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SCGB Suspends Repping Service in France

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Alastair Pink, Thanks for sharing that. I think it is wholly wrong to be targeting Ken as they have said they are doing. But I guess once the case has set a presedent then this will form the rules for the future. A bit tongue in cheek by the ESF as I am sure they are awre of this. Talk about double speak by Simon Atkinson. Sometimes I think he is more French than the French and to think he is a Brit.

For those that do not know, he is the Director of the ESF in La Rosiere. He did start to offer a sort of guiding around the resort for people that want it I think once a week after the Tour Ops stopped their service. From what I heard about this it was ok, but nothing like as comprehensive a service as the Ski Host's use to provide. I do know this fellow so prefer not to make any further comment. Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@snowcrazy, I met Simon in La Ros several years ago. I think he was still Deputy Director at the time. He is very nice guy and must be very sad to be drawn into all of this. Another of the ESF guys is married to a lass from Durham.
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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?
I hate this thread being on the News section. You cannot even edit your spelling mistakes. So you have to post the whole thing again.

@Alastair Pink, Thanks for sharing that. I think it is wholly wrong to be targeting Ken as they have said they are doing. But I guess once the case has set a precedent then this will form the rules for the future. A bit tongue in cheek by the ESF as I am sure they are aware of this. Talk about double speak by Simon Atkinson. Sometimes I think he is more French than the French and to think he is a Brit.

For those that do not know, he is the Director of the ESF in La Rosiere. He did start to offer a sort of guiding around the resort for people that want it I think once a week after the Tour Op's stopped their service. From what I heard about this it was ok, but nothing like as comprehensive a service as the Ski Host's use to provide. I do know this fellow so prefer not to make any further comment. Very Happy
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Hells Bells wrote:
@snowcrazy, I met Simon in La Ros several years ago. I think he was still Deputy Director at the time. He is very nice guy and must be very sad to be drawn into all of this.


I would tend to agree, having also met him (he was DD then). I can see why he might have been "encouraged" to speak out, although La Ros isn't one of the resorts mentioned in that report.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Very interesting thread.

Whatever everyone's individual opinion, I think Ski resorts will in France will be losers in all this.

Most of my friends have decided to ski less or not at all in France this season due to the cases against Le Ski Tour operators/ Ski Club GB.

Some miss the tour operator days out. Some do not want to go skiing unless with a Ski club GB group with Ski club leader.
http://welove2ski.com/ski-holiday/ski-club-leaders

I wonder how much the French tourists authorities know about this.
My group of friends has decided to ski in Austria this March instead of France, mainly due to this issue.

Have emailed the French tourism/consular authorities and would encourage other people to do the same.
http://uk.rendezvousenfrance.com/en/information/contact-us
http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Contact-us-21735[/url]
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deffcookie wrote:
Very interesting thread.

Whatever everyone's individual opinion, I think Ski resorts will in France will be losers in all this.

Most of my friends have decided to ski less or not at all in France this season due to the cases against Le Ski Tour operators/ Ski Club GB.



Good plan.

Oops, hang on. I've just read on another thread that those pesky Austrians have taken the outrageous decision to make sure Chalet staff has paid. That's OK you can boycott Austria and put the wind up them by writing to their tourist board as well.

Oh no. I've just read on another thread that more British instructors are employed in France than Switzerland and Italy. Buggar. I know, you can throw your toys out of the pram and ski in Scotland this year. Sounds like another letter about protectionism to a few more tourist boards tourist boards.

This is going to work very well for you and your friends.

Of course, I am sure you will stick by your principles though and never ski in France again. Look forward to seeing that post.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
emwmarine wrote:
deffcookie wrote:
Very interesting thread.

Whatever everyone's individual opinion, I think Ski resorts will in France will be losers in all this.

Most of my friends have decided to ski less or not at all in France this season due to the cases against Le Ski Tour operators/ Ski Club GB.



Good plan.

Oops, hang on. I've just read on another thread that those pesky Austrians have taken the outrageous decision to make sure Chalet staff are paid a reasonable wage. That's OK you can boycott Austria and put the wind up them by writing to their tourist board as well.

Oh no. I've just read on another thread that more British instructors are employed in France than Switzerland and Italy. That can't be correct? Buggar. I know, you can throw your toys out of the pram and ski in Scotland this year. Sounds like another letter about protectionism to a few more tourist boards tourist boards.

