On 14 December 2012, 50 personnel from RAF Halton boarded the bus to Tignes in the French Alpes.
After a long and arduous 18 hour journey we arrived in the snow covered village, rooms were occupied, bags unpacked, ski equipment collected and everyone was ready for the weeks skiing. Some were about to embark on their first skiing experience and others progress ski qualifications they had already achieved.
The aim of Alpine Adventure was to qualify personnel in either Ski Foundation Level 1 (SF1) or Ski Foundation Level 2 (SF2), with a few skiers carrying out consolidation training in preparation for their Ski Foundation Level 3 (SF3). The group were split into a number of mini group’s dependent upon which qualification they were completing and their skiing ability. The various groups went their separate ways, taking on the challenge of either the green, blue, red or even black runs under the guidance of their ski instructor.
The early part of the week saw heavy snowfall and low visibility, leading to challenging skiing conditions and groups stayed in the Espace de Killy area including the Val d’Isere valley. The various runs allowed for everyone to be challenged, whether it was making it down the bunny hill without falling over or exploring the most challenging runs the region had! A few days into the Expedition and the sun came out, uncovering the beautiful surroundings we found ourselves in. As the skiing conditions improved so did the skiing performances and groups were able to move further afield; exploring all corners of the ski area. Cpl Lizzie ‘I cant crash’ Jaines took the much acclaimed Best Crash award after a high speed collision taking out a number of onlookers in her process. Each day the first ski lift was boarded and the last ski lift brought everyone back to the drop zone where the Apres Ski commenced, discussing the adventures of the day!
The final night saw the eagerly awaited ‘Fancy Dress’ night. There were a number of good costumes however ‘Mr T’ aka John Dowling blew the competition out of the water! ..Drinks flowed, celebrating the successes of the week.
All that was left was the journey home!!! …A broken down bus left us stranded somewhere in France, but the most was made out of a difficult situation and some French hospitality meant everyone was fed and watered. After a choppy ferry crossing we eventually arrived back at RAF Halton just in time to get home for Christmas!
A special thanks to
Cpl John Dowling for organising the Expedition and also to the Ski Instructors who made the week possible:
∙ Sqn Ldr Goodwin
∙ Flt Lt Boden
∙ Fg Off Jenkins
∙ WO Streeter
∙ FS Burnell
∙ FS Stott
∙ FS Martin
∙ Sgt Blackmore