In January, UEA Snow will be taking over two hundred students to Val Thorens in France for a week of partying, and of course some excellent skiing and snowboarding. Snow lovers are a weird lot, and you always bump into a few unusual characters in the mountains. Here are five that you’ll almost definitely meet:
1The best skier on the mountain
Equipped with top of the range skis for all different areas of the mountain, this racer -come-freestyler-come-back-country-floater will have been skiing all their life. They’ll never miss an opportunity to sample the high life at the top of the highest peaks in the Alps. Either that, or he’s just pole whacking the ridge of the ski line before bailing after the first turn. It’s the confidence that counts right?
2What actually is snow?
Yes, the après sessions are legendary, and yes, Val Thorens is home to some of the biggest night clubs in the Alps, but that doesn’t excuse you from ordering thirty Sambuca shots and then passing out, never to see the light of day until the coach home when that steam roller of a hangover finally hits, without ever snapping your boot into a ski. This isn’t the LCR, this is Val Thorens. Get up and go ride.
3First day diver
Either they were hitting that kicker way too fast or just didn’t see that tree approaching at forty miles an hour because their Primark ski goggles got misty as soon as they stepped out of the hotel, but this person is one of the unluckiest people you’ll meet. Sitting in A&E on the first day, they’ll try to tell you that they caught an edge or a small child cut them up, but we all know they were just trying to impress that attractive guy/girl who smiled at them once.
4All the gear, no idea
With an overpriced hoodie from some brand nobody has ever heard of hanging down to their ankles, and a helmet emblazoned with stickers, you know this person means business. They may be covered in snow from the numerous bails they succumb to on the blue slope they’ve been riding all day, but at least they look better than you.
Good on them for trying something new, snow sports are great fun, and not too difficult to learn! However, when they fall off the chairlifts, take out groups of school children with a mistimed turn, and drop their skis every two seconds on the way back to the hotel, we can’t help but stifle a small chuckle.
There are plenty more crazy characters you’ll bump into on this year’s trip, but the above are almost a certainty. If you’ve noticed yourself in one of them, don’t worry! The mountain is a place to let your hair down and show off how ‘steezy’ you truly are (or aren’t)!
If you’re coming on the trip, we can’t wait to ride with you! If not, check out our website where you can find more information and book. But be quick; there may only be a few places remaining!