Canada is known for Justin Trudeau and maple syrup, but what really drew students to the Great White North? SKI Travel invited MCPS schools to join them Jan. 19 through Jan. 23 on a three-day trip in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.
The other schools invited were Quince Orchard, Churchill, BCC, Northwest and Walter Johnson. “I loved the idea that we were combined with other schools because I met so many people I would have never met before,” senior Jenny Yin said.
The trip started off at 3:30 p.m. with a 14-hour bus ride. The only stops were once for a food break and once the bus made it to the Canadian border. “I have done this for five years, going on over 20 different bus rides every year. The late hour drives don’t bother me anymore,” head of SKI Travel and one of this school’s supervisors, Dom Jones said.
The buses arrived at the Mont Tremblant village at 7:00 a.m. and students began to file into their rooms. The ski slopes didn’t open till 9:30 a.m. but the avid ski students were offered “First Track” passes, which meant that they could start skiing at 8:00 a.m. and enjoy the freshly powdered snow before anyone else. “I did the fast tracks everyday and while the waking up early part was hard, it was all worth it. It was just me and the mountain for an hour and a half,” senior Jake Gross said.
The students packed for below freezing weather because of the prior week’s conditions where temperatures were below -2 degrees. But luckily for them, they were blessed with low 30’s. “I talked to so many Canadians and they were shocked at the amazing weather we got. It was warm (for Canada) and the slopes were cleanly powdered,” senior Ilona Sirotinin said.
There were other activities to do during the day besides skiing. Students explored the private pedestrian village for good restaurants and shopping. Fan favorites were pizza places, Ya-oo’s and Pizzateria, Roots for shopping, and a trip to the hot tub and sauna. “Me and my roommates spent most of our time at Ya-oo’s because the food and experience was hard to beat. I made so many friends because we were sitting so close to students from other schools,” senior Alina Gorban said.
After dinner, students headed to Caribou and Cafe D’epoque, the two nightly hotspots for dancing. Caribou was more for the Canadian guests while Caribou was crowded with high school students. “The nights were my favorite time on the trips. Everyone had so much fun and and the atmosphere was unlike anything I have ever experienced,” senior Jocelyn Merkin said.
Students were sad when they had to say goodbye to Canada. “I’m going to recommend the Canada trip to everyone. They should definitely try and do everything Canada has to offer. Eat a maple syrup stick, ski the day away, and dance like nobody’s watching. There is no other experience like Canada,” senior Dennis Johns said.