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Guiding costs !!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The Ski Club of GB arrangement for off-piste skiing with a local Mountain Guide, in a number of French resorts, is a fantastic deal. Once per week (usually on a Wednesday); £35/day for members and, starting this year, £70/day for non-members with a maximum group size of 6. Sadly, this week's outings in Meribel and Val Thorens were cancelled due to lack of numbers (fortunately, as it turned out, given the change in the weather!). See: [url=]https://www.skiclub.co.uk/instructor-led-guiding[/url]
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Great service and a bargain in theory, but unfortunately doesn't start before Christmas and I have had similar experience to yourself with cancellations due to lack of no's. I even said I would pay double but still 'non'
Worth joining ski club for, but book in early !
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Worth noting that it's a local instructor rather than a guide. It's still a great deal though, I'm booked for Avoriaz in half term week Happy
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
What's the difference between instructor and guide in the off piste type of situation? I would assume they are aware of how to read avi danger, etc? Not looking to get roped up, so guide led touring skills are overkill?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
In Meribel, SCGB use the local Mountain Guides, who are often also qualified ski instructors.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Redwine wrote:
What's the difference between instructor and guide in the off piste type of situation? I would assume they are aware of how to read avi danger, etc? Not looking to get roped up, so guide led touring skills are overkill?


Quite a lot. I'm not wanting to do down ski instructors but the level of training required on snow conditions is incomparable to guides. That's not to say that the ski instructor in question does not have a similar level of knowledge, but the pre-requisites are very different.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Redwine, I know quite a few ESF Instructors that are freelance as private resort guides.

Quite often they know the in / out bounds of a resort far better than a guide having worked / lived there for many a year.

And that is one of the major differences between a Guide and an Instructor. Guides can rock up in an area and quickly assimilate the conditions / routes etc due to their inherent knowledge.

There are a whole host of other differences re glacier guiding etc and not least they work throughout the year, for many ares seasoned climbers / mountaineers.

However if you're after an off piste resort experience then a local instructor will suffice.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Redwine, in terms of remit an IFMGA Guide can take skiers onto glaciated terrain outside marked pistes, and make 'planned use' of climbing equipment - this is the primary difference between guide and instructor.

As for training differences this is a moot point, as the large part of Guides training is focused on the climbing/mountaineering side of things (yes they do have an avalanche training week and also ski touring courses before any pedants chime in but the courses people get held up on (speaking from personal experience of many friends who have gone through the system) are the mountaineering/climbing ones).

As to a Guide being able to rock up and 'quickly assimilate conditions due to their inherent knowledge' - err yes, but no more so than a ski instructor who takes more than a passing interest in off piste skiing. The IFMGA pin does not endow people with second sight (check avalanche stats for numbers of people killed while skiing with Guides for instance).

So @Redwine to go back to your question if you don't want to ski off piste on a glacier, and you don't want to abseil in to an otherwise inaccessible couloir then an instructor should serve your purpose just fine.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@offpisteskiing, ok rocking up maybe wrong phrase.

But I've done many hut to huts in terrain new to the Guide and prior to the trip they have done a lot of research on routes / available huts to book and not least transfers in out and risk assessment. However all stuff that non guides can do.

I was having a long chat with a Swedish Guide over breakfast yesterday after we decided to bail about training and his views on practical vs technical - think it was snow technicians he was referring to who can get a class room diploma and take people out without any practical experience. The Canadian system, I think it was is very biased towards the technical side and the Swedish system uses a mixture though the actual guides think it is too biased towards the technical side and not enough practical if I was listening correctly but I was feeling a bit leant over.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
thanks for the view everyone. @offpisteskiing, I absolutely understand the value of a good guide. Did some touring in the alps and watching our guides plan the next day and pouring over maps was impressive indeed. Total respect for what the guides do and the dangers that you all face. Was thinking that sidecountry made the most sense for me and family for a day excursion, and many guides are busy in feb, so started to wonder if the instructor led approach makes sense for just getting off the beaten path.

Appreciate everyone's opinion. I really want to do some more touring. haute route and ortler still bucket list adventure for me.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Redwine, I think you are on the right course. I have skied extensively off piste with both IFMGA guides and instructors. In some situations one is preferable to the other but in others it makes little difference to either your experience or safety. Points to bear in mind in making your choice:

1) Of the guides I have skied with, only a minority can or will offer meaningful tips on improving your skiing. A guide's training is far more extensive than just skiing, let alone teaching skiing. However, some do give excellent help, and if this is a consideration for you it is worth checking whether they can offer instruction first.

2) For sidecountry or backcountry around the resort a local instructor is usually just as knowledgeable as a guide about routes and safety. However, this is not always the case. For one of my first ever forays off piste, my mate and I hired an instructor in Meribel who gave us no safety equipment, carried none himself and then left us when our booked time ran out perched among cliff bands above St Martin. I have also seen ESF instructors with groups far off piste with no safety kit whatsoever among them. Again, check before you buy!
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