A new Oxford University ski trip is hoping to attract students this year. ‘The New Snow Trip’ was originally only open to New College, before extending to Magdalen in 2011 and St Hilda’s in 2012. Now the trip is open to all Oxford University students.The trip will take place on the 15th-23rd March 2013 in Val D’Isere.

The base price for the trip is £359, which includes 6 days accommodation, a lift pass, travel and several extras. Trip organisers managed to get a low price because of New College’s relationship with the tour operator ‘Off the Piste’, which they have used for the last 3 years. Events such as a Toboggan Evening and BBQ, a Race Day, a fancy dress day, and an event at Folie Douce are planned.

Organisers are promoting the trip as a smaller, more friendly trip than Varsity, with a good social vibe, better weather, better snow, and better skiing at Easter. They also promote it on the grounds of its lack of Cambridge students. Last year the trip’s mcuh smaller capacity of 96 people was reached, but it is hoped that this year many more people will take part.

Chiara Quadranti, the President of The New Snow Trip, said, “Not all colleges have their own ski trip so this gives a chance for anyone to go skiing, if they missed out on Varsity or if Varsity is not for them.

“We want to provide students with a fresh alternative. While Varsity is huge, quasi-corporate and intimidating (to some) we want to propose another option: something a bit different, more likeable, more personal.

“We want to set up something that could appeal to the same audience, i.e. the whole of Oxford, but with a very different vibe.”

Harry Browne, a St Hilda’s student who went on the trip two years ago, said, “The atmosphere is different from Varsity because it’s smaller and you know everyone. But it’s still lash on the mountains.”

Matthew Kain, from New College, went last year, said, “Better snow, no dirty Tabs, same lash – should appeal for people who actually want to go skiing rather than watching some crap like Ms Dynamite.”

Midori Takenaka, a rep from Corpus Christi, told Cherwell, “The New Snow Trip is definitely not trying to compete with Varsity. The organising team are all students, and so the trip has been designed in a very student-friendly way. We are confident that the trip will prove to be a success, as it has been in previous years.” 

Last year the Varsity trip sold out within 8 hours, and 3,200 students attended. However, this year tickets did not sell out.

Varsity President Simon Bushell told Cherwell, “The Varsity Trip is run on a not-for-profit basis entirely by student volunteers who aim to put on the best week possible for the participants of Varsity Trip, and we always strive to improve on last year’s trip. With six years of trips of over 1000 people, and over 90 years since the first Varsity Trip, we certainly have a lot of history to build on.

‘As with the much improved booking system, we are working hard to respond to all of the feedback we had from last year’s trip, and this experience is one of the advantages of going on Varsity Trip.

“One of the reasons Varsity Trip is so enjoyable is that it combines an intimate skiing experience with friends, with most participants sharing rooms or corridors with people from the same college, while giving an amazing opportunity to meet new people!”