What is Ex PIPEDOWN?

Exercise PIPEDOWN (Ex PDN) is the Qualifying Alpine and Nordic Championship Semi-Final. It will take place in Les Contamines, France from 8th – 19th January 2022. The resort is situated at 1200m in the Montjoie region of the French Alps approximately 32km SW of Chamonix by road. French National Biathlon Cup and World Ski Cross Championship races are held there annually.

Aim of Ex PDN

The aim of Ex PDN is to provide competitors with an arduous and challenging racing programme, using superior standard facilities, physically demanding and technical courses in order to identify the RHINO SKI CLUB Champion Unit and qualifiers for the Army Alpine and Nordic Championships, whilst enhancing the moral and physical components of fighting power.


The Ex PDN programme 2022 is as follows and is subject to change:


Ex Direct – TBC

Ex Controller/Race Secretary Lt Col RRT Eve RA

Ex Admin WO Capt W Charley RLC

The Race Office

An Ex Race and Admin Office will be located in L’Espace Animation, signposted within the village from the direction of arrival. The Ex RAWO will be responsible for all financial aspects of the Ex and in particular will monitor lift passes for entitled competitors and officials. There is no facility for cashing personal cheques or currency exchange.

Medical support will be based at the Race Office.


The rules for PIPEDOWN follow the AWSA rules, which are adapted from the FIS and IBU (International Biathlon Union) rules respectively.

AWSA Alpine Rules
Army Nordic Strategy
Nordic Rule Book
AGAI for Army Nordic Biathlon Shooting Training Policy

It is always a good idea to get your team to familiarize themselves with the rules for the competition before deploying on the exercise. As this will give them time to ask any questions they may have regarding the rules, which at times can be confusing to a novice racer.

Familiarising yourself with the rules will also aid in the preparation of your team as there are some items of equipment that are specified as being necessary in the rules which the novice team may overlook.

Snow Report

This page allows you to link to reports provided by snow-forecast.com. This is a very comprehensive snow report which is updated regularly and will keep you informed of the conditions in resort.

Useful Tips

There are always things that you forget when planning an exercise. To try and ensure that you forget the minimum amount of things a list of useful tips has been constructed by the PIPEDOWN Staff. If you have any useful tips for the exercise that are not included in our list, please contact us via the Contact Us page and we will be happy to include them for the benefit of other participants in the exercise.

  1. Take a Kettle as the French do not use them.
  2. Take a mug each as French tradition involves drinking hot drinks from bowls.
  3. Snow chains are essential.
  4. Begin the planning phase for the exercise well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to complete the preparations.
  5. Try and obtain sponsorship for your exercise to offset some of the costs.
  6. Buy any new equipment in France as it is generally cheaper and you can get some good discounts in resort.
  7. Do some pre-exercise fitness training before departing for the exercise.
  8. Get your grant applications in early to ensure you can get the money before you depart on the exercise.

Route Card

For access to the AA route planner click here.

Ski Hire

There are many places to hire skis within resort. One of the best places is from Intersport which is located near to the Race Office. Intersport will provide discount to military customers of up to 20% and they have a wide range of quality skis suitable for all disciplines within both Alpine and Nordic.