This is going to work very well for you and your friends.

Of course, I am sure you will stick by your principles though and never ski in France again. Look forward to seeing that post.
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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!
Quote:

He is very nice guy and must be very sad to be drawn into all of this.


In which case he wants to get some better PR advice as he comes across as a fairly horrendous person. And I am not a fan of the ski club either.
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emwmarine wrote:
deffcookie wrote:
Very interesting thread.

Whatever everyone's individual opinion, I think Ski resorts will in France will be losers in all this.

Most of my friends have decided to ski less or not at all in France this season due to the cases against Le Ski Tour operators/ Ski Club GB.



Good plan.

Oops, hang on. I've just read on another thread that those pesky Austrians have taken the outrageous decision to make sure Chalet staff has paid. That's OK you can boycott Austria and put the wind up them by writing to their tourist board as well.

Oh no. I've just read on another thread that more British instructors are employed in France than Switzerland and Italy. Buggar. I know, you can throw your toys out of the pram and ski in Scotland this year. Sounds like another letter about protectionism to a few more tourist boards tourist boards.

This is going to work very well for you and your friends.

Of course, I am sure you will stick by your principles though and never ski in France again. Look forward to seeing that post.


emwmarine wrote:

Good plan.

Oops, hang on. I've just read on another thread that those pesky Austrians have taken the outrageous decision to make sure Chalet staff are paid a reasonable wage. That's OK you can boycott Austria and put the wind up them by writing to their tourist board as well.

Oh no. I've just read on another thread that more British instructors are employed in France than Switzerland and Italy. That can't be correct? Buggar. I know, you can throw your toys out of the pram and ski in Scotland this year. Sounds like another letter about protectionism to a few more tourist boards tourist boards.

This is going to work very well for you and your friends.

Of course, I am sure you will stick by your principles though and never ski in France again. Look forward to seeing that post.


Some people really do like the sound of their own posts so much they repeat themselves... Laughing
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Interesting to read the various comments.
As I am scheduled to be a scambassador this coming season, I am rather hoping that the French decide the December court case in favour of SCGB.
I was hoping to ski with some friends of mine, who happen to be SC leaders, while they are on holiday in resort. I'm not allowed to lead them, so their problem will be who will dare to say 'Let's ski this piste', or 'Let's stop here for lunch' and risk arrest?
Should they use secret code, or claim to be a members of a leaderless anarchist sect (snowheads?)? Any suggestions?

I had a look at the comments on Contracts. I have signed a 'Leader Contract'.
I guess many organisations that use volunteers try to establish some sort of agreement on what is expected of both parties. In our case SCGB wants to get leaders to commit to actually being available in resort/on a Freshtracks holiday on specific dates, keeping first-aid/SC training updated, and seeking compliance with SC rules. In exchange the leader gets various free stuff (e.g. accommodation, lift pass) and limited reimbursement of some expenses.
In the UK this contract has not been interpreted as an 'employment contract' otherwise it would have attracted the attention of the usual tax, NI, pension, severance, employment law etc. compliance. Most leaders only volunteer for 1-3 weeks per year so it hardly looks like employment, even to the Revenue.
The contract could be used as evidence of 'employment' in France, and the expenses payments could also be argued as 'remuneration', so it will be interesting to see what the court decides. Seems weak to me - if it were used against a French club...

If SCGB loses then those people who organise to take a group of friends on a ski trip - and maybe pocket the free flights/places offered by the tour operator and pick up the free lift-pass in resort had better watch out, if they want to ski with the group.

Anyway my (wild) guess is that nothing will be decided this December. Either the case will be deferred to the summer or whoever loses will appeal. IMHO, the unfortunate effect of that will be that the Ski Club will not be able to re-introduce on-snow leaders in France next season either, and I can't see ambassadors being sustainable beyond one season. So that is that.

I see that quite a few snowheads don't much like Ski Club, but since SC membership is entirely optional, I can't really see how the demise of Ski Club Leading would benefit anyone interested in snowsports. Since leaders point members towards local ski-schools and mountain guides then there could even be a slight reduction in business for those groups if leaders disappear.

ps Liked the comment about Gerry Aitken as a Director of the SC. Hope he didn't read that one or he'll go all Fred Goodwin-esque!
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ELGIT wrote:
I can't really see how the demise of Ski Club Leading would benefit anyone interested in snowsports.


