Club Instruction Holiday To Val d'Isère, December 2013

Reporter: Brenda Smith

3 am is no time at all. There I was in the middle of Jet3 car park wondering why I was there. Then I met up with Malcolm and we were off.

Easy check in including skis but still can't work out why bags went with skis on the way out but not on the way back. Security a breeze, though a sinister looking Elaine was frisked! Good flight but sadly no soggy bacon beans or sausage to help pass the time. It then took twice as long to get from Geneva to Val than it had taken us to get from Manchester to Geneva. Private helicopters are required.

Our reception at the hotel was similar to that of honoured guests arriving at Downton and this treatment continued throughout the week. The staff could not have been more cheerful and helpful and really added to the holiday experience.

Then we met our instructors, all seemingly friendly but determined to go to any lengths to improve our skiing techniques. It was great to have the benefit of classes of maximum 5 and instructors with eyes in the back of their heads! Can't speak for other groups but our instructor Rob was great and we benefited greatly from his help. However on the last day after a short period of training on imaginary moguls he took those of us not intelligent enough to feign injury, down a steep off piste mogul field and gully. Due to his expert tuition we survived.

Although our hotel suffered from age fatigue it was comfortable with plenty of hot water and the food was excellent. We were especially appreciative of afternoon tea which always hit the spot after a long day on the piste.

Apart from someone taking too many sleeping tablets on night one and appearing like a zombie at breakfast, but with no noticeable effect on skiing, another member skiing in trousers that were obviously either too tight or badly made so that a large split appeared down one side and I am led to believe some members were dancing on the table at La Folie Douce, the week was largely uneventful.

One highlight for Rob and Claire's groups was lunch at a hotel overlooking the lake at Tignes. The food was great, only surpassed by the setting and views but unfortunately we were all too full to do much other than find our way back afterwards.

In all, an excellent holiday. We went to learn and I am sure we all benefitted from the instruction we received. We gave out quite a few cards to other guests who were envious of our set up so with any luck, more new members for the club.

Our thanks to the committee for thinking of this holiday and especially to David for his usual excellent organisation. T.D.C. is definitely to be recommended to anyone serious about improving their skiing technique.