QE’s first post-pandemic skiing trip saw fifty boys take to the slopes of Canada’s ancient Purcell Mountains, some 4,500 miles away from home.
The group flew to the resort of Panorama in British Columbia on a eight-day trip during which they were able to enjoy five days of “fantastic” skiing.
As well as being able to take in the spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies, they benefitted from their hotel being conveniently close to the slopes.
Trip organiser and PE teacher Richard Scally said: “The Canadian Rockies are stunning, and this resort is considered to be in the top ten places to ski in the world.
“Snow is near-guaranteed there from early December through to late April and we were accordingly treated to some fantastic skiing conditions, unhampered by the queues and crowded slopes that you often find at half-term in other resorts.”
Announced last summer, QE’s first skiing trip since 2019 attracted boys from across the School – pupils from current Years 8–13.
Their destination, Panorama Mountain Resort, which was founded as recently as 1962, is accessed by road from the town of Invermere, which is 11 miles away. It boasts one of the highest vertical drops in North America – some 1,300m.
The boys had five hours of instruction per day, while lessons had also been available for first-time skiers before departure to ensure participants could get the most out of their trip.
The QE group stayed at the Pine Inn, a hotel chosen because, unusually for North American resorts, it is ‘slope side’ – skiing jargon meaning that it is within walking distance of the ski lifts.
Having ‘slope side’, or ‘ski in, ski out’, accommodation meant it was quick, safe and convenient for the boys. It also had the advantage of being next to the resort’s hot springs, offering skiers great scope for relaxation and recovery after a hard day’s physical activity.
Once the day’s fun on the slopes was over, the boys had a programme of evening activities to enjoy, while a ski school presentation took place at the end of the week.
Reflecting afterwards on the trip, Mr Scally said: “With a high percentage of complete beginners this year, it could not have been a better introduction to skiing and mountain life.
“This is the second time Queen Elizabeth’s has now been to Panorama, and I am certain we will be back, as everyone left with the most amazing memories.”