Events and Trips
Ski Trip to Canada - 9th – 17th February 2017
It was 4am on Thursday 9th February and the school hall was unusually chaotic for such an early hour. Seventy four pupils and eight members of staff had all arrived ready for a trip of a lifetime and an experience they would never forget. This was the Canada Ski Trip 2017!
After the early morning departure, which was full of tearful goodbyes, the pupils embarked on a tortuous journey. After a four hour plus coach drive, a thirty minute walk through London Heathrow, a seven and a half hour flight and another four hour plus coach drive, the group finally arrived at Mont Sainte Anne, almost 22 hours after setting off.
Located just north of Quebec City, Mont Sainte Anne would provide the venue for the next five days of skiing and a range of other thoroughly enjoyable activities. The mountain itself rose 2625 feet above sea level and offered a stunning setting for the week. The panoramic views of the province of Quebec provided from the top were breath-taking and pupils had a choice of 71 different ways down. In addition, the Saturday night delivered an opportunity for a Holy Family first: night skiing. It’s also worth noting, with a vertical drop of 625 metres, this is the highest descent under floodlights in Canada.
There was a huge range of ability throughout the group. Some had never skied before, but took to the slopes with an eagerness and enthusiasm that soon found them conquering the mountain. A number had skied before and were quickly up the mountain honing their skills. Others were more advanced and enjoyed the range and challenge of the different trails. Regardless of ability though, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the skiing, even on the days when the temperatures dropped to minus twenty five.
As well as skiing, the group were treated to a range of different activities. The hotel itself offered a pool and games room to keep pupils entertained in their down time. As well as a trip to an authentic Canadian Sugar Shack and a Canadian ice hockey match, one of the most popular activities was the morning spent at the Valcartier Winter Park. A simple idea really: in the summer it is a water park with a huge amount of slides. However, when the snow arrives in the winter, the covered slides make for a great descent on a huge inflatable ring.
After five fun filled days of skiing, the group set off on the second leg of their Canadian adventure. Arriving in Toronto, late Wednesday afternoon and after the evening meal, the staff and pupils navigated their way through the bustling Toronto streets to the CN Tower. Standing 457 metres above the city, it allowed for some fantastic views of Toronto as well as a glass floor that certainly made for an unsettling experience.
With having packed so much into such a short of space of time, it made perfect sense that before the flight home they would journey to another unforgettable landmark: Niagara Falls. After a tour around the site they were then treated to a walking tour, exploring the caverns and caves that run underneath and behind the falls, allowing the pupils to experience the power and noise of 567,811 litres of water rushing passed, every second.
With that, the adventure was over and all that was left was a quick shopping spree at the Niagara Outlet Mall before the seven and a half hour flight home and a final four hour plus coach drive. Eventually, at around half past three on Friday 17th February, the seventy four pupils and eight staff arrived home, almost all in one piece, exhausted after such an incredible trip.
Thanks, as always, must go to Mr Thorp for organising such an unforgettable experience. He is now setting his sights on the land of the rising sun. Keep your eyes peeled for information on Japan 2019!