Pentagon Ski Club Summer 2008
PSC Picnic By Anne Willemann
he first thing you may notice, both in this news he annual PSC summer picnic is coming up. We will letter and on our website, is that our trip prices hold our picnic on Saturday, July 19th, have gone up; in some cases a lot. There’s no from noon until 5 PM at the Coast Guard Anchorneed to tell you why—fuel prices have driven our airline costs age Club at 7323 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 22135. This tremendously and all our trips go by air. What has your counvenue has worked out wonderfully for our club since it is an incil done? We’ve reduced our schedule in comparison to last door/outdoor picnic area. (You can get directions at http:// year, we’ve searched for bargain trips (check the schedule), maps.google.com/ and insert the above address.) and we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Last year we were As we’ve done in the past several years, the PSC will prohit a number of times with fuel surcharges and the Euro and vide hamburgers and hotdogs (with buns) as well as the necesthe Canadian dollar jumped (actually, the US dollar took a sary condiments. We encourage everyone to continue the tradidive) and increased trip prices. In many instances your club tion of bringing a dish to share—beans, salads, desserts, etc., made up the difference. However, given the unpredictable with serving spoons. We’ve had some fabulous, delicious dishes economy, that’s not something we can afford this year. So prepared and I always look forward to the great variety. If you please be aware that whatever we put down for a trip price, want something more exotic to throw on the grill, you can bring it may change and your last payment may increase. If we that as well. You’ll need to buy your soft drinks, beer or wine are lucky and prices drop, we’ll rebate excess profits. We from the Anchorage Club’s full-service bar. hope the quality of our trips will justify their price. I’ll need some volunteers to help set up the tables at 11:30 We start the season with a trip we’re all familiar with: and two volunteer grill masters. Email me at Jackson Hole. The Cowboy Village cabins (with kitchens!) [email protected]
if you can help at the picnic. we are staying at is a couple of blocks from the 49er Inn Don’t forget to mark the date—July 19th. Our tripleaders (which is totally occupied with Cheney people this vacation; will be there taking signups for the exciting 2008-09 ski season. I guess his folks’ per diem has dropped this year). Please note that this is a full week trip. Contact Tim Tharp or Boris Lloyd for this holiday favorite. We follow this with another popular trip to the biggest t our last meeting in April we collected more than US resort: Vail (plus Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone $3,500 in donations for the Wounded Warrior Project and A-Basin) If you like powder, steeps, deeps, and back (including $1,000 from the club). Thanks to all of bowls this is your resort. Dave Olsen is leading. you for your generosity: In five years, we Right after this trip, we are doing a first for the PSC: have been able to donate $17,500 to this great Solitude (and Brighton). Located in Big Cottonwood Cancharity. A big thanks as well to our own Denyon, next door to Alta and Snowbird, it has the same snow nis Walburn for sharing his story; not only is and weather, just less crowds. Lesa Scott and Pat Hobitz he a great spokesman for this cause, but he are hoping to bring many of their joined the PSC earWestern Carnival skiers onto this lier in the year as well! The PSC is a trip. Bronze level contributer to the DisThe traditional MLK weekend ote: Trip prices may increase due abled Sports USA charity (which partwill have a slight difference this to fuel surcharges, taxes and ners with the Wounded Warrior week: it’s a full seven days of skicurrency fluctuations. Your club will Project). PSC member Ginny Lester ing at Big Sky; because it has two do its best to to ameliorate additional expenses, was singled out at the same level for holidays (MLK and Inauguaration but costs may increase. Stay in contact with your her wonderful contributions; she missed tripleader. the April meeting when Dennis men(Continued on Page 3) tioned her. Thanks Ginny!
