The aim of Ex Snow Cub 6 was to create a challenging and arduous expedition on the Mountainous areas covering the Germany and Austrian border, The mandatory lectures on weather and winter mountain hazards were put into practice as the ski runs were made even more challenging due to fresh falls of snow overnight every 24 hours , and the occasional blizzard conditions due to heavy snow fall unexpectedly that could occur at any time. Cadets needed to put all of their training into practice and learn how to work and look after each other as part of a cohesive team.
The aim of the Exercise was to take Army Cadets to Bavaria for a progressive Adventure Training programme using the medium of Alpine skiing. It was planned to the UKCC Snow Sports Snow Life Awards Course. 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.
A total of 9 Instructors and 32 Cadets attended.
Sat 02 March
Coach journey and flights from the UK to Germany. Participants were picked up at Shropshire ACF HQ. All participants arrived in time. We travelled over night to Stanstead airport where we took an early morning flight to Memmingen, Germany. The flight arrived at 0935hrs and we collected the 4 x 7 seater cars , 1 x 9 seater mini bus, 1 x transit van and 1 x Seat to Sonthofen. All participants were unloaded along with personal kit. At 1600hrs 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 of the exercise were then allowed some time to unpack and settle in with briefings.
Sun 03 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.
Mon 04 March
The second days skiing was again at Bolsterlang. 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 avalanche. The remaining SF1 lectures were covered by discussion dispersed throughout the week.
Tue 06 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 today and put in to 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 advance group skied on red runs today and the beginners’ progress on to a long gentle blue run. A massive achievement as they had only learnt to ski 24 hours before.
Wed 07 March
The fourth day we skied at Baldershchwang as this still remained the best resort for good snow. 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.
Thu 08 March
In the afternoon we took the cadets in to Sontofen where they had the opportunity to experience the German retail outlets and local cuisine. 1800hrs the group left the lodge for night skiing at Oberjoch. A fantastic evening skiing under flood lit slopes with a chance for the Cadets to enjoy some supervised free ski with their friends. Return to lodge by 2215hrs 15 mins Naffi and then bedded down after a long day.
Fri 09 March
This was the last day of the course and we skied at the Walmandingerhorn.
The cadets completed the final assessment today and had the opportunity to ski 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 all intact, and ski passes returned to the Alpine training centre. On returning to the accommodation we cleaned the dormitories and common areas of the lodge and then packed the mini buses as we had an early start of 0530hrs the next morning.
Sat 10 March
After early wakeup call, we drove to Menningen Airport. The vehicles were refuelled and left at the airport. The coach was waiting for us at Stanstead and brought us back to Shropshire. We arrived back at HQ at 1415hrs where the parents were waiting for the Cadets.
The expedition provided Shropshire ACF with a now established annual expedition overseas to Bavaria giving all of our cadets the opportunity to experience and partake in, showing the cadets the scope of varied opportunities available to them in addition to the APC activities that are undertaken nationally.
“We just wanted to thank you so much for supporting our son on the cadet skiing trip to Bavaria. It was a great opportunity for him to have as he has never been skiing before and he absolutely loved it. He has made some great new friends and learnt some great new skills. The pictures that were posted of the trip were superb. We are so pleased he joined the army cadets it has given him some great opportunities. Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved.”
A special thanks to The Ulysses Trust for the fantastic contribution received from them. An additional thanks must be given to Col Thewles of the Shrewsbury and Shropshire leagues for their generous contribution to the course. Without the above the trip would have cost considerably more for each cadet.