Although I had written about the pleasures of planning trips a couple of months ago (here, I am referencing this post about how I go about planning my vacations), there is also great comfort in knowing that someone else has the logistics under control. If you are not a planner, or if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, you may want to consider joining the Skule Ski Trip next year. By the way, you don’t need to be an engineering student to join! I am, for reference, a double major in political science and American studies.
This trip occurs annually over the course of the February Reading week, and allows for a two or three day ski option. The fee also includes transportation and lodging at the destination. This year, the trip was at Mont Tremblant in Quebec. I had also skied here for the Skule Ski Trip two years ago, so I knew what to expect this year. The trails are long and there are many of them (102 trails in total).
On the first day of our ski trip, our bus arrived at the resort in the morning and students had the option of skiing soon after. The rental equipment is distributed at the resort so that we can just hop on the shuttle headed for the slopes. All the trails were open, as there was generous snowfall over the weekend. That said, Mont Tremblant is icier than the Western ski destinations like Banff and Grouse. This may make learning to ski a little more difficult. But as someone on a chairlift told me, if you can ski under the icy conditions of Mont Tremblant, then you can ski anywhere.
There were beginners’ lessons hosted by the Skule Ski Trip as well. There is an option to opt for rentals and lessons when paying the fee. There is a beginner’s mountain with a magic carpet for all skiers and snowboarders to do test runs before migrating to the green trails.
In addition to the challenge of learning a new sport, even ski and snowboard pros have to face the challenge of the cold weather. During my stay, temperatures dipped to -22 degrees. Though I must admit that it feels even colder with the wind in your face when going up the mountain via chairlift.
I made sure to pack and dress warmly. Generally, I wore one base layer, a fleece on top, then a mid layer jacket, and then I have my ski jacket on top. I also wore a base layer legging under my snow pant. I wore ski socks to protect my shins from bruising against the upper of the ski boot.
The Skule Ski Trip also runs a helpful Instagram account (@skuleskiclub) that prepared attendees on what to pack and what to expect from the trip. As well, they have hosted day-long excursions up to Blue Mountain in the past. If you are a fan of skiing or snowboarding, or if you want to learn, make sure you follow their social media to avoid missing future opportunities.
I had an excellent Reading Week with the new friends I made and new trails I conquered. Skiing is among my favourite sports. It tests my physical limits and also brings me to beautiful landscapes. How did you spend your Reading Week? Let me know in the comments below.