Varsity Ski Trip: Updates From The Alps

SATURDAY: In our final update we fill you in on what happened in the final few days.

Alice in Wonderland Disco dj fresh Drinking hangover mosh pit mountain meal skiing sking sports hall tim westwood val thorens Varsity varsity ski strip

The waiting is over, the snow has arrived, and we’ve finally reached The Alps. But if you weren’t among the lucky 3,200 who bagged a ticket, you can catch up with all the gossip on The Tab.


Saturday 10th December, 11pm

Varsity has finally come to an end after a hectic couple of days. Thursday was tinged with mixed emotions. While the sun came out, providing the week’s best day of skiing, Cambridge suffered a crippling defeat to the other place in the Rugby Varsity. But while things weren’t going our way in England, Cambridge dominated the Skiing Varsity. John’s wonderboy JP Espinosa recording the overall fastest time in the Men’s races, while Sarah Hughes from Cambridge was the best girl overall.

Thursday also saw the final night party. Basement Jaxx headlined the Radioactive themed event with support from come-back-queen Ms. Dynamite, but both acts proved slightly disappointing.

Ms. Dynamite’s thin back-catalogue showed her up and she resorted to simply rapping over other people’s tracks. Her attempts at crowd interaction also fell flat; Oxbridge just isn’t that gangster. Headliners Basement Jaxx only played a smattering of their hits, instead opting for a fairly uninspiring DJ set. However, French act Dirtyphonics succeeded in pumping up the crowd after Jaxx left.

Despite the acts’ shortcomings, cheap drinks, glow sticks and paint ensured the crowd enjoyed themselves. The committee also deserve credit for admining 3,200 boiler suits and dealing with the cloak room problems that marred the opening night party.

Friday afternoon signalled only one thing: the homeward migration of thousands of Oxbridge students. The Alps can rest easy again for another year.

Wednesday 7th December, 6pm

Last night’s silent disco at Malaysia saw 2,000 drunk students trying to cram into a 1,500 odd capacity venue. The result was another bone crushing queue on the ice. Those who did manage to get in had the choice of listening to either a Cambridge or Oxford DJ, but most were too lashed to notice.

Revellers enjoy the silent disco

Today Val Thorens played host to the first competitive skiing of the week with Skiing Cuppers. Trinity, Oxford came first while St John’s, Cambridge, were second. A stand out performance in the semi-final from John’s fresher JP Espinosa, who trained with the GB skiing team for a year, ensured last year’s winners Trinity, Cambridge, came third.

Tomorrow the competition continues with the Blues Skiing Varsity. Oxford have traditionally dominated the event, but with two Cambridge colleges in the Cuppers top four, this year could see a close competition.

Tuesday 6th December, 10.50pm

The prospect of a gourmet meat fondue with the finest French wine after a long day’s skiing tempted over 500 people to the ‘Mountain Meal’ last night. After a queue outside that was more of an endurance test than a red run, bottles of basic wine started flowing and things began to warm up. By 8pm, however, the food still hadn’t arrived for most of the exhausted, belly-rumbling diners.

A few resourceful students attempted to cook the raw meat by dangling their wooden skewers over the naked flame. The flavour was apparently “gay.” Despite a painfully slow service, the £30 meal finally arrived. Having said that, the ‘Mountain Meal’ should come with a skull and crossbones stamped on it – and not only because everyone had a dangerously good time. An exploding trangia left a girl fearing for her eyebrows and spitting oil got an Oxford boy right in the eye – a few death traps challenging even for those that handle the slopes with ease.

Diners get stuck in at the Moutain Meal

But revellers lapped up the steak and chips, particularly an enlivened elf, whose bells added a Christmas jingle. Pudding came in the form of music blasted by a French DJ loud enough to bring on an avalanche. After the ski-booted dancing the merry lot embarked on the torchlit descent whose Olympian flames studded the moonlit Alps. Those too merry were zoomed down on skidoos. Meanwhile, one particular Oxford couple snuck off for a quick canoodle in the snow to live up to the aprés-sex tradition.

Tomorrow Marcus Brigstocke will headline the Comedy Night – a new addition to the Varsity experience. Keep reading to find out if he’ll make us chuckle.

Monday 5th December, 9.10pm

For some, this year’s Varsity trip didn’t get off to the best of starts. Several coaches made a bizarre detour to Luxembourg, as the company wanted to avoid toll roads and bag cheaper fuel. Not only did this add a good three hours to the journey, it meant that the coaches in question didn’t have time for the traditional hypermarket stop to stock up on cheap vin and a week’s worth of pasta.

But any disgruntlement was swept away when things kicked off on Sunday. Everyone’s favourite awkward-dad DJ Tim Westwood opened VarCity to an excited crowd. Despite some questionable crowd banter, including classics such as: “This is for all my North Face wearers,” and: “Ladies, put your hands up if you’ve got a clean pussy,” his set went down well. The free burgers, t-shirts and vin chaud that were on offer can’t have hurt either.

The committee also pulled out all the stops when it came to the opening night party. They turned the school-disco-esque Sports Hall into Alice’s very own Wonderland: giant white rabbits, fairy lights and 6ft mushrooms greeted drunken revellers as they entered. Party-goers matched the committee’s efforts when it came to their costumes. As well as the ubiquitous onesies and face-paint, one student was even spotted sporting an oversized bear’s head.

The only draw back was the queue for the cloakroom, with most waiting a good half hour to get their things at the end of the night. This is always a problem on Varsity, but a crowd of 3,200 certainly didn’t help. Once we finally got inside, DJ Fresh played a storming set full of familiar classics that sent the crowd into a huge, sweaty moshpit.

As we all crawled out of bed this morning with splitting headaches and ringing ears, we were greeted by the one thing that had been missing until now: snow. With a heavy fall overnight and a steady stream all today, more and more runs are being opened up and Val Thorens now looks like a proper ski resort. It’s a shame that one particular Johnian grad is still suffering the effects of a ‘helping hand’ from a girl wearing big rings. Our spies tell us that it’ll be a while until he walks again, let alone skis…

The infamous ‘Mountain Meal’ is tonight, and after last year’s al fresco romp witnessed by diners, who knows what debauchery guests will get up to this year.

Keep reading The Tab to find out…