On January 11th, our group from HGS left school at about 1:30pm to head to Austria. We put our luggage on the coach and said our ‘hellos’ to our coach-share group from Boldon School in Tyne and Wear. 19 HGS students went, together with 3 teachers, Mr Jones (the Party Leader this year), Mr Bird and Mr Gallagher. About 23 hours later we arrived in Mauterndorf and everyone was ecstatic since there was a lot of snow and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Our hotel was called Mauser-Muhltaler.
We made ourselves comfortable in our dining room and were kindly welcomed by the hotel manager who went through all of the house rules. We then went upstairs to unpack before heading out to explore the town and visit a supermarket called ADEG to buy a few things. Later we popped across the road to the ski hire shop where we got our skis, boots, poles and helmets. Back at the hotel, dinner was at 6:30pm and on that night we had soup as a starter, pasta as our main course and cake as our desert. We went to bed at 10:00 pm and ‘lights out’ was at 10:30 pm.
The next day we woke up at 7:00 am and, after breakfast, went up the mountain on the gondola lift to meet our instructors. We were put into groups according to our skiing ability and then off we went skiing! Lunch was at 12:30pm each day at a restaurant up in the mountains where we either bought lunch or ate a packed lunch we made at the hotel in the morning. We carried on skiing until 4:00 pm.
The routine was basically the same each day and, at the end of the week, Mr Jones was keen to stress that nobody lost any skiing time because of injury, illness or bad weather. One local said that it was the best snow conditions they’d had in the resort for 30 years! However, we missed a couple of evening activities in other towns because of closed roads. By Tuesday, the roads had improved so we were able to go swimming in a nearby town called Tamsweg. This was one of the best experiences I’ve had for quite a while – there was an outdoor part of the pool and a long slide. On Wednesday evening, the hotel put on some apres ski entertainment outside and, after this, we walked to a pizzeria in town – the pizza was delicious.
Every year on the Ski Trip there are the ‘Muppet’ and ‘Wipeout’ competitions. Every day after skiing we met down in the lounge and voted for who we thought deserved the awards. The ‘Muppet’ award was for accidently doing something silly, like putting your ski boots on the wrong feet, and the ‘Wipeout’ award was for a spectacular fall. The people who ‘won’ had to wear bright yellow jackets until the next day and the next vote.
At last, our final day arrived. We had breakfast as normal, went up the mountain, skied, had lunch and finished a little early as we needed to go back to the hotel, shower, eat dinner, load all our bags onto the coach and head off home. About a day later, we arrived back at HGS. I had mixed emotions about this as I really enjoyed the skiing and didn’t want to stop but it was good to see my family again. Overall, the ski trip was absolutely amazing and definitely better than last year’s led by Mr. Bird (but don’t tell him I said that!)