First days somehow always seem to be the best – the weather was sunny and the beautiful blue sky was to die for. We had breakfast at the hostel then changed into ski clothes. Then it was all about marching up the slope in our heavy boots, and carrying our skis onto the bus that drives us uphill into the small town where we would take the “télécabine” to get to the base camp of the Châtel ski center. Though it was the base, it was already situated at an altitude of 1400 meters.
We were split into three groups – debutant, moyen, and confirmé (Beginner, Medium, and Superior). It was us who chose the groups according to our own level of ski abilities. I chose the medium group because I didn’t know how good Europeans were at skiing (I was assuming to be very good) so I did not want to overestimate myself. Besides, both Elena and Julie chose the medium group and I wanted to ski with them. After all, that’s what the ski trip was all about.
Soon we met with our group instructor, named Sébastien (We call him Seb). He was wearing a bright red ski suit just like all the other instructors, and neon green boots, which made him pretty easy to spot in the crowd. And then began our week-long ski trip! He first took us onto the green trail, which were very slow slopes, to warm us up and do some “recalling”. Once everyone was comfortable, we went up to blue trails, starting out steady and slow and staying in a line following Seb. However, Julie and I found ourselves a little bit bored so we stayed at the end of the file so that we can wait a little when the group was a bit far away and we can ski faster like we would on more difficult trails. We also made ourselves “lifeguards” who watched everyone ski and came to rescue whenever somebody fell. It was a day easy to lose balance, for the trails had melted a bit under the sunshine and we were basically skiing on ice covered with only a thin layer of snow.
Monday was off to a great start. At 11 a.m. we returned to the base camp and stored our skis in a room rented by the school. That way we wouldn’t have to carry them up and down all the time. Then we took the télécabine down and back to the hostel to have lunch. It was always the same schedule everyday – morning ski starting from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch back at the hostel, then 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the afternoon ski.