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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



15 March 2018

A Royal Navy Reservist recently attended a winter training course that provided the opportunity to further her ambitions to be a skiing instructor. 

Able Seaman Elizabeth Buckingham spent 5 days training in the Alps improving her skiing skills and undertaking training that will eventually allow her to be a ski instructor.  The aim was for her to gain the experience of skiing in more challenging slopes alongside learning the basic skills and requirements that will allow her to teach beginners on the slopes.   

The Ski Foundation 2 course that took place consists mostly of off-piste downhill skiing, which Able Seaman Buckingham says ‘improved my technique when going back to skiing on-piste.’ In groups of 6 with other military personnel, they received practical training on how to use avalanche probes and carried out a search and rescue exercise with shovels. Individuals were introduced to ski touring for a day using skins and special touring bindings on their skis. The course also entailed lectures in the evenings on various relevant topics.  These included why Adventure Training is important for military personnel in teaching subjects such as how to judge the risk of avalanche, taking various factors such as weather into consideration and to evaluate whether certain terrain is safe to ski.

On returning from the excitement on the slopes Able Seaman Buckingham said, “I would recommend the Joint Service Mountain Training Centre (JSMTC) ski courses to anyone from complete beginner to an advanced skier. It challenges you in a different and exciting way, which develops your leadership and teamwork skills by pushing you out of your comfort zone whilst being exposed to an extreme climate.”