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SCGB Suspends Repping Service in France

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@halfhand, +1. The only places I have been asked about my skiing ability were a) local dry slope b) Castleford who both asked if I could snowplough stop and turn.
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halfhand wrote:
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


That is my point.

You're never asked about ability when you buy a lift pass or rent kit, so why should someone lending out transceivers be required to ask the same?
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halfhand wrote:
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


Err, Go back to the start and try again ....
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limegreen1 wrote:
halfhand wrote:
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


Err, Go back to the start and try again ....


Errr, nah don't think so Laughing Laughing
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@feef, You didn't make your point clearly in the first instance (my opinion) so thanks for the clarification wink
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@richjp, and others, I really do not think any of you get the point I am trying to make.

If SCGB did as Arno explained for the Alipne Club, and only rented them out in advance from the UK (they did do this in the past, not sure if they still do), then that would be fine. That is a business transaction and different rental rules apply just like when you rent a pair of skis or a car. Also anyone doing this in advance is likely to have a better knowledge of what they are doing although not necessarily I agree (before anyone tells me this).

However for Ambassadors to give them out for free at the bottom of the piste (in front of the ESF, other ski schools or guides) to those that ask for them without any guidance as has now been advertised I think might be leaving the organisation and the individual responsible open to problems.

This is know longer a business transaction if the SCGB, as they say, is a club and IMO a different level of responsibility should apply. I do not think I know of any other organisation that would do this without being sure the members new how to use them first.

As I said in my example of this scenario, even if it was not considered a legal problem. Would the person that gave the transceiver out not feel some moral responsibility to be happy those they give them to know what they were doing. How would someone feel if they later learned that an accident took place.

Hypothetical I know, but moral responsibility is also important for an organisation like SCGB.

I notice that nobody other than Arno has replied to the first scenario. Pity. As there are a number of SCGB Leader's reading this thread it would be nice to hear how they would handle this situation. And please, to keep Leef happy, change the numbers to one or two people buried. I really do not think the number is that important when you do not have enough rescue gear from the outset.
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snowcrazy wrote:
@richjp, and others, I really do not think any of you get the point I am trying to make.


Speaking only for myself, I certainly do get the point you are trying to make.

I simply disagree with it.
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Being that neither club insists on you knowing how to use a transceiver, nor offer instruction on how to use a tranceiver not make a clause that you can only " rent a transceiver as long as you have asovel and probe, and neother club verifies your answers if asked ...Could you please explain what the difference between "renting "the transceiver to club members , or offering them to club members is apart from financial ? You say you are OK with the Alpine club doing so but question the morality of the ski club ??
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Sorry, but I can't correct the grammar on my post. Well , not that I can't rather than I can't find the edit button !
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Sorry .... In addition .. You would be OK with the scgb morality if anyone wanting to rent / borrow a scgb transceiver sent a message of intent the night before ?
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@limegreen1, I hate having this thread here as well. I still think we should move it to the piste section so we can edit our mistakes after reading what we have posted.

To answer your question. The difference for me is one is a business transaction and therefore covered by various legal points in a rental agreement which IMO would apply in the same way as a shop renting you gear in a resort.

The other, is a club, just giving stuff out for free with know checking and know legal cover, The disclaimer people sign I have been told is not actually, to quote a lawyer. 'Worth the money it is printed on' should a case end up in court.

That is why I feel that for the example of giving out only transceivers is irresponsible IMO. I do notice that nobody else has yet commented on on the 1st scenario.

@richjp, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree in that case. As I have written here. I think renting in advance and being given something on the piste is very different.
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I ment 'worth the paper it is printed on' I think you all knew that. BUT just in case, Very Happy
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snowcrazy wrote:
The disclaimer people sign I have been told is not actually, to quote a lawyer. 'Worth the money it is printed on' should a case end up in court.


it depends what you are trying to disclaim
i think someone would have a very difficult job showing that by lending someone a transceiver you took on some sort of duty to them
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I went to the court in Albertville today but the cases before were taking for ever so didn't finally stay to watch proceedings.
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The SCGB Premier Party is taking place in Val D'Isere this week. I hear they have employed an ESF instructor as one of the Guides Puzzled Not surprisingly this has not gone down well with some members rolling eyes rolling eyes
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@Arno, With regards to an Ambassador and the disclaimer. I think giving someone a transceiver at the bottom of the piste for the day is not the same as paying to rent one in advance of your days skiing from a shop or somewhere like the Alpine Club. Rental agreements are covered by rental conditions and legal stuff to ensure the rental agent is not liable if the product is misused. This would cover anything from speeding in a rental car to breaking your rental skis etc. So I would presume there are similar conditions which would cover transceivers.

