Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Changes to Ski Club Off Piste policy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
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.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Markymark29, I did give you my views to be fair. Next time you are in Tignes pop along to the Cave du Loop on Mondays at 6, sure you will find some like minded people even the odd one from Yorkshire wink
latest report     
 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?
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?


From the Oxford English dictionary: "an association dedicated to a particular interest or activity." If it helps you enjoy your chosen activity by meeting like minded people to do it with then it is relevant - as Gerry has pointed out. If it doesn't, or another association or group of mates meets your needs better, fine. It's a free world.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I've been on SCGB days where they've handed out ancient transcievers plus shovels and probes to people without equipment. I've always thought to myself that there's a zero percent chance of any of those guys finding me and digging me out if it all goes pear shaped. But I've skied with the group anyway. At the end of the day none of my friends are interested in skiing off piste, so if I want to go then SCGB is my best bet and I'm very happy to pay my membership and ski with (mostly) like minded people. It's a much better option than going alone. Asking people to at least pay enough attention to invest in essential safety kit is a step forward IMHO.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I & Wendyjh are members of SCGB for the insurance and magazine. For us it’s good value. As others have said, we don’t understand the animosity and enjoy the benefits of Snowheads as well - especially the great value SOPiB as we are going on our 3rd consecutive one this year.

Unlike @admin I tend to ski with the whole pack every day whatever my plans. I remember some years ago running into a group of surgeons with all the gear including airbags in the Hospizalm on a sunny day weeks after the last snowfall and they just said they would feel complete back bottoms getting into trouble with the gear in their hotel room. BTW I don’t have an airbag myself so I can’t comment on whether I would wear it on piste days.
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
clived wrote:
I've been on SCGB days where they've handed out ancient transcievers plus shovels and probes to people without equipment. I've always thought to myself that there's a zero percent chance of any of those guys finding me and digging me out if it all goes pear shaped. But I've skied with the group anyway. At the end of the day none of my friends are interested in skiing off piste, so if I want to go then SCGB is my best bet and I'm very happy to pay my membership and ski with (mostly) like minded people. It's a much better option than going alone. Asking people to at least pay enough attention to invest in essential safety kit is a step forward IMHO.


Pretty sure they turn over transceivers on a regular basis, ones I saw last year were new Ortovox models
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
gerry wrote:

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.


Technically while recommended it was only mandatory on silver and above off-piste holidays. Further not all holiday leaders at all times have strictly enforced the rules either. I have been on one holiday at purple grade when on the first day one person turned up without shovel and probe, and where allowed to ski for that day. However they where told they needed them by the next day, and they did indeed procure them overnight. On another holiday two years ago (and not in my group) a leader allowed a person to ski all week without shovel and probe as they refused to carry them. Had it been my group I would have gone ballistic and been ringing the SCGB back in the UK to complain, but felt as it didn't impact me I could not say much.

Interestingly plastic shovels don't count, which is could be cause they are basically a waste of space. However I imagine there are people who will need to buy a new shovel.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jabuzzard wrote:
gerry wrote:

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.


Technically while recommended it was only mandatory on silver and above off-piste holidays. Further not all holiday leaders at all times have strictly enforced the rules either. I have been on one holiday at purple grade when on the first day one person turned up without shovel and probe, and where allowed to ski for that day. However they where told they needed them by the next day, and they did indeed procure them overnight. On another holiday two years ago (and not in my group) a leader allowed a person to ski all week without shovel and probe as they refused to carry them. Had it been my group I would have gone ballistic and been ringing the SCGB back in the UK to complain, but felt as it didn't impact me I could not say much.

Interestingly plastic shovels don't count, which is could be cause they are basically a waste of space. However I imagine there are people who will need to buy a new shovel.


Now that is an utter disgrace. So easy to kick someone like that out of the group and the Club will give you full backing.
snow 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.
Gerry wrote:
Now that is an utter disgrace.


is it?

Gerry wrote:
Ski Club leading record: one avalanche death since the first Reps went out in the 1920s, with no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders.


