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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
On the rocks wrote:
Because Mr Holt has taken legal advice. Telling Mr Holt that he is wrong simply contradicts that advice, therefore the way forward would be to engage with the lawyers, unless you have sufficient legal knowledge to overrule the lawyers?


see my post above.

anyway Mr Holt is history, yesterday's man, part of the problem not the solution, no point in harking back to him and 'is lawyers.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It’s the opinion of a member , based on actual experience which contradicts the “ professional legal “ advice which lead to a decision which has decimated the club .
As an ex member it’s not my place to liaise with the Walter Softies who proffered this advice.
And the opinion of one lawyer is never definitive .
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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?
r11s wrote:
@Gerry, which other countries have introduced this , and when ? Genuine question


It's been the law for quite a few years apparently. The French have implemented it, obviously, while the other countries have started to think about dealing with it. The reality is it only takes one complaint for the authorities to come sniffing around. We are talking about the countries where we all like to ski. Not sure about Bulgaria and the other lesser skiing destinations.

There's been lots of talk about letters of convenience signed by the head of local ski school, or the head of the tourist office but they hold no sway with the authorities. It has been made illegal for people to form a club, train their own amateur, unqualified leaders and pay them expenses as this is now deemed to be against fair competition laws. Remove expenses, remove the illegality.
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And yet many tour operators manage to guide in these countries. Maybe SCGB are far sighted and ahead of the game and not the windy rascals they appear to be re guiding .
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Pruman wrote:
Going back before the outgoing CEO, under fixed assets, there is a figure of £417k for web development! Who the hell managed to spend that kind of money on the website we see before us. It's really poor, the chat room doesn't seem to have even been integrated and it's the kind of effort I'd spend a max £10k on. Someone clearly did very nicely out of it. CEOs are in the firing line (the previous one had the good sense to jump first) but you have to level much blame on the board for that kind of overspend.


Unfortunately, 'puffery' is not unusual - web development companies can be very convincing, especially if their portfolio includes a couple of high-profile, successful businesses. Whether they're successful because of the website or because of their underlying business model is often overlooked. Web development and business consulting companies generally find it hard to transform a flawed model, or a mediocre Board into a good one just through a new website. But this doesn't stop them implying that a website will, of itself, transform an organisation. As ever, it's up to the Board and especially the Non-executive Directors to apply sound business logic to technology propositions just as much as they do to routine business and finance ones.

And if you're unused to closely monitoring spend on tech teams, you can burn through huge amounts of money on your dev/ops nerds before you notice there's very little to show for it. And that's before the cost of platform software licenses and Cloud computing resources. Most experienced project managers can handle this, but it's a common pitfall for smaller companies and organisations.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 11-04-20 12:10; edited 4 times in total
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r11s wrote:
And yet many tour operators manage to guide in these countries. Maybe SCGB are far sighted and ahead of the game and not the windy rascals they appear to be re guiding .


Like I said, only takes one complaint.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
LaForet wrote:
Pruman wrote:
Going back before the outgoing CEO, under fixed assets, there is a figure of £417k for web development! Who the hell managed to spend that kind of money on the website we see before us. It's really poor, the chat room doesn't seem to have even been integrated and it's the kind of effort I'd spend a max £10k on. Someone clearly did very nicely out of it. CEOs are in the firing line (the previous one had the good sense to jump first) but you have to level much blame on the board for that kind of overspend.


Unfortunately, 'puffery' is not unusual - web development companies can be very convincing, especially if their portfolio includes a couple of high-profile, successful businesses. Whether they're successful because of the website or because of their underlying business model is often overlooked. Web development and business consulting companies generally find it hard to transform a flawed model, or a mediocre Board into a good one just through a new website. But this doesn't stop them implying that a website will, of itself, transform an organisation. As ever, it's up to the Board and especially the Non-executive Directors to apply sound business logic to technology propositions just as much as they do to routine business and finance ones.


