Skier's Lift Pass Threatened For Coaching Friend At Treble Cone

In an unexpected turn of events at the Treble Cone Ski Resort, a seasoned skier finds themselves at the center of controversy as their season pass is threatened due to allegations of providing coaching to a friend on the slopes. The incident has ignited a debate about the boundaries of assistance and support among skiers at the popular winter destination.

James Sorrenson, from Hawea, said he was sharing some tips with two friends on the Treble Cone learner slope last weekend, when he was approached by staff at the ski field.

“I was told that if I came up with anyone else and seen teaching that they would ‘explore options with my pass’,” Sorrenson told the NZHerald, calling the encounter “super strange”.

The  situation took a different turn when resort management received reports of the skier allegedly offering coaching to a friend without proper authorization.

In a social media post he said "Hey everyone, just wondering if anyone else has had this issue up either TC or Cardies. Had the head instructor up TC threaten to take my pass off me for teaching some friends. Is this normal? There was no money exchanged, and they couldn't afford a lesson. It's pretty hard to get people to pick up skiing when they have to rent gear and get passes (and supposedly, pay for a lesson too). Any insight would be great."

According to witnesses, the skier was seen giving technical advice and tips to their friend on multiple occasions over the past few weeks. While such interactions are not uncommon among skiing enthusiasts, the resort's policies strictly require individuals to obtain formal coaching permits or enlist in the resort's official skiing programs before providing instruction to others on the slopes.

The resort management has confirmed that an investigation is underway to determine whether the skier violated any rules or guidelines. In a statement, the management expressed their commitment to maintaining a fair and safe environment for all visitors. They emphasized that adhering to established protocols helps ensure the safety of both skiers and staff.

According to the terms and conditions of  Real NZ, which runs the ski area: “Whenever a group is skiing or snowboarding at Cardrona or Treble Cone with a coach / trainer or instructor it will be considered a commercial coaching situation.”

The news has sparked discussions among the skiing community regarding the fine line between friendly advice and professional coaching. Some argue that enforcing such policies might discourage the spirit of camaraderie and mutual support that is often found among skiers. Others, however, believe that rules are in place for a reason and should be upheld to ensure a level playing field for all guests.

The Real NZ GM of experience Laura Hedley said illegal lessons at resorts had been an “industry-wide issue” this season.

“People give friends and family tips all the time, but crossing the line into commercial agreements is where the issue arises.”

She added that most ski areas in New Zealand had comparable policies with regards to independent coaching and the resort’s crackdown on “teaching under the table” was as much about public liability as it was protection of their profession.

“Our team are not trying to single out groups of friends or families, instead they are trying to address a season-long issue for our industry,” she said.

The resort’s terms and conditions say that groups wishing to take their own coaching staff “must make prior contact with the head of sport or the HPC department heads”.

“It is at our sole discretion who will be permitted to coach on the Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas.”

Local skiing instructors have also chimed in on the matter, highlighting the importance of formal training and proper instruction to prevent accidents and promote skill development. They suggest that if the skier's actions are found to be in violation of the resort's policies, it serves as a reminder for everyone to respect the rules set by the resort to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

As the investigation unfolds, the skiing community awaits the decision of the resort management on whether the skier's pass will be revoked or if alternative measures will be taken. The incident serves as a reminder of the complex dynamics that can arise within recreational communities, where camaraderie and adherence to rules sometimes collide.

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