Do you have a view on DG's figures where he claims that only about 10-15% of scgb member's use the service and that take up had been in decline?

But a ski club without skiing is like a forum that doesn't discuss skiing. Not really much use to the ski world. For me a ski club should be "leading", "teaching" organising off piste activities etc. The fact that the scgb's offering has withered with all the H&S and other legal claptrap is very unfortunate.

As you say, if 20,000 people want to pay 69 quid for the scgb that's entirely their affair. The fact that the scgb is the self proclaimed voice of British skiers makes it everyone else's affair too, to a certain extent.

> In the UK this contract has not been interpreted as an 'employment contract'

by whom? Given the reps are not even operating in the UK I"m not sure there's anything to interpret, unless the SCGB is going to rep Glenshee this winter.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As a non-member of both BASI and the scgb I feel ab;le to give an unbiased opinion.

It would seem to me to make sense for both organisations to merge and have a single body that looked like it managed all UK ski affairs. bearing in mind that we are not an alpine country and all this is actually a bit of a minority sport.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
emwmarine wrote:
It would seem to me to make sense for both organisations to merge and have a single body that looked like it managed all UK ski affairs.


Well that would halve the number of organisations DG could post about.... Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@emwmarine, but the problem with saying that BASI and SCGB represent UK skiers is that it is not true. The SCGB just claim they do. I think many people here will agree that you already have the official 'Snowsport England, Scotland and Wales, plus Snowsport UK' which are the official bodies for skiing and snowboarding in the UK (I think these are still the names they use). They are the ones that are supposed to represent UK snowports on the European and World coverning bodies I believe. BASI is for BASI members not the general public. I do not think BASI have ever claimed to represent non members.

The SCGB claim it is only providing a service for members as @ELGIT, points out. Yet the SCGB also claim to represent all UK skiers. They cannot have it both ways.

According to the latest Annual report, those using the leaders programme is still only a very small percentage of the total membership numbers. Unless you include the 'leaders (really holiday reps) that work on the FreshTracks holidays. I notice the SCGB hardly ever mention these Freshtracks holiday leaders in this debate. They should be included as they are part of the same programme.

When you look at the numbers of quoted for SCGB members. If you want to go on a FreshTracks holiday YOU must join SCGB. It is not optional. Is that really a choice. Technically yes, but it is a bit of a business con really IMO. I believe this is how SCGB have their inflated membership numbers. How many of these people ever use the SCGB for anything else other than discounts. Is the SCGB for most members really a club where you are activitly involved or just a business offering good discounts if you sign up for a fee?

I am pleased to see that @ELGIT, has now told use what is in his 'contract' as a 'Leader/Ambassador' this year. I guess it all depends whether a court decides if what he has outlined is considered 'payment in kind' or just what is allowed to be given to a volunteer. I do not believe this 'contract' has been tested in a British court to see if it was considered Employment.

I also do not know of any French clubs which give this level of remuneration to volunteer leaders, but if anyone can give an 'equal' example please do. I have helped with ski racers and climbing groups before and I got nothing like @ELGIT, outlines. The only people that were given all these things were the paid Instructors.

I am guessing, this is the crux of the issue. Are SCGB Leaders 'truly volunteers' or just 'underpaid workers'. I know everyone that is a SCGB leader is a offering to do this work. Most, but not all only do it for three or four weeks a season, sometime less, but some do it for much longer. IF you look at the description of the duties of a SCGB Ambassador this season. They are very similar to a Tour Company in resort Rep.

If you look at the description of the duties of a SCGB Leader, they are also very similar to those of the Ski Host plus being allowed to take people of piste without being qualified in any way.

Leading around the pistes with groups on Freshtracks holidays is just the same as a 'Ski Host'. IF anyone can see a difference please do explain. I do not think the amount of money a Ski Host use to be paid was much different to the 'payment in kind' that SCGB leaders are given.

In the coming weeks the French court will publish it's findings. I believe this is only the beginning of this case, not the end. We shall have to wait and see.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Surely the needs of a club for purely recreational skiers and the needs of an organisation for competitive winter sports are so different that it would make no sense to push them together. The funding models and needs are completely disparate.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@stevew, I agree with you that Competition and Recreational Skiing is different. My point is that these bodies do exist and we do not need the SCGB trying to say they represent all British skiers. They do not say only 'recreational skiers'. They imply they speak on behalf of all skiers. They are a business these days and should not still hold onto a claim that might have been true 40 years ago.

