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Canford School CCF Trip to Norway

Over half term, twenty cadets from Canford School CCF journeyed to the Hardangervidda Plateau in Norway near Hovden to learn to cross-country ski and develop their arctic survival skills before embarking upon a three day expedition with one night in a snow-hole and a second night in one of the Norwegian ski-touring huts.

The first three days brought numerous thrills and spills trying to learn to wax the skis, apply skins, drive and glide and so on, but by the end of day three all the cadets were fully prepared to head off into the mountains. Two groups set forth towards Tjornbrotsbu and Berdalsbu huts and began digging furiously as the weather closed in. Half of the party successfully entombed themselves in a cosy snowhole whilst the remainder were thwarted and had to spend the night in the hut. Sadly the next day saw a catastrophic decline in the weather conditions confining the party to the huts apart from short forays to practice search and rescue missions under controlled scenarios searching for lost equipment and handling first aid cases. The weather certainly challenged one and all and gave the cadets a clear insight into the challenges faced by mountain rescue teams. During the second night whilst still confined to the huts the weather improved enabling he skiers to enjoy a spectacular ski back out to civilisation and a welcome bowl of soup and importantly a warm dry bed.

A great deal was learnt by each cadet, not only about themselves but also each other as any comfort zones were left far behind in such an alien and potentially hostile environment: but to a man, the trip was voted a resounding success, great fun and a fantastically worthwhile venture.

Reporting by Dan Culley

Published: February 28 2018

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