IMO, if SCGB 'give out' (not a rental agreement) only part of the required 'off piste' safety gear at the bottom of the piste then they have a moral duty to ensure those that take them have the other stuff as well and know how to use it. Maybe it is being a 'nanny', but these are the times we now live in. I know you would not take people off piste knowingly without the right gear. I think many Leader's I know are being put in a difficult position by this policy.

I take your point about the disclaimer, but wonder how it would really be viewed if something happened Puzzled

@stewart woodward, as an ESF person, what is your view on this issue.

@feef, I hope you saw my post over on the other thread and look forward to hearing your thoughts on my reply.

So far only Arno and you have commented on the examples I gave, pity. I hope others will share there experience of these kind of situations.
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@snowcrazy, under English law, a disclaimer can be just as effective (or ineffective) as more formal terms and conditions - it depends on what it is disclaiming and how the recipient is notified of it. but for the disclaimer/terms and conditions to be even relevant, the law has to impose a duty of care, and I really think it is stretching it a bit to say that just because you hand someone a piece of equipment, you become responsible for everything they do while in possession of that piece of equipment, especially when that piece of equipment is a safety device (it would be different if you lent a gun to someone who was clearly deranged)

anyway, that's my view under English law, no idea what the position would be under French law
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Snowcrazy .. What was the response from the SCGB when you pointed out your concerns regard " giving out" transceivers rather than renting them out. Did you suggest the member pay a nominal fee and sign a rental slip at the time of signing in on the day ? Seems an easy one to cover ...
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@limegreen1, I thought SCGB didn't do off piste guiding? If they are renting an off piste guide for the day, that guide surely has the duty of care to make sure that the skiers in the party have the right equipment and the skills to use said equipment? The person lending the transceiver doesn't have any responsibility if it is misused, however they might find themselves in hot water if it turned out that the transceiver didn't work and hadn't been maintained etc.

It seems to me that the more we shine a light on the scambassadors the more we discover confusion, leaders acting outside their responsibilities and an organisation which is not communicating effectively with its own leaders, let alone with its membership. And the more scrabbling around done to try and explain away various bits of the confusion and malpractice we find more scenarios that don't fit with a safe and sensible approach to things. This (from personal experience of other sports trying to achieve the same kind of thing) is what happens when you employ enthusiastic but ultimately underskilled volunteers to do a job which is complex, quite highly skilled, and can result in chaos and serious injury or death if done badly.

Far easier would be for the SCGB to accept that in the past A, B and C have happened, that it was back in the good old days before anyone was really looking, and that was not what should have been going on. The service from now on will be X, Y and Z to comply with various local laws, increased requirement to avoid liability for the club, leaders and members, but instead there seems to be a policy of trying to defend everything that has gone on in the past and somehow try and keep doing the same in future.
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@Mistress Panda, what's your problem with leaders?

that it is people who aren't professionally qualified getting together to do something which you consider to be dangerous?
that it is a commercial service masquerading as something non-commercial?
something else?
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@Arno, I think my personal issue (though I believe any service like this should stand up to the scrutiny that it is currently under, which it is not) is that the TOs are no longer able to guide in France, and personally I can't see a difference legally between a TO and SCGB. What I would like is for both to be allowed to carry on providing a hosting service around pistes, show customers where is good to stop for lunch, and allow people to meet up with other skiers for the day.

What seems to have happened is that the French didn't much like this, partly driven by organisations like the ESF, no doubt partly driven by seeing inexperienced and/or unqualified guides taking customers offpiste, providing informal tuition, and cutting the locals out of the deal. AIUI, that wasn't really in their remit, and the continued bleating from a commercial organisation that the ambassadors were unpaid volunteers when they are being given benefits that would cost me as a customer several thousand pounds of renumeration just adds to the ill-feeling.