I think it is worth putting this post here as well. What Andy has written is a very good way of describing the current 'image' IMO of the SCGB as it is now.

I agree with what he has written. I first became invloved with SCGB three decades ago when I was very young. Makes me feel really old now. It was a club and you felt like it was a club. Now it does not feel like a club for many people IMO, just a way of saving money. For a minority I believe it is still a club and these people do make use of leaders sometimes and I hope now it can once again become a better place to find ski partners. But if you look at how many staff are employed it is still very much a business these days.

Andy wrote: 'metamorphosed into a specialist ski holiday operator, with some value added services that many find useful, and a load of discounts that are of use to others'.

If the SCGB changed what they still claim about 'representing all British skiers' then I would be happy. The trouble is I do not think they will do this.

At one time the SCGB were involved with racing. We even made an informal SCGB team to enter the Derby race in Les Arcs, but this all stopped some time ago. The SCGB likes to be involved in racing sponsorship, but that does not make them a race club IMO or representing that aspect of skiing either.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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davidof wrote:


Do you have a view on DG's figures where he claims that only about 10-15% of scgb member's use the service and that take up had been in decline?


Hmmm I think you should know by now to be very circumspect when reading anything of DG's.

According to the latest annual report there were 15,000 skier days (i.e. days skied with leaders) last season. Obviously some people will have skied with a leader more than once so it is difficult to determine how many different people skied with leaders. Maybe DG has used selective data, which he often does, or perhaps he knows the figure from some of his endless correspondence with the club. Either way it still seems a significant figure. The number of skier days actually increased last season.

As a former leader myself I am strongly supportive of the leader system, whilst recognising the ongoing legal and safety discussions. Having said that I have not used it myself since 2001 and assuming I have a few more skiing years left, I still may not need it again. I gained a lot from it which is why I am perfectly happy for part of my membership fee to subsidise it. That funding costs me about ten quid a year which ain't much out of my total skiing spend.

I also belong to a running club which as it happens meets on Wimbledon common on Sunday morning. In my ten years of membership I have rarely attended the midweek training sessions which use private facilities and are paid for by the club. I would guess that no more than fifteen per cent of that membership use those sessions but once again I have no problem with part of my membership fee funding them.
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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?
davidof wrote:


The fact that the scgb is the self proclaimed voice of British skiers makes it everyone else's affair too, to a certain extent.


I am afraid that is another old DG favourite. The club used to make that claim which I thought was pretentious myself, but as far as I know the club quietly and sensibly dropped it at least five years ago if not more. I remember telling DG that on this board ages ago, but of course he will still try to make an issue of it.

I have checked the ski club website but unless there is something so obvious that I have missed it, there appears to be no such claim.

The Memorandum of Association refers to "liaising and working with other skiing organisations and clubs".

In the latest annual report the chairman's statement and the chief exec's statement mention that the skiing bodies in the UK are fragmented and use terms such as "working with" and "supporting" those organisations.

That is very different to DG's misrepresentation.
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Another nice couple of days in the mountains. Time to catch up on all that has been posted.

@richjp, you make an interesting point re. whether SCGB still say they represent all UK skiers. The trouble is not many of us have time to troll through all the SCGB info to see if what DG says is correct or as you say it has now changed. When I have the time I might take a look. I do remember reading that they wrote they 'represented all UK skiers' (not the exact words), but it was a while ago. Maybe it has changed and if so I am very pleased to hear this.

I did read in the figures reported that the ski days with leaders only represented about 5,000 members out of a total membership of around 29,000. Not that many really and how many of those are Fresh Tracks holidays. Would be interesting to see the real break down by resorts and holidays.

It would also be good to see a real move to change the off piste ski policy wording, especially regarding equipment to be carried and going in areas that leaders do not know. Please could one of the current leaders for this season post what are the official rules for off piste skiing this year from the manual. I am sure many people would find that interesting reading.

