Pupils’ ski trip to the French Alps

Some of the Arbroath High School pupils pictured during their sking trip to France at the end of last month.
Some of the Arbroath High School pupils pictured during their sking trip to France at the end of last month.

A party from Arbroath High School travelled to the resort of Le Corbier in the French Alps at the end of last month for six days of skiing.

The group, comprising 47 pupils and seven staff, travelled by coach and ferry for almost 30 hours before finally arriving at the Club Hotel Le Corbier. There, they were greeted by Loic, the hotel manager.

The evening entertainment on the Saturday was a scavenger hunt around the deserted town of Le Corbier to allow the pupils to get their bearings in the village.

Sunday was the first day on the slopes and with a very large group of non-skiers it was ‘bums’ on the slopes literally for the first hour. Thereafter it was progress for the new skiers who, having found their balance, seemed to master every challenge. While the beginners were having their confidence boosted, the other groups spent the day exploring the resort. In the evening the pupils carved out toboggan tracks on a moderate slope and enjoyed several hours of ‘bum boarding’.

Monday brought a day of beautiful clear skies and mild temperatures allowing the groups to explore the variety of runs whilst getting some technical points to help them develop their skiing.

Conditions were excellent and all pupils returned that afternoon having enjoyed a fantastic day of skiing. At night pupils teamed up and participated in a quiz.

With more snow overnight and cloudy conditions, Tuesday saw the advanced group heading ‘off- piste’ in the deep powder with their instructor. Luckily Keith Ritchie was on hand to dig them out when they disappeared from sight in what looked like several feet of snow.

Later that evening the pupils were put into teams for a teambuilding exercise and a limbo competition which Lewis Greig won, narrowly beating Kelsey MacFarlane in a tense final.

Wednesday also saw a cloudy start to the day which made the skiing difficult and similar to a whiteout usually experienced at Glenshee. This forced all the groups to stay on the southern lower slopes.

The advanced group spent the morning practising their slalom technique in preparation for Thursday’s time trial. By the afternoon the sun burnt the clouds away and the intermediate group where able to ski across to the resort of St Colomban Des Villards one of six they visited during the trip.

The evening meal brought an opportunity to experience the French delicacies of frogs’ legs and snails which caused a degree of excitement over the dinner table. Pupils then retired to their rooms to prepare for a fashion show. The staff as always set the scene dressed up as Harley Davidson Bikers. Thomas Chung, AKA Psy from Gangnam Style, stole the show with his group’s performance but could only finish second. In third place was Catherine Fraser as an exploding suitcase but the winning design went to Daniel Berry, Hayden Mawhinny and Joe Davidson dressed as a bag of Churros.

Thursday gave the instructors an opportunity to evaluate the progress that the pupils had made within their respective groups and assess them for the presentation later that evening.

The advanced group undertook a slalom race with Malcolm Pattullo coming first, Joe Davidson second and Suzanne Miller third. The instructors Yann, Frenrick, Eric, Thomas and Herve came round to the hotel to present the groups with their certificates.

Finally, Friday morning brought the best weather of the week for the last day of skiing.