This time last week, I would have been on my way back from the NFYFC skiing trip to Val D’Isere. As the only one from Befordshire who was there, and after writing many a party report on each YFC party I attend, I was approached to do a write-up of the trip so here it is.
Now, most of you already know that I became the Eastern Area sales rep for the trip and I often described it as the AGM but a week long and on the slopes. Despite this, it was actually my first time on the trip.
I had been skiing twice before, first in 2016 and again in 2017, both trips were with Beds, Herts and Bucks YFC. But nothing could prepare me for what was a suitably mental and memorable week with nearly 300 other Young Farmers! At the time of my flight, I hadn’t slept for 24 hours and decided to do the only sensible thing; get on the beers. By the time I landed in Geneva, my transfer was not for another 7 hours so I spent that time looking for quiet corners and floor space to slee, as well as sampling the most expensive McDonald’s I’ve ever had the displeasure of tasting (€15 for a quarter pounder, dear me!). When it was finally time to board the transfer, I immediately started chilling with a group from Hampshire YFC, who were probably one of the funniest and loudest groups there. When we disembarked, the journey to the hostel almost felt like a hike itself.
The resort had been seeing non-stop snow and when we got to the hostel the path was flooded so we had to clear a path over a nearby slope, hoist our luggage up and climb over the top. There was so much snow that for all we knew we could have been walking on top of cars buried deep underneath. Anyway, when I got checked in I very quickly introduced myself to my room mates, and there was quite a lot of diversity between us: me from Beds YFC, while the others were from Cornwall, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
The first day in, most of the slopes were shut, due to high risk of avalanche. I tagged along with two of my room mates and we were later joined by two of their friends from Staffordshire YFC. We played it safe and went down a green run but the unrelenting snow made even the easiest of runs a complete death trap! My goggles kept misting up which meant I couldn’t see a thing with or without them, after a hard day of trying to stay alive amidst all the snow it was time to sample the night life which was just something else.
We started off in a place called The Saloon Bar, and ended up in the famous Dick’s Tea Bar, which was one of the most popular places in the resort. The next day we all decided to brave the hangover blues and hit the slopes nice and early… only to ski down one slope and then call it a day, as adverse conditions persisted. That evening, the resort imposed a 22:00 curfew; closed all clubs, bars and shops and put police on the streets as they were expecting a blizzard which would bring with it more snow in one night than in an average season. Seeing it was quite a spectacle, as there was evening some lightning, I have never seen a blizzard quite as impressive as this, and probably never will again.
However, telling hundreds of Young Farmers that they need to stay indoors is a recipe for disaster, as they all soon started throwing their own parties and I wound up with the same lot from Hampshire YFC, who all knew how and were determined to have a good time come rain or shine, to say the least. The next day, I didn’t get much skiing done as we were told to stay indoors until lunchtime, when the slopes finally opened. A spanner was thrown in the works somewhat by my own hand that day, as I got my boots changed and was ready to hit the slopes…that is until I realised I left my helmet in my room, and my room mates were already out there with both sets of keys.
The evening more than made up for this mishap, as after being told to stay indoors the night before, there were legions of Young Farmers chomping at the bit to make the night a big one, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The bar was so crowded that simply making your way to the drinks counter left you feeling battle-weary and gave you the feeling that the drink you were about to enjoy was a drink well-earnt.
The next day the slopes and skies finally started to clear up, and we were finally able to get some skiing done. We were able to finally go down different slopes to the green one we’d just been using all this time and trekked over to Tignes, the neighbouring resort. In the evening, we had a comedy night which was really worth going as there where a couple of comedians performing stand up, one of which sells out in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has given me some inspiration should I get asked to do something similar in Biggleswade’s Take Me Out this year, to what I did in it last year.
The next day, being the penultimate day, it was fancy dress day, and the theme this year was cows. I’ll be honest, I was a little bit underwhelmed when I saw that Young Farmers had voted for cows as the theme as I thought it was a bit boring and uninspiring, as everyone would simply be skiing in the same onesie, and lo and behold, this is just how it turned out! The theme however did have it’s uses such as when we were trying to find where to go for the Apres Ski Bar, all we had to do was follow the legions of people in cow onesies. The Apres Ski Bar that evening was a place called Cocorico and even by the time we got there which was only half an hour in, it was rocking. After all, it was the last Apres Ski party for the week so we were all determined to make it one to remember…or not, depending on how much might have been drunk.
Despite feeling slightly fragile, I was up nice and early with the rest of my group to get a full day of skiing for our last day. I was certain that the fresh mountain air at high altitudes would only do me the world of good, and that it did. It was all going fine until I got lost and separated from the rest of my group. But the really great thing about going with nearly 300 other Young Farmers was that I knew it wouldn’t be too long until I found another group of them to tag along with. In fact, I actually got stranded in Tignes with a gang from Leicestershire YFC and we were all in the same boat, as the ski lifts were shutting so there was no other way of getting back, aside from taking the bus.
All in all, it was a phenomenal experience, I would gladly go again as I said to one of the head reps that I’m happy to keep being the rep for the Eastern Area, for as long as they’d like me to do it. Hopefully next time, we can get a gang from Bedfordshire going, rather than just me. If the fact that I of all people, was the only one representing the county and therefore all of you guys, isn’t enough to make your blood run cold and ensure it won’t be just me next time, then I don’t know what is!
I’ll see you all at the County Balll.