing the freshly groomed pristine slopes.
Sunday 13 December
Following our 7:30 breakfast we loaded up the buses and headed up the hill to the ski station. Everything ran a little smoother today and so lessons started promptly. All skiers (and snowboarders) are making great progress and certainly seem to be enjoying the conditions. The beginners have moved away from the magic carpet and have started to explore the mountain, the others are covering lots of miles and making the most of the advice given by the instructors. Skiing with the advanced group was certainly enjoyable as they are all very tidy skiers and made light work of the steeper and more challenging Double Diamond Blacks! It was certainly colder today with some light snow in the air which we are all hoping will fall more heavily overnight. We are all going out to see a local ice hockey match tonight which should be very entertaining.
Saturday 12 December
The journey out to Jasper was a long and memorable one. We stopped to change planes in Iceland. Coming in to land was spectacular with jagged peaks sticking out of the flat snowy plains. Most slept on the 4 hour coach trip from Edmonton to Jasper. Our hotel, the Chateau, is very nice and only a few blocks from the town centre shops. Our first day's skiing was memorable for the stunning views and the excellent snow.