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Changes to Ski Club Off Piste policy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It somewhat surprises me that people were previously allowed on a SCGB off-piste course without a probe and shovel?

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2019/01/changes-to-ski-club-off-piste-policy?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Ray Zorro, does not surprise me at all rolling eyes

I'm still confused as to what a leader does and how they can operate in France??

Though like I said maybe I have the wrong end of the stick ?


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Thu 3-01-19 9:58; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Ray Zorro wrote:
It somewhat surprises me that people were previously allowed on a SCGB off-piste course without a probe and shovel?

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2019/01/changes-to-ski-club-off-piste-policy?


On an off-piste Freshtracks holiday all the kit has been a requirement for over 20 years. Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe. Leaders of course always have a beacon and carry a shovel and probe, on or off-piste.
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Gerry wrote:


.........Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe. Leaders of course always have a beacon and carry a shovel and probe, on or off-piste.


That all sounds so Mickey Mouse Puzzled

I should add that my cynicism is due to having skied with a Ski Club of Great Britain person* who only carried a transceiver and no other gear and I did WTF at her and she could not see what the problem was!

*and over the years have come across others
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Weathercam wrote:
Gerry wrote:


.........Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe. Leaders of course always have a beacon and carry a shovel and probe, on or off-piste.


That all sounds so Mickey Mouse Puzzled

I should add that my cynicism is due to having skied with a Ski Club person* who only carried a transceiver and no other gear and I did WTF at her and she could not see what the problem was!

*and over the years have come across others


Not Mickey Mouse anymore.

It was part of the reason why I gave up Resort Leading in favour of backmarking for guides and instructors on Freshtracks. It was only one or two turning up without kit when I skied with Resort Leaders last year but it still really annoyed me and everyone else.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 4-01-19 8:43; edited 1 time in total
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Personally, I think going off for a day skiing off piste with a group with only a beep is utterly selfish - you are in effect saying "I'm expecting you all to rescue me, if it comes to it, but I couldn't be arsed to bother trying to save you."

I usually put my beep on when I'm getting dressed and before I've decided where I'm skiing. So I often do end up wearing a beep but have no pack but only because I'm on piste skis. If I pick up my off piste skis, I'll pick up my pack at the same time.
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admin wrote:
Personally, I think going off for a day skiing off piste with a group with only a beep is utterly selfish - you are in effect saying "I'm expecting you all to rescue me, if it comes to it, but I couldn't be arsed to bother trying to save you."


Exactly that, but for years nearly everyone has had all the kit. Ski Club leading record: one avalanche death since the first Reps went out in the 1920s, with no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders.
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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!
@Gerry, can you imagine the shite and embarrassment, God Forbid, if there was an incident, and that all came out in the wash?

I can't believe that crap was still happening last year and you actually bothered skiing with muppets like that, but hey it's a free holiday!

For sure there are days when it should be 99% safe (Spring) but again there might be an incident not in your party but elsewhere on another aspect where you could help.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 3-01-19 10:48; edited 1 time in total
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Weathercam wrote:
@Gerry, can you imagine the shite and embarrassment, God Forbid, if there was an incident, and that all came out in the wash?

I can't believe that crap was still happening last year and you actually bothered skiing with muppets like that, but hey it's a free holiday!

For sure there are days when it should be 99% safe (Spring) but again there might be an incident not in your party but elsewhere on another aspect that you could help.


It wasn't a free holiday, I was in resort skiing on my own money and went out with the Resort Leader on her off-piste days. Anyway, this guy turned up without a backpack but fully in the knowledge that policy said he didn't have to have one. He asked me if he could but has water bottle in my pack and I told me to fuck off in a smiley way. He soon realised he wasn't up to standard and cut out anyway.

'99% safe (Spring)', yeah right, cough cough
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@admin, I agree with your approach but do tend to take a shovel and probe even if planning to stay on piste. As someone once pointed out to me: Imagine the scenario of an avalanche going over a piste (it happens) and you've tracked a victim with your transceiver and you're thinking of that shovel and probe sitting in your apartment while the fifteen minutes count down as you try to dig someone out with your hands....
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@Gerry, if you time it right, (I'm talking touring), right route selection, get off the hill in time then Spring is relatively safe.........
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Weathercam wrote:
@Gerry, if you time it right, (I'm talking touring), right route selection, get off the hill in time then Spring is relatively safe.........


