another [unofficial] design engineering


tignes easter 2020

Design Engineering goes skiing - 21st-28th March

This year we go to Tignes, France for the 3rd annual ski trip. Partnered with the UCPA, this is the best value university ski trip, hands down. Meet new people in the department and avoid crippling Christmas deadlines by skiing with DesEng this Easter.

Student package price £483 usual price £755

We have negotiated a group deal with our partner UCPA, including:

  • 6-day lift pass - full-Val d'Isere Valley access included
  • and 7 nights accommodation
  • and equipment hire
  • and 12 hours of lessons - expert guiding for experienced skiiers/boarders
  • and 3 meals a day - all you can eat buffet, last trip the food received rave reviews!

You choose travel & insurance, final price around £600

Coach travel option

483 package + 99 coach + 13 insurance ≈ £595

Air travel option

483 package + 70 transfer + 75 flights + 13 insurance ≈ £640

We do no bullshit pricing. No hidden extras - just bring beer money

For ALL ability levels: the perfect way to learn to ski

I am fed up of hearing "but I don't know how to ski!". Now is your chance to learn: over 50% were beginners last year!

Val Thorens 2018

40% 24
Beginners Skiiers

In March 2018 Design Engineering skied Val Thorens - our first annual ski trip. What started as a trip with friends ended up as a 24 person family, starting a new tradition.

Les Deuxs Alpes 2019

50% 64
Beginners Skiiers

2019 was a yoghurt-fueled monster. 64 of us descended on Les Deuxs Alpes, sampling UCPAs plentiful free food. While a big group - many antics were had - it still felt small with everyone getting to know everyone.

This year...

Spaces only

Tickets will sell out...


Design Engineering Trip

Easter holidays

5 weeks
Light on work

Imperial's most sociable course

Get to know other year groups

No hidden fees

£483. You sort travel and insurance

Equipment hire included

Lessons included for beginners

Guides included for higher levels

3 meals a day included

Snowsports Society Trip

Christmas holidays

3 weeks minus 1 for festivities
Crushing deadlines and revision

All courses

You may be forced to talk to non DesEng

Not as cheap as it looks

More extras than Ryanair

Equipment hire not included

Lessons not included

Guides not included

Meals not included

Staying at home

No holiday

Revise guilt-free

Crippling fomo

Enjoy snaps from the comfort of home


Sleep easy knowing your 60K debt is £600 less

Like-for-like up-front cost works out similar, but 3 all-you-can-eat meals included with DesEng


“UCPA is a non-profit French organization that makes outdoor sports holidays available for young people. Formed in 1965, it is a union of government bodies, sports federations and youth associations” - basically not slimy money-grabbers!

“Action Outdoors is the UK partner of UCPA - making ski, snowboard and action holidays in France available in the UK”.

From the Action Outdoors website:

Tignes is part of the vast Espace Killy ski area which offers over 300km of piste and some of the most extensive and varied off piste in the Alps. Tignes is one of the most snow sure resorts in the Alps with a resort altitude of 2100m and a glacier offering 1000 vertical metres of skiing for 10 months of the year. While not quite as lively as the neighboring Val d'Isere Tignes is still an excellent resort with a good nightlife and a popular destination with more serious skiers.

The UCPA centre is located near the heart of Val Claret, the highest of the Tignes villages. Val Claret is an excellent location with superb lift and shop access. There is a drag lift just 50m from the centre which takes you up to the main lifts and when snow cover is good you can ski pretty much into the centre bar. The centre is comprised of two traditional chalets which can house a total of 320 people in rooms of four. There is a great atmosphere at the centre and it comes with all the usual UCPA services such as a bar, TV room and nightly entertainment.

We have left the travel booking open - pick what suits you. Approximate total prices are below.
For shared transfers please ensure you arrive into Geneva airport by 20.00 at the latest and do not fly out of Geneva airport until 13.30 at the earliest. For the best start to your holiday plan to arrive in Geneva by 14.00 so you get to the centre in time for dinner.

Coach travel option - see

483 package + 99 coach + 13 insurance ≈ £595

Air travel option

483 package + 70 transfer + 75 flights + 13 insurance ≈ £640

From the Action Outdoors website:

Tignes UCPA is in Tignes Val Claret, situated at the foot of the Grande Motte Glacier, at an altitude of 2,100m. Val Claret is the ideal location in Tignes with excellent access to the slopes and the main strip of shops and bars. The UCPA centre consists of two large traditional chalets close to the village centre. There is a drag lift just 50m away which takes you to the main lift station and if the snow cover is good you can ski almost right to the centre. Free wifi is available within the centre.

Tignes UCPA was newly refurbished for winter 16/17.

Multishare rooms sleep 4 people with wash basins in the rooms and a shared shower & toilet between each two rooms. There's lots of storage space and individual hanging lockers. Please note, twin rooms are not available for student tickets.