Exactly. If something seems too good to be true...
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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!
Feels to me there is an inherent inconsistency at the heart of the SCGB. If the thing that members value most is the "free" leading service for off piste japes and yet legally that is no longer possible, despite whatever view members or others have re lawyers being pussies etc. Just go into the model operated by French ski clubs like Davidof has articulated. There ought to be enough skilled members to make it work unless those skilled members are reluctant to share their expertise with more jerry like members without recompense. In which case you don't have a "club" because there isn't mutuality of interests.

On a simple level the club need be no more than an internet message board like the Eagles which seems to run perfectly successfully on a no strings platform and budget.
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I'm at a loss.

The reality does seem to be that the leaders have gone and are not coming back. With or without UK legal advice I think that there are very few who would like to be arrested and 'taken down the station for questioning' as was the leader we last skied with in Tignes. For the individual involved that was not nice and I'm sure that none of us would relish the thought of not just arrest and interview but also the prospect of a trial and conviction. If I had a criminal conviction I'd lose my job. I'd also not have the time or money or energy to turn up for a trial some months later. So it is just not possible for many of us to even consider leading. And if we aren't happy to do something ourselves then.......

Just howling and saying BRING BACK THE LEADERS!! won't work.

Thinking about it there are all sorts of problems with SCGB members who don't know each other meeting up and spontaneously forming groups and skiing off piste.

I like skiing off piste, there's stuff I know I can ski, stuff I know I can't ski, bits in between. There's a bit of safety I know, safety I know I don't know, and the stuff in between. So I try hard to keep to the stuff I know I can ski where I (think) I know it is safe (within the margin of safety I can tolerate for me and who ever I'm skiing with).

I think it is very difficult for groups of adult strangers to ski off piste together with no hierarchy. Someone, not necessarily the best someone, will want to or be made the de facto leader. But without the expectation that they will be followed and without a clear understanding of who is who, what everyone does and doesn't know and can and can't do. I think this is a particular issue with SCGB when there is a history of having 'leaders' and however it is presented the members pay and get a 'service' from someone who has 'passed a 'course'. The historical relationship is that the members (some of them) feel that they have passed responsibility or at least are relying on someone they think / they are sure is a better skier / better informed than they are.

Groups of 'Old Hands' / SCGB Val D'Isere / SCGB seasonaires, who, having skied with SCGB reps together have know each other and each other's sking for years is a completely different thing from a random group meeting in front of the Levanna at 08:45.
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@ed123, I agree 100% with everything in your post. I hope that Freshtracks off piste and ILG can be saved. I’m hoping to have more time to ski next season and at least these trips and also Snoworks will be good ways of getting to know a wider pool of skiers who I can be confident skiing independently with, and them with me.
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I am a member of SCGB. It's not perfect, but the one thing I do know is that I don't want to be in any club that has ed123 in it, given his appalling comments of 21.35 on Tuesday 07 on another thread about being "so glad" that a named individual has coronavirus "and even that his uncle died of it."
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@mitcva, Until your post this has been a very balanced, good natured and well argued thread. I’ve never met ed123 but I would never judge anyone on the basis of a single forum post. I’ve enjoyed being a member of SCGB for many years but not currently a member. I’ve met loads of great people plus a few back bottoms too. The back bottoms wouldn’t be an obstacle to me rejoining. Right, back on topic......


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sat 11-04-20 16:59; edited 1 time in total
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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
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Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.


Last edited by 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 on Sat 11-04-20 16:59; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
^^
yep
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
limegreen1 wrote:
thanks Gerry for saying that …
France and Off Piste skiing is not "the be all and end all " of skiing.


Too many people thought they could play their off-piste ability as a trump card and monopolise the resources.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
On the rocks wrote:
@mitcva, Until your post this has been a very balanced, good natured and well argued thread. I’ve never met ed123 but I would never judge anyone on the basis of a single forum post. I’ve enjoyed being a member of SCGB for many years but not currently a member. I’ve met loads of great people plus a few back bottoms too. The back bottoms wouldn’t be an obstacle to me rejoining. Right, back on topic......


