Words by Jack Church
Five years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life. Myself and another fresher in my halls at University decided to cut our losses and sign up for our University Ski trip to Les Arcs. I was pretty nervous as I’d only been skiing once when I was thirteen. This was coupled with the fact I’d been on the pre-trip social and had woken up the next day on my kitchen floor, to the bemusement of the international student who had come in at six in the morning to make breakfast (and no, she didn’t offer me any…)
I arrived in France and was put in a room with my one friend and two others from the third year who we didn’t know, but they turned out to be alright as we went out every night with them for the rest of the week to all the fancy dress events and bar crawls. Having come back from France, I was met with an email from Off The Piste inviting me to apply for a position as a rep and I jumped at the opportunity.
Being a rep for Off the Piste opened up so many opportunities for me- not only to get loads of riding in, but also having the opportunity to be a part of a team that helped thousands of students have an amazing time. I’d say one of the highlights of my experience was my 21st Birthday in Val Thorens. We managed to get a spot in La Folie Douce and party away with my group before attempting the run back down into resort, whilst slightly worse for wear.
I had to wear the “Dick of the Day” suit for the rest of the night.
Secondly, whilst repping for Essex University in Val d’Isere, the other rep and I went with the students to the night-time Toboggan decent and BBQ afterwards. I actually had a bit of a “mare” and forgot my goggles in my room and actually decided to save face and not run off the coach back to my room, but rather decided to just wing it and do the tobogganing without them. The mistake of forgetting my goggles turned out to be a rather painful one as I was unable to control where I was going and basically hurtled down the wrong red slope (blinded by snow in my face) and off the edge of the piste resulting in a face full of bark and a bruise to my pride, highlighted by the fact I had to wear the “Dick of the Day” suit for the rest of the night.
I’m so happy I stumped up the courage to get on that coach with Off The Piste and I would highly recommend everyone else to do the same so take a hit, get involved!! Check out the website at offthepiste.com if you want more info on how you can join the family or just bag yourself an amazing ski bargain.