Oxbridge (and the weather) rocks Val Thorens at Varsity Trip!

Gerald Wu 12 December 2012

Free from the anxieties of Michaelmas the 2012 Varsity Trip flooded Val Thorens with students ready to rock the town and hit the slopes. As popular as ever, the hit-count on signup day would have rivaled Gangnam Style for attention – with 1,800 selling in about 20 seconds!

Considering the great lineup of events this was no surprise: parties and after-parties at Malaysia (a club if you’re wondering), comedy night with Oxford’s very own Gap Yah, the Varsity Snow Games, and of course the skiing and snowboarding. On top of that, it already started snowing in Val Thorens – the highest ski resort in the world – one month before the Trip!

To get there, everyone had to endure the mind-numbing 20-hour journey, with the last coach only arriving at 3am on Sunday morning. Still everyone managed to make their way to the slopes in the morning, despite contending with temperatures as freezing as -20’C and with a relentless snowstorm reducing visibility to dangerous levels.

The weather conditions were far from ideal even for experienced skiers and were especially daunting for beginners. It sounds odd that everyone wished for the snowing to stop when skiing and snowboarding were the orders of the week, but conditions really were that dire!

Nonetheless it was still an immensely enjoyable week. Much of the credit must be given to the skiing instructors, who did a fantastic job in just three days of lessons to acquaint both the total beginner and the casual skier with proper skiing techniques. Some were even that lucky to have a professional World Cup skier as their instructor!

The social events were well taken care of with the Opening and Final Night Parties, the Varsity Fest, the Comedy Night and the daily buzz at Varsity – where the Varsity rugby match was screened live! The festive atmosphere was thanks to everyone’s boundless enthusiasm, and the trip was capped off with Cambridge triumphing in the Snow Games, beating Oxford in the Varsity Races and in the freestyle competition.

Everyone is already counting down the days until next year. With some luck with the weather conditions (according to forecasts, the week after the Trip is sunny), next year’s participants are going to have just as smashing a time!

Gerald Wu