When I looked last season it still did not say. we recommend that people 'must' carry shovel and probes when going off piste when advising on safe off piste skiing. If as is now being stated in the description of Ambassadors, they will 'give out' transceivers at the start of a day to those that request them. How do they know who can use them or if they have all the other necessary safety equipment to go with just a transceiver? Not much use giving someone a transceiver if they do not have the rest of the gear.

If anything this could make the SCGB Ambassadors personally liable to a negligence claim. Just think for a minute. After an avalanche when questioned the person that was given the gear says, "Oh, the SCGB Ambassador gave it to me so I thought we would be OK". "NO he did not check we had any other gear or knew how to use it!" Very dangerous!

How can an organisation with it's own safety officer (a Mountain Guide), still advise the people looking on their web page that when they go off piste they need a transceiver, but not tell them they MUST also have a shovel and probe.

If the SCGB are now "liaising and working with other skiing organisations and clubs" one would hope the advice they are giving is the same as the Professional Mountain Rescue Officers all over the Alps are recommending. Yet it seems the SCGB think they know best!

The SCGB supports Henry's Avalanche talks in the UK and I know he tells everyone to carry the correct equipment and yet the SCGB do not do this. Talk about double standards!

I would be really interested to read what some of the current leaders and ambassadors think about this situation and their personal liability?
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add on to last sentence.

'Or at the very least, if not legal liability then a 'duty of care' to ensure those they give gear too really understand how to use it and have all the correct equipment.'
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Just having a look at comments from @snowcrazy, @richjp, and others.
I think the figure of 15% of total membership using the 'leading' service is about right. Those members who use it really value it though (based on feedback to the club). Maybe if it disappeared then they would not bother to renew? Leaders accommodation and lift-pass is often provided by resort hotel association or lift company (in the hope of attracting more Brit guests), so it's not a great cash burden on the overall membership.

Similarly, Freshtracks Hols has a load of repeat guests, and is increasing in numbers. Guests meet up with their friends, ski with their favourite leaders or guides, in their favourite resorts. I do Freshtracks leading as well. The holidays are not cheap and the holiday leader is funded through the profit from the guests, plus some group discount on accommodation and flights. As I understand it anyway.
I know that some people just join the Club for the insurance or the discounts, others get what they want from leading, Freshtracks, social events etc. Whether it is really a Club (like the local fishing club) or a commercial organisation (like Chelsea FC) is a matter of opinion. I was unaware of any Club claims to 'represent all skiers' - but it was probably like that in 1950 when everyone met up with their chums in St.Moritz to ski with the Aga Khan, and perhaps do a spot of racing!
Also marketing might encourage new members to join using a slogan like that. I am not really an expert on all the flyers and web-pages.
It seems to me to be an organisation quite similar to the Ramblers in the UK - running holidays, leading walking groups, but not really organising walking races.
if a hiker is trampled by a bull, the press rings up the Ramblers for some comments. If there is a bad avalanche in the Alps the press rings up the ski club to ask them for some comments.

On transceivers - I do try avoid getting sued. The Club website advice page states transceiver, probe shovel for off-piste, and know how to use them'. Sometimes though the more questions you ask the more liable you get. The simplest is to say, 'Members may borrow transceivers - it's up to them to know how to use them and have the other equipment, and know whether to take a guide'.
If we start asking questions then we are assessing their competence to ski safely off-piste. A big problem in court, later? Take Insurance. Leaders are not allowed to advise members on whether their insurance is adequate. we just say, 'It's up to you to have adequate insurance'.
Food for thought?
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Don't see the issue with lending out transceivers myself - what is more likely to get an inexperienced off pister in trouble - renting a transceiver or a renting a pair of fat skis in place of his skinny piste skis? The Alpine Ski Club has been hiring transceivers out (for a pretty nominal fee) for years
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Arno wrote:
Don't see the issue with lending out transceivers myself - what is more likely to get an inexperienced off pister in trouble - renting a transceiver or a renting a pair of fat skis in place of his skinny piste skis? The Alpine Ski Club has been hiring transceivers out (for a pretty nominal fee) for years


Precisely, we've a handful of hysterical hyenas on here, with chips the size of alpine crevasses on their shoulders about the SCGB, so much so they continuously try& make issues about complete non issues I.e. in these poster's eyes;

BS point 1. Lending out transceivers = allegedly a gross violation off their duty of care, why!?
BS point 2, leader's contract , is alleged to have been headed 'Contract of Employment', categorically denied by the SCGB
BS point 3. The scgb styles itself as the voice of British skiing , debunked totally, as the scgb ceased this over 5 years ago
BS point 4. That the ski leader service is being used less by scgb members, yet we now know leading days are up year on year

So essentially, there's a bunch of agenda driven chip merchants, commenting sometimes completely erroneously ( & most worryingly continuing do so, even when proven to be writing blatant untruths) on a spurious case by 1 branch Of the ESF in just 1 resort in France.

