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Following the continuing success of our residential visits, I am now booking our first MAST Academy Trust, joint Kirkburton and Scissett, Ski trip for Easter 2019 to ski Saas Fee in Switzerland. Many people will never have the opportunity to realise the fantastic experience of skiing, particularly on snow.
Ski trips can be expensive, with lift passes, equipment hire and instruction to pay for on top of the normal continental travel, food and accommodation. It is for these reasons that I am booking the trip now to spread the cost for families over a longer period.
Initially the ski visit will be open to next year’s year 7 (current year 6). The cost is £985. This cost includes coach and ferry (Dover-Calais 90min) travel to and from Switzerland, accommodation, food, ski lessons, ski lift pass (for the whole mountain range) and skis/poles/ski boots. Breakfast and an evening meal will be provided at the hotel and a packed lunch will be provided on the slopes. Drinks other than with meals will need to be paid for, as will food on the journey to and from Switzerland. Ski wear is cheaper and more readily available nowadays, but can also be hired prior to the visit, a helmet is essential.
The following payment plan is spread over the next 12 months.
Tour operator: Ski Gower
Depart: Friday 12 April 2019
Return: Saturday 20 April 2019
Total Cost: £985.00 (payable via Parent Pay)
Initial deposit: £75.00 by Friday 23 February 2018
Second payment: £125.00 by Friday 20 April 2018
Third payment: £200.00 by Friday 29 June 2018
Fourth payment: £200.00 by Friday 14 September 2018
Fifth payment: £200.00 by Friday 9 November 2018
Balance: £185 by Friday 25 January 2019
The children will ski for 6 days and will be taught by fully qualified British Ski Gower instructors who will remain with our party for the duration of the visit. The instructors are technically excellent, very friendly and patient. The children will be working in groups of an average size of 8 per instructor, plus one member of school staff, and will receive certificates at our presentation night from Ski Gower. I am qualified as an Alpine Snowsports Course Leader, increasing the safety, enjoyment and learning of the participants.
The resort is excellent for beginners and intermediates. Saas Fee is a high altitude resort and snow conditions should be excellent.
We will stay at the Azalea Hotel in Saas Grund. The rooms are 2/4 bed en-suite. Local facilities include a disco, pizzeria/ice cream, DVD room, table football, and a swimming pool. Some of which we will use for evening entertainments.
We will depart on Friday, 12th April, 2019 and will arrive back during the afternoon of Saturday 20rd April. The journey takes approximately 22 hours each way.
Please be reminded that places are strictly limited and dependent on appropriate behaviour in school.
If the visit is oversubscribed a draw will take place for successful applicants, and for those placed on the reserve list, on Thursday 15 February, following the relevant selection procedure for each school.
Once the draw has been made information and instructions will be sent home periodically and there will be a further Information Evening nearer to the event in the Spring Term 2019.
If you have any further questions, please contact me at school or email me here
There is a possibility of danger and discomfort due to inadequately clothed young skiers in cold and high ski conditions, even in the sunny mountain climes at Easter. Nevertheless, we would remind you that exposure to cold, wind and altitude are an inevitable part of the fun of learning to ski.
Outer clothing MUST be windproof; snowproof; sealed at the extremities with collars, cuffs, drawcords etc. Layers of clothing should be used under this external shell to give the required protection for the time of the year. The sensible skier will dress for blizzards with vest or T-shirt, cotton polo or ski shirt, light sweater or fleece, if needed, plus the outer ski jacket (anorak) with salopettes or an all-in-one ski suit. Layers of clothing can always be discarded in good weather but remember you should NEVER ski without gloves or with bare arms.
Below is a list of basic items required by skiers some of which can be adapted from normal wear, some which is specialist equipment, but all of which is ESSENTIAL.
SKI JACKET/ANORAK & TROUSERS or SALOPETTES OR SKI SUIT.
These should be snow and windproof; warm yet lightweight, sealed at the extremities, with sufficient room for under garments. Windproof hoods are often concealed in the collar.
Essential to retain body heat in cold weather. Headwear must ALWAYS be taken on the mountain, just in case, (it can be very cold on the ears first thing in the morning on the chair lift!). Helmets are a requirement of the Education Authority and must be worn at all times on the slope (these can be bought or hired before the visit)
GLOVES/MITTENS.Mittens keep hands warmer than gloves and are more suited to mid-winter, those who suffer from bad circulation or those who fall over a lot! They should NOT be vinyl or wool but be tough, warm, waterproof and sealed at the wrist.
COTTON POLO/ZIP NECKS OR SIMILAR.
Not nylon or similar as this causes excessive sweating and can chill. A cotton vest or T-shirt underneath adds to the layer effect and if it is very cold a medium or lightweight wool sweater or light fleece ensures warmth. Long johns may also be useful to keep the legs warm under the salopettes.
Usually only one pair at once is worn. The modern ski boot is insulated and two or more pairs of socks make it difficult to control the skis. Two or three pairs can suffice if they are rotated and rested. They must be loop-lined or wool but NOT nylon or rugby socks as these can cause blisters. They should be almost knee length.
These are essential to give maximum protection from the intense glare from the sun and the reflected light, even on cloudy days. NEVER ski without eye protection, as snow blindness can permanently damage the eyes. Goggles are best used in snowy conditions and glasses when sunny. Both are useful, if only buying one, I would use Goggles.
SUN CREAM (HIGH FACTOR)
This is essential every day and must be re-applied at lunchtime. Cream must always be taken with you onto the mountain. It must be of a high factor; preferably high altitude glacier cream, even if you think you have tough skin. Protection against the sun’s UV rays, reflective light and the mountain wind is very important. Do not even think of skipping the cream to get a good tan – it could cause you to miss a day’s skiing.
Just as important as the cream to protect from the sun, to prevent chapping and painful cracking. It must be applied frequently all day. Brightly coloured sticks are popular but remember they are usually TOTAL block.
Trainers should be fine for all outdoor use at that time of the year, and the pupils are provided with ski boots for the mountain. Ideally, students should have separate footwear for indoors. Additionally, they will need personal medication, travel sickness pills if needed, inhalers, cameras, toiletries (shower gel, soap, hair shampoo, feminine hygiene, toothbrush, toothpaste), nightwear, warm casual clothes, evening wear, travel adapter, music player, wallet. Remember that all equipment is taken at your own risk, and that you are responsible for looking after your own.
Skiing is tremendously exhilarating but as with any specialist sport it is very important that you have the correct clothing in order to reduce body-heat loss. The weather in the mountains can be severe and at high altitudes, rapid changes in temperature are commonplace. Remember warm muscles work more easily and are less easily injured!!