Abigail Willey won our competition to go to Boarderweek - here's her review of her fabulous trip...
We arrived in Val Thorens at about half 10 on Saturday December 16th. The 3 hour coach journey across Swizerland and France from Geneve wasn't as bad as I'd expected. It's just a shame it was too dark to take in the view.
Sunday morning James and I decided to get the essentials sorted - a stocked kitchen. In my usual fashion I slipped and fell on my arse as soon as I stepped on the snow. We cautiously headed to the supermarket and ordered une bagette et deux croissants. GCSE French was useful after all. We found the nice Boarderweek folks who were excited to meet the competition winners and sort us out with our ski pass and event passes. But what good was a ski pass without lessons. And so the next stop was the rental shop to pick up a couple of boards and boots each before visiting the guys at Pro Neige to book snowboarding lessons.
I don't know how we found the energy to leave the room after lesson number one but on Monday we checked out the Borderweek gig in Val Thorens' sports centre. The first group on was Saian Supa Crew, a French hip-hop group who ranged from great hip-hop to drum and bass and awful European dance pop. The band that followed were a bit boring so we went for a walk around the resort and got a heavily laden chocolate crepe.
After lesson number 2 on the Tuesday we had another wander across the Val Thorens resort and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant, which turned into a student union-esque club night once the kitchen closed.
On Wednesday evening a ramp was set up towards the bottom of the piste and some crazy guys on motorcross bikes spent an hour doing insane stunts on the snow. Via a Borderweek tent housing a DJ and a beatboxer singing trance hits, we warmed up with some 'Porto' and a log fire in the reception of the Fitz Roy Hotel.
We had our last snowboarding lesson on the Thursday when we went up on the ski lift and boarded the whole way down. Second time round we stopped half way down the mountain to take in the view and recharge with a waffle and hot chocolate. Cue the gutted feeling that tomorrow was home time.
Apart from the cold that struck me mid-week and my very sore knees and arse, it was such an awesome week. Boarderweek had organised so much it was hard for a beginner boarder to fit it all in after a day battering my body.
Thanks so much for Cooler for giving me the opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime - for free!