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What is Ex PIPEDOWN?

Exercise PIPEDOWN (Ex PDN) is the Qualifying Alpine and Nordic Championship Semi-Final. It will take place from 11th – 21st January 2025 in Les Contamines, France. 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.





1 Wed 08 Jan 25 Advance Party arrive
2 Thu 09 Jan 25 Admin Staff Main Body arrive
3 Sat 11 Jan 25 Team Registration
4 Sun 12 Jan 25 Seeding GS 10km Classic course inspection (after 1430)
Village Opening Ceremony (tbc)
5 Mon 13 Jan 25 Individual GS 10km Classic (M)
10km Classic (F)
4 x 5km Relay course inspection and training
6 Tue 14 Jan 25 Team GS 4 x 5km Relay (M & F)
7 Wed 15 Jan 25 Individual Slalom 7.5km & 10km Biathlon course inspection and training
Interim Nordic Prize Giving Ceremony Loc TBC
8 Thu 16 Jan 25 Team Slalom 10km Biathlon Sprint (M)
7.5km Biathlon Sprint (F)
4 x 7.5km & 4 x 6km Biathlon Relay course inspection
9 Fri 17 Jan 25 DH Training Day 4 x 7.5km Biathlon Relay (M)
4 x 6km Biathlon Relay (F)
10 Sat 18 Jan 25 DH Training Day Preparation for Military Patrol Race
11 Sun 19 Jan 25 Team & Individual DH Military Patrol Race
12 Mon 20 Jan 25 Team & Individual Super G Training Day
Main Prize Giving Ceremony
13 Tue 21 Jan 25 All Main Body Admin Staff, all Alpine and Nordic Team De-Register and disperse
14 PM Tue 21 Jan 25 Rear Party Officials disperse


Ex Director – DComd 1 (UK) Div

Ex Controller / Race Secretary Maj Jerry F Cross RLC or

TCs – TCs are responsible for the discipline and good conduct of their teams on behalf of their parent unit CO.

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 exercise 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 (civilian doctor) can be found adjacent to 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
AWSA Nordic Rules
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 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.