On Saturday 15th February 27 intrepid Stroud explorers set out after a stormy night for the long haul to Alpe D’Huez in the French Alps. The journey ran smoothly and we arrived at the ‘Hotel Beau Soleil’ in time for dinner and ski-fit.
The first day’s skiing was a little cloudy with heavy snow falling during the day. However, nobody’s spirits were dampened and everyone enjoyed the fresh mountain air and fresh snow that was falling.
Day two was perfect! Around 10inches of fresh powder had fallen and there was not a cloud in sight. It was a true ‘bluebird’ experience with the opportunity for the more adventurous to carve fresh tracks in deep powder. This really was a day to be savoured by all, both on and off-piste. That evening the children played a variety of games, the undoubted highlight being ‘cereal killer’ where a small cereal box has to be picked up from the floor using only the mouth!
The next two days passed in a mixture of blue, red and black runs intertwined with flat light, fog, cloud and the occasional glimpse of the sun. However, this didn’t deter anyone and all the children continued to make excellent progress in their ski groups and the adults tackled increasingly challenging runs, from blues to reds and then on to the infamous ‘Sarenne’ and ‘Tunnel’ black runs. The cloud lifted on the Wednesday evening and, in spite of the cold, we were all entertained by the famous ESF Ski Instructor’s show and torchlight decent.
The penultimate day dawned with another stunningly beautiful, cloudless blue sky. The snow conditions were perfect and everybody enjoyed a fantastic day in the sunshine. Two lucky travellers even experienced the best view of all during a paraglide over the resort and two others sampled how to roll down the slopes in a Zorbing ball. The perfect day was rounded off with a trip to town where the children (and one or two brave adults) enjoyed gliding round the ice rink, some choosing to practise their ‘Scooby Doo’ legs.
The last morning was greeted by more snowfall meaning that there was powder to be found on the piste – a real treat for some. That evening saw the children awarded with a variety of ESF awards and badges and the whole group thanked the three fantastic instructors who had helped to make the week so enjoyable. That evening the group also sampled some local delicacies in the form of snails and frogs legs – those adventurous enough to try were not disappointed!
Alpe D’Huez 2016 is already booked!!