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Aiglon’s 2018 Winter Olympic Ski Mountaineering hopefuls!

It’s common knowledge that every Aiglon student has to go ski touring (skinning) in the winter but how many people realise that there are alumni and staff out there still doing it to a very high level, all in the name of fun?!

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Back in the middle of February, Gabriel Lees (’09) and Mateusz Burgunder (’11) along with Mr Ligertwood and former staff Nina Silitch (S’06) took part in the World Ski Mountaineering Championships in Pelvoux, France. Against the best athletes in the world, they all performed well and had to cope with temperatures of -19oC and almost half a metre of fresh snow on the second day!

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All the races were quite different. One day you would be racing for over three hours and ascending over 2500m, and then the next day would be a frantic sprint lasting little more than three minutes. To put things into perspective, on an Aiglon skinning expedition students generally walk 200 - 300m uphill, taking 1-2 hours, including a stop for lunch.

Competitive ski mountaineering is still very much a niche sport at Aiglon but it is becoming increasingly popular with younger students becoming involved. This winter, Mr Ligertwood has been taking students out after the lifts have closed for a pleasant ‘walk’ up to Bretaye or to the top of the Grand Chamossaire, followed by a ski down in the dark.

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For some of these students and alumni there is the real possibility of taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics, when the sport is expected to be included for the first time. There is a great deal of hard work to be done between then and now so watch this space!

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Special thanks to Mr and Mrs Burgunder and Marcel Burgunder (Aiglon student) who attended the World Championships and were of great support to all the Aiglon athletes.

Ivor Ligertwood
English Teacher

Further information is available from Mr Ligertwood at: il@aiglon.ch
World Ski Mountaineering Championships in Pelvoux, France
The International Ski Mountaineering Federation

Aiglon College |  Avenue Centrale |  1885 Chesières |  Switzerland |  Tel: +41 (0)24 496 6161  | Fax: +41 (0)24 496 6162  |  Email: info@aiglon.ch