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Major Alpine Exercises

What is Alpine Skiing?

Alpine Skiing is the oldest of all the Army’s Winter Sports. The Army Ski Association was formed at the behest of Field Marshal Montgomery in 1947 to provide a break from routine training and operations in the immediate post-war years, whilst developing military and technical skills on snow and ice.

Since then the Army Ski Association has developed into the Army Winter Sports Association and the Army’s participation in Alpine Skiing has grown apace. Well over 1000 people take part in Army Alpine Ski racing each year and our mission is simply to find the fastest skiers in the Army. Once we have done that we then put them up against the Navy and the RAF. The Army currently runs a total of 14 different race championships. These range from the various Corps Championships run by the Army’s different Corps for their members, to the two Divisional Championships – Exercises SPARTAN HIKE and PIPEDOWN and then finally the Army Championship – Exercise LION’S CHALLENGE.  If you want to get involved in Alpine Ski racing then your first port of call is your Unit Sports Officer. If you need more information then please contact

Competitive Alpine Skiing is carried out in the following categories:

  • Downhill
  • Combined
  • Super Giant Slalom
  • Giant Slalom
  • Slalom


Seeding is a scheme developed at international level over many years which is intended to provide a consistent measure of performance within and between races. It uses a well-honed formula which relates each racer’s time to the winner’s time, and also factors in the ‘level’ of the race by taking account of the capabilities of the best racers amongst those taking part. The formula is defined by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and is the same one that is used at all levels of racing.

Results from all ‘approved’ calendar races are collated and processed at intervals during the season to produce the ‘Seed Lists’ (lists of Seed Points for all registered racers), which are then published in various formats for racers and race organisers to use. Although often used to measure individual performance, Seed Lists are officially used to check eligibility against race entry criteria and to determine race start order.

Two seeding schemes are run, each covering different skiing ‘surfaces’. The British Alpine Seeding System (BASS) covers recognised British races that take place on snow during the winter. The British Artificial Seeding System (BARTS) covers artificial slope races that take place here in the UK throughout the year.

  • BASS (Snow)
  • BARTS (Artificial)

Governing Bodies

GB Snowsport

GB Snowsport (GBS) is the National Governing Body for Alpine events. GBS manages the elite British teams and the development pathway for those elite teams, providing development programmes for alpine skiing, cross country, freestyle, and snowboarding.


In July 2018, British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) rebranded to GB Snowsport (GBS), taking on the responsibilities for Para Snowsports, including Alpine, Nordic and Snowboard, while it continues to licence competitors in Alpine, Cross Country, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, Telemark, Speed Skiing and Ski Jumping. Over 350 athletes are registered with GBS and compete in international events, and the organisation works closely with Clubs, Academies and the Home Nations to provide opportunities for aspiring international athletes.

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