Wounded Warrior Project
PSC MEMBERSHIP FEES
Pentagon Ski Club
PSC MEETING SCHEDULE
2007-2008 Council & Committees
ur meetings are on the second or third Tuesday of the months listed below at the Officers Club at Fort Myer, VA, at 7 PM (except for the picnic at the Coast Guard Station). Saturday, July 19 (Picnic) Tuesday, September 9 Tuesday, October 14 Tuesday, November 18 Tuesday, December 9 Tuesday, January 13 Tuesday, February 17 Tuesday, April 21
Club Hot Line: 703-471-7791 Website: www.pentagonskiclub.org Council Members & Committees (number indicates year the term expires) President & Editor: Peter Porton (10) (H: 703-471-7791) [email protected]
Vice-President & Racing: Dave Olsen (08) (H: 301-579-2749) (W: 202-385-7207) [email protected]
Secretary & Trip Support: Steve Thompson (08) (H: 703 4355170) [email protected]
Treasurer: Christina Anderson (10) (H: 703-719-6714) [email protected]
Trips: Steve Peirce (08) (H: 301-924-5173) (W: 202-366-2553) [email protected]
Special Projects & Meetings: Anne Willemann (10) (H: 703-9417910) [email protected]
Membership: Cheree Peirce (09) (H: 301-924-5173) [email protected]
Sales & Publicity: John Pratt (09) (H: 703-534-5759) [email protected]
Skier Improvement: John Condia (09) (H: 703-335-5004) [email protected]
Dep. Editor: Jim McDonough (10) (H: 703-619-0020) [email protected]
o access the Membership Benefits area in the National Ski Council Federation website at www.skifederation.org (all PSCers are automatically members), use the following:
PSC Committee Chairpeople
userid = skiclub; password = member
Webmasters: Laura Harley & Dave Olsen [email protected]
Welcoming: Luella Montgomery Membership Database Manager: Pat Riggs [email protected]
Smugmug: Alden Hingle [email protected]
lease take a moment to check the date on your newsletter label—it indicates the month your membership expires. If you need to renew or change your address, please see Cheree Peirce at our meetings, contact her at [email protected]
or send her a check (see membership fees up above).
The Liftline Editor: Peter Porton Deputy Editor: Jim McDonough Copy Editor: Dave Olsen
Cheree Peirce 19701 Golden Valley Lane Brookeville MD 20833
The Liftline is issued bimonthly except for the 4-month summer issue. Any articles are welcome for publication, but the editor has the right to edit for size and PSC policy.
(President’s Corner, From Page 1)
Day for some feds), it’s a low-leave trip. Contact Steve Thompson. February basically starts with our first European trip to one of Europe’s largest resorts: Trois Vallees in Switzerland. This megaresort includes four mountains (despite the name) and has an option to Ireland. We will be staying at the Hotel Merilys in Meribel and the Royal Dublin Hotel in the eponymous city. Contact Anne Willemann to get on this trip For those not going to Europe, the traditional BRSC Western Carnival takes place, this time at Keystone. The PSC chose to stay at the Snowdance Manor condos close to the mountain lifts and all the events. The tickets are good at five resorts, so be prepared to ski your buns off. Contact Steve Peirce. This trip is followed by another PSC First: Durango, during President’s Week. This resort, formerly known as Purgatory. is near Telluride in SW Colorado, with a famous old town and the Strater Hotel as our headuarters. Four days of skiing or visiting other sites in this historic western resort should make for a full vacation. Contact Jim McDonough. Next in line is another PSC favorite: Park City, which will include The Canyons and Deer Valley as well as an optional day to Snowbasin. We’ll be staying in the Park City Peaks Hotel (formerly the Radisson), with full breakfasts as well as apres ski cider and cookies. Christina Anderson will sign you up for this trip. Then comes a bargain trip to Winter Park that is a bargain in cost only: 6 nights’ lodging at the baseside Vintage Hotel includes five days of lift tickets. You have the choice of skiing Winter Park, Mary Jane, or Vasquez Ridge. Contact Pat Riggs or (slightly closer) Lucy Gruenther. As we are now in March, we’re off to Europe again: Davos, Switzerland—need more be said? We’ll be staying in the fourstar Sunstar Park, site of all the BRSC Eurofest activities and in the center of town. There will be a pre-trip to Budapest, again at a four-star hotel, the Mercure Korona. Budapest is a place where the dollar is still worth something. A romantic city with good food, sights and history. What’s not to like? Call me (Peter Porton) or Tom Strawbridge. Next, by popular demand, we’re off to Banff, Canada. This time we’ll be staying at the Banff International Hotel in the center of town. Busses will take you for free to Lake Louise, Sunshine, or Norquay. June Doezema will be guiding this international trip. We end the season in Alyeska, Alaska. Again we’ll be staying at the fabulous Prince Hotel (now renamed Hotel Alyeska), with four-day lift tickets (you’ll want to keep a day or two open for extra trips to go whale watching, glacier tromping, dog-sledding, or snowmobiling). John Pratt will be leading this trip to the US part of the Great White North. Enough skiing? We hope so. Please note that when you are trying to get hold of tripleaders, our e-mails have changed for the time—check them on Page 2. Your council had its election of officers, committee chairpersons, and tripleaders in May. Results are on Page 2 and on the
trips spreadsheet (and in this article). A bon voyage to members Karen and Gregg Hampton who have moved to their retirement home in Rocky Mount, NC. We hope they’ll still join us for future trips. Congratulations to Cece Elder for her upcoming nuptuals; unfortunately, it’s the same day as the PSC picnic so yours truly and some others won’t be there to sell our trips. Finally: Luggage. Most of you know that you will be paying $25 extra for your second piece of luggage (currently, as far as we know, a genuine boot bag and ski bag will be counted as one bag). We can’t add this extra cost to the price of a ticket because (a) the airlines won’t allow that and (b) we don’t know how many bags you’ll be taking. By the time we’re skiing, all the golfers and tennis players and such will have tested this new system; we will know how it works.