I'll let the forum decide on the merits of all this, or otherwise.
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@ELGIT, I have decided to respond in two posts with some examples.

First, you make some good points regarding the SCGB Leaders programme and it will now be the French courts that decide at least in France if, what the Leaders are given is considered payment in kind or just something they can have in return for spending time in a resort working for the SCGB. From my knowledge there are fewer and fewer resorts which are 'giving' SCGB the accommodation and lift passes for free these days. The cost of SCGB leaders programme is quite high according to the published accounts.

@Arno, re. 'The Alpine Ski Club has been hiring transceivers out (for a pretty nominal fee) for years'

Arno please correct me if I am wrong, but Alpine Club only rent out Transceivers from their supply in the UK in advance to a full member of the club going on holiday, not at the bottom of the piste when people can just turn up and ask to borrow one. As Alpine Club is a real club, most people are known to some degree and by it's very nature members are extremely unlikely to rent a transceiver without having the other required safety equipment. A very different situation to that of SCGB.

However I do agree with you about the skis. Going from piste skis to all mountain fat skis makes it much easier to get yourself into trouble and this is happening more and more. But these people could also very easily end up in places where the avalanche risk is higher and not having the correct safety gear could then become a major problem. Another point of view worth considering. There is certainly no easy answer.
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@snowcrazy, they don't dish them out at the bottom of the piste but they hire them to anyone who asks:

http://www.alpineskiclub.org.uk/transceiver-hire/

members of the ASC can borrow them just for the costs of postage

personally, i don't have an issue with the substance of the SCGB leader arrangements. the problem is that they have made it all look like too much of a commercial service and therefore distinguishable from what the CAF and other clubs do
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@ELGIT, On your last point re. transceivers I do not agree with your comment,

'On transceivers - I do try avoid getting sued. The Club website advice page states transceiver, probe shovel for off-piste, and know how to use them'. Sometimes though the more questions you ask the more liable you get. The simplest is to say, 'Members may borrow transceivers - it's up to them to know how to use them and have the other equipment, and know whether to take a guide'.
If we start asking questions then we are assessing their competence to ski safely off-piste. A big problem in court, later? Take Insurance. Leaders are not allowed to advise members on whether their insurance is adequate. we just say, 'It's up to you to have adequate insurance'.

How can someone knowingly give out only part of the required safety equipment to people and not even feel as a 'SCGB Ambassador' or 'Leader' that you do not need to check that all the group have 'ALL' the required equipment or have some responsibility for their safety?

Here are two scenarios that could happen. To the best of my knowledge neither have happened yet to the SCGB, but they could. Just consider!

1) As a SCGB Leader.
"You give out transceivers at the start of your day. You have 8 people in your group, the maximum allowed and only one person has his own gear, quite a common situation I found. You give one person the backpack. You now have 9 people including yourself in your group. Only three shovels and probes. You do not want to teach how to use the transceivers as Leaders are not allowed to teach so you just set off. Avalanche level 2 and on a slope you normally think is safe. But as we all know, ' never say never!' Avalanches can always happen even in the most unlikely places.

Four of your group are caught (could be more, I am being kind), but including one person carrying the shovel and probes. Now with just two shovel and probes you have to find, dig out the people trapped all within 15 min max. (Remember it is possible half those with you will not actually be very good with a transceiver.)"

Do you really think these people, even if it was only one or two could be rescued in time?

What would happen to you when the authorities become involved? Would they consider you as a leader to have taken 'all due care' for your group? How would you defend yourself in court to claims of negligence or worse?

Please note. This has happened in France to the ESF and the Instructor was found guilty of negligence and I think one was charged with manslaughter. If you Google French cases you can find quite a few examples of such cases. This is why the ESF now has a stated policy even if, as we all know some Instructors still do not keep to the policy.

