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19 December 2011

Varsity university trip 2011

Ski Club Leader and regular blogger Dan H-B takes on the students in this year's Varsity trip in Val Thorens

When 3,200 students hit one resort, you know things are going to get pretty crazy – last week, Val Thorens in France again played host to the joint Oxford/Cambridge university trip and it was another classic year!

Over 50 coaches made the overnight trip and there were concerned snow lovers on board. After an incredibly warm November, things in resort were frankly pretty scary compared to normal for this time of year… but that was not going to dampen spirits – and rightly so.

As students started arriving the snow began to fall. Throughout the week it kept coming and coming and coming! It was clearly helped by the amazing daily ‘snow-dancing’ that was taking place.


At the opening night party (Alice in Wonderland themed!) the Stanton Warriors laid down heavy beats, mixing up everything from Chase and Status and FatBoy Slim to somebody throbbing dubstep and drum and bass. Our favourite was the incredible live scratching taking place too!

Every night there was something different on the cards, and the students were treated to live comedy from the likes of Marcus Brigstock, live bands, a silent disco, torch lit descent and even improve sessions. They were certainly entertained!

With the falling snow, the resort quickly took on a glorious blanket of white. Both myself and Jody Cannon were on hand taking out two groups each a day around the open slopes. Such was the demand for our Leading service that we had to turn numerous people away on several occasions!!

Over 6 Leading days, we had loads of awesome students skiing with us and even though the 3 Valleys area wasn’t open there was plenty of fun to be had. As well as just hitting the pistes, we managed to get them into knee deep powder, jumping wind drifts, skiing backwards, spinning 360’s until they were dizzy and naturally, skiing on one leg. It was done with gusto and I’ll be the first to admit we ALL took some tumbles.

After an afternoon with a faster group, I was kindly told by one of them “This afternoon has totally made my whole week skiing here!”…. It seemed to sum up the attitude of most; they were out to have fun with the Leading service and enjoy every moment.

On the final night Jody and I were treated to the crazy sight of 3000 people in matching white boiler suits at the “Radiation Party”. Ms Dynamite got the whole crowd jumping like mad with a short, but powerful set. After that, Basement Jaxx DJs took over and then finally the Stanton Warriors again rounded things off.

The next morning we were a little lighter on people for skiing, but given that many had partied until 4.30am at club Malaysia we weren’t surprised!

Once again the Varsity University trip was a major success and hopefully we’ll see plenty of fresh blood coming into the Ski Club membership ranks as a result. A massive thanks goes to all the committee team and the Off the Piste crew for making us so welcome and a special thanks to Barnaby, Katia and Anna for making the week super smooth and really good fun.

Don’t forget the amazing deal for anyone under 24 years old – its just £21 for a year’s membership with all its discounts and other benefits, PLUS there’s a FREE pair of Skull Candy headphones - a perfect double whammy Christmas present.

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