You’ve seen the video and now it’s time for a more detailled run down of our week in the French alps. Unfortunately this year was my last ever university ISB (Inter Semester Break) ski trip and, even though it pains me to write that, I am also so unbelievably thankful to have been on 3 amazing ski trips over the last 4 years.
The coach journey was a success for the first time ever – we actually arrived at the resort early, in daylight hours compared to the usual 1am drop-off after tons of delays. 24 hours could not have gone quicker, even with the migrant crisis at Calais, we encountered not a single issue at Dover and hopped straight on a ferry. I knew instantly that this was a sign of the best ski trip to come
Year after year, the university lures us into booking the trip by advertising a ‘ski-in, ski-out’ hotel and normally this turns out to be more of a ‘walk down the hall, wait for the lift, exit through the locker room and then ski-out’ kind of thing – still good but nothing to write home about. I’m sure you guys can guess where this is going… for the first time ever our room was RIGHT on the slopes. We just had to open our back door and we were ready to start skiing – the dream.
I shared a room with 6 of my favourite people. We had a kitchen and two bathrooms between the 7 of us and although it was a 2-story apartment it was still quite a squeeze at times with all of our ski equipment in there too. I couldn’t complain though, as Leonie and I were cheeky enough to bag ourselves the private room with a double bed and balcony after everyone politely pretended it didn’t exist upon arrival. I think everyone was just waiting to see who would be bold enough to ‘bagsy’ it and, of course, it was me. I always think, if you don’t ask, you don’t get and seeing as no-one else expressed any desire for the added luxury, I jumped at the chance. I think the others were secretly glad to get us and our Disney playlists locked away…
The skiing was amazing as always and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have a major wipeout. I think this was mainly due to the fact that I wasn’t really pushing myself to do challenging runs and even though I regret that a little bit, I also think it’s nice to just ski leisurely with no pressure from time to time. We had access to all of the ‘3 Valleys’: Val Thorens, Meribel and Courchevel, which meant that we never got bored and had tons of snow to play on. Some days we skied in a big group but I always felt like that was more stressful as people were so focused on keeping up with everyone that they ended up missing out on the atmosphere or just falling over, so a lot of the time we’d split up into smaller ones and do our own thing. Embarrassingly for me this meant ski all morning, eat a saucepan full of pasta and nap all afternoon. I’m getting old, okay?!
It was so good to go back to Val Thorens too because everything felt so familiar. We knew ur favourite routes down the mountains, the best value restaurants in the resort, the cheapest supermarkets, the most scenic photo ops and the best après-ski and nightlife. The mountain meal was top-notch as always, although I’m still convinced that it shouldn’t be acceptable to ski in the dark with a body pumping more red wine than blood but what do I know!
Sadly, I got ill on the second-last day which meant I had to miss the last night out. Have you guys ever been so ill that you get weirdly emotional about things? Well, I cried. About not going to a club. Which is SO unlike me. I even forced my friend, Minnie, to wear my bag and jacket so that I could ‘feel like I was there’. Dear God, I pray for whoever has to spend their life with me and deal with my emotional-ill ramblings – it’s not pretty! On the plus side, I escaped most of the cleaning duties due to being passed out in bed with a Coca-Cola bottle on my head as an ice pack. Sorry girls, I owe you one!
I love ski/snowboard holidays SO much… I think they’re on par with summer beach holidays if I’m honest. Even though you have to peel a gazillion layers off your body every night, accept your permanently runny nose and tame the dreaded helmet-hair it is SO worth it (Wait, why is skiing considered so romantic? Surely, all of this is proof that it’s quite the contrary…) I will miss Val Thorens more than anything but most importantly I will miss the people that I’ve spent these university ski trips with. I don’t think anything will quite compare to this experience in the future but I do hope it’s not long until I’m back on the slopes again.
We sure did save the best ’til last. I’ll miss you VT!