Ski Trip 2017

Day 1

And they are off........have a great time.

We have had a long but thoroughly enjoyable day travelling to Austria.  The early start at school meant that we  arrived in plenty of time at Gatwick. We were all able to check in with ease and was very impressed with the system operated by easyjet.  Not a single lost boarding card or item of liquids in the hand luggage case so we breezed through security control. This left us plenty of time for a decent breakfast in departures,  and time enough to buy some lunch as well.

Girls were impeccably behaved throughout the flight,  and we are complimented by both easyjet staff and fellow passengers.  We safely landed in Salzburg,  and whilst the queue at the ladies toilet was  invariably long, we managed to get onto our coach with a quick time to Schwarzach. 

It’s always lovely to arrive at the Hotel Post  and be welcomed by Hansi and his staff. Giles our rep  of the last few years,  was also there, and we were delighted to see them both. 

Girls quickly settled into their rooms and then straight out for boot fit. This was closely followed by dinner and  our standard Night one admin meeting.  Girls have been given the ski passes, ehic, insurance cards and emergency contacts, and are already tucked up in bed ready for an early night. 

It’s a 7 AM wake-up call so we can be on the slopes early and get skiing as soon as possible. 
They have been immaculately behaved all day,  and we are really looking forward to spending time with them. If they’re lucky Monday might even be a Holy Day ! 

Please keep an eye on twitter over the next few days,  we will update that much more frequently then any other form of communication. 

Bish and team 

Day 2 (Day 1 on Snow)

Today has mainly been a day of questions ... it started at 7am with one of the girls asking “who is that knocking on my door so loudly?” 🙄

At various points throughout the day the questions from the girls have included 
As we got ready to head to the slopes ... 
Are they my boots?
Where are my skis?
Where’s the room key?
Where are my skis ?
Do we get ski poles? 
Where are my skis ?

As we headed up the chair lift I overheard
Are we going up there?
Do you think that’s a long way up?
Are we going to have to ski down this at the end of the day? 
How will we get off at the top?

As they got involved in their ski lessons (your girls were on the receiving end of some fabulous tuition today by the way!) the questions changed to 
Which way are we going ?
Can we do that again? 
Can you show me that again?
What colour is this piste ?
Am I getting better? 
Did you see me do that? 
Why do I keep falling over? 

As lunch time approached the girls were heard asking 
Do you think they’ll have chips?
Can we do one more run before we go in?
Is it really only 1130?
Where’s Giles? 

After our lunch break, as groups moved around the mountain the questions changed again ...

Is that really snow?
Oh doesn’t it look like Narnia?
Can anyone help me?
Which is turn right ... this one or that one?
Where’s my ski?
Who has my pole?
Can we get a hot chocolate? 

As we headed into the last hour or so of the day I overheard my favourite question ... 

Did I really just come down that slope? 

Much like the girls we staff also had questions, they started at 7.15 with “Where’s Tooman? Do you think she’s slept thru her alarm?” 

Do you have all your girls? 
Can you check the bus?
Who do you want to ski with?
Can someone find me a paracetamol?
Who has the kitkats?
Where is Mr Hall?

As lunch approached 
Did you order me a coffee?
Can I have what she’s having? 
Do you think they’d notice if I had a nap here?
Where’s Mr Hall? 

As the snow started to fall & 4 different ski groups descended to the Kristenelm and snow covered, goggle hidden girls skied past me I often asked 
Do you belong to me ?
Are you one of mine?
Who is that? 
Who are you?

As we descended the chair lift with the girls we then asked them the  following questions 
Did you have fun? 
What did you most enjoy?
What can you do now that you couldn’t do this morning?
What would you like to do tomorrow? ( quickly followed in one instance after requesting to go off piste, by “are you having a laugh?”) 

On our arrival back at the hotel when asked what time dinner was, we said 
It’s at 6.15, now no more questions ... up to your rooms for a few hours down time! 

