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23 February 2016

CCF Cross Country Ski Expedition 2016

Twenty seven Fourth Form and three Fifth Form cadets spent their half term in Hovden, Norway, close to the Hardangervidda Plateau (of Telemark Heroes’ fame) learning how to cross-country ski and survive in the Arctic. None had cross-country skied before and after three days of teaching them the cadets the basics of classical Nordic skiing along with some arctic survival skills including building emergency shelters, snowholes, snow profiling and assessing avalanche risks, they then embarked on a three day expedition into the wild country near Hovden. Carrying three days of food and equipment on their backs and in pulks (sledges drawn behind a skier from the waist) they skied 13 km to their first overnight stop. There they built snowhole shelters, spending a cosy and comfortable night therein, before skiing on to one of the Norwegian ski-touring huts for the second night and then finally onto a road head pick-up on the third day.

For the young Canfordians learning a new skill and surviving such conditions with heavy snow at times and temperatures dropping to -28oC on one occasion, this was a gigantic test of their teamwork, endurance and character. All thrived and completed the trip triumphant having gained immeasurably from the experience.

For more images of the trip, please click on the links:

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Reporting by Lieutenant Colonel Dan Culley

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