A range of students and staff spent February half term in the stunningly beautiful Alpine resort of Sestriere in Italy, to enjoy skiing at the highest resort in the extensive Milky Way ski area. Sestriere sits at the heart of one of Europe’s biggest ski areas known as the Via Lattea (Milky Way). There are 146 skiable pistes which together total 390 km of runs, of which 120 km are covered with snow making facilities.
A gondola provides easy access out of Sestriere into the rest of the ski system. The resorts biggest moment came when it was chosen as the centre for the alpine events in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Paralympics, hosting all the men’s and women’s alpine skiing competitions.
After a long coach journey, cancellation of ferries due to Storm Eunice staff and students made it safely through France to Italy. It was amazing how well everyone got to make new friends on the coach and managed to get some sleep! As they arrived at the hotel in the evening a vast buffet of hot and cold savoury and sweet delights greeted them and they were able to get kitted out to start skiing at 9am the next day.
The first day of skiing saw students and staff divided into two groups- beginners and intermediate, Mrs Harris being the oldest beginner on the slopes. The intermediate group went off to ski some trickier slopes whilst the beginners stayed on the nursery slopes practising stopping and turning. After a full 3 hour morning ski session they were all ready for a hot buffet lunch back at the hotel, which was less than a 5 minute walk from the slopes, even in ski boots. Skiing continued again for 2 ½ hours in the afternoon. They were fortunate to have glorious sunny weather for most of their stay and continued in the pattern for the whole week.
Sestriere is a beautiful place to ski and both staff and students had a fantastic week, even though Mrs Harris decided that the views were better appreciated without skis.