It was, for most of us, the best skiing trip ever. A party so huge it required two coaches to transport us all. Skiing that was, to say the least, challenging – sheet ice in the morning, ankle deep slush in the afternoon. A country where we were old enough to drink (somewhere, I have a picture of a 16 year old Marc Goodey with a tray full of beers) and as much sausage and chips as you could eat (mmm, bratwurst).
For the teachers accompanying us, it must have been the trip from Hell. Four people ended up in hospital. I can’t remember who it was that somehow managed to beat their own ski down the mountain and get hit in the mouth with it, but I do remember that Vicky Shanahan had an allergic reaction to her own suncream, Jill Grinnoneau damaged an ankle falling off a table in a bar that, back home, we would not have been old enough to be in, and Ian Rayner’s life was saved by Nick Quinn after, following a schnapps drinking contest with (I think) Simon Boyle, he started vomiting in his sleep.
Add to that a burglary of one of the bedrooms, a pupil being caught in bed with a ski instructor, and Sue Marlow’s luggage going missing on the way home, and it is no wonder that this whole trip is one of my most vivid schoolday memories.