The excitement was palpable. As everyone filtered onto the coaches, the skies opened up and began to dump our little town with powdery goodness. So heavy was the snow, only one rep from the ski company actually made it up to St Andrews.
30 hours later, having been taken up the wrong mountain by the driver and his malfunctioning SatNav, we finally made it into Les Arcs as the sun set.
After a quick inspection of the accommodation, and a shower to scrape off all that coach trip grime, St Andrews Snowsports wasted no time in hitting the bar. It’s a funny thing, a ski trip – hangovers are non-existent. So at the crack of dawn (Surely more like 10am? Ed.) it was time to hit the slopes. The snow was incredible. A fresh load fell just before we arrived and when we woke up to bright blue skies, it was almost too good to be true. Jonathan Bucks, a second year linguist said: “I had actually been there at Christmas and the snow wasn’t nearly as good, so we got really lucky.”
Les Arcs is a comprehensive ski resort. From secluded tree lines, to wide open faces suited to beginners and experts alike, friendly locals, excellent instructors, and the best kebab that this writer has ever experienced (bear in mind, readers, I’ve eaten in Dervish AND Empire), we really couldn’t find fault with this mountainside paradise. We aren’t trying to sell you another holiday. Yet.
Some of the trip goers had pass upgrades for Les Arcs’ sister resort, La Plagne. This only served to add more breadth and variety to the stunning vistas, winding pistes, and powder skiing of which Les Arcs had provided us more than enough.
After a hard day’s skiing, where else do you go other than the Arpette Après Bar? The cherry on top of a perfect ski day is being out in the sun, surrounded by all your friends, a litre of vin chaud in hand and bouncing off the tables blaring out “One day baby, we’ll be old!”.
Arpette was also the setting for the infamous and notorious Mountain Meal. Picture, if you will, 250 St Andrews students flocking down the mountain; it can only be described as the most surreal sight you will ever see. One minute you’re sitting down being served fondue cheese and cold cuts, the next everyone is shirtless, jumping on the tables and the picturesque mountainside restaurant has been transformed into a full-scale club. It truly was night to remember, or not, as the case may be. The week was rounded up with our competition day. Students were sent out onto the mountain with the goal of performing silly and extraordinary stunts.
All in all it was a memorable week that has surpassed expectations for yet another year running. Goodness only knows what next year will bring. For now, we can only try to recreate the chaos at the Snow Ball on 1 March.