Wondering what The Arc Skier Development Program is all about? You can trawl the website, but nothing is more honest than hearing from people who have “been there done that”. So, to help you decide whether you should join The Arc Livigno 2020 for a family ski trip of a lifetime, we asked participants of the 2019 ski program Simon and Olivia Clifford all about it.
Here’s what Simon had to say:
So, Simon, why did you choose The Arc Skier Development Program, Livigno?
We really wanted to ski in Italy and to experience something quite different. Livigno, being high in altitude looked like it got plenty of snow and we felt confident that Jono Brauer and Team Arc would deliver a great ski program and experience for my daughter Olivia. When I saw that the ski program also catered for the parents with day trips and extra experiences, that was the clincher.
What did you most like about The Arc?
Seeing Olivia have so much fun, while at the same time working hard and challenging herself. The group of kids were fantastic, and the care shown by The Arc’s team was second to none.
I also liked the other activities organised……. the day trip to Bormio was special and Sunrise Skiing with brekkie on the hill had us all buzzing to name just two. Caroline, Milly & Pippo were fantastic hosts who were always keen to lend a hand.
Did you see improvement in Olivia’s skiing?
Yes, her technique improved immensely. Liv couldn’t wait to get out the door each morning to capitalise on what she’d learned the day before.
How do you rate the coaching team at The Arc?
10 out of 10. I couldn’t have asked for more as far as coaching, care factor, empathy, understanding and fun. Olivia got a great all-round experience which benefited her skiing tenfold. Olivia didn’t want to leave, and I put a lot of that down to The Arc’s team and program.
What did you hear Olivia telling her friends and family when she got home?
She told me she didn’t want to leave, and a fortnight after our return she was wishing she could be back in Livigno……I just know she will remember this trip for the rest of her life.
Being your first trip to Livigno, how easy (or difficult) was it to get there?
No issue really. It had been awhile since I’d been to Europe, so was really looking forward to Italy and all it has to offer. We spent a few days in Milan on the way to Livigno and caught the train from Milan through the mountains and around Lake Como – it was fantastic and well worth the journey.
What were your thoughts on Livigno as a ski resort as a whole?
Livigno has everything…. beauty, culture, snow, food and endless activities including ice skating, the ‘Aqua Grande’ aquatic centre, day spas, porn-bobbing (Italian term for tobogganing), fat bikes, cross-country skiing, shopping, restaurants……
How about Livigno as far as training opportunities go?
It’s an exceptional training resort. I have never seen a ski area where you can loop gates all day long without having to wait in a lift queue…. it’s just there, all set up and ready to go. On top of that, there’s such variety in all disciplines – awesome terrain parks, massive ski cross courses and so much open space.
Where did you stay, and would you recommend it?
Hotel Bondi B&B. Family owned B&B, which was lovely, modern and convenient.
Do you have any advice for families considering The Arc in 2020?
Do it, and experience everything.
Would you go back for round 2 in 2020?
Absolutely! It was a great experience and I’d do it again.
Here’s what Simon’s daughter, 12-yr old Olivia had to say:
So, Olivia, can you sum up your experience at The Arc 2019 in one word?
It’s hard to choose one word but I think “all-round wonderful” is a good way to put it.
What did you like most about The Arc?
I really enjoyed being with other kids who loved skiing as much as I do and being able to improve my skiing with others who are supportive, friendly, and gave me a bit of a challenge.
What was your favourite memory from The Arc?
When I was doing gates over and over, seeing my time improve each time, and seeing who could get down the fastest. Otherwise, I loved going porno-bobbing (that’s what the Italians call tobogganing) with the group, which was a very thrilling and hilarious experience.
Do you think your skiing improved during the Program?
Yes, my skiing definitely improved. I now have more confidence in how I ski, and in my ability to ski not only gates, but moguls, ski cross and powder. I really improved my stance, which then helped me improve skiing all disciplines.
Did you learn a bit of Italian while you were there?
Si! I got to learn a few bits like “Grazie” and “Sei una persona elegante (you are a snazzy person)”.
What did you think of Livigno as a ski resort?
It is a lovely town and even more lovely as a ski resort. There was lots of snow, lots of fun runs, and lots of different ski parks/courses. It was a wonderful place to stay, and I really loved waking up to see a fresh layer of pure white snow everywhere.
What else did you do (other than skiing) in Livigno?
I went ice skating with the other kids; I went ice go-karting which was super cool; I went to Aqua Grande – the swimming centre filled with slides which was lots of fun. I also went dog sledding, and then having the end-of-program ‘Arrivederci’ dinner at the top of the mountain was awesome – especially riding the snow cat back down. My favourite activity was ‘porno-bobbing’ which is speeding down the piste on toboggans!
Did you like skiing in Italy?
Si, si, si! I loved skiing in Italy. The snow was amazing, especially on powder days and the runs were (mostly) well groomed. I also really enjoyed the sunrise skiing – it was so fun to ski on fresh snow without anyone else in sight. Getting first tracks that morning with all The Arc team was something I’ll remember forever.
Did you like the food?
The food was delicious. I ate mainly pizza, pasta, and a few other dishes, and never got sick of them. Lunch with The Arc was amazing, and there were lots of amazing restaurants to choose from for dinner.
What did you tell your friends and family about your experience when you got home?
I told them about all the different activities I did, whether it be the dog sledding or ice skating, and I told them all about how much fun I had with all the other kids. I showed them all the pictures we took on the snow, told them about boot skiing, one ski skiing, and all about the skiing itself: the training, perfect snow and the races which was another favourite part of my trip. But most importantly, I told them all about the best crashes and silly fails that made the experience even more fun and made me want to improve even more.
If your Mum and Dad let you, would you do The Arc again in 2020?
100%. I will do everything I can to convince my parents to let me do The Arc in 2020. I really enjoyed The Arc 2019, and I missed it as soon as it ended. I really want to go back and improve my skiing even more and make more amazing memories.
Do you have any advice for other kids considering The Arc in 2020?
Go for it! Not only will you learn so much and improve your skiing, you’ll have so much fun, make new friends and memories you’ll cherish forever. The Arc was something I enjoyed with all my heart, and I 100% recommend it to any kid that is considering it.
To learn more about The Arc Livigno 2020, see the program specifics here. With enrolments now open, make sure you register early to snap up your spot. Or, contact Team Arc if you have any questions or want to learn more about the program.