Only one incident in a whole century of off piste groups begs an obvious question - If skiing with a Leader is statistically that safe, why all the fuss about everyone carrying all the gear? Just sayin'.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Perhaps it is safe because the gear is carried. There has certainly been more than one incident on a Freshtracks holiday involving an avalanche, and not all incidents result in deaths. It sounds as though incident here means death, not just an avalanche.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Pruman wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Now that is an utter disgrace.


is it?

Gerry wrote:
Ski Club leading record: one avalanche death since the first Reps went out in the 1920s, with no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders.


Only one incident in a whole century of off piste groups begs an obvious question - If skiing with a Leader is statistically that safe, why all the fuss about everyone carrying all the gear? Just sayin'.


JBuzzard will have to confirm who was leading on snow. I should imagine it was the leader though as guides are unlikely to let that go.

Anyway, everyone else complied and it's in the booking conditions so why should one be allowed to opt out?
snow conditions     
 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.
jabuzzard wrote:
Perhaps it is safe because the gear is carried. There has certainly been more than one incident on a Freshtracks holiday involving an avalanche, and not all incidents result in deaths. It sounds as though incident here means death, not just an avalanche.


But not with a Leader leading on snow.
latest report     
 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
All this misleading rubbish by Gerry Aitken was addressed in 2 postings here 3 years ago, concerning the 3 known fatalities connected with SCGB off-piste repping/leading ... and the professional advice given to the Club back in 1989/90 (by its own trainers/advisers) to discontinue off-piste repping/guiding ... after the death of Michael Mahaffy in a Verbier avalanche in 1989 ...

1. https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=94856&start=4360#2906765
2. https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=94856&start=4360#2907182

Michael Mahaffy's death was followed by at least 2 avoidable deaths (including another in Verbier) in the decades since (the ones we know about). Those two postings are repeated, as follows (in slightly edited form) ...

1.
@Gerry Aitken, you've been spinning, bluffing and trolling on this for about 14 years now. Seven of those years were spent as a director of the Ski Club of Great Britain, which gave you full access to any documents you needed to form a more mature and expert outlook on all this ... but it's clear now that you didn't independently investigate any of it. The simple truth is that all you've done is use this channel - and others - to prop up a 'status quo' that serves you and others with lots of expenses-paid skiing. The SCGB used to run far more successfully, on very different principles of altruism and commitment.

It's quite obvious, from the way you gloss over the (deadly) serious issue of SCGB leadership safety, that you're not concerned with the Club's training standards or candidate quality or performance quality. No, there have not been "2 serious incidents in 80+ years" - as you put it. There was the death of Michael Mahaffy in a Verbier avalanche in 1989, and the death of Jean-Philippe Marquette in another Verbier incident in 2007. And a further fatality at some time between the two (the victim has not been identified). That is approximately one fatality per decade ... as far as public or semi-public information is known.

You say that the leader was "exonerated" in each Verbier case. Where are the records supporting that claim? What are you citing? The Swiss prosecutor persisted for years with the second case - why?

The 3rd death - in France - for which the Club has documentary evidence, cannot have been secret to you. All you needed to do was ask. Numerous incidents involving serious injuries can also arguably be attributed to skiers being led down slopes which were unsuitable for their abilities. There have been cases of SCGB leaders apprehended on the French slopes by the authorities for not holding recognised qualifications. And the British ski journalist Adam Ruck reported (in the Telegraph) skiing with a SCGB rep who kept falling over in front of him. The club has not been permitted to operate in St Anton, Austria, for around 30 years, for reasons which are understood to be related. Did you look into that?

Obviously this is not to denigrate SCGB people who do a great job on the mountains, providing excellent leadership and safety.

British ski instructors (who are generally qualified to much higher standards because they have to ski to high technical skills for ski schools) understand these issues perfectly. It ain't a game for amateurs any longer. The SCGB, however, just carries on with the same arguments for amateur 'leaders'. As I said, there was a long era when the SCGB understood the deal perfectly and trained/examined its skiers to the highest standards ... but that was before BASI existed, over 50 years ago. Those were different times. We're not living in the 1950s now. It's 2016.

Hopefully there are SCGB people reading this who comprehend the universal issues of mountain leadership and qualifications and want to do things to the highest standards.

