Sunday, 12 February 2017
Day Three: A Shackload of Snow
With a day full of headline grabbing news I am a little at a loss as to where to start. Firstly, I am pleased to report that today has seen every single one of the group reach the top of the mountain in one way or another. Secondly, Daniel Wilde and Harry Bond have reached super stardom through their extraordinary spoon playing ability and finally, Holy Family's entry in the Canadian Sugar Shack Dance Off failed to impress the judges and they will not be going through to the next round. The day, as always, started with a hearty breakfast before a prompt 9:30 start on the slopes. Temperatures soared to a positively balmy minus 10 and we were constantly accompanied by some steady snowfall throughout, but conditions were excellent. While some of those still getting to grips remained on the beginner slopes in the morning, a number of groups raced to the gondolas to reach the peak of Mount St Anne. I have tried to take a few pictures from the top but I'm afraid they don't quite do the simply breathtaking view of the province of Quebec justice. The frozen lakes, rivers and snow covered fields that stretch for miles is a memory that I am sure will live with the pupils for years to come. In the afternoon, the beginner slopes were bare of Holy Family skiers as everyone took a trip to the top. The group that caught my eye today was Donna's school, which included Callum Moran, Joe Jones, Eve Stack, Maddison Stitchcomb, Alisha Williams, Daniel Wilde, Lucy McBride and Tom Williams. They impressed me with their great skill and control as they snaked down a challenging green run in perfect formation. After a day filled with snow our evening was filled with sugar. Once again we climbed into the yellow buses and headed to the Sugar Shack. When we arrived, we received an engrossing talk explaining how the company harvest their maple syrup before sitting down to a delicious maple syrup themed meal. The ham, baked beans, potatoes, frankfurters and a starter of soup, most of which had some syrup within the recipe, were a delight and sampled by many of the pupils. The dessert was the big hit though as piles of pancakes were brought out to be accompanied by more maple syrup. After dinner we were entertained by some Canadian folk artists who were joined by Daniel Wilde and Harry Bond playing the spoons flawlessly to their rhythm. Then, a great number of pupils and Mr Kinsella joined in with a traditional dance and although the coordination that we've seen on the slopes didn't feature on the dance floor, everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The evening concluded with the pupils creating their very own famous maple taffy which required them to roll up maple syrup on a stick as it is poured into ice trays and freezes. Everyone enjoyed the intensely sugary treat, which although would make a dentist cringe in horror, was a wonderfully unique experience for all. It was quiet journey home as, despite the high sugar intake, most pupils fell asleep, worn out from another jam packed day. The journey was made more adventurous by receiving an escort of snow plows taking us through the frozen streets of Quebec as the forecasted blizzard hit. Ten to fifteen centimetres of fresh snow swirled and fell from the heavens as we drove home with the snoozing passengers oblivious to the magical scene all around them. Tomorrow promises to be another great day, with a fresh covering of snow, and hopefully more groups taking on some more challenging downhill slopes. Mr Thorp really isn't a fan of snowboarders! .