A party of 30 pupils and four staff from Mackie Academy led by Mr Iain Macdonald, Faculty Head of Mathematics, have recently returned from Mackie Academy’s first snowsports visit to Austria.
Situated 55m south of Salzburg, the Salzburg Sportwelt region, one of Austria’s largest interconnected areas, offered the Mackie party of skiers and boarders fantastic winter sports terrain suitable for all skill levels. The area boasts one of Europe’s best snow records due to the central alpine position which ensures that whenever a snowstorm arrives, it’s going to fall on the slopes of the Sportwelt area making it snow sure through until late April. And this was certainly the case for this visit … with 60 cm of fresh snow falling during the first three days and clear “bluebird” skies for the final few days.
The three interconnected areas - Alpendorf, Wagrain and Flachau each provided magnificent pistes, long wide runs, and efficient heated gondolas and ski lifts with few queues. What more could you want on a ski trip?
The party was split into three groups of skiers - beginner, intermediate and advanced, and a single group of advanced boarders. The friendly and professional instructors provided superb teaching with clear focus on safety, skills, and improvement.
It was reported that some of the advanced skiers and boarders in the Mackie party were some of the best that the instructors had seen. And after a gruelling first day on the nursery slopes, the beginners soon found their “ski-legs” and progressed to green, red and even black runs within a couple of days. With six days skiing/boarding and five hours instruction each day, participants were able to build up skills, experience and mileage on the Austrian slopes. The resort filming of the slalom run allowed skiers and boarders view their progress online using their ski passes. Evening activities included a visit to a water park, karaoke and pool evening, and a disco evening with a presentation event on the final afternoon.
The final day of departure included a visit to the city of Salzburg before the tired party made their sleepy flight home.