Last Sunday, 46 excited students and 3 keen teachers arrived at school. We weren’t getting into the school week early; we were off to the snow!
The drive down saw many students consume their own body weight in sugar, and with a refuelling stop at Queanbeyan and a dinner stop at Cooma we arrived at Bungarra Lodge. Students were geared up with the appropriate equipment for boarding or skiing and got ready to hit the slopes bright and early the next day.
After a good night’s sleep we were up at 6.15am for a hearty breakfast and we headed up to the Thredbo Alpine Centre. Students worked through the Alpine code of safety and risk management plan. The weather was beautiful blue skies and the snow conditions firm and well groomed, a perfect ‘blue bird’ day. Each student completed a morning and afternoon lesson which allowed everyone to improve their skills and develop confidence for their free time on the snow, where they went out in buddy groups. Snow ploughing and falling leaf were seen aplenty, as were boarders falling over. Muscles were beginning to feel it by the end of the day, and any student who complained of fatigue was reminded to hold that thought until bedtime; the bus trip back was a subdued one, with many taking an afternoon nap. Everyone got an early night after hot showers, a bit of stretching or table tennis, snooker, TV and general chilling out.
The next day presented blue skies but very high winds up the mountain. This made conditions very tricky for all concerned, but with extra layers on and jackets zipped right up, we braved the mountain. In true Gymea spirit everyone made the best of the conditions and once again enjoyed a great day on the snow. The advanced skiers and boarders continued to shine, while intermediate and beginners groups explored more of the mountain.
On the last day the weather closed out and produced wild, wet and windy conditions. The exertion of three full days was beginning to tell: one student arrived with his jacket buttons mismatched and his pants on backwards. Most people were soaked after their compulsory morning lesson and really dug into their hot lunch. Some students went out in their buddy groups for the afternoon to maximise every minute on the snow before it was time to head home, while other maximised the hot cinnamon donuts they could consume. All students met at the bus and we departed to the lodge in Jindabyne to return hire equipment and change into our comfortable (dry!) clothes for the trip home.
With a quick dinner stop in Goulburn we headed home, arriving safely, if groggily, around 10pm.
Thank you to Ms Heath, Mr Fallah and Mr Liley.