2.
A quote from ex-SCGB rep Ian de Haan ... writing on 30 December 2014 in a comment below this article in WeLove2Ski.com ...
http://welove2ski.com/how-to-ski/ski-club-ski-hosting-ban

Quote:
I did a SCGB Reps Course way back in 1989/90 and this is a two week course in Tignes.
The course was then instructed by Martin Epp, Serge Lambert and Fred Harper. These were the most eminent Mountain Guides at the time, each having lead their own groups all over the world.
They all told us that they all decided to offer their services to give the best advice they could, as they felt that if they did not, then other and far less suitable people would, and they all feel that would be a bad thing.
Although the course gave tuition on various issues, from layering of snow, different types of snow, how the weather impacted on the snow for days after snowfall, use of transceivers, they all agreed on one thing – That none of us should EVER think we had any ability to guide and that we should NEVER take anyone off piste. To become a qualified Mountain Guide, takes many years and even then your detailed knowledge is generally limited to the area you live in or know best all year around. Wider knowledge is then gained slowly and learned thoroughly.
On my course, I shared a room with Monty Montague, who, I learned later, died in an avalanche whilst guiding a group off piste in Verbier.
After the course, I went on to Rep in La Plagne, where to begin with the snow was in short supply, but then when it did arrive, it fell in abnormally large quantities and all the resorts closed due to the avalanche danger. Despite this, I had requests from some guests, including journalists to carry on skiing, which I refused. Some holiday makers skied a closed off run with a holiday company leader and the entire group were avalanched but thankfully all saved.
I had a furious call from the Ski Club of Great Britain office, demanding that I reinstate the skiing, which I had cancelled, due to the dangerous conditions, some members had evidently phoned to complain. I declined and suggested that the person should immediately visit the resort and see for herself why. Even the nursery slope had avalanched !
I see nothing wrong with SCGB Reps leading members around the pistes, showing them the best runs and restaurants etc. but they should NEVER think they know where to ski off piste, even if they have been there with a qualified Mountain Guide, as conditions change by the hour and you never know where crevices are hiding and where to go if cloud descends on you !
A good snow depth is critical for off piste skiing, especially safely built up layers and base. When there has been little snow and rocks are exposed, it is relatively safe, if it snows a little and there is then ten centimetres of fresh snow, a lot of rocks are covered and off piste suddenly becomes very dangerous / hazardous.
Ski safe and only follow qualified Guides, who do not take risks, know where to go for amazing powder skiing and then enjoy some memorable skiing, in safety, and repeat as often as you can !


Off-piste guiding is for professional guides or correctly-qualified instructors only. They alone have specialised local knowledge of the terrain they are leading skiers through and the professional ability to make appropriate risk-assessment and all other responsibilities. The Ski Club of Great Britain has been fully aware of the imperative to discontinue amateur leadership. The SCGB has been subjected to endless litigation and prosecution - both in France and Switzerland. Its activities have been banned in St Anton. But the gung-ho absurdity persists.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

only follow qualified Guides, who do not take risks,


There is always some risk in the mountains - qualified guides try to minimise the risk, but it is not correct to say they "do not take risks". I was following a guide once when a snow bridge over a stream collapsed under me - and I was following a guide when the whole slope avalanched just as I set off (no-one got hurt).
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Davina Goldballs, the third fatality you mention was the snowcrazy incident. He reported it in here at the time. The accident happened on a day when he was off duty and skiing with a friend. You can direct any further questions about that to him.

Of course I read the full ruling on the 2007 Verbier case where the Leader was fund not guilt for the third time at the 2nd appeal. The Leader was exonerated, as you know. The court paid particularly attention to the Club’s leading policy and made no criticism of it.

There wasn’t even an arrest with the 1989 case but a group of local guides did investigate and found that the Leader had done nothing criminal.

See other comments in this thread regarding the training Leaders get and the qualification that gets awarded through the American Avalanche Association.

On the subject of injury, the Club gathers all the stats and I always took great interest in them but I was never aware of any life changing accidents. Of course there was the Moore v Mountain case (before my time) which was withdrawn pre trail because you and one of your friends had tried to use social media to undermine the defense.

