Royal Navy Snowsports Festival 2023 - HMS Pegasus Team

Storyline: Royal Naval Reserve

An intrepid selection of skiers and snowboarders from HMS Pegasus took to the French Alps for a week for the rebranded Royal Navy Snowsport Festival at Les Deux Alpes.

The aim of the festival is to introduce beginners to the sport of Alpine skiing and snowboarding and to progress them to an advanced level through alpine racing and snowboard competition. This facilitates not only the selection of RN Alpine ski and snowboard teams, but also develops a pool of alpine instructors, coaches, officials and staff to facilitate, administer and deliver future Festivals.

Depending on your level of experience you can either expect a week of lessons followed by a race at the end, or for the more advanced skiers there’s a week of race training followed by a selection of races in different disciplines.

This year the HMS Pegasus team were concentrating on increasing their skills with Lt Cdr Craig Trott, Lt Cdr Tilda Woodard, Lt Cdr James Priest, WO1 Tony Staples and CPO Lee Grunwell joining the upper intermediate skiers and Lt Cdr Stuart Pike and Lt Cdr Lee Evans joining the upper Intermediate snowboarders.

Despite the recent warmer months in Europe there was plenty of snow; in fact, the festival coincided with near blizzard conditions for the first few days with lots of fresh snow, which made skiing conditions challenging.

This was followed by a few clear but very cold days. Temperatures plummeted to below -20°C on the peaks with a wind chill of between -25 to -30°C!