Have you had any formal training, just out of interest?
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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
Weathercam wrote:

I'm still confused as to what a leader does and how they can operate in France??


Gerry wrote:
[Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe.


Do SCGB leaders still take club members off piste ? What are the guidelines covering this ?
With all due respect the 5 day ski leaders course is hardly a suitable qualification for alpine environment (compared to a professional guide or instructor).

Mickey Mouse doesn't even begin to describe it.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Weathercam wrote:

I'm still confused as to what a leader does and how they can operate in France??


Gerry wrote:
[Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe.


Do SCGB leaders still take club members off piste ?
What are the rules / guidelines governing this ?
With all due respect the 5 day ski leaders course is hardly a suitable qualification for alpine environment (compared to a guide / ISTD instructor).

Mickey Mouse doesn't even begin to describe it.


Yes, Leaders still lead off-piste. There's a policy drawn up by our Alpin Advisor who is a fully qualified mountain guide.

I don't know where this 5 days of training myth came from. Another haggis fact? The Ski Club used to use the same mountain gude trainers that BASI use and people who have done both have said that the training is the same, pretty much. The Club is now using the American Avalanche Association courses for training and these are internationally recognised qualifications.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Seems a sensible change, even if a bit overdue.

Logically it might also lead to a few changes to "on-piste" days. Leaders may make it clear to participants that they should not play around off the sides of the piste, or cut between pistes, unless appropriately equipped. And itineraries, even if open, will be avoided.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Shocked
Gerry wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Weathercam wrote:

I'm still confused as to what a leader does and how they can operate in France??


Gerry wrote:
[Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe.


Do SCGB leaders still take club members off piste ?
What are the rules / guidelines governing this ?
With all due respect the 5 day ski leaders course is hardly a suitable qualification for alpine environment (compared to a guide / ISTD instructor).

Mickey Mouse doesn't even begin to describe it.


Yes, Leaders still lead off-piste. There's a policy drawn up by our Alpin Advisor who is a fully qualified mountain guide.

I don't know where this 5 days of training myth came from. Another haggis fact? The Ski Club used to use the same mountain gude trainers that BASI use and people who have done both have said that the training is the same, pretty much. The Club is now using the American Avalanche Association courses for training and these are internationally recognised qualifications.


Ok, leaders course seems to be full 2 weeks Very Happy

It is disengenious to compare that to qualifications and experience that ski instructor in alpine nation would require. Not least when it is debatable if SCGB is a club or commercial organisation (in reality a bit of both)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ray Zorro wrote:
It somewhat surprises me that people were previously allowed on a SCGB off-piste course without a probe and shovel?

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2019/01/changes-to-ski-club-off-piste-policy?


All part of the SCGB attempts to become relevant again.

It will be an uphill struggle from where they are.
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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?
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Shocked
Gerry wrote:
Haggis_Trap wrote:
Weathercam wrote:

I'm still confused as to what a leader does and how they can operate in France??


Gerry wrote:
[Skiing with a Resort Leader off-piste was different in that only a beacon was required for individuals but there had to be a backmarker with shovel and probe.


Do SCGB leaders still take club members off piste ?
What are the rules / guidelines governing this ?
With all due respect the 5 day ski leaders course is hardly a suitable qualification for alpine environment (compared to a guide / ISTD instructor).

Mickey Mouse doesn't even begin to describe it.


Yes, Leaders still lead off-piste. There's a policy drawn up by our Alpin Advisor who is a fully qualified mountain guide.

I don't know where this 5 days of training myth came from. Another haggis fact? The Ski Club used to use the same mountain gude trainers that BASI use and people who have done both have said that the training is the same, pretty much. The Club is now using the American Avalanche Association courses for training and these are internationally recognised qualifications.


