Following the recent problems encountered in France, where Ski Hosting has been deemed illegal by French authorities, The Ski Club of Great Britain has teamed up with ski school Evolution 2 to offer an instructor led guiding service in 11 French Resorts.
The practice of ski hosting (or social skiing) is where and employee of the holiday company, usually a volunteer, shows clients around the mountains, indicating the best pistes, lunch spots and offering tips on skiing the area.
In February 2013 however, the French authorities (backed by the French Ski School ESF) said that the practice was illegal since the party leaders weren’t suitably qualified as ski instructors. This came to a head when one of the group leaders was stopped and questioned by police in Val d’Isere.
Although the Ski Club contested the accusations, a court in Chambery ruled against the Ski Club and the volunteer was fined 10,000 Euros.
This coming season, the Ski Club has an interim solution in place whilst it, and 3 other major tour operators (Le Ski, Neilson and Crystal Ski) appeal against the decision, with ‘Le Ski’ prepared to take the matter to the European Court if necessary.
Evolution 2 will be providing Ski Club members with qualified instructors, with half day session costing £10 and full day sessions at £20, much of the cost being absorbed by the Ski Club. Group sizes are estimated to be around 8 for on-piste guiding and 6 for off-piste, with sessions being booked online in advance.
The Evolution 2 sessions should be available in Alpe d’Huez, Argentiere, Avoriaz, Courchevel, Flaine, La Plagne, Meribel, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens, with the original ‘Leader’ programme still continuing in 17 resorts across the rest of Europe and North America.
More information on the Ski Club’s membership can be found on their website skiclub.co.uk