14 March 2023

Image of Aprica Ski Trip 2023

Aprica Ski Trip 2023

The annual Ski Trip this year was to Aprica in Italy. The journey started on Thursday 9 February with a very reasonable (especially compared to previous years) meeting time of 9.00 am in the Old Hall.  Once all our administration and checks were done, we made our way to the coaches with the Sixth Form being given the role as designated suitcase loaders for the trip. We arrived at Manchester Airport and made our way through baggage and security. This was followed by lunch in the airport at various different food outlets (Burger King being the favourite) and despite what the pupils say, it wasn't long until we were on the plane and off to Milan.

Our arrival in Milan went pretty smoothly and in no time at all we were through customs and baggage claim and onto the coach to take us to the hotel. This is where we encountered our first challenge: a coach driver who had not been told we needed to stop for an evening meal and who didn't speak very much English - thank goodness for Google translator!  We finally managed to get a stop at McDonalds (I know this sounds like a fast food chain tour but I assure you it wasn't!), where the pupils quickly took full advantage of the Italian McDonalds menu differences. There were gelatos, pizza pockets and chicken wings along with the odd Big Mac rushing past me at an alarming rate, and apparently even the chips are better in Italy!

We finally arrived at the Hotel Bozzi and by now it was getting late for the pupils and staff, who had all had a long day.  After a quick brief for meal timings and what to wear in the morning, it was off to bed in preparation for our first day of skiing. 

Friday was the first morning of skiing -always a busy one - and this was further magnified by having to do ski fit.  After breakfast the pupils were split into their initial ski ability groups and went to collect their skis, poles, helmets and ski boots, then it was off to the slopes to meet our instructors for the week. This first morning was all about getting used to skiing again for those who have skied before and learning the basics for those who hadn't. The instructors split the groups down roughly on ability and took their group off for an assessment - there were only a few minor adjustments needed to the initial groups once the assessments had finished. 

At lunch the pupils came back pretty exhausted and relieved to have two hours to eat and relax. They discussed over lunch (when I say lunch I actually mean pasta and by pasta I mean LOTS of pasta!) what they had accomplished with their instructors. Friday night was our first evening of entertainment: Karaoke! There was some great singing by all who took part and the choice of songs was very surprising.  I thought I was the only one old enough to remember Boney M's 'Daddy Cool' but it turns out I was wrong!

Saturday was another amazing day of skiing, with glorious sunshine and great snow conditions. All the groups were progressing nicely and some pupils moved up a group. The level of skiing improvement was one of the best I have seen in years and that is credit to the pupils who listened to what the instructors were teaching them.  Group 1, as I was now calling them, (as they were no longer beginners) were at this point going down blue runs. It was very impressive to see how their technique had come on in such a short period of time. 

At this point I feel I must let you know about our evening meals… The hotel was definitely providing us with enough food: the evening meal starter was a full bowl of pasta, that most of the adults (apart from chemistry teacher, Mr Atkinson) struggled to finish, and some of the pupils thought was the main meal. There were definitely some surprised faces when the waiters came out with the main course!  On Saturday night, after the evening meal, we all took a walk into the town to see the Ferris Wheel. At this stage, a full two days of skiing (and the large meals) was beginning to take its toll on some of the pupils and we decided to give them a bit of free time followed by an early night.

The next day (Sunday) brought with it another challenge: the weather had got hotter. This led to an enforced application of sunscreen to ensure nobody got burnt. The slopes were still great for skiing but I think some layers were discarded for the afternoon session of skiing. The evening activity was bowling which is always a firm favourite with the pupils. This is a good opportunity for some team building across the year groups. The journey to the bowling alley was a long one, it felt like we had driven back to the airport and I'm sure I heard Mr Taylor say he had seen a sign for Calais at one point!

Monday's weather was just as beautiful. The upper intermediate group and advanced group were by now doing jumps, going 'off piste' and performing tricks as they skied. The intermediate groups were close on their heels looking majestic as they came down the slopes, and Group 1 didn't look out of place as they skied alongside the other groups at various points on the mountain. After an amazing day on the slopes it was back to the hotel to get showered and enjoy some free time before going out for some amazing pizzas in town. The welcome break from pasta was well received by all.

On Tuesday we had the KGS Ski Trip Fancy Dress Day. The pupils never disappoint with this and the thought that goes into their outfits was clear to see. I have to say that by this time there was another school sharing the hotel with us and the look on their faces as we made our way to the boot room to get ready for skiing was priceless!  Each year, the pupils' fancy dress outfits get better and better and this year was no exception. There were The Three Little Pigs, Lilo and Stitch, Mexicans and a variety of onesies. The winners of the fancy dress were Reece (in an inflatable suit that looked like a sumo wrestler was carrying him) and Lilly (in an outfit that looked like a penguin was carrying her). Well done to everyone!

The afternoon was a chance for the pupils to have a break as the evening activity was night skiing. On arrival at the nursery slopes for the night skiing there was some initial drones of, 'why are we back on the nursery slopes?' After the impressive sight of 42 pupils skiing in a snake down the slope, the drones subsided and it was a chance for all the groups to mix as they skied. Some pupils took the opportunity to practise the 'worm turn' or some backward skiing - I encourage you to check it out on @kgs_trips Instagram page to see how impressive it is.

Wednesday was a big day for the pupils, not only was it our last day of skiing but it was also the skiing assessment day.  There was a murmur of nervousness mixed with excitement amongst the pupils as each group set off with their instructor.  By the end of the days skiing, every pupil had achieved a remarkable level of skiing compared to the start of the week.  The only downside to this was that it was our last day! After handing in all our ski kit we assembled in the hotel and our instructors came in to present the skiing certificate cards and medals to the pupils (and even a few members of staff).  We gave the instructors a little gift of KGS hats and scarves to remember us by and said our farewells to them. I even think there were a few tears.

Usually the last night is reserved as a bit of a free night in order to pack and get ready for going home.  This year was a bit different: it was 'Disco Night'. We were treated to some moves that I can only describe as Footloose mixed with jelly, and that was just the staff! It took a while for the crowd to warm up to the thought of dancing in front of the others but by the end of the night, when the last song was announced, the dancefloor was packed and some serious moves had been busted out.

Thursday morning had come too quickly, especially with the 5.30 am start, and there were some very tired faces coming down to claim their suitcases. We loaded the coach and set off towards Milan. It was definitely one of the quietest coach journeys I have been on with school. Our flight landed in Manchester and we headed off by coach for the last leg of our journey back to school.  The pupils were a credit to their parents and to the school. I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the pupils and myself, to thank the staff: Mr Taylor, Mr W Atkinson, Mrs Atkinson, Mrs Taylor, Mr J Atkinson and Mr Barrow, for their hard work during the week to keep everyone safe. Without their help the trip would not have happened.

Mr S Moffatt

A selection of photographs from this year's ski trip can be viewed on our Flickr page at:



Tags: 2022-2023