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Posted: 03 January 2018

Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

Over the New Year, several of our team accompanied a number of our Group Leaders on our annual Family and Friends inspection visit. Here James explains what they got up to!

Thursday 28th December 2017:

Bright and early on the day after the day after Boxing Day, we all met at Gatwick airport, the cold snap a reminder of the skiing which lay ahead!

All checked in and with a hearty airport breakfast inside us, the flight departed on time. With the best snow reports for years, everyone was incredibly keen to get on the slopes.

Leaving the gloominess of Gatwick behind us, we soon landed in glorious Italian sunshine surrounded by snowy mountains.

We collected our luggage and headed for Sestriere. After a two and a half hour journey we reached Cesana and started the climb to Sestriere.

We met up with Davide (our Halsbury rep) at the hotel. First he ensured we all made it to the correct room and, once we were settled, he took us off to get our skis and ski boots fitted.

We then had a little time to relax before dinner. And we were able to have a nice early night, so we would be ready to ski bright and early the next morning.

Friday 29th December 2017:

After breakfast, those who were having ski lessons met up with their ski instructors, while the rest of us were guided around the slopes by the Sestriere Ski School.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

They did a brilliant job of finding the best snow and most fun skiing. Added to this, the fantastic snow conditions and beautiful blue skies meant we enjoyed an amazing first day of skiing.

Most people assembled in the hotel bar for a bit of après-ski before dinner.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

After dinner we headed to the karaoke bar in Sestriere, where one of our party met his idol (9 times World Motocross Champion - Tony Cairoli).

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

Saturday 30th December 2017:

Even though 20cm of fresh snow had fallen overnight, it was still snowing as the group headed out to the slopes. However visibility was fine and there was plenty of powder on the piste.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

After two hours we decided to stop for coffee at La Gargote…which soon turned into an extended lunch!

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

The snow then started to fall heavily and some of us opted for the open-air heated swimming pool in Sestriere. By 5pm most of us were in back in the apres-ski bar at La Gargote, enjoying what was a beautiful sunset.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

After dinner we watched the torchlight descent by the Sestriere ski instructors.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

Sunday 31st December 2017:

The best ski day of the week - blue skies and fresh snow on the last day of 2017!

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

Folks started out early to make the most of the last day and the amazing snow conditions. We had groups heading off to Claviere, Borgata and Sauze d’Oulx.

The Sauze group skied first in Sansicario and stopped for an early bombardino (a hot drink combining Advocaat or eggnog and brandy, topped with whipped cream) in the sunshine before heading to an instructor-recommended lunch time hut called Ciao Pais - we’ll be going there again!

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

And the other groups? Well, the Borgata group found plenty of powder and the Claviere group enjoyed crowd-free, tree-lined skiing.

With most people skiing up until the last lift back to Sestriere, it was soon time to get ready to welcome in the New Year.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

We enjoyed a gala dinner and plenty of interesting entertainment provided by the hotel bar, before making our way to the bottom of the slopes, ready for the countdown.

With fireworks exploding around the mountains, we linked arms, singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at the top of our lungs. It was a very British welcome to the New Year in the heart of the Italian Alps.

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Our New Year Family and Friends Trip 2017

All in all, a great trip was had by all and I hope to see you again next year!

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