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Skiing

To all skiers, snowboarders, cross country skiers and non skiers!

Since 2007 nearly 400 people have enjoyed a total of 18 week long ski trips. People of all ages and abilities from expert skiers to complete beginners have taken part. At first we went to hostels in Switzerland and then catered chalets in the French Alps as they offer good value, sociable space for the group to mix and result in holidays where GOC membership forms good friendships from across the UK and beyond.

In 2020 two trips were run and we had a great time in chalets in Les Arcs, Arc 2000 with comfortable rooms, good food and use of a high quality sports facility (included a pool and sauna).

In 2022 we had a week in Samoens.

It was a pleasure for GOC to return the ski slopes after a two year absence as a result of Covid. For many of the party it was also their first time overseas since before the pandemic.
It is more now problematic to find a catered chalet in the Alps, the traditional GOC ski holiday accommodation. However, thanks to the knowledge of Les Bannerman, an excellent hotel with an option to self cater was found in the historic town of Samoens. This is part of the extensive Grand Massif ski area, close to the Swiss border.
Fifteen people including one non skier gathered in the resort having travelled from all parts of Britain, some a day or two before the main group. Les and partner Jim were enjoying a longer break.
GOC skiers are generally experienced and able to ski on their own, in pairs or as part of a larger group. The location of the hotel, a 5 minute free shuttle bus ride from the bottom lift, meant that people could also start and finish their skiing day at a variety of times to suit energy levels and the size of the previous night’s bar bill.
We were blessed with a week of sunshine. People in the UK who have not visited the Alps in winter find this hard to believe but plentiful sun screen needed to be applied and hats worn sitting outside at lunchtime, not to keep warm but to stop those of us more folically challenged burning.
Those who took hotel evening meals were treated to the highest standard of French cooking and I for one felt that this, combined with top quality wine, meant that falling asleep in the comfortable rooms with silence outside was serenely easy. We were also treated to a pre dinner cabaret by Joe who entertained the group and other hotels guest with songs accompanied by guitar and harmonica.
The Grand Massif ski area was surprisingly extensive with even the busiest skiers able to find new runs each day and two of the higher ability party members managed to find a black run which satisfied their demand for challenge on the final morning. For the non skier and those seek to rest their legs, Samoens offered a range of activities including winter snow shoeing and a weekly farmers’ market with the largest selection of cheese you could imagine.
Thanks to Les and Ian Horsburgh for arranging the trip and providing advice on both the travel as well as the skiing. GOC has returned to the slopes- watch out next year.

Peter Kingsbury

We organize the ski group in a different way from walking groups. Ian Horsburgh is the contact on the website and deals with general communication. David Roberts manages the Groups web page.

When skiing /boarding there is no leader to take you round the slopes. We divide into groups according to ability and interest. Everybody must have appropriate  clothing and equipment. It is essential that everyone has adequate insurance (and to include Covid cancellations) and to be relevant to the type of skiing/boarding. Details of the insurance cover will be required beforehand.

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