Well said.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Gerry wrote:
limegreen1 wrote:
thanks Gerry for saying that …
France and Off Piste skiing is not "the be all and end all " of skiing.


Too many people thought they could play their off-piste ability as a trump card and monopolise the resources.


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!
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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?
Poor old Ski Club... Crying or Very sad 20-odd years ago, they owned a house in Eaton Square, Belgravia, had a buoyant and bustling discussion forum, and a thriving overseas reps' service... They are now, sadly, but a shadow of their former selves... Pity!
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stewart woodward wrote:
Gerry wrote:
limegreen1 wrote:
thanks Gerry for saying that …
France and Off Piste skiing is not "the be all and end all " of skiing.


Too many people thought they could play their off-piste ability as a trump card and monopolise the resources.


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!


Yes it became an off-piste church and people felt they were there to convert people.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
stewart woodward wrote:


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!


It always scared me issuing transceivers. Anyone joining a SCGB off piste group (except maybe red level) should have their own transceivers and by implication be familiar with their use in an emergency
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On the rocks wrote:
stewart woodward wrote:


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!


It always scared me issuing transceivers. Anyone joining a SCGB off piste group (except maybe red level) should have their own transceivers and by implication be familiar with their use in an emergency


One avalanche death in 100yrs though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
On the rocks wrote:
stewart woodward wrote:


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!


It always scared me issuing transceivers. Anyone joining a SCGB off piste group (except maybe red level) should have their own transceivers and by implication be familiar with their use in an emergency

I was amazed when I saw them issued to the top two groups on an on piste holiday. I know at least one person who was given a transceiver wasn't comfortable with this and I'm sure they won't have been the only one.
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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!
sugarmoma666 wrote:
On the rocks wrote:
stewart woodward wrote:


The biggest problem in Tignes was meeting near the esf office, giving out transivers and basically saying don't worry I will show you how to use it. Did they not think that most esf instructors speak English!


It always scared me issuing transceivers. Anyone joining a SCGB off piste group (except maybe red level) should have their own transceivers and by implication be familiar with their use in an emergency

I was amazed when I saw them issued to the top two groups on an on piste holiday. I know at least one person who was given a transceiver wasn't comfortable with this and I'm sure they won't have been the only one.


On holidays the policy was that everyone had to have one, no matter whether on or off-piste if a rep was leading.
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Gerry wrote:
Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.

This is a crucial point. Fresh tracks already has a robust, legal offering for off-piste trips by utilising local guides or instructors. On piste is a very different matter and I still don’t see why on-piste leading breaks any regulations as long as it stays strictly on piste
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DCG wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.

This is a crucial point. Fresh tracks already has a robust, legal offering for off-piste trips by utilising local guides or instructors. On piste is a very different matter and I still don’t see why on-piste leading breaks any regulations as long as it stays strictly on piste


@DCG. Agreed about the Fresh Tracks situation, they use qualified guides or instructors so no problem as you say. However as regards on piste leading, at least in France the legal situation is that even for leading on piste you have to have recognised guiding or ski instruction qualifications if any remuneration is involved, which is where the SCGB has fallen foul of the courts.
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Alastair Pink wrote:
DCG wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.

This is a crucial point. Fresh tracks already has a robust, legal offering for off-piste trips by utilising local guides or instructors. On piste is a very different matter and I still don’t see why on-piste leading breaks any regulations as long as it stays strictly on piste


@DCG. Agreed about the Fresh Tracks situation, they use qualified guides or instructors so no problem as you say. However as regards on piste leading, at least in France the legal situation is that even for leading on piste you have to have recognised guiding or ski instruction qualifications if any remuneration is involved, which is where the SCGB has fallen foul of the courts.


The wrong people have been hit with these rules. I can understand going for commercial companies but not-for-profit club?