Vail Resorts Epic Pass By Dave Olsen
ail Resorts, which owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, is offering an Epic Pass that provides unlimited season-long skiing at all their resorts plus Arapahoe Basin.The club has trips this winter to both Vail (January 3-10) and Keystone (February 9-14, the BRSC Western Carnival). If you’re contemplating going on both of those trips, or just one of those trips with the club but another trip on your own or with another ski club, then you should consider purchasing an Epic Pass. The cost is $579, balanced against the amount you’ll save by taking the no-lift-ticket deduction on your club trips ($270 + $36 for the extra-day ticket on Vail and $200 + $40 on Keystone = $546 total).The math says you’re $33 shy of breaking even. The deal-maker would be if you’re planning any additional skiing this winter at these resorts. Maybe another trip to Colorado or a trip to Lake Tahoe to ski Heavenly? But wait: Dan Ellis, our tour operator for the Vail trip, is offering the Pentagon Ski Club an early booking bonus. Each club member that buys the pass from Dan will receive a $60 gift certificate/credit good on any of the five club trips that he is handling for us—Jackson Hole, Vail, Winter Park, Banff and Alyeska. That means you’ll realize a $27 net savings if you plan to go on both Vail and Keystone and ski 6 days on each trip. Dan plans to be at our July 19 picnic and will be selling the Epic Pass to us that day. If you don’t buy it from Dan then, you have until 9/30/08 to do so and still get the $60 incentive. You can also buy the pass online directly from Vail Resorts (http://snow.com) if you do so by 11/15/08. In either case, the price is subject to change at any time, so you shouldn’t procrastinate. If you dont want to risk the price going up you can mail a $579 check now to Winter Ski and Sport, 4949 Sabra Lane, Annandale, VA 22003 ph 703-978-5355. Vail needs your full contact information to process the pass receipt which you will take to any of the resorts to exchange for a photo ID/Season Pass.Dan will also take credit cards but that would reduce the bonus to $40.
By Lesa Scott
’m pleased to report the check-in and flight went smoothly for everyone but Richard Oarr and David Windmiller. They have a great story about someone misreading the flight times and causing both of them to miss the plane. Then, they had poor connections, rented a van and finally joined us in Steamboat at 0 dark 30 AM. They were glad to report that the remainder of the trip went particularly well for them. I got some of their story when I dropped off their lift passes since they didn’t make the welcome cocktail party. The Lodge hosted a wine and cheese welcome orientation. It is amazing how a large room becomes small and warm when all of us are together. Jean Schedler, Marianne Graham, Beth Irons, and Mary Regan made a point to tell me they were thrilled with their condo. I, of course, took full credit. In fact, everyone seemed pleased with the accommodations. I will say I visited every condo during the course of the week and overall they were roomy and warmly decorated. As you’d expect, most were western motifs. First Day. The snow was fantastic. The powder stories about Steamboat are true. We had volumes of fresh snow. Your trusty trip leader had committed to green slopes with a few people. Bill and Monalisa Tindall, Edgar and RA McHenry, Mary Regan, Susan Laudicina, and Mary Tobin started with me. We had a blast and had plenty of powder to play in. We can say our pizza slice skier moved to French fries by noon. Other first day reports had Dave Olsen and Steve Peirce putting Pat Berry and Christina Anderson through the paces at the NASTAR course. Peter Lee spent the day chasing Randy Knack and Amos Kenyon down the slopes. Poor Randy Zittel came down with the flu. He ended up going home on Tuesday. He says it was one successful but lousy diet! I understand Valerie and Jerry DeRosa went to the blues with Pat Hobitz. They reported great, challenging snow. Most folks were just not quite prepared for all the powder the first day. And, the powder continued all week. Of the first day stories, Rebecca Burka was the smart one and took a class! We had a welcome party that included amazing hats. Our own Lynn Trusal won with his cricket hat and Valerie won with her unique flower power hats. Both demonstrated talents hitherto unknown to PSC! The Super Bowl was on the big screen. Although PSC was in a corner, we took over plenty of other spaces in the room depending on our individual commitment to the Game. By halftime, we’d returned to our condos. Rooming with three, I repeat, three New Englanders, I just had to root for the Giants. What a great game (and I won’t rub in the fact that my team won)! Our second day of skiing, the forecast was for snow! I continued Green slopes with some trusting skiers. Our French fry skier moved to selecting blues—that is progress. Several of the tentative skiers got the knack (sorry, Randy) of the powder and improved significantly. We heard stories of Bill Tindall trying to keep up with Dave and Steve while handicapped by a missing