Ok, leaders course seems to be full 2 weeks Very Happy

It is disengenious to compare that to qualifications and experience that ski instructor in alpine nation would require. Not least when it is debatable if SCGB is a club or commercial organisation (in reality a bit of both)


The training is part of the American Avalanche Association and internationally recognised. The reality is that the SCGB is a not for profit club.
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esaw1 wrote:
@admin, I agree with your approach but do tend to take a shovel and probe even if planning to stay on piste. As someone once pointed out to me: Imagine the scenario of an avalanche going over a piste (it happens) and you've tracked a victim with your transceiver and you're thinking of that shovel and probe sitting in your apartment while the fifteen minutes count down as you try to dig someone out with your hands....
Yes I know - and that has indeed occurred to me. It's just that it's so nice skiing pistes without a pack. And my shovel and probe are in the airbag pack which is bulkier - do I take my laptop out of my ordinary pack and replace it with shovel and probe - what if there's an emergency on snowHeads and I need my laptop? Confused Then there's the first aid kit, the foil blanket, the power brick[s], headtorch, the spare gloves, goggles, chocolate, salami....
Ah sod it... I'm going skiing, now, on piste, without a bag!!!

... is roughly how the decision process goes Confused
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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admin wrote:
esaw1 wrote:
@admin, I agree with your approach but do tend to take a shovel and probe even if planning to stay on piste. As someone once pointed out to me: Imagine the scenario of an avalanche going over a piste (it happens) and you've tracked a victim with your transceiver and you're thinking of that shovel and probe sitting in your apartment while the fifteen minutes count down as you try to dig someone out with your hands....
Yes I know - and that has indeed occurred to me. It's just that it's so nice skiing pistes without a pack. And my shovel and probe are in the airbag pack which is bulkier - do I take my laptop out of my ordinary pack and replace it with shovel and probe - what if there's an emergency on snowHeads and I need my laptop? Confused Then there's the first aid kit, the foil blanket, the power brick[s], headtorch, the spare gloves, goggles, chocolate, salami....
Ah sod it... I'm going skiing, now, on piste, without a bag!!!

... is roughly how the decision process goes Confused


I think you are being sensible.
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Gerry wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
@Gerry, if you time it right, (I'm talking touring), right route selection, get off the hill in time then Spring is relatively safe.........


Have you had any formal training, just out of interest?


Yes I do as a matter of fact, but certainly do not, or would not consider that as a defacto for everything.

And it's not all about qualifications but experience too.

If anything it means you are far more cautious, but still did not stop me getting caught in some trees a few years back.

I simply would not ski with people who obviously do not give a damn and have such a selfish attitude, regardless of carrying the right gear their attitude must permeate through into other scenarios on the mountain where you might need to rely on people and common sense.

And whilst you say things have changed this year and last, you must have still been partaking in this type of group activty fully aware of the limitations for how many years?
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Weathercam wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
@Gerry, if you time it right, (I'm talking touring), right route selection, get off the hill in time then Spring is relatively safe.........


Have you had any formal training, just out of interest?


Yes I do as a matter of fact, but certainly do not, or would not consider that as a defacto for everything.

And it's not all about qualifications but experience too.

If anything it means you are far more cautious, but still did not stop me getting caught in some trees a few years back.

I simply would not ski with people who obviously do not give a damn and have such a selfish attitude, regardless of carrying the right gear their attitude must permeate through into other scenarios on the mountain where you might need to rely on people and common sense.

And whilst you say things have changed this year and last, you must have still been partaking in this type of group activty fully aware of the limitations for how many years?


For years it's only been one or two people turning up with no gear. Usually not good enough anyway and soon got rid of, but it was a real pain, yes, and I'm glad it's all sorted now. Completely agree about experience.
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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!
admin wrote:
esaw1 wrote:
@admin, I agree with your approach but do tend to take a shovel and probe even if planning to stay on piste. As someone once pointed out to me: Imagine the scenario of an avalanche going over a piste (it happens) and you've tracked a victim with your transceiver and you're thinking of that shovel and probe sitting in your apartment while the fifteen minutes count down as you try to dig someone out with your hands....
Yes I know - and that has indeed occurred to me. It's just that it's so nice skiing pistes without a pack. And my shovel and probe are in the airbag pack which is bulkier - do I take my laptop out of my ordinary pack and replace it with shovel and probe - what if there's an emergency on snowHeads and I need my laptop? Confused Then there's the first aid kit, the foil blanket, the power brick[s], headtorch, the spare gloves, goggles, chocolate, salami....
Ah sod it... I'm going skiing, now, on piste, without a bag!!!

... is roughly how the decision process goes Confused


Of course another option when skiing on piste is to not take the beeper at all thus pretty well doing away with the need for a shovel and probe. And I can certainly see the arguments for this.

Either way I definitely agree with the apparent consensus that skiing off piste with a beeper but no shovel or probe is rather selfish.

