Les Orres
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Les Orres Ski Trip 2008/2009

Okay, so a year spent doing a PGCE is supposed to be the busiest in your life, but hey, a man needs to be busy right? Well anyhow, I wanted to go skiing so I organised a ski trip.  To cut a long story short, there were many takers and few beds at the same resort that I actually managed to get 2 coaches going to 2 different resorts.  I am not sure what happened at Flaine, as I wasn't there...but the reports that have been received so far were that the trip was good.  Reports from the Les Orres group were glowing, and thus, very rewarding for me.  I do love organising things so it's nice to know that I can actually do it.  Makes one think...do we organise things because we are good at them, or are good at them because we like to do it, and thus spend more time doing it? Alas, I'll carry on with the story.  The fantastic group that I managed to coerce into going skiing left London last Saturday by coach for our long journey and by the time we had reached Dover, most of the group had made some stab at being neighbourly.  It is really amazing that in this day and age, an internet advert can actually bring together such a lovely bunch of random individuals, to go skiing together without actually having so much as an in-depth conversation prior to leaving. 

The Ferry was very uneventful but the coach trip on the other side to Les Orres took a while.  Some managed to get a good nights sleep on the coach this year.  I am not sure if that was because yours truly didn't play DVD's all the way, or the amount of contraband sleeping tablets aboard...you know who you are!  Anyhow, we arrived at around 11:00 at resort and very efficiently we were issued kit, passes, maps and door codes to our rooms.  As usual, accommodation was Spartan, but I must say along with this being the latest that I have arrived at a UCPA, it is also one of the more basic centres we have stayed in over the years. The resort is a compact one, with lots of tree lined slopes amidst some very slow and congested slopes.  The French did nothing but impress with their usual queue jumping, and the Italians in their usual 1 piece dayglo suits made for an interesting wait though.  Oh, and don't get me started on a pizza and coffee lunch slope side that took over 90 minutes!  I was not a happy camper with the shoddy service. But those are about the only moans.

The snow was fantastic with 2 fresh dumps of powder and we made the most of it.  I did a lot of off piste skiing and some quite challenging runs down through the forests.  Our instructor was brave enough to trust our ability to self rescue in the thick snow, so we managed to go down some really deserted runs. Awesome! Behold, let this not detract from the manner in which the French accommodated us over our stay, and at times we really felt overwhelmed at the generosity towards us.  All those that had not been skiing before were treated to the usual Sunday initiation lesson.  Those of us that were roaring to go, went up to the slopes, via the most vicious of button lifts known to ski slopes!  Well, to be truthful, the skiers went up.  The boarders tried, oh how they tried but 1 by 1 they fell to howling mirth, and with haste made their way to the top via buses.  You tube missed out on some howlers at this point!  TC almost bouncing into the trees and Damo with a face full of snow stuck to his sun cream. I won't mention the time Damo almost jumped off the chairlift on the return path (6 foot above ground!)  Other stories involved Anna dunking herself in snow cannon to stop, Angela attempting a Butch James style cum no arms barge tackle at speed into a 4 foot bank of solid snow to stop herself.  The snow won convincingly.  I also remember Sadaf looking like a rabbit in the headlights high up on a red, yet still looking as cool as any lawyer in a fish tank with her shades on.  Also for making sure we had a nice cosy stop at Calais with her passport in the hold....  Kidding, we wouldn't have made it anyhow.  Points also go to Alan for falling into photos everywhere and his karaoke performances. The same goes for Sylwia.  I think you were both fantastic at it.  Matt for having seen James Brown twice (once on video), Tom for taking us to a closed lift to leave us with a long walk home, and for going over to the dark side.  TC once again for sleeping with an air freshener.  Maesie being such an expert boarder (we won't mention strapping in the wrong way round on day 1).  Lisa for dropping her phone in the toilet on New Years Eve (just in time to wish hubby a happy New Year, not!) A Shabba also goes out to short haired female rugby players, Paul for his retro ski boots and Gary for his massages that TC kept raving about at night!:). 

I would also like to thank my team mates (still haven't got a clue what our quiz team name was) for winning the Quiz.  A massive achievement, since TC has won every general knowledge quiz since grade 3, and he was on a different team.  Shabba! Other highlights were the bowling, where some other closet bowlers came out with scores in excess of 120, and then there was Kerrin (ps hope the cats are well) and her tennis skills on the gaming side whipping TC.  Fancy dress worked well, and the craic was good. Oh yes, the beer flowed long into New Year. 

A massive thank you to the UCPA for putting in so much effort for us, as usual.  I did enjoy being served late into the night y my ski instructor, but not quite as much as the Matt Ski Instructor fan club, or what say you Anna, Sadaf and Lisa?  Duck was pretty good, music was okay and the countdown was just French!  I don't even think there was one.  Bon Annee!! Boy was it tough to go skiing at 10 the next day. Andre can attest to that, as we both had an early day and coffee before heading back to base at 4pm.  If anyone has any stories they want adding, please feel free to let me know.  I look forward to seeing you guys soon for some proper ciders (not desperados) and to our next adventure.  Thanks again one and all, for being a great team.  I am very pleased to hear that most of you are already looking at going skiing again this year!

Photos in the gallery!

 

 

 
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