Powfect 2016

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I’ve just returned from one of the best weeks away I’ve had for a long time, the Powfect 2016 ski trip. Powfect is a trip organised by some friends of mine I met at university, it’s a ski and snowboard trip organised for their friends and friends-of-friends. Last year we went to La Clusaz and this year 78 of us went to La Plagne in France.

The trip was really well organised and one of the things that made it so fantastic for me was that I didn’t have to think about any of it. Pretty much everything was organised for us, by like-minded people who knew what we wanted to get out of the trip. All I needed to do in terms of preparation and thinking was pack up my snowboard and skis and get myself to Kings Cross on Saturday morning.

This year Andy and Jamie (the organisers) decided to use the tour operator NUCO to make handling the organisation a bit easier and ensure that they could enjoy the trip as well. The NUCO reps were great, Caroline, Zoe and Ben were there to meet us when we arrived in resort and looked after us really well throughout the week. They negotiated deals at some of the bars, shepherded us onto busses for a night out in Plagne Centre (we were staying just down the hill in Plagne 1800) and kept us entertained 24/7.

We travelled out on the Eurostar and only had a 45min transfer from the train station at the far end (Aime La Plagne). I’ve never got the train straight to the Alps before but it was so much easier than flying. With so many less steps to the journey (15min bus to Kings Cross, train, coach rather than get to the airport, check-in, go through security, find the gate, board the plane etc) it was really hassle-free, especially considering I always take both skis and boards to the snow. It also meant that a few of us could very comfortably prop up the bar on the train until it ran out of alcohol.

A bunch of us enjoying Après at Chauffe Marcel near La Plagne 1800.

A bunch of us enjoying Après at Chauffe Marcel near La Plagne 1800.

In resort we had 3 meals organised for us all together which was really nice, a designated Après bar every afternoon (Chauffe Marcel ended up being our regular) and a few on-running competitions with winners awarded every day. The daily photo contest which ran on the group WhatsApp thread had some great entries and the winners showed off that we had some really talented skiiers amongst us on the trip.

My favourite Picture of the Day was this shot of Jez.

My favourite Picture of the Day was this shot of Jez.

We were sceptical about the snow conditions on the way out but we turned out to be really lucky. The snowpack was very unstable (as is true across the Alps at the moment), and one of our group did get taken for a ride in an avalanche (he was shaken, but unharmed), but the snow was great. We had a couple of beautiful bluebird powder days which were really fun and despite a little rain early on in the week pretty much everything remained rideable throughout. We did get unlucky in that some of us had an off-piste guiding morning on the day after the rain, which meant that we spent the morning cruising pistes but it was still fun.

Me enjoying face shots on landing through the trees.

Me enjoying face shots on landing through the trees.

I had my GoPro out for a few days, although I was more focused on having fun than trying to get great footage. Hopefully I’ll pull together a video edit shortly, and I’ll post videos that others will inevitably pull together from the trip once they’re done.

Getting out of London for a week to play in the mountains, skiing and boarding with a fantastic group of people in an awesome place with absolutely no hassle meant that Powfect 2016 was one of the best holidays I can remember. A massive thanks to Andy, Jamie and the NUCO guys for making it so powfect.

Hannis Whittam

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