It is also a reliable source of stuff to kick around and discuss because it seems riddled with holes large enough to drive a bus through, while others on the other side of the debate try and pretend there are no holes at all, and today my choice is either kicking this subject around or chasing a double glazing company to do their job.
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@Mistress Panda, OK, thanks. I think calling this a "service" is the problem for the TOs and SCGB. I used to lead ski touring trips for a club myself which might look like a higher risk activity than what the SCGB leaders get up to* but I never saw myself as offering a service, nor were my activities ever described as such. In fact, if someone on the tour started treating me like a service provider (s)he would probably have got told to "do one" Evil or Very Mad

* I am more worried about getting taken out by a blue run hero on piste than most off piste hazards - cos I can avoid off piste hazards but I can't guarantee that I avoid the blue run hero
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Update on the court case in Albertville yesterday:
After a long day due to delays, the case for both sides was put forward and the result will be issued in 6-8 weeks time.
That's it for now...............................
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@Mistress Panda, The difference to me is TO staff were paid. SCGB reps/leaders are not. Sure they receive a free lift pass (as all ski instructors do in the Espace Killy do) and the resort paid for the accom because they want to a part of the action and the business SCGB brings to the resorts. Meals were provided by bars as inducement to draw punters in for the social hour (as restaurants give free meals on the mountain to instructors). All this action will do is result in less trade for ESF as we vote with our feet to other schools or other countries, eventually the rest of the business people who make up the other 99% of the resorts' total economy will get pissed off and have a word with their mates in red.
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@KenX, thanks for the news. Did you go to the hearing yourself?

@chocksaway, what you have stated is not really the case in many resorts. You mention Val d Isere. In fact the ski Instructors get the ski pass in return for working in the resort, working. According to your own words, scgb leaders are not working so this is totally different. In fact in some resorts the instructors must also give up time to do ski demos and other stuff for free in return for the ski pass.

I think i am also correct that scgb must pay for ski passes in val. They did pay for accommadtion and food. I might be wrong, but i think they still pay for everything in val. Nothing is given to scgb for free in val. If you look carefully at the accounts you will see that scgb leaders cost the members quite a large amount of money.



On the mountains there are very few places to eat these days that give scgb leaders lunch for free. Sometimes a drink, but not that much in many resorts.

All these details can be seen in the resort notes which leaders are given at the start of the season. I know these change each season, so my details might be out of date. But it is a fact that scgb leaders do cost members quite a lot of money.
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@Mistress Panda, i agree with you. There seems to me little difference between what ski hosts did and what scgb leaders did in France. I do not agree with either being stopped if they just toured around the pistes and stopped for lunch or drinks. I do not think many people that enjoyed this service will pay ski instructors to do this for them.

But i also agree with the ESF that the off piste groups do take away business from them. If the scgb did not go off piste, even near to the piste i think many of these people would pay to be taught properly.

As for giving out gear by ambassadors I think I have already made my views clear. Not a well thought out idea at all. Very Happy
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PS. As I cannot edit my last post. I do not know how it could be done, but I think the North American ski host system
in many resorts works really well. I have even done this officially for Les Arcs Resort in the past before all this trouble started.

If it can still work in NA, there must be a way of doing this in Europe and keeping everyone happy! Just a thought!
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@snowcrazy,
Haha, I'm not "that" Ken (Piddlesden) who got stopped......................
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Snowcrazy ... So in val disere the club pays for the accommodation and lift pass and they dont get free meals, rather then it all being provided by the resort and used by a representative. The point of renumeration gets finer... One only the court can decide on.
Again, did you approach the club with your concern re transceivers ?
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@snowcrazy, OK maybe I wasn't precise but that's what happens in Tignes. But all instructors get a free pass in the E-K - yes they do nominally do 2 days work for their pass - but one days work can be a couple of hours on a torchlight descent (see Steve Angus's reports). So if I choose to twist the story an ESF instructor gets a €1060 season pass for 2 days work - not a bad hourly rate and if it is in return for work should it not be a taxable benefit - they might like to test that in the courts...........
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@chocksaway, Actually, re. Instructors Ski pass, I think it was tested in court or for employment contract law in France and an agreement was made I guess with the French tax man. Best one to comment on that would be @stewart woodward, as he is with the ESF.

However I think you miss the point. The ESF are professional Ski Instructors and this is the way they make their living. Each country has a different way of helping their Instructors. According to one friend. BASI fully qualified guys also get the free pass in France I think. Might even apply to BASI level 3's but not sure. In Switzerland Instructor's normally pay a reduced rate. I do not know about other places.

