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memories that
will last a lifetime
“There is without doubt
a fundamental understanding
of RMs old and not so old that spans ages... supporting each
other as if we were family.’’

Jan Mills

To continue the recovery of wounded, injured or sick Royal Marines in a
challenging environment, the Charity facilitated another ski therapy trip to
Chamonix, France where, under the guidance of expert instructors, there
was plenty of opportunity to learn or develop skiing or boarding skills.

This was a third visit to the region,
following the recce and inaugural
event in 2019, following which further
plans had to be put on hold till 2022
due to Covid travel restrictions.

This year, however, much to everyone’s
relief, the French government relaxed
their entry rules only days before
the first group departed and so,
with fantastic weather and snow
cover, the adventure was on.

20 beneficiaries, in two groups of
10, headed off to France. These
included single and double amputees,
PTSD sufferers, and those with hip
replacements and cancer, aged
between late their 20’s and mid-60’s.

The group was hosted by former
paratrooper, Dan White, who
has spent 16 years converting
a barn into a beautiful house
that sleeps up to 12 people.

The Chamonix Valley is considered
by many to be the best freeride
resort in the world with its five
ski resorts — Grands Montets, Les
Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere
and Le Brevent — all less than an
hour’s drive from the house.

Having collected their ski kit from
Chamonix and being split into three
groups — beginners, intermediate
and advanced, a first day’s skiing
was enjoyed at Les Houches.

Local skiers and mountain guides
instructed the group, giving their
time free of charge and ensuring
the success of the trip. One of the
instructors was Peter Kyall, a former
Royal Marine now living in Servos.

The Bootnecks taking part all
benefitted from the opportunity to
reconnect with other members of the
Corps Family and the mix of different
generations of Royal Marines worked
especially well. The group instantly
bonded and the camaraderie was
just as strong for the Royal Marines
that left over 20 years ago as it was
for those that had left more recently.
Much respect was generated
from the sharing of experiences,
building memories that will last a
lifetime - and all want to return.

Dan’s support in hosting the group was
invaluable. He has already offered to
make this an annual event and maybe
also include summer expeds for
climbing, mountain and road biking.

However, the success of the whole
event must be credited to former
Royal Marine and above-theknee
double amputee, Ian ‘Bish’
Bishop, who lives in Spain. He was
the incomparable mastermind in
organising the trip, and was the
advance party, duty driver, shopper,
sometimes cook, ski pass purchaser,
ski hire arranger, herding of cats and
admin guru all rolled into one. Nothing
phases Bish. Our enormous thanks.

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