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Sat 11-04-20 19:07; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
In France yeah ?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
ed123 wrote:


I think it is very difficult for groups of adult strangers to ski off piste together with no hierarchy. Someone, not necessarily the best someone, will want to or be made the de facto leader. But without the expectation that they will be followed and without a clear understanding of who is who, what everyone does and doesn't know and can and can't do. I think this is a particular issue with SCGB when there is a history of having 'leaders' and however it is presented the members pay.


Re the former it seems that sHs even though they are all despised bedwetters manage "informal organisation" quite well and without a bar yoda assigning them to groups. I don't know what the secret sauce is - maybe because peer to peer communication is facilitated and maybe because people end up accountable for their level of BS they have realistic views of their abilities. Maybe the problem is the latter - it is perceived to be a paid for service then people expect to sit back and let someone else manage all the decision making. I genuinely don't know. I've skied with some very fine skiers who are SCGB members and who've done Freshtracks etc all of whom I'd be happy with them socially leading me.
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You know it makes sense.
Gerry wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
DCG wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.

This is a crucial point. Fresh tracks already has a robust, legal offering for off-piste trips by utilising local guides or instructors. On piste is a very different matter and I still don’t see why on-piste leading breaks any regulations as long as it stays strictly on piste


@DCG. Agreed about the Fresh Tracks situation, they use qualified guides or instructors so no problem as you say. However as regards on piste leading, at least in France the legal situation is that even for leading on piste you have to have recognised guiding or ski instruction qualifications if any remuneration is involved, which is where the SCGB has fallen foul of the courts.


The wrong people have been hit with these rules. I can understand going for commercial companies but not-for-profit club?


The thing is that the French Law is what it is, and it only takes one disgruntled ski school or local official to raise a complaint against the SCGB and the authorities will investigate and the legal system rules that (under the SCGB's previous way of working) the SCGB is in breach of the Law. Sad If the SCGB can change the way they operate on piste so that they are compliant with the law such that the remuneration aspect is no longer applicable then leading could resume/ continue as before, but whether that is feasible or not remains to be seen, good luck anyway.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sat 11-04-20 19:27; edited 1 time in total
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Alastair Pink wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
DCG wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Once again all talk of Ski Club skiing opps ends up about off-piste, with the assumption that that's all the members want. When I repped in resort, I only spent two days a week off-piste and one of those would be with a guide. Over 60% of members turning up were there for the on-piste.

This is a crucial point. Fresh tracks already has a robust, legal offering for off-piste trips by utilising local guides or instructors. On piste is a very different matter and I still don’t see why on-piste leading breaks any regulations as long as it stays strictly on piste


@DCG. Agreed about the Fresh Tracks situation, they use qualified guides or instructors so no problem as you say. However as regards on piste leading, at least in France the legal situation is that even for leading on piste you have to have recognised guiding or ski instruction qualifications if any remuneration is involved, which is where the SCGB has fallen foul of the courts.


The wrong people have been hit with these rules. I can understand going for commercial companies but not-for-profit club?


The thing is that the French Law is what it is, and it only takes one disgruntled ski school or local official to raise a complaint against the SCGB and the authorities will investigate and the legal system rules that (under the SCGB's previous way of working) the SCGB is in breach of the Law. Sad


What I already said:

Gerry wrote:
r11s wrote:
And yet many tour operators manage to guide in these countries. Maybe SCGB are far sighted and ahead of the game and not the windy rascals they appear to be re guiding .


Like I said, only takes one complaint.
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Gerry wrote:
There's been lots of talk about letters of convenience signed by the head of local ski school, or the head of the tourist office but they hold no sway with the authorities. It has been made illegal for people to form a club, train their own amateur, unqualified leaders and pay them expenses as this is now deemed to be against fair competition laws. Remove expenses, remove the illegality.

