My first time skiing

My first time skiing

Jamal Rizvi reports on the UCL Ski Trip, and the experiences of being a newbie on the slopes

Drinking, skiing, a bit more drinking, and generally putting your body through hell while feeling amazing doing so – that is what I thought a uni ski trip is. I wasn’t wrong. Now I’m more than experienced in the drinking department, so it was the skiing part that had me a little worried before the holiday. So first, to put all your minds at rest, I had an incredible time – both skiing and socialising.

Let’s address the skiing part of the holiday first though. I had never been out on the slopes before going to Tignes, in the French Alps, and because of this little detail I thought it would be wise to do a lesson at the indoor ski-slope at Milton Keynes. In total then, when I first waddled out onto the snow of Tignes in my big clunky boots I had ‘kind of’ had one day experience skiing before.

That was enough experience for me to say “**** it”, and  decide on the first day to join my friends out on the blue slopes. Friends which had all (fortunately or unfortunately, I wasn’t sure) been skiing since they were tiny. It turned out to be fortunately because they could give me pointers and tips throughout the week.

Chair lifts are so fun

Chair lifts are surprisingly fun also!

When I went down my first blue I spent half the time on my arse, which was expected! But that didn’t stop me and I carried on with my friends, whose patience was admirable it must be said. By the end of the day I was going down blues only falling over once or twice. That was an achievement for me.

And the week continued in this attitude of progression with me even venturing down a black on the penultimate day skiing. What’s more, I only fell once! The trick I found was just to be a cocky bugger and practically throw yourself down the mountain. You may not look that graceful, but it certainly worked.

Something that did surprise me about skiing though was how tired your legs get –  I swear I used muscles I didn’t even know I had. Another revelation was how great a hangover cure flying (or in my case falling) down a mountain is. It must have something to do with the rather fresher air of the Alps compared to Bloomsbury, but I swear I have never sobered up faster, nor felt better so quickly. And finally, the hilariously fun world of ‘apres ski’ at Le Folie Douce. Notoriously famous, Le Folie Douce did not disappoint with table top antics, loveable tunes, and even a glimpse of Louis Tomlinson! What more can a man want…

The nights out in Tignes were great. This was mostly down to the people we were with though, and the fact that they do clubbing differently in Tignes. You can start pre-drinking at 10, not stress about the time, and then clamber amusingly through the snow to the club at 1am. If you are drunk enough, it is not even that cold! You walk straight in for free, and then if it’s not that great you can just go to another club for a bit and then come back at 3am when it’s a better vibe. It’s so chilled out (pun not intended) and it’s brilliant.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect holiday, and to top it off, once I got back to London I expected to be hit with a second bout of Freshers’ flu – but instead I feel completely healthy. I definitely recommend any form of skiing, but preferably go for the UCL Ski Trip! You know why…

Images: Jamal Rizvi

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