During the 2011 camp I was told by the Manager of Geilo Apartments that things were changing within the apartment owners company and they were looking at changing the apartment structure and would be limiting the hire of the apartments and closing the kitchen. I briefly looked at other options for accommodation in Geilo as I believe it has one of the best facilities for snow training in Europe/Scandinavia. I received an email in mid May 2011 from the Apartment Manager that the apartments would not be available in 2012 and all of the “loyal” staff were leaving at the end of May.
For 2012 I negotiated with the Ustedalen Hotel which is situated some 1km from the centre of Geilo. Talking to those who had previously stayed in the Apartments some had mixed feelings but we must move on. Those who were on their first ESSKIA camp thought the hotel was excellent. The hotel has twin bedrooms which are possible to hold a third person sleeping on the bed settee, if necessary. The hotel meals consisting of breakfast and evening meal, both from the buffet table with a most excellent choice. The hotel also has swimming pool, sauna, fitness room and conference room which we had exclusive use of for fitness, discussion and video feedback. A large lounge was also available but on the second week was crowded with other residents. The squad made the most of the large sitting area on the landing on our floor before bed time and I can even record several members going to rooms early to catch up on school work/sleep. The ski storage/ prep room was in an outside garage with all facilities for those who chose to carry out daily ski preparation. From a management point of view the move to the Ustedalen hotel is a positive one and is already booked for 2013. For those who requested to venture into the village to purchase “goodies” we had a signing out/in book at reception with conditions that time allowance was before dinner and they had to go a group. This was followed but unfortunately one or two chose to purchase energy drinks. The downside of such drinks was quickly pointed out and none appeared after second visit to the shops.
I am twelve years old and I have been involved with ESSKIA training before. I got introduced to ESSKIA through my school – Abbot’s Hill who is a member of ESSKIA. I competed in the Welwyn races and more recently those at Stoke. Last year I was invited to train in Austria with the junior squad which was brilliant fun. This time I have been invited to train with the senior squad in Norway.
I have found that it has been a bigger challenge as when you are part of the senior squad you are treated more like an adult and have to take on more responsibility in both your training and in daily life. I have found it lots more fun to ski with seniors as it feels like a real reward for having improved my skiing.
I have been going on skiing holidays with my family since I was four years old. I started racing when I joined Hemel Hempstead ski team about two years ago. I train at the Snow Centre twice a week. What I have most enjoyed about the Norway Camp this year is hanging out with all the new friends I have made. I really like the food and the live music at the Ustedalen Hotel. I would really like to come to the Camp again and start to do more school children’s races on snow.
Bea Barder, Squad 1