As always, you only report the ‘facts’ that best suit your agenda.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

only follow qualified Guides, who do not take risks, know where to go for amazing powder skiing and then enjoy some memorable skiing, in safety,


You claiming that no guide is ever avalanched then? There is plenty of evidence that qualified guides make mistakes and either themselves or members of their party are injured or die as a result.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

JBuzzard will have to confirm who was leading on snow. I should imagine it was the leader though as guides are unlikely to let that go.

Anyway, everyone else complied and it's in the booking conditions so why should one be allowed to opt out?


Not that I like naming names, I was just trying to raise the fact that it is not always strictly enforced.

However for the record it was was St Anton Adventure 2, starting the 5th March 2017, the leader was John Curnow, the individual refusing to carry shovel and probe was Dr Renuka Ranasinghe, and the guide let it go. Her argument was that if she was buried she didn't want digging out; if it was her time to go then so be it. She seemed unable to grasp that the shovel and probe are to dig other people out, not herself. They did under protest make her wear a transceiver however.

My view is that she should have been refused to allow to join the group, until she agreed to carry shovel and probe, but like I said not my group so not my place to make a fuss.

The other incident that took place on an Off piste progression holiday in Val d'Isère in 2009,. To be fair it was the first Freshtracks holiday the individual involved had been on and they simply not paid enough attention to the booking conditions. They where very apologetic and went out that evening and brought a shovel and probe. However they did ski for one day without shovel and probe.

I would imagine there are going to be a lot of people turning up on holidays this year with plastic shovels, having missed the new requirement for a metal one and it won't be strictly enforced.
snow report     
 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 think we all know there is a bit of a history between the two main protagonists above wink . Clearly scgb leaders are never going to be Qualified Mountain Guides but in many cases were doing what instructors do (without the instruction). I believe there is a bit of mythology has crept into instructor qualifications off piste.
So for a bit of context here are the brief details of the 3 BASI 'off piste' courses:

LEVEL 3 MOUNTAIN SAFETY
This a 6 day course conducted in a mountain environment, starting on a Sunday.
The objective of the course is to train and assess instructors to lead parties off piste within the ski area boundary. Terrain used will be non glaciated with no planned use of the rope, axe or crampons - beyond that is the realm of the ISTD or Mountain Guide.

Practical instruction is given in:
•Equipment selection for off piste use
•Choice of route and leadership techniques
•Use of skins or snowshoes for short uphill sections
•Off piste technique
•Group management and emergency procedures
•Avalanche assessment
•Use of transceivers and navigation

Theory lectures are given on:
•Snow and avalanches
•Navigation
•Mountain weather
•Hypothermia
•Emergencies and responsibilities of a leader

LEVEL 4 EMS TRAINING

This is a 4 day training course which progresses on from the BASI Mountain Safety course. It trains the student to lead tours out with the ski area boundary and deal with all the hazards which can be encountered while on day tours. Very little time will be spent revising ISIA material, so come prepared. The course can contain long days on the hill with big ascents carrying a rucksack. It may be necessary to be on steep, exposed terrain. A typical ascent may be up to 1000m.

The course will train candidates in the following:

•Snow & avalanche hazard management, including multiple burial search techniques
•Advanced navigation and map work
•Incident management
•Route selection including kick turns & setting a skinning track
•Rope work for security on steep ground
•Mountain awareness i.e. Flora, fauna, glaciology, etc

LEVEL 4 EMS ASSESSMENT

This course completes the Level 4 European Mountain Security. It is a three day course which may involve one day using uplift and the other two touring away from the ski area. The tours are big days and may contain up to 1000m of ascent carrying a rucksack. There may also be early starts to make use of winter’s limited daylight and stay safe before the sun warms certain slopes. Ratio 1:4

You will be assessed in all of the techniques learnt on the training course. There will be a written paper on:
•Knowledge of safety
•Off-piste skiing
•Mountain weather and environment

Should you fail to meet the standard in an area which can be re-sit in 1 day then you will be invited back for the 1 day.
Failing that, then a re-sit of the whole assessment may be necessary. If a candidate fails 2 EMS assessments then they will be required to redo the training course.