2) Based on the new role of SCGB Ambassador.
"You, as a SCGB Ambassador give out a transceiver to a person or people at the bottom of the lift one morning. It is avalanche level 2, so should be reasonably safe. You do not ask if they have any of the other required equipment or if they know how to use the transceivers etc. Later in the day you are at the meeting point and the group do not turn up to return the borrowed equipment.

You later learn that they went off piste. There was an avalanche and two of the group were killed. In the enquiry that follows it is revealed that although you had given them transceivers, only one person in the group had the other gear so they were unable to find and dig out those buried in time.

The authorities then ask you to appear before them to justify WHY? you gave them only a transceiver knowing that they intended to go off piste and did not think it important that you first checked that they had the other equipment or new how to use it? The authorities decide that as a 'Representative of an Official Organisation' you have been negligent in your actions. They take you to court.

My question to you and any other SCGB Leader's reading this thread. Please, just take a moment to think before responding. This is peoples lives we are talking about. These scenarios could happen.

What would you say to the court to justify your actions. Based on what you have already written. Possible responses I can think off: It was not my responsibility to ask them! It was not my concern what they did after they went away! I am not responsible for their safety! It is up to them to have the correct equipment and know how to use it, It is not for me to check!

I wonder, will the court agree with your point of view if someone has died after you have given them the means to go off piste and not checked that they know how to use it or have all the other required equipment?

Remember you have already stated the following. "The Club website advice page states transceiver, probe shovel for off-piste, and know how to use them'." I think this rather shoots your own argument in the foot!! SCGB Leader's and Ambassadors cannot have it both ways!

THIS COULD HAPPEN!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Arno, Thanks for the link. I did not know they rented out for 12 days to non members for a fee. That is very useful as I am always being asked about renting safety gear.

I would be very interested to read your responses to the two examples I have given above as you also spend a lot of time off piste with others.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
snowcrazy wrote:

Four of your group are caught (could be more, I am being kind),


But generally unrealistic. The number of avalanche incidents which result in a multiple burial is less than 10% (less than 5% in some papers)

NEW TRENDS OF RECREATIONAL AVALANCHE ACCIDENTS IN SWITZERLAND
Stephan Harvey *, Benjamin Zweifel
WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF

and

Revisiting Multiple Burial Statistics: U.S. Avalanche Incidents 1995-2007
By Bruce Edgerly


By all means, discuss the situations you refer to, but do it in the context of the real world.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@feef, Sorry to disagree with you, but in Val a couple of seasons ago and I think in two separate avalanches their were 5 or even six people caught. In La Plagne there were three. IN Les Arcs there were four (in the national park area). It can happen and does. However I did also say what is it was only one or two people. MY question still applies. How Would you deal with the situations if you were the leader and had not checked your group had the proper equipment?

As I said, it does happen and it could. Nobody can say it never happens. As an experienced off piste skier yourself, would you allow yourself to be in this position of justifying your actions. Remember in the second example I did only say two and that is quite common.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
You have heard of two instances where it happened, but that still doesn't make it the rule, nor the most likely scenario.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
...and I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but we always need to evaluate the level of risk, and assuming the worst case all the time is a slippery slope to never leaving your house
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@snowcrazy, for your 2 scenarios:

1. if i was representing a club, let alone a commercial organisation like the ESF, i would not be comfortable taking people "properly" off piste* unless they all had the proper kit (ie everyone had transceiver, probe and shovel). they wouldn't necessarily all have to know how to use it, but I'd want to know that a good proportion of them do. *i know there's supposedly "no such thing as a little off piste", but I also know that that's a bit of a glib statement and there are places you can ski off piste with zero avalanche danger - you just need to be able recognise them
if i was skiing with mates, i might not be quite so strict but I probably would be. I have been burned taking mates of mates along who turn out to be a bit clueless. everyone survived unscathed but frankly I don't need the stress!

