Ski Club of Great Britain will continue to fight French guiding case
Last week's French Supreme Court ruling regarding the case against the Le Ski hosting service is a disappointing development in the ongoing issue of leading groups in French resorts, but the Ski Club of Great Britain is still dedicated to fighting for the valuable social skiing service it offers.
“Despite some of the headlines it’s unlikely that Brexit has too much to do with the ruling of a case which has been in the French courts for over 4 years. For the Ski Club it is also a different set of circumstances. Our Leaders are first and foremost volunteers who have, at their own expense, undertaken dedicated training and regular refresher courses. Our case is still in progress and we will keep up the fight. In the meantime, our 29,000 members can still enjoy the Leader service in many other countries, or take up our Instructor led guiding service in French resorts. We will continue to support British skiers wherever they choose to take their holidays”
Chief Executive, Ski Club of Great Britain
Ski Club Leaders are volunteer Club members who give up their free time to show others around the resorts. The Leaders have taken training in mountain safety, including avalanche awareness and rescue. Leaders must be first aid trained before they are able to lead for the Club.
Leaders are not paid for providing this service but are given accommodation, lift pass and some travel expenses. Tour operator hosting was usually run by staff members who were expected to provide the service as part of their employment.
In both cases there is no ski instruction taking place and guests must be of an adequate level to join the groups, the aim is to show skiers around the resort and to improve the whole in resort holiday experience. This is a service that most ski schools do not offer.
The Ski Club Leader programme was put on hold in France after a Ski Club Leader was stopped by police on the slopes of Val d’Isère in 2014. He was subsequently fined €10,000 with a further €5,000 in suspended sentence. The French ski school ESF, who supported the prosecution, was awarded €1 in symbolic damages.
The Ski Club of Great Britain Leader service is still available in other countries such as Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Andorra in Europe and in both Canada & the USA. In France the Club has subsidised an Instructor-led Guiding service with partners Evolution 2 and other ski schools. The Club has also introduced Facebook resort groups to encourage Club members to meet and organize social activities and to share news about the areas.
I entirely agree with the Ski Club's position and feel you should continue the fight. The "instructor led guiding" substitute that you have put in place in France is, judging by our experience, a poor substitute. We spent half a day with an instructor being instructed ad nauseam. He couldn't seem to get his head round the idea that he was supposed to be guiding not instructing. In the end we left before lunchtime.
I am boycotting France until sense returns.
I spend the season in Avoriaz and ski with Damien Case from Evolution 2 on many Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He is a wonderful guide finding good snow on and off piste even during the past low snow winter. He does not over instruct but gives very valuable individual tips. At the ski club subsidised rate of £15 for the half day and £30 for the full day (off piste) he is great value.
related ski news
- What's new for 2016/17 - the round up
- New ski lifts are always years in the planning but can transform the skiing once built - so with that in mind the following guide links you through to no fewer than 78 new lift projects from across...