For the third Easter running, a group of staff and children set off early on the first Saturday of the Easter holidays to enjoy a week’s skiing. After the success of last year’s trip we headed back to Sauze d’Oulx, Italy, which offers an extensive range of pistes for all the levels of ability in our party.
After a long day of travelling, it was great to arrive in the resort and be welcomed like old friends by Adriana, the hotel manager, with the promise of great weather for the week ahead. Following a hearty meal it was time for bed, ready for the exertions of the day to follow. Some were nervous at the thought of their first time on a proper slope - though this was mainly Miss Mac!
However, there was no need for nerves, as the first day set the pattern for the entire trip - all children fully ready ahead of schedule - remembering all of their equipment, and listening to everything their instructors told them so that amazing progress was made by all skiers, irrespective of their previous experience. One of the best examples of this was seeing Stefano and Guilio’s groups ski together, paying particular attention to speed, distance and following in line.
The instructors had nothing but praise for our children (see their note below). Their focus, attitude and behaviour led to all three ski groups tackling black runs, at least part of an Olympic run (the top group tackled the entire men's and women’s downhill runs) and going to Sestriere and Sansicario. On top of this, all children had the opportunity to practise jumps and tricks, including skiing backwards and tackling wooded treks, off piste!
In the evenings the children always enjoyed each other’s company, whether it was shopping, film nights, taking part in quizzes – even if the girls did beat the boys for the third year running – or just relaxing. These times allowed for the mix of year groups and genders to swap their experiences from the day; comparing wipe-outs and sharing tales – including the ones where trees were hugged, poles were dropped from chairlifts and staff crashed!
As ever, the trip ended all too quickly and, despite enjoying 30 hours of skiing in marvellous sunshine it didn’t seem enough, so it was a sad group who said goodbye to Sauze d’Oulx. The staff (Mr Creasy, Mr Grosse, Mrs Hughes, Miss Macfadyen and Mrs Outten) were all incredibly proud of the children who were excellent ambassadors for Gateway, through their behaviour, attitude and manners. Everyone we met had nothing but praise for the children and we are looking forward to next year’s trip already!