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Tuesday July 2, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

It's the end of an era as GB's oldest ski club ends its programme where its own reps ski with members in resort.





It was one of the unique benefits of being a member of the Club as its leaders in resort took members out skiing - both on and off piste.

They also took holidays with the organisation's Freshtracks programme.

That is now over.

The Club received advice from its legal team that the service was untenable.

It axed the service in France after a leader was questioned by police in 2014 and was taken to court:

"We have made this change following a detailed consultation period within the organisation. In the current climate, it is clear that leading groups both on and off-piste without the appropriate instructor or mountain guide qualification is no longer prudent," said the interim CEO of the Ski Club of Great Britain, Ian Holt.

"Whilst perhaps disappointing to some, this is an opportunity for the Ski Club to ensure our presence in the mountains can develop further, enabling the Ski Club to promote and protect safe, enjoyable and inspiring snow-sports experiences for anyone who loves snow and the mountains."


Ski Club LeadersSki Club Leaders











The Leaders themselves have been informed and there are a series of telephone conference calls this week for their questions.

In a private email to Leaders the Club has referred to the move as an ‘end of an era' and says, ‘we share in your possible disappointment'.

The Club will continue to have a presence in-resort.

There will be a ‘Rep' that will help social skiing for members across around 30 resorts.

In a statement the Club said:

"Ski Club reps will continue to create a community for Ski Club Members in resort; delivering a weekly programme of social events, promoting and facilitating social skiing, encouraging and helping with the Ski Club's Instructor-led Guiding service or mountain guide bookings, offering advice on restaurants, arranging après spots, providing advice on equipment, and assisting with any issues in resort.

"Reps are free to ski with Members in a social capacity but will no longer be acting as a leader on snow.

"The Instructor-led Guiding programme in our French resorts will continue unchanged."

In many ways the end was inevitable following new rules and legal enforcement.

Though some argue the Club could have gone down a different route and trained its leaders up to have the correct qualifications to take groups round the mountain on snow.

Ski Club of GB Skiing with a Ski Club GB leader - photo Melody Sky















One member has already been in touch with us with this reaction:

"Everyone I know in the Ski Club of Great Britain, myself included, joined the Ski Club of Great Britain for one reason - the leading service.

"Many fell by the wayside when the leading service in France was scrapped because of the legal problems but I stayed.

"I'm not sure whether I will now.

"It will be very interesting to see whether what the Club has to offer in future will be enough to prevent another exodus."

A current leader, who has been with the Club for many years, has also given his reation.

"My view was that it was inevitable. I think it is the right call in this modern era," he said to PlanetSKI.

"Prefer to be leading members down black runs rather than booking restaurants - but glad to have had 12 good seasons. Guess the legal situation was getting a bit too fragile," said another.

There has also been some swift reaction over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Facebook commentsReaction
















Facebook commentsReaction





















Members have also been making their views known on the Ski Club of Great Britain Facebook page.

There is huge disappointment at the decision.

"As a single skier, the leading service was the only reason for me to join," David Siddall says.

"To be able to join a group with the confidence that a knowledgable and experienced leader would be able to guide on/off piste.

"I do not need a rep to organise my social life and if that's all I will get for my membership then why renew..,,, without the leading service, what's the point of the SCGB?"

Alister Charlton says it's a shame members were not consulted.

"I joined about 4 years ago as a single skier to take advantage of the Leader service so I could explore new resorts safely and with confidence," he says.

"Have always met lovely people too in this journey.

"I really don't need a rep to organise drinking games in the evening.

"I hope you will listen to comments here and on other social media channels and make changes to avoid losing grass roots members."

Facebook commentsReaction on the Ski Club GB Facebook page


















Claire Valentin says she's disappointed that Club reps will not have to ski with members in resort.

"The guidance states that it is optional for reps to ski with the group," she says.

"Skiing with a rep who knows the resort is main reason I am a member. Surely there should be more emphasis on the reps actually skiing with the members."

The Club has responded to the comments by pointing out that legal advice has made it clear that leading groups both on and off piste without appropriate instructor/mountain guide qualifications is no longer possible.

We will be looking back at the history of the repping/leading service and how the legal position of the service changed so do check back.

The Ski Club itself is at a crossroads and some even question its relevance.

It's former CEO, Darren Neylon, resigned at the end of April after just over a year in the job.

A search for his successor is underway and we understand the first round of interviews took place last week.

Many of the staff have left in recent months citing the Club as being 'not what it was'.

However others believe the Club is adapting to a changing world and that it has a strong commitment to offering better and more relevant services to its members both out in ski resorts and in the UK.

End of an eraEnd of an era

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news


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