And for contrast the Ski Club Leaders Course (13 days):

Course Content:
•On-snow leading – groups of all standards
•Technique – on and off-piste
•Ski standards – familiarisation with Ski Club profiles
•Snowcraft – understanding and recognising different and changing snow structures
•Safety – understanding transceivers and avalanche safety procedures
•Promoting the Ski Club and resort PR
•Administration procedures – daily and weekly tasks


So if you sum the 3 BASI courses required to reach the ISTD qualification they have had 13 days off piste. Clearly there are some tradeoffs in instruction vs technique clinics but the BASI 13 days includes touring which the SCGB course does not, so yeah there is the opportunity for throwing a few apples and pairs about. But food for thought........

Stepping back to open a bag of popcorn.......
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
In addition, between the L4 Training and Assessment I think you have to complete a log book of independent tours.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gerry wrote:
@Davina Goldballs, the third fatality you mention was the snowcrazy incident


Just to clarify ... I know nothing ... from any official SCGB source (Gerry Aitken might place himself in that category, since he wears a SCGB uniform, but is he writing in an official capacity?) about "the snowcrazy incident". If that involved a fatality - presumably it did - then it's certainly the 4th known fatality. The 3rd fatality, which I've referred to above, is proven by documentary evidence.
If there have been a minimum of four known fatalities, why did Gerry Aitken say (above) ...

Quote:
... one avalanche death since the first Reps went out in the 1920s, with no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders.


What does he actually know? Why does he downplay the risks and liabilities to the SCGB - in relation to the civil and criminal laws of several nations - of persisting with the off-piste 'leadership'?
What did he investigate when he was (for 7 years) a director of the SCGB?
"... no other avalanche incidents involving Leaders." Pull the other one ... it's got 4 clips on. This is, of course, ridiculous rubbish ... and avalanches are (in any case) only one of numerous risks in having unqualified people leading others into unpatrolled ski areas.

Gerry wrote:
@Davina Goldballs, the third fatality you mention was the snowcrazy incident. He reported it in here at the time.


Exactly where, when, and it what way did he report this? Anyone recall? I don't think this is true. I think Gerry knows about the "snowcrazy incident" from other sources. In fact, I'm 100% sure his source(s) would be official, 'non-snowHead'.

Quote:
Of course I read the full ruling on the 2007 Verbier case where the Leader was fund not guilt for the third time at the 2nd appeal. The Leader was exonerated, as you know. The court paid particularly attention to the Club’s leading policy and made no criticism of it.


Again ... completely implausible rubbish. That Swiss prosecution dragged on for years. "The Leader was exonerated". Pull the other one - it's got 5 clips on it. Let's read exactly what the Swiss courts said about that incident.

Quote:
There wasn’t even an arrest with the 1989 case but a group of local guides did investigate and found that the Leader had done nothing criminal.


It's not an issue of whether the SCGB rep had "done nothing criminal". It's an issue of whether the skier should ever have been led to such an avoidable end of life.

chocksaway, thanks for that info.
The questions about the SCGB course are essentially:

1. Are the candidates generally good enough skiers?
2. What's the pass rate?
3. Given that the SCGB course is not recognised by any qualifying body in skiing, why continue with it?

There was talk, a few years, of the SCGB entering the field of ski instructor qualification, in competition with BASI. Although it would be over 55 years late in developing this - it should have happened in the early 1960s - it would at least suggest that the Ski Club was serious about understanding the relationship between ski instruction (on piste), ski guiding (off piste) ... and amateur 'ski hosting'.

Quote:

Where Gerry is leading a holiday this season

Chamonix All Mountain Development - Course Only 23/12/2017 30/12/2017
Chamonix All Mountain Development 23/12/2017 30/12/2017
Chamonix Off Piste Adventure 30/12/2017 06/01/2018
Flaine Adventurous Powder 4 27/01/2018 03/02/2018
St Anton St Anton Adventure 3 04/03/2018 11/03/2018
Chamonix Families Half Term Off Piste 16/02/2019 23/02/2019
Chamonix Off Piste Adventure 6 - Course Only 23/02/2019 02/03/2019
Chamonix Off Piste Adventure 6 23/02/2019 02/03/2019


So that's a total of 6 weeks expenses-paid skiing for Gerry this winter. No wonder he's so desperate to keep the gravy train (it's fitted with wings, burns kerosene, has trolley-persons, and takes less time for the Gatwick-Geneva hop) ... on the rails.
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Davina wrote:

So that's a total of 6 weeks expenses-paid skiing for Gerry this winter. No wonder he's so desperate to keep the gravy train (it's fitted with wings, burns kerosene, has trolley-persons, and takes less time for the Gatwick-Geneva hop) ... on the rails.