2. difficult one, but I don't think providing a transceiver is providing the means for someone to go off piste but it is providing someone a means to be rescued if they get themselves in trouble. turning it around, suppose you ask those questions and at the end of the conversation conclude that these people don't know what they are doing and refuse to give them the transceivers. they then go off piste anyway, get buried and someone dies. i'd feel pretty bad that i'd denied them the means to rescue themselves or be rescued. i think the answer is to have them sign a bit of paper saying they understand the risks of going off piste and that the transceiver is only useful if used in conjunction with a probe and shovel. ultimately, the SCGB can't save people from their own stupidity, and it would be a shame if their lending transceivers was seen as condoning everything that someone does while wearing it
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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?
should add that I have no idea whether the SCGB leaders have been taking people "properly" off piste (or off piste) at all recently
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@Arno, thanks for the response. I think we are broadly in agreement regarding the first scenario. I also feel there is a great difference between going with your mates and taking people somewhere when you represent an organisation. I certainly know places where I would happily ski off piste without any equipment if just with a few close friends. We all know the area well and can be certain due to angle of slope etc that it never slides. But with other people it is a very different situation.

Regarding scenario 2. I am not so sure I agree with your thoughts. Yes, they might go off piste anyway, but as the SCGB give the advice that you should have all the correct equipment. How can you then only give out a transceiver and not even ask if they have the rest. Better to say no they cannot have just a transceiver unless they can show you they have the other gear. I personally think for an organisation it is all about supporting 'good practise'. Not closing your eyes and hope you do not get the blame.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@feef, you have been very selective in what you have taken from my post. I am sure it would be useful to many readers of this thread if you could comment on the two scenarios and apply your own numbers, be it one person or two if you prefer. The same issues still stand. What would you when faced with these kind of situation? Check all the equipment, not check etc?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@snowcrazy, I certainly think they should tell them that the transceiver is only useful if you have a probe and shovel. i worry that if you get too school marmish about it, the process feels like an interrogation and people decide that it's not worth the bother. however, this doesn't necessarily stop them going off piste
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@snowcrazy,

Following your logic, ski shops should not be selling transceivers to people unless they know how to use them. Puzzled
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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!
snowcrazy wrote:
@ELGIT,
"You, as a SCGB Ambassador give out a transceiver to a person or people at the bottom of the lift one morning. It is avalanche level 2, so should be reasonably safe. You do not ask if they have any of the other required equipment or if they know how to use the transceivers etc. Later in the day you are at the meeting point and the group do not turn up to return the borrowed equipment.

You later learn that they went off piste. There was an avalanche and two of the group were killed. In the enquiry that follows it is revealed that although you had given them transceivers, only one person in the group had the other gear so they were unable to find and dig out those buried in time.

The authorities then ask you to appear before them to justify WHY? you gave them only a transceiver knowing that they intended to go off piste and did not think it important that you first checked that they had the other equipment or new how to use it? The authorities decide that as a 'Representative of an Official Organisation' you have been negligent in your actions. They take you to court.


So any company hiring out transceivers, even from the UK, or in a local hire shop has the same "responsibility" to ensure that the customer has all the avvy equipment and knows how to use it???
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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.
The lift-pass office doesn't sell you a lift pass without verifying you can ski (or checking you have lessons booked)

Ski hire doesn't rent you equipment without verifying you can ski (or checking you have lessons booked)

Specialist hire shops will rent out individual pieces of equipment without verifying you have other components.

Same goes for this...

However... there's a difference between providing a transceiver for hire when asked or offering a transceiver for hire if someone has expressed an interest and suggesting transceiver hire without at least mentioning other equipment is required.

personally... I'd make it known transceivers were available for those that wanted them. I'd make sure they knew that they should also have shovels and probes and know how to use them. Beyond that, it's their decision to make and that applies to both an ambassador giving some suggestions for the day, or for leading a group.

The difference would be that if I was with a group of friends, I would endeavour to make sure there were sufficient shovels and probes between us, but I still wouldn't require that every single person had one. In the event of a multiple burial, some can be digging while some can be searching with transceivers.

when a friend asks to borrow a tool of mine, I don't query if he knows how to use it either.

I think the application of common sense comes in on both sides
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

The lift-pass office doesn't sell you a lift pass without verifying you can ski (or checking you have lessons booked)

Ski hire doesn't rent you equipment without verifying you can ski (or checking you have lessons booked)


You're making this up shirley Laughing Laughing

When buying a lift pass I've never been asked to verify that I can ski or that I have lessons booked. The only question has been "avec insurance?"
Similarly when hiring skis I've been asked "are you a good skier, do you ski black pistes, will you be in the ski park?" but not can you ski or do you have lessons booked.

Go back to the start and try again Laughing Laughing
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