irritating isn't it? ESF would ideally boot all other ski schools off the mountain and now they are trying to stop hosting? All this means is that people will not choose france for the future holidays.
I emailed Mark Warner (we're going at Easter) and they are not planning to lay on any ESF guiding. Instead the hosts will suggest ski areas for the morning and then meet us at the lunch stop. Hmm... Have suggested this is not acceptable but not sure how far I will get. It worked so well for us last year - I'm much braver when I don't have to think too hard about what I'm doing....
Family ski company had an ESF instructor take us for a "guided" afternoon this year.
The ESF lady said that she wasn't there to teach us, but she was very good at giving hints and tips while focusing them on particular people! That session was free to us, but several of the group did book lessons with the same instructor following that session.
That was a win win situation for both companies, though I have no idea if Family Ski paid ESF for that instructors time.
There doesn't have to be any instruction involved. According to the article linked to, it's illegal to "teach, lead, guide, animate". I looked it up in in French (article L212-1 of the Code du sport) and it says:
I.-Seuls peuvent, contre rémunération, enseigner, animer ou encadrer une activité physique ou sportive ou entraîner ses pratiquants...
"Animer" in this context means to lead - can mean to lead a discussion, entertainment etc. as well.
Similar situation in Austria iirc. Out mark Warner hosts were only allowed to "guide" 2 days a week and not in official "gear".
Tbh I find hosts shit, dull and dangerous because they don't have he right to tell guests they're terrifyingly dangerous and endangering the rest of the group. And it's always about the eating not the skiing.
To the lady whose husband needs reading glasses, how about getting an app guide map for that resort and listening with one earphone for directions? I believe google maps also had a lot of resorts mapped and he could plan his routes the night before for example. Personally I don't use maps, I can handle any slope and prefer the mystery!
Its a daft decision and one that will quite probably impact on French skiing/tourism in the futire. Like people here have said next year more people will go to Austria, etc.
I've skiied with Esprit in the past and used their hosting service. There's no way its any form of instructing service. Having an 18yo lad who can ski reds is not an instructor. Whenever I've been there's no form of instructtion at all, they make it very clear there's no instruction and that they take no responsibilty for you. Its a case of follow me to this good run, this lift takes you here, then there's a nice run down to there, etc.
DH reckons there may be some confusion as their defence weas based on the fact they were guiding not instructing. However in France in the summer they have mountain guides who drag not very good climbers up big Alpine routes. Again the French guides are a very heavily protected job/industry. You have to have your guiding ticket/qualification to call yourself a guide. So perhaps the courts would have a fit over anyone saying they were guiding.
We're off tomorrow for a week with Snowfocus, the entire reason we booked them was that Dh will only ski a few days whereas I want to do every day and having the hosts do some guiding was the whole point, so I'm not skiing on my own. maybe they can get away with it if we're just a little group going as "friends"...
I think it is a ludicrous decision - and I speak as a lawyer and a former ski guide! The French are very protectionist, but the ski guide thing does not impinge on ESF and co other than in their minds. I wonder whether there is any scope for an appeal to the European courts who might show a bit more balance than Albertville / Chambery.
DH and I have really enjoyed this aspect of our ski holiday for the past few years. As we travel alone (along with DD) it was a nice way to meet the other guests and gave DH a chance to split off with the "faster" group whilst safe in the knowledge that I was fine pootling along with the slower group. DH now needs his reading glasses to read the piste map which frustrates him and I am usually too lazy so we liked having someone to follow.
I hope Le Ski and the other operators manage to get this overturned or we might have to do more Austrian or Italian skiing in the future.