Right at this point one has to question everything you say, because you are unable to draw correct conclusions from the data.

Gerry is leading two holidays of one week duration this winter because dates in the winter 2017/2018 don't count so that 6 weeks of expenses paid skiing comes down to two as the Chamonix Off Piste Adventure 6 is two holidays in one, bookable with accommodation or course only. Then this has nothing to do with leading as these are Ski Freshtracks holidays and there are mountain guides for all the groups on these holidays, so the Ski Club Leader is more of a holiday rep, and does not do on snow leading. So if the repping stopped tomorrow then Freshtracks holiday leaders would still continue. One suspects you have never been on an off-piste Freshtracks holiday as you would not make such a dumb and stupid mistake if you had.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mr/Ms Buzzard

The information above is copy-pasted exactly as published by the SCGB ...
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-leaders/gerry-aitken-1

As you can see, Gerry Aitken's assignments for this season are clearly listed under the heading shown.

Unlike certain individuals around here (including the Aforementioned Aitken) I don't make stuff up. You can have confidence in what I report, having written about skiing for 43 years, for the SCGB itself (under six editors), The Sunday Times for many years, and many many other publications.

I certainly have been on several off-piste Freshtacks trips, including one led by a former CEO of the SCGB.

Best wishes
David Goldsmith
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Davina Goldballs wrote:
Mr/Ms Buzzard

The information above is copy-pasted exactly as published by the SCGB ...
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-leaders/gerry-aitken-1

As you can see, Gerry Aitken's assignments for this season are clearly listed under the heading shown.

Unlike certain individuals around here (including the Aforementioned Aitken) I don't make stuff up. You can have confidence in what I report, having written about skiing for 43 years, for the SCGB itself (under six editors), The Sunday Times for many years, and many many other publications.

Yep, you're right, Gerry's leading commitments this winter are clearly shown. I make it 2 weeks of being the leader on Freshtracks holidays. Where did the 6 weeks you stated come from?
snow 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.
@Davina Goldballs, @Gerry, sorry guys, it still all sounds so Mickey Mouse even if you are all defending your different position(s), so much so that I think you only compound the overall Mickey Mouse status Laughing

I've seen in La Grave people doing their courses and as I said before (in this thread or others ?) tis a bit of a tick the box joke, as when doing the weeks' course conditions can be so different.

Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I hope so, but just back from a few days in Cham I saw many a guy with all the gear and no fecjin idea, maybe good in fresh but in shite heavy snow just could not ski!

I'd actually quite like to ski with someone like Gerry, though Jerry has amusing connations in ski slang, in somewhere like La Grave, without leaders/guides etc along with Davina or go touring as they are so obviously experienced?
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
If I remember correctly did a BASI course in the Cairngorms (Glenmore Lodge) with David back in the 70's. Technical resit!
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Weathercam,
Quote:
I've seen in La Grave people doing their courses and as I said before (in this thread or others ?) tis a bit of a tick the box joke, as when doing the weeks' course conditions can be so different.


That would just be club members on an off-piste holiday. The Club doesn't run training courses in La Grave. I'm really not sure what you're on about but you're just probably only mouthing off anyway.
latest report     
 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.
Weathercam wrote:
Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I hope so, but just back from a few days in Cham I saw many a guy with all the gear and no fecjin idea, maybe good in fresh but in shite heavy snow just could not ski!

Were these SCGB leaders? Just wondering about the relevance.
ski holidays     
 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
sugarmoma666 wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I hope so, but just back from a few days in Cham I saw many a guy with all the gear and no fecjin idea, maybe good in fresh but in shite heavy snow just could not ski!

Were these SCGB leaders? Just wondering about the relevance.


He’s just trying to be provocative that’s all. He talks a good ski though. Wink
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Weathercam wrote:
... it still all sounds so Mickey Mouse ...
I'm not sure if you mean that the "old blokes with a grudge" thing is Mickey Mouse, or the way the SCGB runs its business?