I see a large number of European "ski clubs" and "racing clubs" running around with colourful jackets at various alpine resorts. Many seem to be part of the national ski school association, but I'd be surprised if every group outing has a paid instructor as part of it. I suspect many of their leaders and volunteer coaches are receiving some sort of "benefit", thus stealing bread from the mouths of the poor local ski schools with nary a peep.
http://www.ski-club-mannheim.de/

If this is the case, maybe the Club needs a closer affiliation with BASI and if necessary have the Reps complete Level 1... 5 day course plus first aid course of 2 days if you don't have it and 35 hours of instruction under the supervision of a level 2 or higher instructor.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@The Lev, I think that reps needed to do a first aid course anyway, there have been several on each of the BASP courses that I have done. A BASI 1 isn't licenced to teach people in a mountain environment so wouldn't be insured.

You are speculating a bit on the qualifications of people working with other clubs.
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Alastair Pink wrote:


@DCG. However as regards on piste leading, at least in France the legal situation is that even for leading on piste you have to have recognised guiding or ski instruction qualifications if any remuneration is involved, which is where the SCGB has fallen foul of the courts.


Is that also the case in Austria, Italy & Switzerland?
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Re on-piste Leaders: why not just hire local qualified and certified people? This would avoid the legal conflicts; assure the right level of training and insurance cover; make SCGB an attractive revenue client for local services (instead of a competitor); and surely be easier and cheaper than operating its own network of Reps.?

The low-risk option would be to make this a discounted service - cheaper than hiring someone yourself. The higher-risk but more attractive (to Members) option would be to amortise the cost across all members, on the assumption than only a subset will take it up. So you'd get local Ski Guide service as part of Membership (or perhaps of a Premier Membership or similar).

And when a Member wants to go further and organise personal or small group instruction, they can call on the same person who they'll have come across on Leader outings, or at least know has been involved without incident previously with SCGB Members. As opposed to taking pot luck with a completely unknown instructor.
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@LaForet, That’s exactly what’s happened with the SCGB’s Instructor Lead Guiding service, I understand it was subsided by the club and intended to act as a loss leader for the providers. I’ve enjoyed some good days out with ILG.

However it seems that this is not enough for many members still demanding return of the Leader service as it was. I pity the poor French instructors who were also instructed to turn up for the social evenings, especially when no members showed up.

I’m also not sure how much the subsidies cost the club, or indeed if the providers gained any significant additional business as a result?
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That's exactly what has happened here the last 2 or 3 years. Alex Armand, Tip Top Ski Coaching, a local Brit ISTD leads.
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And in Tignes, ILG is acting like the old leader days but with instruction and more adventure. It has also acted as a catalyst for groups forming to go off on their own with people of similar risk profile. This includes ex pats out for the season and holidaymakers. I now have a busy WhatsApp inbox some weeks.

We still have the Monday night in the Cave du Loop which allows groups to meet up as well, it's a lot easier to spot a bull shi***r in a bar than in a random facebook group.

All in all gets my vote!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I think the issue is that ILG costs the Club (not sure how much in total), where as Reps are "free". How much would subs need to go up to fund ILG across Europe?
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Thanks for all of the fantastic input above: SCGB are exploring ways to make peer group skiing (an excellent description, thank you) work, without the Ski Club needing to send out a 'leader'. There are many on Council that think this is fundamental to what our club is about. Remuneration of reps/leaders (of any kind, so inc eg accommodation) is a key issue as pointed out above - there are other issues. However Holt's shorthand "(unqualified) leading is illegal" was always over simpified so as to be wrong and unhelpful, as was imposition on the membership of the change to reps, however much we had to deal with the reality of an adverse legal judgement. The make up of Council has changed, and we are committed to turning this corner so we can have a club which can help great group skiing - that does seem central to a ski club.
I'm interested in this comment: Can you explain more? davidof?
Quote:

The French ski clubs will pay you to do the training courses (about 15 days for the FFME course).
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The Lev wrote:
I think the issue is that ILG costs the Club (not sure how much in total), where as Reps are "free". How much would subs need to go up to fund ILG across Europe?


I think ILG is well worthwhile but it should not be subsidised. Freshtracks holidays are not subsidised. Members who use ILG should be charged enough to cover the costs.
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