The Gregg School

Swiss Alpine Adventures

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 5th of March 2014

Over the February holiday, a group of 62 Oundle School pupils along with 10 British Ski instructors (4 of whom were former pupils) took part in the annual Oundle School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Alpine Ski Development Camp in the Swiss Alps.

This unique camp has been running for twelve 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 giant slalom gate training and where possible, video analysis. Skiing in such an extensive ski area also allows plenty of development of the 4 '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.
Trip leader, Cris Symes commented, 'Running our own Ski School enables much more effective staff management and operational flexibility. It also offers a better deal for cadets, who benefit from up to 7.5 hours of daily tuition each day, as opposed to a typical commercial package of four hours. Cadets can also talk things through with their instructors in the evenings, benefiting, for example, from video analysis debriefs and support. We are proud of the fact that each year at least one or two cadets have gone on to successfully complete instructor training on gap year and modular-based courses. Several are already booked to instruct on future camps and this serves as further inspiration to cadets being taught. The development camp has thus provided a mechanism for getting former pupils back to work with current pupils tapping into talent which might otherwise be lost and also serving as a link between past and present pupils.'

The race day, of Giant Slalom character, comprising some 20 gates on the Greppon Blanc area above Siviez in the heart of the 4-Valleys ski region was won in a time of 39.23 seconds by Oli Baseley and Hermione Coke in 44.36 seconds.

Head of Oundle's CCF, Andrew Mansergh commented, 'Over the week all the cadets received outstanding instruction and were able to experience the wonderful opportunities provided by one of the finest skiing areas in the world. Conditions throughout the trip were fantastic and on the second day we were treated to a fresh dump of powder on one of the Alps' finest runs, Mont Fort.'

In the evenings the skiers visited Sion for tenpin bowling and also visited the thermal baths.

Andrew added, 'The evening highlight of the week was the torchlight descent on skis into Siviez, which was a breathtaking conclusion to a memorable week.'
Anyone who has at least a BASI Level 2 or equivalent alpine instructing licence, and is keen to come and instruct for a week in mid-February, do make contact with Andrew Mansergh, CCF Contingent Commander, by emailing
Swiss Alpine Adventures - Photo 1
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Hazelwood School