Despite being with us for so many years Giles our IBT rep still can’t believe that we allow our pupils to have 2 hours of free time around the hotel, no structured activity, no organised fun! What he also still can’t believe is how well they occupy that time! 
Such is the beauty of taking Marist girls away!

It’s now 855pm & I’m struggling to keep my eyes open as I type this ... your girls have been amazing today & should be so proud of themselves!  
We have spent all day being astounded at the progress they’ve made & the smiles they’ve brought to our faces ... 
Roll on tomorrow! 

Bish & Team

Day 3 (Day 2 on Snow)

I absolutely hate skiing ... this is such hard work, I’m never going to get better 

This has been the best day of my life ever I Love Love Love skiing 

These two quotes, which were I hasten to add, spoken by the same child today, sums up beautifully this magnificent trip!  Our instructors have been simply astounded by your daughters attitudes to learning new skills & approaching new challenges!

Each & every group is making amazing progress & getting further across the mountain each day. 
Unbelievably after just 6 hours tuition with Ethan, group 1 made it to Buchau.  After a further 2 hours they made it to the back of the Mountain to the Strasalm. This is simply astounding!

Aiden & Mrs H boshed out some solid runs this morning around Alpendorf & then spent the afternoon mixing it up in the Bowl at the back! Up & down Hirschkogel & back over the top to BaucheBahn.  It’s no wonder they are shattered tonight!

Group 3 thundered over to Wagrain this morning with Giles & Mr Hall & spent time doing drills on the Motorway! This consolidation of skills was essential in the afternoon when Giles made them (and me!) ski down to the Grapfenberg express TWICE !!!  Good job we’d been to the BurgerHut for lunch 🍔 

Group 4 this morning were the first of our girls to ski the “home run” down to the Gondola & we loved it so much we did it twice! Catching up with group 1 on Bauche was also fab & the girls loved seeing each other in action. 
This afternoon Freya took them down a black run & through the Devils tunnel so I think it’s fair to say Mr Hall may move back to group 3 tomorrow!

The beauty of an early start is an early finish & we were back at the hotel by 4pm & our staff meeting was moved today into the local bakery opposite the hotel!  Girls got a chance to explore the town a little & stock up on essential items like Milka & Haribo!  Although in their defence they also bought satsuma, bananas, grapes & raspberries too! 

An evening at the Bowling alley is always fun & then it’s quick as you can back to the hotel for bed time at 915! 
We sure know how to apres ski at The Marist 😂😂

It’s a Holy Day tomorrow ... alarm is set for 7.10 ... 💤💤💤

Day 4 (Day 3 on Snow)

As parents we’ve all had that moment! When you’ve sent your kids off on an exciting day & then on their return you say “did you miss me?”  I think it’s fair to say that today Group 4 didn’t miss me at all!  They have covered more kilometres than I care to fathom & they’ve had a fab day in Flachau with Freya! 

Thankfully Group 2  seemed very excited to see me when I met them for lunch today & I thoroughly enjoyed skiing with them this afternoon.  I was able to take a couple of the girls off for 20 mins to do some extra coaching & confidence building on the slopes in Wagrain & I think it’s fair to say that after almost 20 years of teaching I should add Skiing to my repertoire of subjects ... 

Teacher of PE, Psychology, Geography, History & Skiing has a wonderful sound to it & I shall be contacting RM on my return to school to change my email signature accordingly! 

Group 1 adopted a fantastic growth mindset approach to their skiing today & Mrs Costello & Ethan were so proud of all they achieved! Never have I seen Group 1 travel so far on Day 3.  Mrs C was however quite glad to get back to the Kristenelm at 3.10 & turned down the offer of one more go on the button lift! 

I know that you know we hold Giles in high regard, but I tell you, Group 3 girls just idolise him! He is not only an astounding instructor but he makes learning so much fun & the girls don’t even realise they are learning when they are with him! When I grow up, I want to be just as good a teacher as he is! 

