The aim of the Exercise was to take Shropshire Army Cadets to Bavaria for a progressive Adventurous Training programme using the medium of Alpine skiing. It was planned to undertake the UKCC Snow Sports Snow Life Awards course as the basis for the weeks training. This was supported with elements of snow/mountain survival lectures including weather and mountain hazards. All students were assessed in line with the 9 Levels available in the Snow Life Awards Scheme and those over the age of 16 the Joint Services Ski Foundation Level 1.
Exercise attendance was 7 Adults (3 Instructors, 3 Welfare, 1 Student) and 28 Cadet Students.
Daily Activity Logs.
Saturday 4 March.
Coach journey and flight from the UK to Germany. Participants were picked up at Shropshire ACF. All participants arrived in time. We travelled over night to Stanstead Airport where we took an early morning flight to Memmingem, Germany. The flight arrived at 1030 hours and we took 4 self-drive buses to Burgberg. All participants were unloaded along with personal kit. At 1430 hours all participants and instructors went in the transport to the ski hire facility. The technicians in the shops fitted out all the students’ kit.
All members were then allowed some time to unpack and settle in, briefings were also given. The opening course address was given by by Capt Nicholls and SMI Norton to give the cadets an insight into the following week. SMI Norton briefed the cadets on house rules and expected behaviour. After the long journey and intensive day, everybody had an early night.
Sunday 5 March
The first day of skiing was at Bolsterlang. The Cadets and CFAV’s were assessed and then split into groups depending upon their ability. All the groups progressed well during the day. The beginners were starting to move and the intermediates were getting their ski legs back.
Monday 6 March
Capt Nicholls and Lt Greenland travelled to the Alpine Ski Centre at Oberstorf to collect Ski Passes that had been kindly allocated to us by Maj Plantings OC of the Centre.
The second days’ skiing was at Ifan. All groups continued to progress although the beginners had more difficulty and the skiers were instructed on how to use a button lift and T-bar Groups were reassessed to allow the stronger skier’s to progress further and more attention was put in the lower group to bring them on.
During the evening a further lecture from the SF1 course was given on avalanches. The remaining SF1 lectures were covered by discussion dispersed throughout the week.
Tuesday 7 March
The third day was again at Balderschwang. The slopes were more challenging due to fresh snow and the introduction of the button lift to the novice group.
The beginners group tackled a longer Blue Run and put into practice all the skills they had learnt the 2 days before.
The weather was a bright sunny warm day so plenty of sun block was applied.
The advanced group skied on Red Runs and the beginners’ progressed on to a long gentle Blue Run; a massive achievement as they had only learnt to ski 24 hours before.
Wednesday 8 March
The fourth day skiing was at Ifan as this still remained the best resort for good snow. The beginners group covered approximately 15km today at the height of 2300m.
The weather was clear with great visibility at the top.
In the evening we took the group to the Wonnemar, the local swimming pool, to try and relax tired muscles. This was a fantastic evening that all the cadets and staff enjoyed at a fantastic facility.
Thursday 9 March
Capt Nicholls made the decision to activate the wet weather plan due to heavy rain at all levels. Lt Greenland delivered further lectures on Ski Waxing and Mountain Awareness.
In the afternoon we took the cadets in to Sontofen where they had the opportunity to experience the German retail outlets and local cuisine.
Unfortunately the Night Skiing was also called off due to weather conditions, so the cadets used the opportunity to enjoy a film night at the Lodge.
Friday 10 March
This was the last day of the course and with skiing at the Balderschwang.
The cadets completed the final assessment today and had a go at some challenging terrain. All of our cadets achieved a level of competence and were awarded the relevant Snow Sport Award. All the equipment was returned to the hire shop intact, and ski passes returned to the Alpine Training Centre.
That evening the party walked to a nearby hostelry and indulged in a game of skittles and dined on Bratwurst mit Pom!
Saturday 11 March
After a late breakfast we cleaned the accommodation and then packed the minibuses and drove to Memmingem Airport. The minibuses were refuelled and handed back to the hire company and we flew back to the UK; all on time. The coach was waiting for us at Stanstead and brought us back to Shropshire.
Once again the Exercise proved to be a great success; those who attended had an absolutely fantastic time learning new skills. Planning for next year’s Exercise Snow Cub 5 has already begun, building on the experience gained from previous years; all of which would not have been possible without the support of the Ulysses Trust. We also take this opportunity to thank the Trust for assisting a couple of our less fortunate cadets with the cost of attending, in particular one female cadet who underwent a course of Radio Active Iodine Treatment in the months prior to flying out, this Exercise was a real look forward for her after her diagnosis and treatment.
“Inspire To Achieve”