The ski trip is a highly anticipated annual residential for Years 8 - 11, and this February half term's second venture to Madonna de Campiglio in the Dolomites was another roaring success! A trip designed to accommodate skiers of all abilities, from the newbie who has never even seen snow, to the seasoned off-piste professional – all abilities are welcome! The ski trip 2020 saw a cohort of a complete range of abilities (including amongst the staff!).
Having left Thornden on Friday before the end of the school day, staff and students traversed a number of countries over the course of the 24hour coach journey, eventually arriving at what was, effectively, the ski trip's own private hotel. Thornden had overrun the sleepy Italian village (or at least would do after a decent kip!).
After collecting the ski equipment (and the staff dressing in the usual, subtle attire), we were ready to hit the slopes. 10 minutes of swinging gondola ride later, and we’re halfway up the mountain, but only at “base camp”; from here, skiers can navigate the mountain’s offering of blue (easy), red (medium) and black (hard) runs across kilometres of the Dolomite mountain range. Meandering runs offer once-in-a-lifetime views of stunning natural beauty, and chair lifts offer a truly tranquil time to reflect on your surroundings (or can offer a decent view of a line of students tumbling over one another whilst practising a snowplough!). The ski trip offers 6 full days of skiing, so even the newest newbie is traversing the mountain with confidence by the week’s end. Regardless of the number of tumbles, snow ball fights, you crossed skis and sliding into one another, every single face was a picture of delight throughout the week (and probably exhaustion by the end!).
However, and in anticipation of puzzled faces, the ski trip is not just about skiing. Staff and students alike are treated to a plethora of activities across the week. Previous years have seen night-time ski shows and skidoo races, night-hikes in snow shoes and access to leisure centres for football, tennis and swimming; this year, activities included a spot of ice skating, two visits to the local town (and local shop), a private cinema screening in our very own on-site cinema, a karaoke night (big screen lyrics, proper microphones and lots and lots of noise!), an exclusive Thornden disco in our own nightclub and, finally, an evening at the spa, complete with plunge pool, swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and jungle showers!
The ski trip is an incredible experience and, incredibly long coach journey aside, every moment of it is crammed full of experiences and opportunities that students will treasure forever.