It’s Summertime and the team is already training for Winter

On Monday evening this week, the 6th July, 18 team members enjoyed a unique evening training experience courtesey of chill factore.

chill factore, Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester, is the UK’s longest real snow indoor ski & snowboarding slope, consisting of three interconnected snow areas. The main slope run (on real snow) is 180m long by 40m wide.

This evening chill factore kindly allowed the team to hold a series of training exercises as a public relations event for both the team and chill factore, making use of the superb snow facilities on hand and the 15m vertical rock climbing wall.

Team member Steve Fletcher pictured after a mock rescue from the climbing wall

With temperatures in the snow area at an average of -4 degreeC, team members were fully equipped in their winter kit, some even wearing crampons.

The evening commenced with a team publicity shot with our vehicles in front of the chill factore main entrance, with members then split into two groups, one making use of the climbing wall, the other group carrying out some casualty care exercises on the main slope (an area of which had been safely fenced off for our exclusive use whilst skiing and snow boarding carried on around us).

Team member Paul Brain has a splint applied to his leg. Working with equipment in cold conditions generally means two things – firstly some components can freeze up or behave differently. Secondly, practice is required to operate the equipment whilst using winter gloves!

Team member Alan “General” James is held still whilst a neck collar is applied

All members then came together for a series of Bell Mountain Rescue stretcher snow sledging exercises again on the main slope.

By this time the ski centre has officially closed and with the slopes now clear of skiiers and boarders it was time for the team to have some snow fun; including our Team Leader Garry Rhodes versus the other 17 members in an even matched(!) snowball fight. To the dismay of the slope management (only joking) before anything could be said, orange poly-bags were brought out along with improvised sledges (MR rucksack covers) and the team downhill-sledging competition started!

The team benefitted greatly from this unique opportunity to train on real snow in below-zero temperatures in a controlled environment, besides having some good old-fashioned fun.

The team would like to extend its sincere thanks to the following persons who made this evening possible:

  • Team callout list member Fred Taylor, who came up with the original idea
  • Jon Paul Medland, Marketing Executive at chill factore, who kindly gave permission for us to take over part of the slope!
  • Ben Schmidt of Schmidt Media Ltd, the official photographer for the evening, who despite only being booked for one hour kindly stayed for over two and a half hours, such was his interest in getting a good picture.
  • Alison Hardy, Senior Account Manager of Staniforth, the PR company who facilitated the evening

Photographs of the team in action are to be circulated by chill factore to the newspapers covering the many diverse towns that our team members live in, so look out for stories about this evening in the following newspapers:

  • The Leigh Reporter
  • Leigh Journal
  • Manchester Evening News
  • Salford Advertiser
  • Salford City Reporter
  • Bolton News
  • Bolton Journal
  • Chorley Guardian

The team hopes to build on this exercise and create further training opportunities with chill factore, bearing in mind that it is a commercial enterprise.

Please note all the photographs accompanying this article have been taken by team member Chris Tennant; photographs of the evening taken by Ben Schmidt of Schmidt Media Ltd will appear exclusively in the newspapers mentioned above.