Cadet Luc Manning recently returned from a week long Nordic Skiing expedition with the ACO in Bavaria Germany.
After arriving and being accommodated with cadets from all over the UK we were kitted out with our skiing equipment and split into groups depending on our skiing ability and experience. My groups first session was Sunday morning, where we were taught basic skills, such as stopping using the plough, where you put your ski’s into a V shape, and push down on your heels, whilst bending your knees in, we also played football and rugby, this helped us get used to the ski’s. After this we went swimming with the region to help stretch off and relax the muscles. The pool had an ice pool, which was -3 degrees Celsius, a sauna, a hot pool and a normal swimming pool.
For the rest of the week we started skiing at 10am and we practiced several techniques such as the snow plough turn, in which you first make a plough, and then lean on one leg, the opposite in which you want to turn. We then went onto the tracks, where we learned diagonal skiing, where you push with one leg and the opposite pole. We had lunch, at around 12pm-1pm, then in the afternoon, we first went along the short purple/pink tour, to practice our skills again, after going around that tour a couple of times, we went onto the yellow tour which was slightly longer than the purple/pink tour. After skiing I went swimming and then had dinner.
On the Thursday we took the ski tour up to the top of mount Arber, right the way up to the top, this took around 6 hours to get there and back, it was made longer and harder by the fact that it had snowed that night, so the snow was really deep. When we got to the top of mount Arber, there was an old watch tower, which was used to observe the Russians during the cold war and WW. On the Friday we did our Langlauf award, in which you achieve a bronze, silver or gold, just like on the duke of Edinburgh award . We then had an inter-region race, in which each region chose their fastest skiers to compete against the other regions, Scotland and northern island region won this. After this we then had dinner and the presentation of the awards we had achieved throughout the course of the week, in which everyone got their Bronze, including myself, some got silver and two got Gold, We were also presented with the awards from the time trail event, in which there was slowest and fastest in each group, I got slowest in my group but i was still proud of my achievement as we don’t get much snow in Nottingham where I live.
I really enjoyed the trip, as I got to meet new people and also I got to have lots of fun learning a new sport in which I had never done. I hope that I am able to go on the trip again next year and would highly recommend it to any one.
Cdt Luc Manning
2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn