Ski Trip: The Non-Skiing Days

16 January

The nice weather didn’t stay long though. Tuesday morning we woke up to a blurry view of the mountains, but despite the incoming blizzard we still went for morning ski. The winds were strong and unfortunately I did not have a face mask, so the bottom half of my face was bombarded by snowflakes almost as hard as ice. It was almost like hail. On the way down during lunch time I took off my ski goggles and saw how pathetic I looked – the bottom half of my face was red while the upper half was normal. But it soon faded away.

That afternoon, the Juniors had the choice to hang back and not go skiing. Given how bad the weather condition was, we all decided to stay at the apartment. There were mock exams the next week and the others had huge projects to work on, so everyone was pretty occupied. Our French teacher was even nice enough to come over and give us some tips on the upcoming French mock test. And apparently it was the right choice to not go back up the mountain again, because an hour later we received news that the trails were closed and so were the télécabines due to the wind. The Sophomores, who had already went up to the base camp, had to ski all the way down to the town area. I heard that it was a difficult trail, rated between red and black (black is the most difficult level, and red the second most). Imagine how horrible it was for those who don’t have the habit of skiing…

We walked into town that night to buy some snacks at the supermarket. I also got myself a ski mask. I was NOT going to let my face get pricked like that again.

17 January

Sadly, our hopes of skiing on Wednesday were quickly demolished as we were informed that the trails were closed for the entire day. Everyone groaned as we changed out of our ski clothes. Some boys went immediately back to bed though.

But of course it was not a day of staying indoors. Despite missing the ski, we weren’t going to waste our precious time here in the Alps to sleep all day or watch TV until our eyes were sore. After lunch, we put on our ski coats and went outside to have fun just in front of our apartment. And by fun we meant starting a snowball fight!

I have no idea how the boys do it, but they make high-quality snowballs in seconds and they almost always hit their targets (the girls). Elena was the most popular target (probably because she screams every time a snowball comes flying her way and it’s pretty cute) and in the end there were clops of snow everywhere in her hair and on her coat, even inside her cap.

The teachers came by to tell us that they had managed to organize at the last minute an ice-skating and sledding event for us. At around 4p.m. we joined the Sophomores and got on a bus that drove for almost 20 minutes to a sports center. However, we didn’t go inside, but headed towards the frozen lake nearby. This was the first time in my memory that I skated on a slab of natural ice. It wasn’t all that carefree though – we came about two hours before closing time so the ice was already grated a lot from the day. Besides, the surface was very uneven and we had to be careful not to trip over the bumps and gouges. I skated with Elena and Julie, the three of us holding hands.

An hour later another group arrived at the rink and we returned our skating boots to go to the sledding hill. It was a rather steep hill, which looked awesome for skiing (yes, we had been thinking about skiing for the entire day). We each took a plastic sled and rode the “magic carpet” (something like the rolling platform you see at the cashier in grocery stores) to the halfway of the hill. Some people sled down from there, others climbed up all the way to the top for a much more thrilling experience.

I think I’m not exactly compatible with sledding, because I fall every time. Either I pull too hard on the handles and the sled swerves so much that I just tumble out of it, or the direction is way too off track and I can’t change it. One time I crossed the path of Elena and we ended up getting into an accident were my sled completely flipped over in Elena’s way and she didn’t have enough time to turn away, so she drove right over me and fell out of her sled as well. Of course it hurt a bit, but we were both okay and I was extremely glad that I had my helmet and goggles on.

Overall, though we didn’t get to ski that day, we had a bunch of fun. It was very nice of the teachers to make an effort and take us on other kinds of excursions.

The Juniors

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