The slightly quieter Winter months have allowed us to find two weeks free to embark on some staff training.
We left the UK and particular the beauty of our homes in North Wales to find some new adventures further afield.
The end of November saw over 30 of us fly out of Manchester Airport laiden with climbing kit to search for the sun and sea that the islands of Malta and Gozo had to offer. You will be pleased if you avoided Manchester that day with the chaos we caused with buggies, car seats and obviously the climbing rack that were needed at check in! These trips have got bigger over the years as the staff team has grown and now includes extended families, including husbands and children. Everyone young to old, enjoyed the climbing, the youngest members of the team only being months old and older members… (I’m not allowed to publish this information).
The trips are invaluable with those with lost of experience sharing ideas, thoughts and skills with many of the new team and young inspired climbers, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The sun definitely helps and a real family feel takes over with people helping each other with all sorts of tasks of making meals for the masses or shopping for supplies (Dave’s domaine!).
January saw another mass exodus to the Swiss Alps to look for snow.
Due to Christmas commitments, we didn’t take over Manchester this time but families and groups left the country on different dates, times and modes of transport for post Christmas skiing fun and all with a date in mind to meet in Grimentz for the now annual Arete ski trip.
Rich, Gareth and families enjoyed a week in Crans Montana before the renowned big weekly shop ready to make their way across the valley to Grimentz. I am not sure Lidl knew what happened when we rocked up with 7 overflowing trolleys. The children certainly had fun!
Grimentz was a perfect base for the variety of skills that we all bring to the slopes. Dave was on a mission to tick off every run on his ski pass, others were happy to cruise down the piste and many taking on the brilliant touring opportunities the area has to offer. There were lessons for all, young and old, from the more experienced in the group. Personally I can still hear the voice of a friend in my head telling me how to improve my technique!
The centre works with so many experienced instructors who work for many different places and hold a wide range of qualifications. We were lucky enough for them to impart their knowledge of recent training at Plas Y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge on avalanches. This was a refresher for some and new information for our trainees.
Most of us are now back in work, getting ready for the busy year ahead. Although these weeks are a lot of fun. They allow us to spend time as a staff team, as friends but also with families. It is a way of us all sharing experiences and goals for the following year, and reflect on the previous year at Arete.
As a management team it lets us say a big thank you for the Arete family those who work with us all the time and their families who support us throughout the year.
I think we really do embrace the phrase ‘Work hard, play hard’ – which is why you will find some members slipping away soon to seek those adventures again…
But for now we are all refreshed, invigorated and inspired for the next generation of adventurers to pass through our doors this year!