Over the February holiday, sixty-two pupils, along with nine British Ski instructors, took part in the annual Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Alpine Ski Development Camp in the Swiss Alps. 

This unique camp has been running for fourteen years and establishes its own ski school in the Swiss resort of Siviez in the centre of the Four Valleys region. The camp caters for all levels of skier, from the complete beginner through to the trainee instructor.

As a development camp (and therefore much more than just a ski trip or holiday), instruction includes several aspects not normally provided on standard school ski trips, including video analysis of technique. Skiing in such an extensive ski area also allows plenty of development of the four ‘extension strands’ – powder / variable terrain skiing on official mountain tours, high speed, steep slope and bumps skiing, including skiing one of the world’s top ten bumps runs, Mont Fort. Completion of the camp leads to the award of Snowlife Awards, recognised within the UK snow sports industry.

The cadets enjoyed up to seven and a half hours of daily tuition each day, and also had the opportunity to talk things through with their instructors in the evenings, benefiting from video analysis debriefs and support. Every year at least one or two cadets have gone on successfully to complete instructor training on gap year and modular-based courses. Several are already booked to instruct on future camps.

In the evenings the skiers visited Sion for tenpin bowling and also visited the thermal baths. The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the torchlight descent on skis into Siviez, a breath-taking conclusion to a memorable week.