It's an interesting discussion and I hope it doesn't turn into just another "let's have a go at The Ski Club" fest.
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I've never seen the point of SCGB or come across anyone who ever mentions it - can someone explain what it does and its objectives? I seem to have been skiing for about 40 years and have avoided it, based on the above probably a good thing! Laughing
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Gerry wrote:
Exactly that, but for years nearly everyone has had all the kit. Ski Club leading record: one avalanche death since the first Reps went out in the 1920s, with no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders.


Yes, that's a pretty good record which should speak for itself given that the ski club has done a lot of off piste. It suggests to me that the ski club is mainly skiing in low avalanche risk terrain and also that fatal avalanches are really not that common. Statistically it could also be luck although that is a lot of time to be lucky.

Wayne Watson's outfit (qualified professionals) have had 1 avalanche death since they started. I think Wayne said he'd done 2000 ski days when that happened. I suspect over the long haul the Ski club have done more OP days but probably in safer terrain than Wayne's people.

I've got no brief for the ski club but it appears that their training and procedures are probably in line with club groups even if the kit requirement was a bit light before, CAF groups have required shovels and probes for as long as I can remember but we are talking about serious ski tours, certainly the ESF were in a similar position to the Ski Club until they killed a few people. Ditto for the Swiss Ski School.

Personally I don't take any avalanche gear if I'm skiing on piste because I don't suddenly change my plans halfway through the day. If you are going off piste in avalanche terrain you should plan for it, not suddenly do it on a whim. As for witnessing accidents, well I don't really think I'm going to be riding in like some white knight, in a resort I'll leave it to the professionals. I've got my first aid up to date if anyone needs any immediate help and I think that is probably more useful.

There is a lot of off piste and some ski tours I'm happy to do without any avalanche gear for the simple reason that the slopes cannot avalanche but club groups and professionals should always stick with accepted protocols, IMHO.
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@Gerry, has answered most of the points. But this is a welcome formal step from the Ski Club of Great Britain. The old policy did allow for the odd off piste novice to wear a transceiver and be introduced to off piste. In practice most people had kit thanks to peer pressure. There are also a number of folks who are not members in Tignes who get the cold shoulder from me cos they don't have a transceiver.

The SCGB has not been allowed to lead in France for 4 seasons now, period (and widely covered in the skiing media if you bother to look). That is why the Instructor Led Guiding was set up and has been highly successful and has led to ex members rejoining.

As for training, I asked an experienced off piste instructor how he would compare the BASI off piste module with the SCGB off piste module. Pretty similar was the reply on the mountain safety, as the Leaders are not taught to teach.

The point of the SCGB: like minded folk getting together for both skiing and socialising. Discounts, holidays (especially for the single traveller), insurance if it suits. Crikey its only £60 quid a year and has a lot to offer.

I have never really had the time for the snowHeads vs the SCGB animosity (and the reverse), though I full understand that admin exploited a market opportunity when he set sH up and a blinkin good job he made of it. I am a fully engaged member of both societies and enjoy both sides of it.

Now can we all go skiing/riding and stop carping? Very Happy Very Happy
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chocksaway wrote:


The SCGB has not been allowed to lead in France for 4 seasons now, period (and widely covered in the skiing media if you bother to look). That is why the Instructor Led Guiding was set up and has been highly successful and has led to ex members rejoining.


Given that hundreds of club groups are out every day in the French mountains ski touring, snowshoeing and off piste skiing you do have to wonder why this situation with the SCGB exists. I guess it was the reps permanent winter status in many resorts which is the issue. If they came out with the group for a limited time period it would probably fly - after all there are some snowheads who teach in France on this basis without having the usual qualifications.
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Quote:

Now can we all go skiing/riding and stop carping?

Good point, well made.
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You know it makes sense.
davidof wrote:
chocksaway wrote:


The SCGB has not been allowed to lead in France for 4 seasons now, period (and widely covered in the skiing media if you bother to look). That is why the Instructor Led Guiding was set up and has been highly successful and has led to ex members rejoining.


Given that hundreds of club groups are out every day in the French mountains ski touring, snowshoeing and off piste skiing you do have to wonder why this situation with the SCGB exists. I guess it was the reps permanent winter status in many resorts which is the issue. If they came out with the group for a limited time period it would probably fly - after all there are some snowheads who teach in France on this basis without having the usual qualifications.


