Update from the School Championships 2011

We are now in day 2 on the mountains, and as I write this all of the boys and girls are off with their instructors enjoying their third, of five, training with the experienced Les Deux Alpes ski and snowboard instructors.

The resort of Les Deux Alpes is looking beautiful, with about 2 foot of snow on the ground, and nearing 150cm of snow a lot of it fresh as you get higher up the mountain. Given the quality of the snow it is looking likely that we will be able to hold the championships on the lower part of the mountains which will make for much more comfortable conditions for all the competitors.

For a quick de-brief we all had a very simple days travel with Kings College Wimbledon and Hurstpierpoint arriving in resort at about 3pm on Wednesday, Ardingly arrived later in time for a hearty supper by about 7 30pm.

We are staying in the Belle Etoile hotel, which holds three stars and as a result has extremely attentive staff, comfortable rooms, and provides absolute feasts at mealtimes. I think all of the pupils have been a little taken back by the 4 courses on offer at supper. A great way to replenish those tired legs!

There was a great days skiing yesterday, with everyone dusting off the cobwebs and getting the feeling of snow under their boards. The quality of the snow is first class, with powder on the piste, and with regular snow still falling it only looks like it is going to get better.

Before supper last night we were joined by the other competing schools of Wycombe Abbey and St Mary’s Calne, and handled the draw for the first events. A very tense atmosphere in the room as the competitive environment suddenly swept through the pupils, and with the draw being done out of a hat, one by one, it was like watching the FA cup draw. Whilst we attempt to maintain a very light hearted approach to the competitive element of the contest there is no doubt that there are medals and prizes to be one, and as soon as everyone is lined up at the starting gate the true competitive spirit will shine through.

We had a great talk from a guest speaker Audran Flammier last night. Audran is an ESF coach (ecolé du ski Francais), aswell as a Freestyle and Freeride specialist. He talked and showed demonstrations through all of the differing disciplines from the older school of ski racing, right up to the modern day ski cross and slope style. He then finished with a very important talk on avalanche awareness and all round mountain safety and even demonstrated the opening of an avalanche air bag which proved quite the highlight!

For a schedule the next few days are lined up as follows:
Day three, Friday 16th December.
07:30: Breakfast – Pick up packed picnic lunch.
09:15: Meet the instructors in the pre- organised groups, and get on your skis/boards.
12:30-13:30: Instructors handover the groups to teachers for 1 hr. lunch break.
16:30: Back to the hotel, free time.
18:30: Race meeting in dining room, followed by captain’s meeting.
19:15: Supper.
20:30: Quiz
22:00: Beauty sleep.
Day four, Saturday 17th December. Giant SLALOM
07:30: Breakfast – Pick up packed picnic lunch.
09:00: Meet outside hotel ready to race .Supervised by party leader&basecamp staff, go to racing venue. Warm up led by team captains.
09:30: Course check and warm up.
10:15: Start of Giant Slalom leg one.
11:30: Start of Giant slalom leg two.
12:30-12:30: Lunch (picnic lunch) supervised by teachers.
13:30-16:30: Party leader handover groups to instructors for afternoon skiing/boarding session.
16:45: Back to the hotel, free time.
18:30: Captain's meeting (parallel team race draw and slalom briefing).
19:00: Supper.
20:00: Bowling
22:00: Beauty sleep.
Day five, Sunday 18th December. SLALOM (morning) Parallel slalom showdown (afternoon)
07:30: Breakfast – Pick up packed picnic lunch.
09:00: Meet outside hotel ready to race. Supervised by Party leader, go to racing venue. Warm up led by racing by team captains.
09:30: Course check and warm up.
10:15: Start of slalom leg one.
11:30: Start of slalom leg two.
12:30-1:30: Lunch (picnic lunch) supervised by teachers.
14:00-16:30: Parallel slalom Team Race showdown
16:30: End of race, drop equipment to store before returning to hotel; start packing and get ready for the evening
19:30: Buffet diner, prize giving and party.
Prizes given:
-GS and Slalom winners, 2nd and 3rd place (girls/boys)
-Parallel slalom winning team
-Overall winning school
-Fun prizes
Day Six Monday 19th December
08:30: Breakfast.
Room cleaning/tidying and packing.  Please bring luggage for storage in garage by 10:30am
10:30: Check out time and room check
12:00:  Departure for Geneva  airport to arrive for 15:30 latest.
17:40 and 18h40: Flight departure.
We will keep posting regular updates, so stay tuned.

All the best,

Basecamp Staff