The eyes of the forces snow sports community have been looking to the skies for the past few months. 

Very little snow in the French Alps had led to fears that the 66th Annual Inter-Services Snow Sports Championships may not go ahead - right up until a couple of weeks ago, when the snow finally came.

Meribel Opening Ceremony
The championships' opening ceremony

And so, hundreds of Army, Navy and RAF athletes have descended on the French ski resort of Meribel to battle it out on the slopes.

The Armed Forces' top winter sports athletes compete across Alpine ski, snowboard and telemark ski events. 

Inter Services Winter Sports Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony took place at the base of a slope that was, only two weeks ago, the venue for World Cup telemark racing. 

So top-class facilities are always awaiting the top-class forces skiers and boarders.

Meribel Slopes

Director of the championships, Brigadier Jonathan Calder-Smith, believes asides from encouraging a healthy rivalry between the services, the sports can also help hone the skills of military personnel: 

"It’s difficult to train people to be scared and that’s one of the reasons we do this … It takes a lot of courage to ski down these slopes. It allows people to cope with discomfort and fear and learn how to manage it."

Meribel

There is always drama here in Meribel, and Forces News will be keeping you up to date with all of the action every day this week.

The championships run from 29th January to 3rd February.

More - Inter Services Winter Sports: 10 Years At Meribel