This week sees the launch of ticket sales for the St Andrews Snowsports annual ski trip, this year to Les Deux Alpes in Southern France. Last year’s highly successful venture saw them go to Val d’Isere but whilst it is an iconic skiing resort, Val d’Isere is not necessarily geared to large student groups. Les Deux Aples is a very student-y resort and therefore this year’s trip should be a phenomenal success.
Ski trips are incredibly popular with universities up and down the country but as you might expect, the demand here is incredibly here. Last year saw 370 tickets go within a matter of weeks and this year they are expecting to take approximately the same. The trip is accessible for all, with Snowsports president Andrew Connarty explaining that they are aiming at three different groups of skiers; the Advanced Skier who is happy to go on the black slopes and spend most of the day trying out challenging routes, the Social Skier who enjoys a few hours casual skiing before going out in the evening and the Beginner Skier, who is keen to get up early and take in as many hours of lessons as possible during the week.
The trip takes place just before the beginning of Semester 2 in January. Participants will depart from London on Friday 13 January and will return back to St Andrews on Saturday 21 January, two days before Refreshers’ Week. Tickets for the trip include a lift pass for the week, accommodation and transport to and from the ski resort. At only £409 it is incredibly good value and definitely worth it. As Mr Connarty explained, the trip is more than just an opportunity to ski but also to make great friends.
He recounted that when he first went on the trip in his first year it was because his academic dad was involved with the club and asked him to come along. On the trip he only knew one person from his hall going and they ended up sharing a room with 10 other people, all of whom were second years. He explained that by spending so much time with those people they became incredibly close, and he ended up sharing a flat with two of them for the following two years. From his example alone it was obvious to me that the trip is a great bonding experience and really allows you to meet people that you may otherwise never have come in contact with, despite the small nature of our student body.
The release of tickets for the trip comes at a time of large club development, with a lot of efforts being put into their race and freestyle teams. There had been travel issues in the past but they now have freestyle training on a regular basis. There is a large BUCS competition in Edinburgh this November and the St Andrews team expect to be competitive in the freestyle this year after impressing last year and on the back of more training than ever before. The race competition is more competitive and therefore hopes are lower but there is no reason to assume that we will struggle considered the vast strides we have made in recent years.
I would strongly implore you to book your tickets this week for the 2017 St Andrews Snowsports Ski Trip. You won’t regret it!