Shortly before the trip we will organise rooms to put friends together wherever possible. We have a track record of sorting great combinations, with no complaints over 2 years!

From the Action Outdoors website:

“The food is served buffet style each day. Breakfast is yogurts, cereals, fruit juice, coffee and bread - don't be surprised to see that the coffee, tea or hot chocolate is taken French style - a soup bowl! Typically lunch is a DIY picnic made up at breakfast time (great choice of breads, meats, cheeses, pasta, salad, fruit, sweets etc). The picnic lunch means maximum time on the mountains without spending a fortune on expensive mountain side restaurants. If the weather is bad or your group wants an easier day, then you can also return to the centre for a hot lunch (pastas, schnitzels, steaks and chips plus unlimited ice cream).

Dinner is a 4 course buffet - typically a salad bar style starter, choice of 3 or 4 main courses - most often including fish, cheese selection, fruit, dessert and ice-cream freezer. Any special dietary requirements should be made known to reception staff at check-in. Generally vegetarians will find a wide enough choice within the buffet.”

From the Action Outdoors website:

“Half Time Instruction includes 12 hours coaching over 5 days from Monday to Friday. Complete beginners also gain an extra half-day instruction on Sunday to introduce the basic techniques. There is normally a minimum of 5 different level groups ensuring that everyone in your group is at a similar level. Each group has a mix of morning and afternoon sessions.

On registration you will be provisionally be allocated a space in a group of your level. During the first session the groups will be harmonized to make sure everyone is in the correct group for their level.

Normally there are 5 levels:

Beginner – Total beginners and those with less than 1 week experience. Improver - 1-3 weeks experience, can ski/board green and most blue pistes confidently. Intermediate – Can ski/board blue and most red runs confidently. Advanced – skis/board all pistes very confidently, however may struggle with steep or bumpy slopes during challenging snow conditions. Spends time in the side country perfecting off piste technique. Expert – Can ski/board the whole mountain with excellent technique, control and style, can alter technique depending on conditions and terrain. Comfortable off piste exploring the side country opportunities.

All UCPA instructors are qualified to teach the sport legally in France. They are qualified through the ‘French system’ which is generally considered the most demanding system, making the instructors some of the most qualified in the world. The instructors are all fully qualified or are in the process of completing their final stages of the qualification (but are suitably qualified to teach the group they are allocated). The level of English spoken can vary between instructors but they all speak enough English to be able to teach the activity.”

From the Action Outdoors website:

The on-site UCPA ski store has a great selection of skis and snowboards to suit all levels. The makes and models available do vary with Rossignol (skis) and APO (boards) being the most common. Depending on whether you pick to ski or snowboard you will be provided with the kit to suit your level and course. UCPA appreciate that each manufacturer offers a slightly different boot fit and that everyone’s feet are different. Therefore the ski store has a large range available enabling you to find a pair that will be comfy for the type of skiing/boarding you will be doing. Half of the ski and snowboard equipment is replaced each year meaning that everything is up to date and in good working order. There is a ski repair shop on site enabling any problems to be dealt with immediately. The ski store is open daily.

Personal clothing is not provided, you should bring your own outer clothing, gloves and goggles.

The UCPA system is that ski/board hire is included, whether you like it or not. This is great for beginners as there’s no sneaky extras, and advanced skiers/boarders can make the most of free (included) guides and no large baggage air fees.

No! There will be people of all abilities. Last year there were 50% beginners.

Yes - the more the merrier. However we warn it will be overwhelmingly DesEng for them.

We explored going through DesSoc and the Union but the union says "The prime activity while ‘on tour’ must be the club activity": I.e. Designing and Engineering.

Following the above, the organisation of this trip is in no ways affiliated to DesSoc, the Dyson School of Design Engineering or the Imperial College Union. For official purposes it is a holiday organised between friends.

Passport Ski jacket Lip balm
Plane tickets Salopettes/ski trousers Phone charger
Euros (Don't change in the airport) Ski gloves Camera and charger
EHIC (if you have one) Thin inner gloves Europe plug adaptors
Towel (not provided) Thermal bottoms Headphones
Journey drinks 2 or 3 pairs of ski/board socks Books
Journey snacks Jeans/long trousers Skiing snacks
Fancy dress T-shirts/ Make up
Insurance details Jumper/hoody Medication
Other ID Underwear Painkillers
Day rucksack Joggers Travel sickness shit
Water bottle Slippers (key ingredient) Ear plugs
Hat Scarf Travel pillow
Sunglasses Snow shoes/boots Hair dryer
Goggles (much better than sunglasses) Other shoes Hair straighteners
Neck warmer Pyjamas Cards/games
2x thermal tops Toiletries Boot warmers
2x fleeces Sun cream (yes you'll need it) Hand warmers


Any questions? Please get in touch at: