Antarctic Winter Teams Training Week

Winter Teams Training Week

If you have been asked to attend the Winter Teams Training Week, please download and fill in the Winter Teams Training Week Form and return as soon as possible to:

Course Summary

The course has several functions:

  • Initial training and familiarisation in the key skills required for living and working off base in the Antarctic such as campcraft, navigation, search and rescue techniques, glacier travel techniques & response to emergency’s (where appropriate)
  • Equipment familiarisation
  • The chance to work closely with and get to know your fellow winterers and other staff

This is a foundation course only and you will receive further training when you are south.

WTTW Programme

Field Course Programme  – Prep Day

Trainers to Derbyshire – Al Davies and Field Guides

Time and placeRothera (R)Halley (Z)Islands (BI & KEP)
 Luton Pre loaded Fri afternoon
09:00Depart Girton/BAS
11:30Morrisons ChesterfieldBuy food for lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch for whole group on Sunday
13:30ishArrive ThornbridgeIntro to centre and facilities
14:30-15:00Group meeting for trainers
15:00-17:30Teaching new trainers
17:30-19:30Brew, Group discussion
19:30Cook dinner
Sunday morningFurther field assistant training/looking at site/working on programme/high ropes induction 9:30 Sunday am

Field Course Programme – Day 1

Main group to Derbyshire

Time and placeRothera (R)Halley (Z)Islands (BI & KEP)





Girton to ThornbridgeCoach for those using BAS transport to Thornbridge
BAS reception to ThornbridgeCoach to pick up participants leaving cars at BAS
12:30Arrive ThornbridgeLunch
13:00-14:00Food planning
14:00-15:00Course introduction Al Davies
15:00-17:00Tents/emergency shelters/what to do if caught out in the openIntroduction to ropework – harness, knots, tying inStoves, lanterns. Carbon monoxide dangers in tents and huts. Field Food & Hygiene
17:00-18:00Pack Food away, Settle in
18:00-20:00Cook dinnerLay tables/wash upBI help R, KEP help Z

Field Course Programme – Day 2

TimeRothera (R)Halley (Z)Islands (BI & KEP)
08:30-08:45Introduction to day’s activities- Al Davies
08:30-09:30High Ropes Induction for FG’s
08:45Introduction to ropework – harness, knots, tying inPractical – stoves, lanterns. Carbon monoxide dangers in tents and hutsTents/emergency shelters/what to do if caught out in the open.Kit for field trips, packing
11:00Practical – stoves, lanterns. Carbon monoxide dangers in tents and hutsTents/emergency shelters/what to do if caught out in the openSearch techniques Map & compass
14:00Field communications

Map & compass


Jumaring, abseiling, high ropes courseNavigation practice on the moors with search exercise

Selecting routes and managing risk on steep ground


Navigation practice with search exercise within grounds of centre

Stretcher carry

High rope course for fun
19;00Lay tables, wash upCook dinnerBI help R, KEP help Z
21:00Free time – Pub

Field Course Programme – Day 3

Time and placeRothera (R)Halley (Z)Islands (BI & KEP)
08:30Introduction to day’s activities- Al Davies
08;45Jumaring, abseiling, high ropes courseSearch techniques

White out exercise

White out exercise

Field communications


11:00High rope course for funAlpine pair

Hauling systems

Introduction to ropework – harness, knots, tying in
14:00-18:00Alpine pair

Hauling systems

Field communications

Map & compass

Stretcher exercise including principles of hauling & Belaying on steep ground
Search techniques

White out exercise


Navigation practice with search exercise within grounds of centre.

Stretcher carry

Rope skills with emphasis on skills relevant to the Islands

High Ropes Course


18:00-19:00If time fun stuff – zip wire, games etc
19:00 Managers and senior field assistants meet for review session
19:30 Final dinner – BBQ / special meal – all to help set up and prepare

Field Course Programme – Day 4

TimeRothera (R)Halley (Z)Islands (BI & KEP)
08:30 -11:30Rothera MIP intro and exerciseHalley MIP intro and exerciseIslands MIP intro and exercise
11:30-12:00Pack equipment, clean out tents, Start loading vans
12:00-12:45Lunch and one to one sessions
End of course one to one sessions with Station Management


End of course one to one sessions with

Station Management

End of course one to one sessions with

Station Management

12:45-13:15Scrubout centre & Final Pack
13:15-13:30Summing Up /debrief before departure
13:30Coach departs for Cambridge or home if using own transport, drop off at Grindlford or Chesterfield station if required.
16:15 ishArrive Cambridge

Accommodation, Equipment and Catering


We will provide tented accommodation for the duration of the course as well as sleeping bags and camping mats. If you prefer to bring your camping equipment then please feel free to do this.

Boots and waterproofs

If you require these items please give details on the Winter Teams Training Week Form which should be completed and returned as soon as possible by all those invited to attend the course.


We will be cooking on site and food will be provided


Thornbridge Outdoors

Great Longstone



DE45 1NY

Travel to the WTTW

BAS will provide transport to and from the course or you can make your own way there if it is easier for you to travel home after the course.

Travelling by BAS minibus

A coach will leave Girton College at 0830 on Day 1, and at 8:45 from BAS Cambridge for those leaving vehicles.

Please indicate on Winter Teams Training Week Form if you require transport from Girton.

Please leave your cars and additional luggage at BAS Cambridge. We recommend additional luggage is stored in BAS Cambridge. Do not leave any valuables in your vehicles and ensure you leave keys with the security guard.

Arrival and Departure Times

The course starts at 1200 on Day 1 and all participants need to be on site by this time. The course finishes around midday on Day 4 and the same transport is provided for your return, normally arriving at BAS, Cambridge late afternoon.

Information for Field Guides

Field Guides will leave Cambridge one day early and will have a day’s familiarisation with the equipment before other Field Course participants arrive. All Field Guides are expected to act as instructors on the course, but newly recruited Field Guides will be teamed with experienced ones when instructing.