Jan 16

We woke up this morning to the fantastic news that the winds had died down overnight and the snow arrived! Rooftops around the village were sprinkled with snow, making the already picturesque environment amazing. This news was greeted with great excitement as the boys prepared for their last day of skiing and boarding.

The gondola ride up the mountain was magnificent as we were able to look around the surrounding areas and see all the snow capped mountains.

Up on the slopes we had a fresh layer of powder to ski on and compared to the icy conditions that yesterday provided, the powder was a real treat. It was definitely the coldest day of the trip with Daniel Moscaritolo (Year 11) recording a -17 degrees at the top of the Olympic lift. But hey, we’re at the snow and 3000 feet above sea level!

The other bonus today was the opening of the “Skyline Trail”. This is a long run along the ridgeline and connects the Nevada side of the mountain to the California side and allowed us to ski all runs without having to catch a shuttle bus.

We thought we had seen some amazing views over the last week – none compare to that which the top of the Skyline Trail provided. Ben Williams (Year 9) and Harry Dodd (Year 9) climbed even higher to ensure that they were at the absolute peak of the mountain and enjoy the piles of fresh powder on offer to start a snow fight!

Although a little icy, the Ante Up Terrain Park was again popular for not only the boys but also some staff with lots of the group experimenting with the jumps and boxes on offer – some with not as much success as others!

A noticeable feature of the day was also the lack of people on the mountain. There were times when you could be skiing or boarding down a run and be forgiven for thinking you were the only one on the run. This meant no lines at the bottom of lifts and some flexibility in the manner we went down the slopes. It also meant that many of the group were able to catch up and ski together. In fact the last half hour of the day saw a group of about 20 boys and staff together cranking it down the mountain, up the lift and down again several times.

When asked about his last day on the slopes, Scott Atkin (Year 10) said that Skyline Trail was fantastic and he enjoyed the day of skiing more than any other day on the slopes.

Ewin Spinks (Year 9) said that he enjoyed the last day heaps, going on most of the runs on the mountain and also doing some filming in the terrain park. He did mention that running over a 6 year old beginner who had found himself on a blue run was not so pleasant!

Jack Foster (Year 10) had never skied before coming on the trip and upon reflection said “Heavenly was a fantastic place to learn how to ski. The weather was perfect for building my skills and I got further than I thought I would, eventually skiing most of the runs available on the slopes. I didn’t think that was possible when I started on the first day!”

Cameron Fazzari (Year 9) also agreed that it was the best day of skiing so far and particularly enjoyed the length of Skyline Trail because it turned into the Dipper run, making it a really long run.

It was certainly a tough ride down the gondola at the end of the day, knowing that we wouldn’t be coming back up again. We had been on the slopes for six days straight and although the locals kept telling us how the snow was nothing compared to last season, the terrain that we covered, the runs that we completed, the jumps attempted and fun had by all was just awesome!

For dinner this evening we were treated to an American tradition … the Hard Rock Cafe, Lake Tahoe. This was a fantastic experience as many of the music buffs of the group (led by Mr Sam Walker) enjoyed roaming the venue for pieces of memorabilia while the genuine American burgers were greatly enjoyed by all. Once again, like many things on the Nevada side of the boarder, to get to the Hard Rock Cafe, we had to walk through a casino, this time Harveys. It is interesting to note that on our walk from our lodge to dinner, we cross the boarder and in the very first block of Nevada, there are four casinos!

The big Hard Rock dinner was a great way to wrap up our time in Lake Tahoe and I know that the boys are looking forward to a similar experience when we visit San Francisco!

Photo 1: Year 9 boys Ben Rooney, James Ramm, Ben Williams, Nick Andrews, Cain Nelson, Nathan Dufficy, Daniel Amasi, Harry Dodd and Louis Collins enjoy the outstanding conditions.

Photo 2: Year 8 boys Ed McKenzie, Jordan Lewis, Callum Paterson and Joe Flannery drop in for a bite to eat halfway through the day.

Photo 3: Luke Donlon (Year 12) braves the extra cold conditions at the top of California.

Photo 4: Rohan Downs (Year 10), Patrick Jessup (Year 10), Sam Scarlett (Year 10) and Harry Hannell (Year 11) enjoy the American experience of Hard Rock Cafe.

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