ENGADIN SKI MARATHON

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Finishing the Engadin ski marathon after not having been on cross-country skis in 20 years! And getting down Mattress Alley in one piece...

What did you think of your group leader?

Eric and Heather Woolley were superb instructors and looked after us brilliantly, whether it be organising transport, ski preparation, or simply the menu for that night's dinner. They planned the week to perfection to give us all the skills and confidence required to complete the race, and made the trip a lot of fun - the 'biathalon' with toy guns and foam pellets certainly brought out the competitive side of our team, with two of us falling in our haste to get around the course as quickly as we could.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Make sure you're reasonably fit beforehand - in particular, I found double poling for 13 or so miles to put quite a strain on my back, & was glad that I do a lot of back strengthening exercises in the gym. If I went again I'd seriously consider taking some skate skiing lessons on roller skis with the view to being able to skate, rather than classic ski - skating takes more skill, but is far more efficient.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Switzerland is an expensive country, but very pleasant - the trains were a lovely way to travel along the valley to access different parts of the course. However, if you're looking for a lively nightlife, you've probably picked the wrong holiday... Lastly, if you're thinking of booking this trip, have done some skiing, and have reasonable fitness then go for it. All our group completed the course & went home happy! And if you want a taste of what you're letting yourself in for, check out the videos on YouTube.