---
Overall, I can't see what the fuss is about. It's not that long ago that very commercial and litigation-sensitive North American heli operators did not force their people to carry avalanche gear either.
For them, transceivers were always mandatory, as was rescue training, but not shovels and probes.
Many of those operations had avalanche fatalities.
The assumption was that rescue would be by trained people flown in, not by the guests themselves.
Without checking I can't be sure if anyone died because of that assumption.
A handful of years ago the risk assessment on that changed, and now everyone carries all the gear as well as being trained in its use.

What's changed in 30 years is that we are no longer happy to take this particular avoidable risk.
Perspectives on these things change over time; that doesn't make previous perspectives incorrect, just different.

It's no surprise that the SCGB would shift in the same direction.

More generally, you pay your money and take your risk. If you want to be "led" by people with more training, pay for a guide.
That won't guarantee your safety either, and in fact may reduce it (Vignettes hut incident 2018).
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Davina Goldballs wrote:

Gerry wrote:
@Davina Goldballs, the third fatality you mention was the snowcrazy incident. He reported it in here at the time.


Exactly where, when, and it what way did he report this? Anyone recall? I don't think this is true. I think Gerry knows about the "snowcrazy incident" from other sources. In fact, I'm 100% sure his source(s) would be official, 'non-snowHead'.


Bernard Condon reported it on Snowheads. It was not an avalanche but a skier who fell. Bernard knew a lot about the incident because he spoke with the Gendarmerie in Bourg St Maurice about it.

As Gerry said, Snowcrazy was not officially representing the SCGB and given that Snowcrazy was not prosecuted I assume the Gendarmerie are satisfied that he had no responsibility but I know no details.
latest report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Markymark29 wrote:
@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?


They used to have a rep in St Anton all season. This is going back many years, I have no idea if they still have a rep there now. They would often go off piste with the rule being 1 transceiver per person and 2 shovels/probes per group. If they are still there and the group is fully equipped then it's worth checking them out if you're at a loose end, they're a bunch of skiers at the end of the day. I *think* you can tag along for a day without joining up just to get an idea.

I met a group on a 'freshtracks' holiday (i..e the travel company that is related to the SCGB) a couple of seasons ago, they were all booked in with Piste2Powder, if there was a rep I didn't meet them.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
sugarmoma666 wrote:

Yep, you're right, Gerry's leading commitments this winter are clearly shown. I make it 2 weeks of being the leader on Freshtracks holidays. Where did the 6 weeks you stated come from?


From a lack of reading comprehension. In their haste to paste Gerry in a bad light they counted up all the weeks listed, failing to note that some of the weeks are for the 2017/2018 season.
snow conditions     
 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?
Markymark29 wrote:
@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?

It doesn't necessarily need another thread, but if you're genuinely interested in getting an answer it may help, as people tend to look at and respond to threads with titles that interest them. The Ski Club of Great Britain has a Facebook page for St Anton, and there is also Instructor Led Guiding: https://www.skiclub.co.uk/austria/resorts/st-anton/instructor-led-guiding.
Personally I don't use the SCGB insurance as it doesn't provide adequate cover for the skiing I do.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Just so we can be absolutely sure of the Aforementioned Aitken's SCGB activities this winter, they are listed very clearly on the SCGB website ...

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-leaders/gerry-aitken-1

... under the heading (it couldn't be clearer) "Where Gerry is leading a holiday this season"

It's been suggested, above, that some of the dates listed are not possible "this season". Since the Ski Club of Great Britain essentially operates in a combination of 'fantasy world' and 'timewarp' - oblivious of the modern imperative (since the 1960s) that leading skiers off piste requires recognised international qualifications - it will come as no surprise that Gerry has been furnished with a time machine to fulfil 2017-8 holidays in the 2018-9 ski season ...

[img]https://imagesvc.timeincapp.com/v3/fan/image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdoctorwhowatch.com%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F02%2FChristmas-Ident-2009.jpg&c=sc&w=850&h=560[/img]
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Davina Goldballs wrote:
that leading skiers off piste requires recognised international qualifications


That is incorrect.

To lead skiers off piste in France for remuneration requires you to be insured and qualified. That is not the case for every country in the world. If you want to lead club skiers off piste in France there is no issue whatsoever, you can even take them onto glaciated terrain.

