French say Non to ski guides

English skiers and snowboarders who have enjoyed the company of a Ski Club or travel company guide in France will need to go elsewhere this winter unless a French court ruling is reversed. But this is France and the canny French authorities rarely pass up an opportunity to undermine the spirit of the Entente Cordiale if it means protecting French jobs – just a shame the French government shows so little disdain for creating them in the first place.
SCGB reps often found in the larger resorts like Saas-Fee. This picture was taken in the company of one such rep, from nearby Saas-Grund.
The problem in a nutshell is that the French courts have stipulated that leaders of organised groups must be suitably qualified. What that means for Dad organising a package and taking the little ones for a day on the pistes, or for groups of friends hitting the slopes together, I don’t know, but I do know that all those weeks of training that Ski Club of Great Britain reps get is clearly not of French quality.

Which is a pity, because I often enjoy joining a rep for a day on the slopes and have discovered some useful tips from so doing. And the good news is you can still do it in Switzerland and other Alpine nations. For Switzerland, check out Swiss Winter Sports, where there are bags of insider tips.

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Ski by Train

I have just launched a new web site – really an extension of my existing ski site – that specifically focuses on Alpine resorts you can get to by train. The site is at, and is based largely on my own experiences. The focus is still mainly Switzerland, just because the rail network is so much more extensive and efficient in Switzerland, but there are a number of Austrian resorts included and even three French resorts.
Snow and rail
The scope currently is only resorts with a railway station in the resort – or a cable car link from a railway station to the resort. In time I might extend or repackage the site to include places where there are scheduled bus services from a nearby railway station, or even (as is often the case in France) the need to take a taxi for the last leg.

If any readers of this blog have some experience of resorts that they got to be railway that are not covered in the site, or know of good accommodation near the station, please let me know.

In the meantime, I need to do more research! Where are those skis…

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