In the Easter break, EJNR, SGPT and DAG took a group of 18 Etonians to the most prestigious resort of East coast America: Stowe, Vermont. Being the end of season, the quality of the skiing was always going to be hit and miss. However, lady fortune looked kindly upon us and we had some of the best conditions of the season with a number of days skiing in fresh, deep powder snow. With 50 hours of instruction and a large range of runs with good snow, the quality of the boy’s skiing improved significantly. Some photos of the trip can be found at www.ecski.com.
Most of the boys already skied at a high level and so the emphasis was on tweaking performance and pushing boundaries. The boys skied hard and the instructors increasingly commented on the quality of the boy’s skiing and how they were also being worn out by them. The few boys who were not already experts received particularly focused tuition and, by the end, could hold their own amongst any of the boys. As a result, we are beginning to look at resurrecting Eton’s race team and will probably offer the instructor course in Jasper, Canada again next year.
Skiing was not the only focus of the trip and there were two other distinct emphases which helped make the trip unique. As part of the package, Stowe were able to offer a 10 hour course on an Introduction to Snow Resort Management. At the end of the ski day, the boys received a series of lectures and practical sessions designed to offer a ‘behind the scenes’ of the running of a ski resort. This not only enabled the boys to see how a resort runs, but also offered an overview of business strategies etc.. Sessions included: mountain operations, ski patrol, snowmaking, ski lifts, sales and marketing, environmental concerns, and hospitality and guest services. Two boys are now looking into working at the resort as part of their gap year.
The second emphasis was tourism. By flying into Boston and out of New York, a number of opportunities were open to us. On arrival, we received a tour of Harvard before heading out to Stowe. Whilst in Stowe, being the home of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream, we received a tour of the factory. En route to New York, we had a tour of West Point, and then an extensive tour of New York including dinner in Planet Hollywood in Times Square and some time for shopping.
Thanks should be extended to SGPT and DAG who were invaluable in helping the trip run as smoothly as it did. Mention should also be made of our provider with whom we have an excellent relationship, the Independent School Skier, who offered another high quality programme.