Ex SPARTAN HIKE is one of the two essential Qualification competitions for both the Army Alpine and Nordic Ski Championships, and incorporates the Army Reserve Ski Championships. It will run from 9th – 19th January 2024 in Serre Chevalier, France. The resort is in South-eastern France, in the Hautes Alpes department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Serre Chevalier consists of the town of Briançon, and the villages of Chantemerle, Villeneuve and Le Monêtier-les-Bains.
The aim of Ex SH is to provide competitors with an arduous and challenging racing programme, using standard facilities, physically demanding and technical courses to identify the champion Unit and qualifiers for the Army Alpine and Nordic Championships, whilst enhancing the moral and physical components of fighting power.
|1||Mon 01 Jan 24||Officials arrive|
|2||Tue 09 Jan 24||Team Registration|
|3||Wed 10 Jan 24||GS – Seeding||Inspect XC Courses|
|4||Thu 11 Jan 24||GS – Individual||Cross Country Relays
(4 x 5km) Classic
|5||Fri 12 Jan 24||GS – Team||Cross Country Individual Classic
(15 / 10km)
|6||Sat 13 Jan 24||Slalom – Individual||Inspect Biathlon Courses|
|7||Sun 14 Jan 24||Slalom – Team||Biathlon Individual
(10 / 7.5km)
|8||Mon 15 Jan 24||Training Day||Biathlon Relays
(4 x 7.5 / 4 x 6km)
|9||Tue 16 Jan 24||Training Day||Patrol Race Preparation
|10||Wed 17 Jan 24||DH – Team & Individual||Military Patrol|
|11||Thu 18 Jan 24||Super G – Team & Individual||Slip Day|
|Main Prize Giving Ceremony|
|12||Fri 19 Jan 24||Teams and selected officials de-register and disperse|
|13||Sat 20 Jan 24||Remaining officials disperse.|
Units are to book into accommodation with Daniela by Wed 3 Jan 24 in order to receive accommodation details and arrival instructions. Early arrivals will be organised by Daniela on an individual basis. Units arriving on registration day are to check in with Daniela at the race office in Villeneuve from 1000hrs to 1600hrs. Accommodation has been organised to cater for standard team sizes and includes free parking and designated waxing areas. Larger teams may need to be split, but every effort will be made to ensure that apartments are close together. Teams will be accommodated in the most cost-efficient manner possible, but individuals will NOT be expected to share double beds. Due to the limitation of accommodation space, teams are urged to carefully consider the amount of equipment and material they bring, and pack as efficiently as possible.
The Race Office is located in Villeneuve: Salle des Iscles – 05240 La Salle Les Alpes – Villeneuve GPS : 44.951570, 6.552874. Villeneuve is signposted from the main RN91 from Grenoble to Briançon. It is possible for the RN91 to be closed after periods of heavy snow at the Col du Lautaret (approx 15km North West of Villeneuve). Information services about this pass are available on (0033) 492 244 444 and http://inforoute.hautes-alpes.fr/www/index.html.
The telephone and fax numbers of the Race Office are available on registration day. The Ex Controller’s mobile phone number is (0044) 07747 625571; this is the best form of contact until the Race Office number is available. The Race Office will be open at the following times: 0800-0930 and 1530-1800.
There are always handy items that you forget when planning an exercise such as Spartan Hike. To try and ensure that you do not forget them, a list of useful items has been provided by the Spartan Hike Support Staff. If you have any useful tips for the exercise that are not included in our list, please contact us via the contact address and we will be happy to include them for the benefit of other participants on future exercises:
- Take a Kettle.
- Take individual mugs for big brews.
- Take old towels and plastic protection covers to use for WAXING/CLEANING.
- Snow chains are essential for the passage over the Col du Lautaret.
- Begin the planning phase for the exercise well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to complete the preparations.
- Try and obtain sponsorship for your exercise to offset some of the costs.
- Buy any new equipment in France as it is generally cheaper, and you can get some good discounts in resort.
- Do some pre-exercise fitness training before departing for the exercise.
- Call the Col du Lautaret information line (useful contacts page) if the weather is bad as it can be closed in extreme weather conditions.
- Get your grant applications in early to ensure you can get the money before you depart on the exercise.
This section of the site allows you to learn something about the resort of Serre Chevalier itself and the facilities available to the personnel participating in Exercise Spartan Hike. It covers areas of knowledge such as the ESF, the snow conditions, the route down to Serre Chevalier and the facilities contained within the resort itself. Recommendations will be given as to good places to eat, socialise and get your laundry done, as well as the good ski shops to visit.
The Ski Championships will take place at Villeneuve and Le Monetier les Bains.
The villages are 2 of the 13 villages in the Grande Vallee known collectively as Serre Chevalier. The Valley is 18km long served by 9 gondolas, 53 chair lifts, 18 drag lifts and with 47 km of Nordic piste. It is as picturesque as it is varied and steeped in history. Roman Legionnaires once came for treatment from the spa waters, and now skiers are able to breathe the rich clean mountain air of the Ecrins National Park.
The Valley of Serre Chevalier stretches from just below the Col du Lautaret to Briancon. The journey from Calais takes 10-12 hours and is motorway (Peage) as far as Grenoble. The road from Grenoble is signposted Briancon (RN 91) and climbs steadily to the Col du Lautaret, which is 1900m high and may well require snow chains. This part of the French Alps gets a lot of snow and weather conditions can change very suddenly. Once over the pass you drop down into the Serre Chevalier Valley and the first village of note you drive through is Monetier. There are several chair lifts and the Yret Chair rises to just below the Pic De L’Yret at 2830m. The Nordic races are held in the Monetier area.
A further 6km down the Valley the centre of administration for the area is at Villeneuve, which has both ancient and modern architecture. Here the Alpine Championships take place and most of the competitors’ accommodation is situated. The Alpine races usually take place below and to the left of the middle station known as the “Frejus”. However, the downhill race is above Frejus on the Clot Gauther drag lift which takes you to the summit of the same name at 2589m.
The 4 main villages of Serre Chevalier contain a vast array of facilities, all of which are available to the competitors on Spartan Hike. Detailed below are the facilities and some other related information that you may find useful upon arrival.
Office du Tourisme Serre Chevalier:
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 24 98 98
Fax: +33 (0)4 92 24 98 84
Alpine Lift Passes
Visitors and Pre-training skiing prior to SH will benefit from discounted lift passes. In order to secure the discounted rate, lift passes are to be booked by the following deadline with Daniela POC:
Visitors/Individuals 10% discount – 3 days prior to 1st ski day.
There are many places to hire skis within resort. Most shops offer up to 20% discounts to military customers personnel. Regis Sport, located in the village centre and near the Race Office, have a wide range of quality skis suitable for all disciplines within both Alpine and Nordic. Sport 2000 located in the village centre, near the tourism office.
Hautes Alps Pass Information
This link provides a live update on the condition of the Col du Lautaret and other local passes.
The nearest garages en route that accept Esso Fuel cards are in Grenoble and Gap. Both towns are more than an hour’s drive away. The nearest in-resort garage that accepts Esso Fuel Cards is the Avia garage between Villeneuve and Chantemerle called Vaiani Carburants. There is also another garage 10 minutes away in Briançon: ESSO open 24 hours, 9 route Gap, 05100 Briançon. In addition, there are 4 post offices and 3 banks and Visa, American Express, Eurocard, Diner’s Card and Mastercard are widely accepted. Most cards can be used for ATM withdrawals (there are 4 in the area). There are two laundry facilities; One located in the village centre behind the office of tourism and one in the old town of Villeneuve.