It’s been a marvellous if not freezing day on the slopes.  If I decide to offer to run a ski trip in  December 18 I will first request an in depth weather forecast for the month!  As a PE teacher of 20 years I can tell you I’ve never been colder than I am this week! Snow conditions are fabulous but my hands & my iPhones are not used to these temperatures!

Whereas in previous years I could easily ski bare handed whilst videoing your kids, I’m struggling somewhat this year! That said, the footage I’m collecting is fun & it’s amazing how quickly I can warm up after a hot chocolate in the Strasalm!

My colleagues kindly took the girls to Salzburg this evening so I could wrap up warm in the hotel, consume a few more lemsip & write this blog.  I’m mindful that most of the twitter feed , emails & blog are written by me, but really it’s a massive team effort out here in Austria & Mrs C Mrs H Miss T & Mr H are all working equally hard to ensure your girls have the best time this week! 

They are currently on their way back from Salzburg & I’m confident they’ll have had a fabulous evening! I’m also confident that I will sleep through the noise of 36 teenage girls when they return! 💤💤💤

Day 5 (Day 4 on Snow)

Yet another fabulous day on the slopes & the girls are in fine spirits.  They are certainly feeling tired after more than 20 hours on the slopes, but as I keep reminding them, they can sleep all Friday afternoon! 

Todays blog is written by the girls themselves ... 

Group 3 Today has been full of “bant”. Giles taught us how to ski in thick snow which was terrifyingly fun. Anya managed to not only ski down the mountain but slide down on her bum! Doughnut and chips for lunch... healthy. Followed by a black run and backwards skiing. Bombing down the mounting led to many face plants and funny falls. It’s been an amazing fun filled day of skiing.

Today for group 4 was very interesting. The girls began the morning in a tired state however we launched straight into a speedy black run, you could say from then on the day went downhill certain members of the group spent more time on their bottoms than on their skis with some very spectacular falls leading to a very well needed doughnut break. At the end of the day the sun came out and each girl got the opportunity to take the role of ski instructor. The girls arrived back safe and well rehearsed for tonight’s Karaoke!

Today group 2 did the flying Mozart and went on multiple chair lifts and skied different parts of the mountain. We did mostly red runs and a few blues towards the end of the day with minimal casualties and falls (everyone's okay). Finally got a well earned hot chocolate break at about 2 ish to refuel. The powdery snow which fell over night brought new challenges for us all but everyone was eager to wiz down the fresh slopes.

Group 1 had a fantastic day today, completely mastered red runs. We successfully made it down a particularly tricky red slope but thought we would leave black slopes for another trip. The over night snow meant a lot of fun in powder including a snow fight and play on the kiddy slide.

Karaoke is in full swing & thanks to Mrs Costello for her fabulous twitter feed on @marist_science

Day 6 (Day 5 on Snow)

Final day on the slopes & the girls have had a wonderful time! Most importantly they’ve all made it down safely! 
Nothing quite like knowing they’ve all made it down the Gondola to Alpendorf in one piece! 

Ski presentations this afternoon with our fantastic instructors & the chance for the girls to pass on their own thanks for all the hard work by Giles Freya Aiden & Ivan (slightly embarrassed that I’ve been calling him Ethan all week! I can only blame the mixed combination of a thick Welsh accent & brain fuzz due to a lot of paracetamol for my error!!) 

Girls have packed their bags & their rooms are almost tidy! It’s a 6am wake up, followed by breakfast then back up to strip beds & do a final tidy up! We’ve factored in 30 mins for this in the morning! Our bus arrives around 7 & we hope to be on the road by 715! 

The girls will leave Austria with a lot of happy memories, some amazing skiing skills & I’m hoping a number of them may want to come again next year! 

Giles & Alex are on standby to welcome us in December 2018 as they know I’ve my own family celebration plans scheduled for Xmas 2019 & so won’t be able to run a trip in that holiday. 

Your girls are tired after working hard all week, but I know they’ve lots of stories to tell you of time well spent in the snow in Austria