In contrast as you reminded us, the SCGB maintain that the Leader's are not employed. They are not qualified in any way. They do not work all the season in one place for a ski school and do not bring that much business to the ski resorts. I really think this is another example of you wanting to have it both ways. Either they are employed and should get some discounts or they are not and should pay like everyone else.

Also, I am not sure the example you gave is what still actually happens in Tignes anymore either as it is the same lift company. CDA own all of the Espace Killy ski area. I know the Alpacka use to provide the food for free. With the new management I do not know if that is still happening. For accommodation, it was in the Season workers building at a small cost, again not sure where it is now or if it is free. What ever the SCGB Leader's do get, it is a big expense they are saving. Is it a payment or not, only a court can decide. But it is interesting to debate this.

So far I have not read any real arguments to demonstrate that the amount of payment in kind provided by the SCGB either directly or indirectly to it's Leaders is any different to that of a Ski Host with a tour company accept for the £50 pocket money which the young ski host gets. But then the SCGB Leader's get reduced or zero bar bills in some places if they are lucky.

@limegreen1, Yes regarding the transceivers, it has been mentioned to the SCGB in the past on a number of occasions regarding why they ONLY give out transceivers and not all the required safety gear.

They never give a straight answer as, bottom line, IMO they know what they are doing is wrong and could be deemed unsafe should one of their groups ever be caught in an avalanche (I sincerely hope that never happens). The answers they do give are very evasive to say the least.

I have noted that until now, only one Leader has commented about the scenarios I gave and then he basically agreed with not wanting to take risks. But has not specially defended the SCGB position of not giving out full equipment. Makes anyone reading this thread wonder what Leader's really think about the SCGB own policy on this issue.

If any Leader's want to jump in to this debate please do!
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@snowcrazy, I don't think I am missing the point - it may just be a different point to you. As you say the ESF are professional ski instructors - the Ski Club Leaders are not - they are not there to instruct just show people round the mountain - this is a different role. The SC leaders are qualified - they have to pass a course which they have to pay for; they are graded and have to requalify every so many years. They receive payment in kind in some respects, I was merely pointing out that all instructors in the E-K can and do receive similar payments in kind with the exception of the accom.

If the point is:
Quote:

Each country has a different way of helping their Instructors.

then that is fine but may be classed as protectionism, but whatever the outcome it will be pyrrhic IMHO as the bad press created will ensure a good number of Brits will never use ESF for instruction again and if there are no SC leaders in a resort, people will go to resorts where they can operate. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Club many regard the Leader service as dear.

I cannot confirm if passes are still free for the SC in Tignes this year but I see no reason for it to change as STGM was the first acquisition by CDA in 1989, STVI was absorbed into CDA in 2007. However, CDA is a federated company and they act relatively autonomously. They also do not own the ski resorts they hold a licence to operate them from the relevant commune (I think Tignes was 20 years last time it was negotiated) and they also provide different levels of service in resorts. For instance in Val they do all the grooming and safety, in Tignes that is done by a different organisation. A long winded way of saying what goes in Val doesn't apply to Tignes.

We will just have to wait and see what the court decides can be considered reasonable. At least with TOs the staff had contracts, wage slips and payment into a bank account so that was much easier for a court to decide.
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As it is always good to have both sides to a debate published. Here is the link for those that wish to read what was stated by the SCGB following the court hearing on Monday.

http://www.planetski.eu/news/6530

The main argument seems to revolve around remuneration. "Article L.212-1 of the French Code du Sport means people can not lead people round the mountains for remuneration unless they are suitably qualified ski instructors."

'The SCGB agrue, "The Club says this is within the terms of French law and is covered by a note to Article L.212-1: "a remuneration is any compensation in money or in kind given or received and which is strictly speaking superior to the reimbursement of the duly justified costs".

The Club argued that the remuneration given is 'justified costs'.

The prosecution argued in court that the service breaks the law and should be ended.'

I guess it will now be for the Judges to make their decision.

Although some people might be surprised to read this, I actually hope the SCGB do win on this point of law. It will set a good president for the future for everyone else. If they do win and ONLY lead groups around the pistes, then that would be a good result.

However there was also an interesting comment by the SCGB advocat: "Monsieur Carnelutti dismissed all calls that they (SCGB Leader's) acted unsafely, "The Ski Club does not compromise on safety" he told the court."

