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Last Updated: Friday February 10 2006 08:24 GMT

I learned to ski in the mountains

Sam learnt to ski in the French mountains

Press Packer Sam discovered he was a natural skier while on holiday in the French mountains.

He perfected his skills in Tignes, a holiday resort in the French Alps which is so cold you can even ski there in the summer!

"On the first morning of my holiday, I joined the class for complete beginner skiers, but during the lesson, I got moved up to the next group.

I think I picked up skiing quite quickly because I also do skate-boarding, water skiing, jet skiing and surf-boarding.

In the next class, things were a bit harder but I could still ski quite well.

The easiest thing to learn was going fast downhill.

Kicking up powder

It was a bit scary at first but I also found it easy to stop, either by doing a snow plough, which is turning your skis into a v-shape, or by doing a parallel stop. This is where you skid to a halt, kicking up lots of powder.

The hardest thing to learn was side-slipping down the hill.

At first I fell over quite a bit and did a few rolls down the hill but by the end of the week I was falling a lot less.

I worked very hard and it was tiring but loads of fun.

Green to black

The ski slopes are graded according to how difficult they are. Green ones are the easiest and then blue ones. Red ones are a bit harder and black ones are the most difficult.

I am now confident skiing down blue runs and I hope to progress to red and black.

I quite fancy having a go at snow-boarding but it looks really hard, so I think I'll stick to skiing for the time being.

Double certificate

At the end of the week I was presented with two certificates.

The first was for my skiing. The second was for being the "best apprentice chalet assistant." This is because I was always helping the chefs in the chalet where we were staying.

Each morning, I helped them clear up and set the table, which is not something I do that often at home!

One day, I'd quite like to run my own chalet. I'd have a hot tub in each bedroom and a swimming pool.

Sam with his two sisters, Olivia, 7, and Ashley, 3.
Sam with his two sisters, Olivia, 7, and Ashley, 3.
Snow Club

As well as skiing I went to a children's activity club.

I used cardboard and paper to build a shell for a remote control car that could compete in the TV programme Robot Wars.

I called it a Booger Basher because it had spikes on the end and could bash other cars out of the way.

I also built a toboggan run in the snow and slid down it on my bum board. It was really difficult to steer and there is nowhere to put your feet, like on a sledge.

'Too cheesy!'

I really enjoyed my holiday in France but I wasn't too keen on all the cheese on the menu in the restaurants.

I ate a four-cheese pizza which was made with different French cheeses but it was bit too cheesy for my liking!

The biggest mountain

The best bit about the holiday was skiing down a long blue run. It was the biggest mountain I had ever seen and it took a long time to get to the bottom.

When I get home, I will really miss the snow and the mountains but I will watch the weather report for Tignes and the French Alps."

Sam, 9, Telford


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