The Ski Club of Great Britain has announced that they will no longer be offering their Leading Service. Up until now, it was possible for members of the Ski Club to benefit from free ski hosting to any ski resort in Europe or North America where the Ski Club of Great Britain had a presence. The service was run by volunteer skiers - "Leaders" - based in those ski resorts. The Ski Club of GB has faced increasing pressure from the French authorities against the practice of ski hosting by skiers who don't hold instructor or mountain guide qualification. This culminated in the arrest of a Ski Club of GB guide back in 2014. The decision to halt the service in non-French resorts as well was made after intense consultation with lawyers.
The Ski Club will shift the focus to "social skiing" with Ski Club "Reps". Reps and visitors can ski together, but without any one person taking responsibility for the group. Any member of a group that skies together will be able to suggest routes or plan itineraries, regardless of whether they are a Rep or not. From now on, the responsibility will lie with each individual instead of with one person. As before, skiing with Reps is free.
As explained in an announcement by the Ski Club, the main purpose of their Reps is to be present in a given ski resort and act as a focal point off the snow, fostering relationships with the local community, whilst ensuring that visiting Ski Club members have a safe and enjoyable time. This includes organising social events and member meetups. The club will continue to offer the Ski Club Leaders' course, which trains students in avalanche safety and off-piste skiing skills.
All existing Ski Club Leaders will automatically become Reps unless they elect not to. Currently, the service will be offered in the same resorts where the Ski Club previously had the leading service: Ischgl, Kitzbühel, Mayrhofen, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Zell am See, Davos, Grindelwald, Klosters, Mürren, Saas-Fee Saastal, Verbier, Wengen, Zermatt, Breuil-Cervinia, Sauze d'Oulx, Soldeu, Jackson Hole and Whistler. The Ski Club has tentative plans to expand its Instructor-Led guiding service, which is currently present in eleven French ski resorts.Mayrhofen was one of the ski resorts where the Ski Club of GB hosted their Ski Leading service (Photo: © Miranda Muller)
The Ski Club of Great Britain is a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting winter sports among the British public. The Ski Club of GB was founded in 1903 and now has approximately 26 000 members. For over a century, it has provided information, advice and a friendly face to members travelling abroad to go skiing. It also provides discounts on ski holidays, organises meetups and generally helps ski holidays run smoothly. Membership starts at £67, or £30 for youth.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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