Lower School Ski Trip to Madonna di Campiglio

A group of Lower School pupils are spending a week of their Easter holidays enjoying the snowy slopes of Madonna di Campiglio in Italy. 

To catch up on their latest updates, see blog posts below from trip leader Mr Steve Gorman:

To see images in the gallery click here:

Friday March 30
Our last day's skiing started with poor visibility and snow, just like yesterday. Despite the weather, everyone was keen to get out on the slopes for the last time. Due to the amount of snow overnight, the conditions couldn’t have been better underfoot, and as the sun broke through it made for an excellent day. The beginners attacked their first black slope, which some where initially worried about but they all descended in various levels of comfort and style.  The two top groups enjoyed a hot chocolate break before heading out again and racing around the pistes.

It has been a fantastic week, which was made even better than normal by the enthusiasm and excellent behaviour of the pupils. It was great to see those that had found it challenging at the start making such amazing progress, even staying out in the rain and inviting an old man like me to join them. Although the coach journey was long it didn't detract from the enjoyment or learning experience for the pupils.

I do have to thank the Headmaster for allowing me to organise these trips as well as the staff that are part of the ‘Dream Team’ that help it run so smoothly. Plans are well underway for the Middle School trip in December, which the current Form 2 pupils would be more than welcome to join. The details of next year’s Lower School Skiing holiday will be sent out shortly. 

Thursday March 29

We knew it couldn’t last! Low cloud with rain and some gently falling snow made for quite difficult skiing conditions, which everyone took in their stride. Having worked on technique on previous days, today’s testing conditions utilised all the work we have done on Ski code and safety: looking up hill before proceeding; securing all clothing and boots before setting off and looking out for each other. The youngest Oakhamians excelled and all have been rewarded with certificates and medals from three very impressed and encouraging instructors who only have good comments about the boys and girls.

Tonight, whilst it snows quite heavily, we are dining on steak and chips before packing. One last day on the slopes is ahead of us before the coach journey. Current ETA is 17.00 at Schanschieff.

Wednesday March 28
Another great day. It is hard to believe it is the same group of pupils, with whom we came, as they have all improved so much! The top group ventured off piste; the intermediates travelled to the summit and skied lots of red slopes, whilst the beginners descended their first red slope, which is amazing! Everyone is skiing with smiles on their faces. The snow is excellent and the slopes are nearly empty. 

This evening's entertainment is bum boarding, followed by a room inspection ??, as the pupils in the Lower School aim for a tiny bit of hygiene and tidiness! 

Tuesday March 27
Glorious sunshine, beautifully groomed slopes and empty pistes, what more could you ask for? The snow has been  amazing and there have been times where there has been no-one else in sight, which is fantastic. Everyone is making brilliant progress. The beginners, who were a little hesitant to start, have made great strides even managing to free-ski with friends. Watching the intermediate and advanced groups develop their skills and ski faster whilst in control, is very rewarding. I am hoping they realise that the most important part of skiing is this control of speed and line. It is great to see the pupils mix during the free-ski and helping each other. I think everyone enjoyed it. 

Evening entertainment was bowling and judging by the noise, they all had fun. 

We are now half way through the trip and it is plain to see that everyone is having a good time, if a little tiring at times. Other schools have even commented how well behaved our pupils are, which is music to our ears.

Monday March 26

Wall to wall sunshine greeted us as we set off on day two. The snow was certainly firmer making it harder to edge into with skis, which did catch a few people out! The beginners are all skiing with much more confidence and are now able to control their turns. The middle and top groups spent a bit of time working on their techniques before putting what they had learnt into practice. It’s great to see everyone improving and enjoying themselves.

After skiing we all jumped into the Ski bus to go down to the main town for a spot of retail therapy. Sweets, pizza and crepes were the main purchases. Following our evening meal Mr Backhouse and Colin our rep ran a quiz, which certainly demonstrated the Oakhamians' competitiveness.

Sunday March 25
The journey to Dover went well with little in the way of hold ups, and the channel crossing was as flat as a pancake. We then had to deal with a number of traffic jams, which made the journey much longer than it should have been. The pupils dealt with the delays very well. Driving up the final hill to the resort, everyone started to get very excited in anticipation of the week's skiing. 

Once rooms had been allocated, we were fitted with skiis and boots, followed by our evening meal and bed. 

The next morning everyone seemed to have had a good night's sleep and were refreshed and ready to hit the slopes. The three groups set off with their instructors for the week to explore some of the resort. The beginners stayed on the village slope and made quite good progress during the day. Towards the end of the day some of them did start to flag a little, as it was so warm.

We all watched a video this evening and it will be followed by an early night, so we can do it all again tomorrow. 

A great day.

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