Exodus Winter Experts Training Weekend
Exodus' Chloe Knott kicks off her preparation for the Engadine ski marathon in March '11...
A remarkably easy destination to get to, Chamonix is just a hop skip and a jump away from the UK, making it the perfect destination for myself and few of the Exodus team to brush up on our winter sporting skills. Our first day waking up in our cosy chalet brought with it sunny skies, crisp, sparkling snow and the chance to strap on some very thin looking skis and learn the traditional style of cross-country skiing.
The Winter Team try some snowy activities in Chamonix
On the flat terrain it was easy to master the basics, and soon we were able to coast along the tracks and pick up speed. Using our poles to push ourselves along we quickly got into a rhythm and racked up the kilometres. Our guide Oliver said we were the best group he had ever had, although I think this may have been a trait he picked up from Bruce Forsyth rather than it being the truth!
That evening as we tucked into the delicious, alpine speciality – tartiflette, cooked by Oliver’s wife Elaine, we all agreed we had had a great day. The skiing was a fun group activity and we all found it relatively simple to pick up. With spirits high and moods confident we looked forward to the next morning where we would be tackling the more technical cross-country style of Skate Skiing.
Now to say this was harder is an understatement. As the local skiers glided past us making it look graceful and effortless we huffed, puffed and in most cases fell as we tried to grasp the technique. However, slowly but surely, the excellent tuition, advice and tips given by Oliver started to pay off and although I would say that by the end of the day some of us were still lacking in style, we had begun to get the hang of it.
That evening the outdoor hot tub was a welcome sight. Relaxing our aching muscles, sipping a beer and appreciating the starry views across the valley, we all decided that whilst skate was harder to master it was still a lot of fun.
For our final day we tied on some brightly coloured snowshoes and headed high into the dramatic mountain scenery. Crunching through the deep snow we saw tracks left behind from hardy mountain animals including Chamois and Alpine hares and were even lucky enough to see a golden eagle soaring in the skies above.
Happy but exhausted we are now all back in the office ready to put our new found winter knowledge to good use. If you are thinking about joining a winter trip and would like some advice or a question answered, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team.
Chloe Knott, Exodus' Winter Activities Product Manager
Chloe and the team stayed with Oliver and Elaine in the Chalet Savoy – the base for the Chamonix Snowshoe (Trip code: CEC) and the Mont Blanc Winter Activity Week (Trip code: CEB). This trip was part of her training for the Engadine Marathon on 13th March 2011, on Cross-coutry skiing: Engadine (Trip code: CXE).