Snow Trials

Italian Alps

16 March 2024 12:00 - 23 March 2024 12:00


Immerse yourself in an exceptional, scenario-based course that goes beyond traditional learning. Gain new mountain skills while cultivating both clinical and non-clinical abilities that seamlessly translate into your professional life.

Experience the expertise of our esteemed senior faculty as they guide you through this distinctive program. With action-packed mountain medicine scenarios, we create an engaging environment that amplifies the competencies vital to high-performing teams. And of course, there will be plenty of time on the slopes to further enrich your experience.

“I enjoyed the course and experience so much. It was so well organised by fantastic people who are clearly passionate about what they do. Thank you.”
Snow Trials course attendee

Enhance your situational awareness, leadership, decision-making, communication, and teamwork skills—the essential “big 5” competencies.

Key facts

Alongside your clinical development, you’ll develop transferable skills in leadership, active learning, complex problem solving, critical thinking, resilience, stress tolerance, emotional intelligence and negotiation to name just a few.

You will be operating within a team of peers, fully immersed in scenarios which become incrementally more challenging as the course progresses. Set in the heart of the Italian Alps, the natural outdoor surrounding lend itself to creative course content! Guided by faculty, each day will also incorporate preparatory skill workshops, thorough briefings/debriefings, and self-reflective practice to ensure learning transfer.

Location: Sauze D’oulx, Italian Alps

You must be one of the following:

  • Medical or Allied Healthcare Professional
  • Emergency Services Worker
  • First Responder

This course is suitable for people who have:

  • An interest to enhance your leadership skills
  • Willingness to engage as a team-member
  • Enthusiasm for snow-based environments

What’s included:

  • Return transfers via Turin
  • 7 nights ski-in/out accommodation with breakfast and evening meal
  • 6 day ski pass including 1 day access pass over the border to France
  • 6 days Easy Carve skis/boots/poles (snowboard/boots can be arranged)
  • 5 afternoons educational content
  • Welcome drink

What’s not:

  • Flights and general travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunch or any drinks
  • Snowsport lessons (can be arranged)
  • Personal equipment (helmets optional but recommended and available to hire cheaply on site)

What to expect

There will be a full briefing upon arrival over a welcome drink. This will explain how the course has been designed to not only up-skill you clinically for cold environments but also to target development of key skills which are highly-valued in a traditional and extreme medicine setting.

The ski-in, ski-out location allows for a first descent of the mountain before the lifts start – people who would like to take advantage of this can do so immediately after breakfast. We will then re-group and spend the morning exploring 450km of skiing, snowboarding and hiking terrain. All abilities are welcome and for any beginners, the main ski school, magic carpet, and blue runs are based in the same location as the hotel. Lessons will be organised for those that require them with local instructors.

Five afternoons will be dedicated to learning via didactic teaching, peer-to-peer discussion and feedback, plus a multitude of scenarios. The delivery is designed to offer an incremental learning experience so you can see visible improvements at the end of the week.

Course content

Content covered on the course include:

  • Team-building icebreakers
  • Leadership, Resilience, Complex Problem Solving & Teamwork Skills
  • Medical-based simulations
  • Preparatory skill workshops
  • Primary and secondary surveys in challenging environments
  • Briefing and debriefing for high-performance teams
  • Self-reflective practice for learning transfer
  • Freezing and non-freezing cold injury
  • Acute Mountain Sickness
  • Extreme sport and expedition trauma/illness
  • Search & Rescue principles
  • Avalanche response
  • Introduction to snow-shoe descent
  • Extracting patients from the field
  • Medevac and helicopter protocols

What you need to know

There are 7 inlinking resorts each with their own town to take advantage of: Sauze D’Oulx, Sestriere, Claviere, Pragelato, Sansicario, Cesana, and Montgevevre in France.

On Thursday there will be an optional and self-directed ski day over to France which takes approximately 4.5 hours at a leisurely pace with an extra 1 hour 45 minutes added on for lunch and further breaks. Anyone who cannot yet tackle red runs will be able to enjoy their lessons or a day on the local slopes but join by taxi in France if they so wish. We will return to the resort very late afternoon to enjoy apres-ski and there will be an optional evening out in the town centre with snowmobile lift back up to the hotel under the stars.

Travel insurance with winter sports cover is absolutely essential and therefore, for your safety and security, we reserve the right to refuse access to a course until we have details of adequate insurance cover provided to us.

A suitable policy can be booked through Campbell Irvine Direct Travel Insurance 

The weather in the Italian Alps in March is generally warm and sunny during the day, with temperatures dropping below freezing during darkness. However, with all mountains, this is changeable, so being prepared with adequate layers is key!

  • Waterproof warm jacket with hood, and trousers (ideally ski/snowboard kit)
  • Waterproof shell jacket (goes over the top of the above jacket and can be a cheap but effective waterproof)
  • Waterproof thin trousers (goes over the top of the above trousers and can be cheap but effective waterproof)
  • Base layer (upper body short or long-sleeved and long-john leggings e.g. Marino wool)
  • T-shirts
  • Light fleece
  • Thicker fleece that still fits under your jacket
  • Neck buff (good to pull up if it’s windy)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski googles (needed for heavy snow)
  • Waterproof gloves (e.g. ski gloves)
  • Liner gloves
  • Ski socks
  • Liner socks
  • Waterproof walking boots – do not have to be expensive just waterproof in case of heavy snow (no wellies)
  • Waterproof trail runners (optional)
  • Head torch
  • Suncream (high SPF as sun reflects off the snow)
  • Lip salve (high SPF)
  • Thermos or drinking flask to keep hydrated during scenarios
  • Small daypack for water and snacks etc

Feedback from previous courses

What went well on your Snow Trials course?

“I think we all really meshed well as a group. I loved the content and the instructors were very friendly and inclusive.”

“All tuition was delivered in an efficient, friendly and informative package.”

“I liked the schedule – good amount of ski time and 3 hours of lectures.”

What was the single most valuable thing you learnt from your Snow Trials course?

“That I have the ability to take my career in a new direction.”

“Management of basic scenarios. But most importantly the ability to better navigate snow on skis to potentially open up a whole new world of possibilities that I may not have been able to before.”

“Developing self confidence and to become more patient with people.”

About us

World Extreme Medicine trains, supports and informs medics looking to expand their skills and tackle new challenges.

A chance conversation about the impossibility of finding good expedition medics resulted in our Founding Director, Mark Hannaford creating the very first, bespoke Expedition Medicine course in the UK – over 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve spent the last two decades providing on-demand education, on-location training, international conferences, and expedition support for people outside normal medical environments.

Our network of around a quarter of a million experts, practitioners and instructors is here for you – inspiring, informing and connecting you with like-minded people and new opportunities.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist, vet, paramedic, medical student or allied health professional, you can join us and discover new frontiers of your practice both at home or in the field.

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