8th Grade Ski Trip – Estimated Arrival Time: 17.30h

2017 20 March: Ski Trip Update

Well, the last couple of days have been mighty challenging here in Austria. At the top of the mountains we had blowing snow and sometimes zero visibility. Meanwhile, at the bottom of mountain we got…rain. Boo Hiss. Because of the awful conditions, the students returned to the house around 2 pm each day.   The 14 cm of new snow that did fall was wet and sticky at times. Alas, this resulted in one injury: Mr. Weiss fell and broke his fibula.

Ironically, we also lost another ski instructor because Frau Heinz returned to Berlin the same day, after her one week, planned ski trip stint was over.

On the positive side when the students returned home yesterday, Ms. Butts organized a Zoomba dance workout, followed by another workout session in the fresh mountain air, with the sun making a welcome appearance. It was certainly a sight to see—dozens of students dancing on the mountainside. So, in spite an early return to the house, students got lots of exercise.

Today, students have their second ski free day and are out walking to the pool, walking to the big city of Fügen to shop, or up in the moutains on a nature walk. Tomorrow, back to skiing for the final three days.

Chris Weiss


2017 15 March: Ski Trip Update

Tuesday 14 March:  

The weather continued to be near-perfection as our young charges took to the slopes. While the advanced skiers prepared for their synchronized skiing competition, students new to the slopes engaged in a full program with their instructors as they worked their way onto the lifts for their first downhill experiences. In the evening the students enjoyed a lively team song-guessing game before lights out.

Wednesday 15 March:  

The routine is starting to set in as the various classes share the responsibilities of handing out equipment from our lockers to start the day. In our last day of the first set of groups/teachers, an anxiously-awaited synchronized skiing event occurred between Mr. Lang’s and Mr. Weiss’s groups, with Frau Heinz’s group as the judges. This was followed by a rousing competition of pair synchronized skiing/snow waltzing with many fine performances.  Lower advanced students also shared their excitement for taking on the challenging new terrain of the “red slopes.” On the lower slopes, virtually all beginners were on lifts of some type, with some very impressive improvement for even the newest of learners. The evening entertainment consisted of a Dance Party and some raucous card games in the Dining hall. The students also signed up for tomorrow’s “free day activities” of swimming, hiking or shopping.

Chad Felt


2017 13 March: Ski Trip Update

The 43 JFKS Ski Trip is underway. Here are a few of the happenings of the past few days.

Sunday 12 March: Berlin to Austria

In full sunshine, we traveled to Austria quickly and without problems. After a pit stop at McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, we caught sight of the Alps, crossed the border, and entered the Zillertal mountain valley.

After instructions about student expectations for staying at the Guesthouse, the students moved into their rooms, enjoyed Wiener Schnitzel, and then went for a torch walk.

Monday 13 March: 1st Day Skiing

We spent the morning getting the rental ski equipment and bussing up the 12 kilometers to the Hoch Fügen ski resort. Students were divided into 14 different groups according to their experience and ability. After a warm lunch and a break in brilliant sunshine, all the groups were up on the mountain somewhere.

Here are some highlights according to a few student testimonies:

  • Christian: Getting into groups and skiing with friends.
  • Amelia & Naima – Although we were experienced skiers, we skied one time as if we were beginner skiers.   We dramatically pretended to do the snowplow, aka “pizza”. During the trip down, one of our members fell. He, of course, insisted he fell on purpose.
  • Tarek: It was actually easy to learn to ski.
  • Arthur: Going down the hill the first time as a new skier.
  • Lasse: We were told by our ski instructor to not “swallow” our jump, so that we would not get too much air. We were warned that if we jumped too high we would be moved to a beginner group. Unknown to our instructor, another young girl joined our group while we skied to the jump and jumped very high. Our ski instructor was extremely mad and proceeded to yell at the scared young student who had no idea what was happening.
  • Antonio: Another JFKS Instructor and his group challenged our group to a “synchronized ski competition” on Wednesday. He boasted that his group was “art on skis”. While the arty group was skiing away after taunting us, we watched one of them fall flat on their face.

We came home with two hours of free time before eating dinner. Unfortunately, the noise in the dining room lacks the serenity of the mountain scenery. The decibel level during dinner equaled the sound of a jackhammer on a construction site.

After dinner, Class 8D directed the evening activity. After an evening of some strange and frightening stories and screams, one observer described the event as “horrifyingly hilarious.” Another described it as hot, too hot.

Here’s to a good night’s rest.

All the best,
Jason Lang


March 12, 2017

Message from the 8th Grade Ski Trip teachers:

The buses arrived safely 45 minutes ago.

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