There have been 25 Harrow Way School ski trips, starting way back in 1982. The resorts used for these trips have varied enormously over the years. We have visited Switzerland, Italy, Austria and France. As time has passed and experience has been gained the selection of resorts has been refined.
The question has been asked recently “How and why do you choose to go to the resorts you go to?”
The simple truth here is that we choose the resorts that make the SCHOOL TRIP a successful one. To be successful we need the following:
Good Snow Conditions: Snow can be unreliable and the best way of improving our chances of finding good conditions is to go to ski resorts that are at a higher ALTITUDE. Good conditions make for better, safer and more enjoyable skiing and allow more runs to be open, so less crowding of both lifts and ski runs.
Accommodation to a suitable standard: There is no need for 5 star luxury.Â We choose accommodation that provides us with the following:
- Comfortable accommodation that receives refurbishment and improvement on a regular basis.Â Each room needs to have sufficient hot water for ALL occupants to shower at the end of the day, and to be warm enough to allow them to sleep comfortably.
- Young, enthusiastic and largely English-speaking staff, overseen by experienced Managers, who are trained in dealing with the demands of 40 teenagers.Â
- Good quality food which caters for school parties and offers a buffet breakfast and lunch, and a two course evening meal suitable for the tastes of children.
- Accommodation that is as close to the slopes as possible: My priorities are; to prevent students having to walk in ski boots, which is difficult, potentially dangerous, and adds to the fatigue, which can in itself lead to injuries. Having taken trips to resorts where students faced a long, difficult journey (by bus or long walk) to get to the bottom of the slopes, followed by the long lift ride up to the ski area, the advantages of the ease and safety of “door step” skiing are clear to see.
Resort: Our chosen resortÂ must have:
- Essentially, a ski school which maintains the highest standards and where we feel that our students are in safe and reliable hands.
- A wide range of slopes that will allow the students to ski a large, interesting and varied area is essential. It is always better for the youngsters to feel that they have “been somewhere” and not just up and down the same run over and over again, and where the crowds “thin out” due to the large expanse of skiing available.
- A lift system with a large enough capacity to transport huge numbers of skiers per hour, so that students are not spending a great part of their lesson-time standing in a queue.
- A good range of suitable school age evening entertainment.
The scenic qualities of picturesque, typical cookoo clock type villages are less important to people whose main desire is to “get out there and ski!” Likewise, high quality shopping is not essential for youngsters.
We currently choose SkiBound as our tour operator and have found that they provide us with all that we need.Â The management and staff in their office and hotels provide us with the service, advice, help and co-operation we require to run a successful trip.
If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact the school office and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Rob Hudson â€“ Head of PE and Ski Trip Leader