At the start of the Christmas break, a group of 23 pupils departed for Jasper, Canada to take part in the 14th Canada Cup. This is an invitation only event involving many other UK independent schools including Harrow, Eton and Wellington. Although we had hoped to spend ten days skiing and racing, a polar vortex had other ideas and the mountain was closed for much of the week as temperatures dropped to as low as -46 degrees.
Despite the conditions, we made the best of the situation and found other ways to enjoy our time in Jasper. We visited frozen lakes and waterfalls, explored the town and attended a gala dinner at the spectacular Jasper Park Lodge. A particular highlight was watching an ice hockey match against two local teams. We filled the stands and I wonder what the players must have thought about suddenly acquiring hundreds of cheering fans for what would ordinarily have been a quiet midweek match. In the evenings, pupils relaxed in the outdoor hot tub, taking in the beautiful winter scenery and trying to make it back to the hotel without their hair freezing solid.
Despite the weather, the pupils were excellent company and enjoyed immersing themselves in the Canadian culture in what was a winter wonderland. We all came back with a renewed appreciation for the beauty of the Canadian wilderness.