The Club’s mistake was to allow the same old faces to hog Val d’Isere year after year after year and not to engage with the ESF. We still have a massive presence in France though with an awesome group of regulars sorting friendly groups and a resident instructors sorting out the steeps and those big powder days.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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chocksaway wrote:

I have never really had the time for the snowHeads vs the SCGB animosity (and the reverse), though I full understand that admin exploited a market opportunity when he set sH up and a blinkin good job he made of it. I am a fully engaged member of both societies and enjoy both sides of it.

Now can we all go skiing/riding and stop carping? Very Happy Very Happy


I'm sure that most of us would agree with all of that.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
davidof wrote:

Given that hundreds of club groups are out every day in the French mountains ski touring, snowshoeing and off piste skiing you do have to wonder why this situation with the SCGB exists. I guess it was the reps permanent winter status in many resorts which is the issue. If they came out with the group for a limited time period it would probably fly - after all there are some snowheads who teach in France on this basis without having the usual qualifications.


It was the ESF (at La Rosiere?) that really put a stop to it, I think. Some resorts used to give the SCGB rep free accommodation because they could see the value for the resort.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ray Zorro wrote:
It somewhat surprises me that people were previously allowed on a SCGB off-piste course without a probe and shovel?

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2019/01/changes-to-ski-club-off-piste-policy?


I used to regulalry do SCGB led days in Argentiere when they were allowed, those who did not have their own safety gear were loaned a back pack with shovel, probe and transceiver. So the only change now seems to be that the SCGB no longer loans shovels and probes, but stil offeres to rent out transceivers. Having said that I always felt a bit nervous about people being loaned a transceiver with an inferred lack of familiarity on how to use it if and when required
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@Alastair, The Court cases named ESF Val D'Isere as the 'affected party' and named M Mannion (the head of ESF Val at the time). If I recall they were awarded €1 in damages.
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Quote:

I've never seen the point of SCGB or come across anyone who ever mentions it - can someone explain what it does and its objectives?


Serious question - nobody know?
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Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

I've never seen the point of SCGB or come across anyone who ever mentions it - can someone explain what it does and its objectives?


Serious question - nobody know?

Have you had a look on the SCGB website? Also, I think Chocksaway has given an answer to your question. If you're really interested, maybe start another thread to ask.
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@sugarmoma666, I dont see why it needs another thread, the main reason I ask is that I ski regularly in Arlberg, ie Lech/ Zurs and St Anton and ski now and again off piste with snowheads guys who've become friends I've met through this forum, but I never hear of SCGB and its never discussed, do for example they meet in Arlberg and ski off piste together, and what is the above animosity about, isn't there common ground with SCGB and SH? I'm not bothered about being guided, or insurance I can do that myself, I know my way around and have my own OP insurance, more keen to meet like minded folks with all the kit and mountain experience without having to pay £80/100 for a guided group a time every time I want to go do serious offpiste if nobody about I know, maybe SCGB is an option? Thats whay I say its a serious question - you seem to be dismissive and saying go set up a new thread, can't that be answered here?
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bar shaker wrote:
Ray Zorro wrote:
It somewhat surprises me that people were previously allowed on a SCGB off-piste course without a probe and shovel?

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2019/01/changes-to-ski-club-off-piste-policy?


All part of the SCGB attempts to become relevant again.

It will be an uphill struggle from where they are.


Currently relevant to c. 27,000 people.
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^ DG with a long missive in 3....2....1.... Toofy Grin
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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.
I saw this story in an email today and wondered this myself.....how the hell can you not expect off piste groups to NOT have all of proper gear. No good not having a shovel and probe!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
In 1998 I was working in VdI and came across a pretty decent slide in La Fornet. I had everything with me, the group had transceivers which they had borrowed and no shovels or probes. There was 4 of us and we found them all, 4 people, one dead, one marginal (I was a patroller and had a alright level of emergency first aid), 2 AWOL. I was 24 and I can still remember it all vividly. Second person died, she was quite young. Took me years to be less angry about people cocking around in terrain that they should be respectful of. Based on that I am absolutely supportive of people upskilling and will go out my way to help. Being unprepared and knowing it it or being led by those who know better is not acceptable. Sounds like the SCGB are making positive change.
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