Ski Trip to Serre Chevalier
Ski Tour Report: 12th – 20th February 2016, Serre Chevalier, France
Written by Mr. Lindsay
On Friday 12th February 2016, 43 Bournemouth School pupils and 6 staff set off for the ski resort of Serre Chevalier, situated in the Southern French Alps near Briançon and the Italian border. We drove through the night and arrived at our accommodation for the week, the Hotel Fréjus early on the Saturday morning.
This accommodation was excellent. The hotel specialises in school groups and it was very well appointed with good quality en-suite rooms which were warm and bright with views across the ski area.
There were no plans for the Saturday other than ski-fit, so the boys were happy to head to their cabins and settle in.
During Saturday night further snow arrived in abundance. Everyone woke on Sunday morning to some fairly foggy conditions and a lot of snow still falling.
The reason the trip was such good value was twofold: all the pupils had six hours per day of skiing tuition to look forward to, and the gondola, the main route up on to the hill, was incredible, just across a very minor road outside the hotel, no more than about 40m from the entrance.
Eighteen members of the trip were beginners, who spent their first day on the very gentle nursery slopes by the base station.
The remainder were in for an absolute treat as they were to find every green and blue run covered in shin-deep powder!
So, through breakfast, the traditionally complicated first morning continued with getting 43 people to where they needed to be with habitual application of sun cream, all the right clothing, gloves, goggles; the right skis and poles. There were some pleasing examples of teamwork and peer checking by the senior boys, who helped to prepare the younger boys for their first day and for many, their first ever skiing experience on snow.
The following day, everyone woke to the most majestic and spectacular alpine scenes of lush and deep blue skies, bright sunshine and stunning mountain scenery. The group quickly established routines and after applying lashings of sun cream, headed out for another great day of skiing.
That evening bowling had been planned in the neighbouring village of Chantmerle. The competitive spirit of the boys soon reared its head and with ten or eleven boys on each of the four lanes, it became clear from the cheering that they were having a great time. There was dramatic climax: with the three other games finished, all attention was focused on the Yr 12 lane. It came down to the final bowl on which the outcome of the last game hinged!
After another four days of excellent skiing and excellent progress, the trip drew to a close. The instructors came to the hotel, debriefed their groups and issued them with log books. These should be kept and brought on future trips.
The conduct of the boys on the trip was impeccable; we received very positive reports, unprompted, from the ski school staff, the hotel management, the housekeeping staff and the waiting staff. On the return ferry, staff were even tannoyed by P&O to the information desk whereupon they were told that the Bournemouth School Boys were, “A credit to the school.” This was extremely pleasing.
A huge thanks is due to the six members of experienced staff who took the group away and through their experience, vigilance and dedication ensured that 255 days were skied by the boys out of 258, and that it passed largely without adversity.
We hope to arrange a further trip to the same resort in 2018.