Ski Trip Review – December 2023

Wednesday 17 January 2024 | By Megan Connor

In the week leading up to the Christmas holiday, 40 students and 5 members of staff travelled to Sauze d’Oulx, north west Italy, for the much-anticipated THS ski trip.

Leaving just after lunchtime on Sunday 17 December, our coach journey from Teesside High to Manchester Airport and evening flight to Milan was long but stress-free. The transfer from Milan to Sauze d’Oulx saw us head west, past Turin and up the winding roads into the Italian Alps. We settled in the cosy ski village of Sauze d’Oulx just after midnight and headed straight to bed, excited for the week ahead.

We had six days of skiing planned in the Sauze d’Oulx ski resort. Unfortunately, due to the lack of snowfall over the previous week, many of the ski runs and chair lifts were closed but there was still plenty of skiing to be had. During the first three days of skiing we got to know our enthusiastic, expert instructors who helped us get to grips with the ever-changing conditions. In the mornings, some sections of the slopes were solid and icy, while other sections had thicker snow but by the afternoon, the conditions changed. This provided a challenge for even some of our more experienced skiers, nevertheless the expert guidance and teaching from our instructors meant that our students made incredible progress in a short space of time.

After a long day of skiing, we had our 3 course evening meal and plenty of time to relax in the warm lounge area of our hotel which we were lucky enough to have all to ourselves. The atmosphere during our evenings was lovely, with our students and staff playing cards, Uno, darts, watching films and catching the evening football match on TV. We even celebrated a 16th and 54th birthday with the chef kindly baking birthday cakes for us! On two evenings we had the chance to explore the village of Sauze d’Oulx. The village was very quiet as the ski season there does not officially start until January, however this allowed us to meander through the festive streets, visit souvenir shops and enjoy some hot chocolate. On another night, some of our students visited Sauze Spa, where they had the place to themselves and were able to use the swimming pool, saunas and steam rooms. Great fun had by all despite having to wear black fabric swimming caps!

With the snow staying away and strong winds developing in Sauze, we decided to travel across the border to spend day four and five skiing in Montgènevre, France. Although there was much more snow, the wind started to pick up there, too, which meant many of the chair lifts started to close. Despite this, our students enjoyed practising their skills on different slopes and testing themselves over jumps and obstacles. There was a worry that the winds would be so strong we would not be able to ski on day six but fortunately they died down, and our students spent their final day showing off their skills and enjoying every last moment of their skiing before saying goodbye to their instructors.

After six days of skiing and a 3.00am wake up call to begin our return journey, we had lots of tired looking faces, eager to return home. Thankfully, there were no delays and we arrived back at Teesside High just after lunchtime on Christmas Eve. Lots of miles covered and lots of amazing memories, making our Italian ski trip a huge success!

Mr Williamson