Ski Trip 2016

Hope Wood Academy – Ski Trip 2016 Courmayeur, Italy

Courmayeur is a town in northern Italy, in the region of Aosta Valley. At an elevation of 4,016 ft above sea level, it is located at the foot of the southern side of Mont Blanc.

The ski trip is to be a joint trip with Barbara Priestman Academy. (Barbara Priestman Academy is also a school within Ascent Academies Trust)

Bethany and Leighton are the two students attending from Hope Wood Academy with staff members Darren Morton and Jordan Hackles.

Craig Davison, Glen Richardson

and Natalie Davison all staff members from Barbara Priestman Academy will be joining us.


Visit this page for further information and a daily blog from 12th – 19th March 2016.


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 Ski Practice – Silksworth, Sunderland

On Tuesday 23rd February and Tuesday 1st March, Leighton and Bethany went to the dry ski slope at Silksworth in Sunderland to get their practice in.
LS & BB at silksworth ski lesson 23.02.16

Picture: Leighton and Bethany on the Dry Ski slope in Silksworth

 Day 1 – Sunderland to Callais

After getting out allocated coach, we set off on a 23 hour trip to Italy. On day 1 we collected a second school from Yorkshire and travelled to Dover to catch our ferry at 22:30 Saturday. James Bond – Quantum of Solace helped the shorten the journey The ferry from Dover to Callais took an hour and a half which means we arrived in Callais at 12 o’clock midnight U.K. time. France and Italy are 1 hour ahead of the U.K. so it was then actually 1am Sunday morning when we disembarked the ferry



Photos coming soon..

 Day 2 – Callais to Courmayeur, Italy

1 o’clock in the morning in Callais and a 12 hour drive to go, it’s time to turn out the lights on the coach on attempt to get some sleep. We were woken at 7:30 as we arrived at our breakfast stop near Dijon, France. After a 45 minute stop, we sharply got back on the road to eat up the miles to Italy.

12 o’clock saw the arrival at the Mont Blanc tunnel. As we entered and started making our way through the 12 mile tunnel, a short DVD was shown to us giving an insight and all the info we needed the following day.

Courmayeur is situated just five minutes through the other side of the Mont Blamc Tunnel. We then located our hotel and soon head up the mountain to get fitted with skis, ski boots and ski poles so we were ready for the next day..





Photos coming soon..


 Day 3 – First Day on the Slopes

6 O’clock wake up call (On a Monday!)

We are up nice and early to get ourselves sorted for the day of skiing ahead. Breakfast is going down a treat.

We got up to the slopes at 9:00 and after getting our kit on, everyone was split down into their ski ability group. Each group has at least 1 InterSki instructor who are experts of the area. We have 2 hours of instruction on the morning, with a break for lunch and then a further 2 hours of ski instruction on the afternoon.

Everyone had a fantastic day with everybody improving throughout the day.

Leighton said “it was absolutely awesome, the best time of my life”

Now finished with skiing on day 1, we took the cable car across the valley to go to, what turned out to be the best ice cream shop ever! With a select from Tiramisu to Malteaser flavoured ice cream, there wasn’t a disappoint face for miles.

 Day 4 – Second Day on the Slopes

After The second day on the ski slopes brings more sunshine and plenty more ski lesson for everyone. At 9 o’clock, the students of Hope Wood and Barbara Priestman were split down into their ability groups. The beginners (Level 1 group) spent some valuable time on the beginners slope finding there feet and making sure they master the basics of skiing. Whereas the more experienced students (Level 3 group) managed to get out and about hitting blue and red slopes and defining their technique.

After skiing we took the chair lifts back down to the chalet through the beautiful gorgeous scenery of Courmayuer.

Tuesday is Pizza Night!

For tea we took walk into town with our ski reps to a fantastic pizza restaurant.There were endless amount of classic Italian pizzas to be eaten, and once those were eaten, more were brought out!



Photos coming soon..

 Day 5 – Third Day on the Slopes

Today we woke up to fresh snow (Powder) on the ground and a snow shower that lasted all day. Everyone was split into their groups once again and then went away with their ski instructors.  Some fantastic progress was made with everyone from the level 1 group being able to get up the drag lift and ski back down again. The weather conditions and close cloud makes it harder to see and then more difficult to ski. Nevertheless, everyone in the next group up and next level up managed to cover a really good distance on blue and red ski slopes.

Ski slopes are graded in colours depending on their difficulty. Blue slopes are the easier slopes, moving to red runs and then black runs, which are the steepest and most technical.

After the ski tuition, the evening/afternoon activity was “Bum Boarding”. Hetty, our ski rep for the week took us to piece of land with a hill and our simple task was to see how far we could get. This turned out quite competitive and quite serious, with purpose built bobsleigh like tracks being built.


Photos coming soon..

Day 6 – Fourth Day on the Slopes

Day 6 brings much better, sunnier weather. As ever breakfast is at 7:30 and we leave the hotel at 8:30 to go to the slopes.

Amazing progress was made yesterday which meant Beth, Joe, Leighton and Sam advanced a level and they went off and skied all day on a longer steeper slope, somewhere they can really practice their skills learnt.

Peter, Shaun, Leona, Matthew, Owen and Brian also made brilliant progress on the nursery, with everyone using the drag lift and skiing down the nursery slope.

The remaining, Callum, Josh, Bernard, Michael, Daniel and Jack got themselves across the resort tackling blue slopes effortlessly and red slopes with ease.

This evenings activity was Ice Skating. The ice hockey rink, in which we were ice skating was only a 10 minuet walk down the road.  It appears Beth is a bit of an expert in ice skating (She kept that quiet)


Pictures Coming soon..

Day 7 – Fifth Day on the Slopes

Another lovely morning with bright sunshine. We headed up to the slopes for the penultimate ski. Owen and Matthew progressed a level and moved into the group with Beth, Joe, Leighton and Sam. as with the previous day, they managed to go down slopes that are steeper and longer than the nursery slope.

The group with Callum, Josh and Bernard were trialing backwards skiing and doing “180s and 360s”, while the group with Michael Daniel and Jack continued to perfect their skills hoping to tackle a black slope the next day.

Unfortunately, just after lunch Beth had a crash halfway down one of the slopes with resulted in her knee taking the brunt. She was taken off the slopes via snowmobile and taken to the medical where the doctor said that there was no severe damage and it would just be sore.

This evenings activity was a nice walk into town of Cou and revisiting the amazing ice cream shop.

After our evening meal, we held an awards ceremony to celebrate everyone’s achievements during the week.

Pictures coming soon.

Day 8 – Last Day on the Slopes