The Deutscher Skiverband (German Ski Club) and the FFS (French ski club) both teach off piste and all the alpine clubs tour and ski off piste without "international qualifications".
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Jeez, @Davina Goldballs, can you not even admit that you misread the paragraph (badly worded though it may have been)?

Regardless of SHs' unfortunate history with SCGB, I am pretty sure that most readers would find @Gerry's company pretty enjoyable (and yes, I have skied with him on two trips). If he wants to host several weeks' trips, good for him - I cannot see how it differs from anyone else "doing a season" (or part thereof), with their employer providing travel, accommodation and a lift pass.

I have had only good experiences with the SCGB off-piste set-up. At no point have the leaders held themselves out to be proxies for guides or instructors, although @jabuzzard's St Anton experience would have had me up in arms!
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Davina Goldballs wrote:
Just so we can be absolutely sure of the Aforementioned Aitken's SCGB activities this winter, they are listed very clearly on the SCGB website ...

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-leaders/gerry-aitken-1

... under the heading (it couldn't be clearer) "Where Gerry is leading a holiday this season"

It's been suggested, above, that some of the dates listed are not possible "this season". Since the Ski Club of Great Britain essentially operates in a combination of 'fantasy world' and 'timewarp' - oblivious of the modern imperative (since the 1960s) that leading skiers off piste requires recognised international qualifications - it will come as no surprise that Gerry has been furnished with a time machine to fulfil 2017-8 holidays in the 2018-9 ski season ...

[img]https://imagesvc.timeincapp.com/v3/fan/image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdoctorwhowatch.com%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F02%2FChristmas-Ident-2009.jpg&c=sc&w=850&h=560[/img]


I'm not leading any skiers off-piste this season. Regardless of your appalling attempts at factual journalism in this thread regarding what I'm doing, as davidof points out, you are completely incorrect. AND why would any organisation take your advice on skiing operations given your ridiculous opinions on safety?

Quote:
''There's no question that the avoidance of danger slopes is 90% of the answer. Detection and rescue gear is optional, in my book. I doubt if I'll ever buy a transceiver, though they are very interesting devices.'' -- David E Goldsmith, Professional Expert Witness on Ski Related Safety Issues


Here's another of your quotes:

Quote:
People have a right to define the terms on which they're skiing, unless we're all to be subjects of some sort of doctrine.


Why are you seeking to make all Ski Club members subject to your doctrine?
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
FFS DG ! ..

GET A LIFE, GET SKIING .....

OR GET HELP ....

https://www.professional-counselling.com/getting-over-a-breakup-and-forget.html
snow 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.
Davina Goldballs wrote:
... leading skiers off piste requires recognised international qualifications ...


davidof wrote:

That is incorrect.

To lead skiers off piste in France for remuneration requires you to be insured and qualified. That is not the case for every country in the world. If you want to lead club skiers off piste in France there is no issue whatsoever, you can even take them onto glaciated terrain.

The Deutscher Skiverband (German Ski Club) and the FFS (French ski club) both teach off piste and all the alpine clubs tour and ski off piste without "international qualifications".


Well, yes, remuneration seems to be the crux of it. The French authorities (not surprisingly) seem to view the post-2001 SCGB as a commercial organisation, with a subscription fee that includes 'led' off-piste skiing ... provided by 'leaders' who are (arguably) remunerated in terms of paid-for accommodation, travel, food, liftpass etc. These are extremely high expenses, in relation to the duties done ... in comparision with any other UK voluntary sector work (if 'volunteer status' is claimed for SCGB reps).

Time to get real?
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Davina Goldballs wrote:


Well, yes, remuneration seems to be the crux of it. The French authorities (not surprisingly) seem to view the post-2001 SCGB as a commercial organisation



To an naive outsider like me, that appears to be the case unless someone more knowledgeable can shed light on the dispute between the SCGB and French Authorities?

I think being based in resort all season is obviously different from the club model where club groups come and go and are often only present on certain days. From my knowledge of French Ski clubs the "remuneration" thing is taken very seriously with leaders no even accepting a being bought a beer in a bar at the end of the day.

Certainly if you are doing anything professionally there are higher legal standards in force in most jurisdictions.
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy