Between 27-31 January 2020 AWL cadets took part in a military skitouring camp in the Czech Republic, near Špindlerův Mlýn, organized by the Charles University in Prague.

The training was aimed at learning how to move and survive in the mountains in winter using skitouring skis, and how to become familiar with basic techniques of evacuation of people and moving in terrain with avalanche danger. 10 cadets from the AWL and 8 cadets from the Charles University participated in the course, for whom the above-mentioned course is an educational requirement.

On the first day, after arriving at the Bradlerowa Bouda hostel and after a briefing the soldiers set off for a short march to Mount Wielki Szyszak to test their ski-tour and skiing skills. It was also the time to check and personalise the equipment. After dinner there was a lecture on the equipment used, skitouring, and the dangers of winter in the mountains.

On the next day, the cadets took part in activities aimed at improving their skiing skills on designated ski runs and learned rescue techniques such as descending with a tired skier, descending with an injured person using the UT-2000 stretcher in a 2-person team, as well as using ropes in a team of 8. In addition to individual exercises aimed at improving the skiing technique, the cadets have also learned how to ski in a group during daytime as well as at night. The second day of the training ended with the climb to the place of stay and a lecture on survival.

On the third day of training, the cadets marched for the entire day, during which they gained knowledge on how to command in the mountains. The cadets also had a chance to use the rescue techniques learned the day before. The day ended with the organization of accommodation and spending the night in the field.

The next day the cadets continued the march, practicing their map and compass reading skills as well as their commanding skills in a mountainous area using the route they had previously planned. During the afternoon classes, cadets learned how to study the snow cover and the way it affects the probability of an avalanche. The last element of the course was training during which each soldier took part in a simulation designed to reflect the search for a person buried in snow.

On the same day, after dinner the official ending of the course and a feedback session took place. "For us, it was not only an unforgettable adventure and a chance to acquire skills related to moving in the mountains, but also a great deal of experience gained from qualified instructors, which we will now be able to pass on to our younger colleagues," sums up Sergeant Cadet Kamil Tyszka.

text: Sergeant Cadet Rafał Kulba

photos: Sergeant Cadet Sebastian Link, Sergeant Cadet Kamil Tyszka

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