Royal Marines ski deep inside Arctic Circle

Royal Marines trekked deep inside the Arctic Circle – battling the wilds of the high north and sub-zero temperatures as they tested their mettle on skis.

Their trek into the tundra is part of a ski instructor course designed to test the Commandos and their ability to traverse one of the world’s most perilous environments and, if need be, into the sharp end of combat.

The expedition was also an opportunity to focus on dealing with avalanche search and rescue on top of time navigating on skis.

This was all part of the Intermediate Ski Instructor course around the Porsangermoen training centre, which is home of the Garrison of Porsanger, the world’s most northernmost military garrison.

On this ten-day course, the Royal Marines from 30 Commando IX Group are put through their paces on their own cross-country skiing ability but also their capacity to teach these vital skills to fellow Green Berets.

The course is progressive and enjoyable and delivers a high calibre ski instructor, with a great deal of experience to cascade down to both instructors and novices.

Sergeant Matt Hoey Royal Marines

Sergeant Matt Hoey said: “During the first phase, students are assessed on their ability to conduct and teach cross-country ski techniques, route selection and ski maintenance, such as waxing and edging.

“The middle phase is held at a downhill ski resort, where emphasis is on the progression of an individuals’ personal ski ability. The standard required is high and weather conditions, -13C is a general temperature, make delivery demanding.”

For the final phase of the course, the group return to Posrangmoen where they focus on complex subjects such as avalanche search and rescue.

During this time they utilise the range huts – small structures for refuge deep in the wilderness – to store kit and keep their equipment light.

Sgt Hoey added: “The course is progressive and enjoyable and delivers a high calibre ski instructor, with a great deal of experience to cascade down to both instructors and novices.”

The students need to have completed the Basic Ski Instructor course and delivered ski training to be eligible for the intermediate course.

Royal Marines are currently being deployed to the Arctic to undergo their winter training exercises. This includes working alongside NATO allies and partners in the region to test their ability to operate in the one of the world’s harshest climates.