On the 16 February, 55 members of Derbyshire Army Cadet Force began the journey from Derby to carry out their annual winter adventurous training programme based in the Allgau region of Bavaria. This started with a team photo in our new exercise polo shirts before boarding the coach for the epic journey to the accommodation in Bad Hindelang near Sonthofen.
The first day began with a visit to the ski hire centre to be fully kitted out with boots, skis, poles and helmets and concluded with a full afternoon of mountain survival training. This included each team building a snow shelter and the whole group receiving a practical introduction to using avalanche transceivers and probes.
The following three days were then spent at Oberjoch carrying out alpine skiing with 6 groups varying from absolute beginner to advanced. The afternoon of the third day was spent carrying out practical training using avalanche transceivers and probes.
The final two days of the expedition found the team back on alpine skis at Ofterswang concluding with an excellent day on the Fellhorn ski area. This opportunity included skiing in powder after snowfall during the nights before.
The team returned to the UK having had an excellent week’s training where they had improved old skills, learned many new ones with everybody proving that they can rise to the challenge when required. All cadets over the age of 16 also achieved the Joint Services Ski Foundation Level 1 Award (SF1) whilst the remainder completed various levels of the Snowlife Awards Scheme. Three Cadets achieved the highest possible Level 9 and were recommended to start instructor training at the earliest opportunity.
The cadets and adult staff of Derbyshire ACF would like to offer their sincere thanks to the Ulysses Trust for their generous grant which supported an extremely worthwhile experience for all members of the exercise.