And the Chief Executive also stated, "The Leaders, formerly known as Reps, take members round the mountains skiing with them both on and off piste."

I wonder, is the advocate representing the SCGB aware that the SCGB does not follow 'local piste authority advice' and ensure that all it's members carry the required off piste safety equipment or (I will even compromise my own position for the sake of argument) enough group members carry all safety equipment to ensure in case of an avalanche resuce might be possible. I know of many occasions when SCGB groups had insufficient equipment. Remember an avalabche can take place quite near to a piste. But still to far away for quick assistance by the pisteurs.

Any skier or snowboarder only needs to look on the many signs around most resorts to see it stating that this equipment is required. In some parts of Italy it has now been made a local bylaw that it is carried.

I have noticed that nobody has disagreed with me that this equipment is needed when skiing off piste. If the SCGB made it obiglatory for all it's members if they wished to be loaned a transciever to have this equipment, this would go a long way to make their case stronger. Until they do this, they will always look rather unprofessional at the very least.

They also still have the problem re. not teaching. I strongly argue that it is also unsafe to take people 'off piste' for the first time away from controlled areas if you are not prepared to teach them how to stay safe.

If the SCGB made it policy that leaders only skied 'on piste', they would not appear to be taking away work from the ski schools and NOT 'compromising safety'. Very Happy
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Looking at the reps from the French/ESF point of view must be confusing to say the least. They are there in uniform, leading, sometimes giving hints and tips, taking groups through the ski school line (I've seen this regularly at Flegere bottom station) next they turn up as reps on fresh tracks holidays with an accompanying guide or instructor where the members are on a paid for trip. I don't think a court is the best place for this anomaly to be ironed out, but it did need sorting.
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@chocksaway, First, the SCGB Leader's ARE NOT qualified in any way. The training course run in Tignes at the moment only gives an overall feeling for leading. It does not teach all the skills needed to 'lead groups' or 'rescue people' at a sufficient level to be recognised as an official course by any governing body of skiing. I do not know who told you this course gives a qualification. It does not. But it is a good refresher for those that already know what they are doing. (There are some SCGB leaders that also might be BASI Instructors, but they are not allowed to work in France.)

I accept your point about CDA and there role in Tignes re. Val d'Isere. I also am not sure as I stated whether the lift passes are free still in Tignes.

As to the difference between a Ski Instructor and a SCGB leader. I think there is a very big difference and they cannot be compared in terms of entitlement to remuneration so we will have to agree to differ on this point. No point in going round in circles. It cannot be protectionism as the BASI, Swiss, Italian etc. Instructors also get the same discount.

Are you aware that the SCGB leaders also have contracts, payments into banks back in the UK and stated monetary expenses they will receive. Not quite as clear cut as you might think.
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@jbob, I agree with you. This did need sorting out and had this problem been handled better by SCGB it need never have ended in a court case. The writing had been on the wall for some time, with warnings being given and ignored by SCGB. A bit of a case of, 'head in the sand'.

IMO, if the SCGB had agreed be seen to be limiting their activities and pushing more work towards the ski schools rather than being seen to be acting as professionals on the mountain which they are not, even if that was not their intention, then this problem might have been resolved. I guess now we shall all have to wait and hear what the court decides.
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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!
Having dipped in& out of this thread, I decided to renew my SCGB membership today in advance of another great season ahead hopefully.

The fact that this allows me ski with fellow members and share organising& costs for guides as well as using the 'in the dock' ski ladder service are the main features why I renewed, but the fact that it probably irks posters like DG, SnowC & Miss P, is just the cherry on the cake!!

Yours in sport!! Don't forget to enjoy the mountain Smile
latest report
 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.
@horgand, I am very happy that you have continued your membership. I have many friends who are members. I hope you have a great season. I have already had a few days on the snow and it has been fun. From Friday I will be skiing or snowboarding in different places for the next five months almost every day. Not a bad life! Very Happy

But do not worry, I shall still find time at least once a week to come on here and keep things going. I shall post on the other thread in the piste section as it is much easier to edit your mistakes.

Hope you have a nice winter and who knows maybe we will meet for a nice friendly chat and a beer whilst skiing with the SCGB this winter. Toofy Grin
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I have now copied my last posts to the other thread in the piste section.

Please can anyone that wants to continue with this debate post replies in the SCGB thread in the Piste section. I really hate not being able to edit my mistakes.
snow conditions



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