When I first heard the words, ‘friends’, ‘ski’, and ‘holiday’, my initial thought was: “like that’ll ever happen!”.
Fast forward four months, I was on the plane to Geneva with 40 of my university friends, about to experience one of the best skiing holidays I’ve ever had.
So, why the initial cynicism? Anyone that has been to uni can agree that making big group plans – especially planning holidays – is a harder feat than completing your actual degree. Although I was insanely keen to go skiing with a bunch of the best people I know and to experience a ski holiday outside the usual university trip, which I’d been on twice already, I didn’t think anyone would be organised enough to make it happen.
Step up Craig and Angus – now known as Whiteout Ski. They pledged they would organise a trip to Tignes - the same destination as the university trip - in December 2017. Once they had a big group interested, they took care of the rest. Before long, they presented us with a package which included luxury chalet accommodation, ski pass, ski hire, flights and transfers, all for less than we would pay on the university trip. All we had to do was book on.
When we arrived at our accommodation, after an incredibly smooth journey (including the wildest bus journey I’ve ever had – no other details need be disclosed), we couldn’t believe our eyes. Compared to most ‘cheap’ accommodation in the Alps, this was luxury. It was a rustic-looking chalet, complete with a huge dining area, swimming pool, sauna and en-suite bedrooms. The place was so comfortable that it was a complete struggle in the mornings to wake up, but the lure of the cooked breakfast at 9am ensured we got ourselves ready and out to the mountains.
Craig and Angus acted as our unofficial reps for the week, guiding us to the best après spots, which mainly consisted of the infamous Folie Douce at Val D’Isere. They helped to organise a bar crawl through Tignes on one of the nights and ensured we had taxis booked into the town and back for our nights out. We loved our accommodation so much, however, that most of the nights, after our amazing three-course chalet meals which came with copious amounts of wine, we ended up staying in the chalet to host our own parties. To this day, I still don’t know what Craig and Angus said to the chalet staff to sweet talk them into it...
Compared to the university ski trips most of us had been on previously, the Whiteout trip to Tignes was pure indulgence – but on a student budget. From the simple booking process to the accommodation they picked and all the details in between, it was a week we’ll never forget. In fact, it was so good that some of us booked with Whiteout again this year for a second trip to Les Arcs, which I’ve heard was on par with the first. Since I couldn’t go, I refuse to believe it was better than our original holiday, which came to be known as ‘Twenty-Seven Tignes’.