basket on his pole. All three report he looked quite comical lurching down the slope. The hot tubs at The Lodge were great. They did have some icicles overhanging them when we arrived. Next day, Paige Rappe was telling me about the four foot icicle that tried to impale Peter Rappe. Shortly later, the icicles were gone. We did have some folks in our hot tub run an experiment to see how long it takes a chunk of icicle to melt. The answer is one minute, for the trivia buffs. The third day, Nora and Lawrence Robinson drove snowmobiles over a wide variety of terrain and played in a meadow. They reported making first tracks all through the day! Perhaps because this was, yet, another day of falling snow. Although, I can say Tom and Kathy Tsai, Edgar and RA McHenry, Pat H. and I enjoyed the sun for three hours about noon time. We ran into Ed and Judy Rappe, Jerry and Nancy Fee, and Bob and Ann Dillman at the top. We kept just missing the four Rappes, close enough to wave. Somewhere during the sunshine, I recall seeing Vikki and Tom Shantz skiing with Rod Taylor. Then, Lynn Trusal joined us for a run or two. We dropped over into some powder and cruised like mad while the sun shone. It was stupendous! The BRSC Apres Ski party had all 11 clubs represented and what seemed like nearly all 411 skiers at the Bear River Grill. Billy Kidd was there for awhile. The band came early to play for us. They were good. We have several excellent dancers in the club. Miles Hamby was modeling his new Steamboat trail map embossed boxer shorts. He kept asking women to show him where they’d skied. He was just so funny, he charmed without offending. Another PSCer with hidden talents! (Bill T. was dancing with goggles on, what’s up with that?) The fourth day, the forecast was more snow! This was our race day. The course didn’t seem too challenging but the visibility more than made up for it. Jerry Shields reported there was a skier on the course for his first run. He was less than pleased. He got a make-up run. Then we found out it was our own Tamara Weber that had taken a spill near the bottom. Being game, Tami got herself off the course, onto the lift and down to the base where she decided she really did hurt. She went to the clinic to find out she had a broken ankle! Tami was fussing about the skier that nearly ran her over. I am glad to report Jerry and Tami “made up” when each realized the other’s situation. I am pleased to report that Katherine Richert stepped into race when Randy Z. departed. She loved it. We may have another convert to the fun of challenging the mountain and the clock. It helps that her mother, Janet, enthusiastically cheered her to the finish line. Plus, I do have to tell you that Jeanne Fox took a spectacular tumble on the race course; we christened her the Nastar Snowball. The racing was followed by a picnic in a slope-side shelter. The food was good, the hot chocolate and cider were great warmups. Then there were these giant cookies—wow! The picnic is about the only time I saw “Dix” Dallas, Tim Tilson, Mike and Kathy Gibson, Cece Elder and Cathy Kelley, and Guy Ensmann on the slopes. Steamboat is just too diverse, we all skied all over the place and rarely ran into PSC red flags. It was surprising. I did ski with our tour broker, Effie Rubenstein, after the racing and the picnic. She is a truly elegant skier who just floats across the
top of the snow. (I did try to slip her into the race as a PSCer but Dave Olsen was wise to me.) Plus, I have to send a special thanks to Jennifer Sidley, Peter and Paige Rappe from Tammy. They gamely moved from the third floor to the ground floor to accommodate Tammy’s crutches and hobbling. The Lodge even cut a special path through the snow to the condo door for Tammy. On the fifth day, the forecast was for, surprise, snow! Gayl Taylor, our snowshoer, was getting on the bus as I was getting off. In the blink of an eye, she gave Pat H. and me a thorough orientation brief on the downtown layout that saved us many steps! The rest of the report on Thursday is just downright depressing. John Pope twisted his knee. He layed off skiing the last day or so. Once home, he found out he is facing surgery. Please send him your best. The other trip headline was about Dennis Chin of the Fredericksburg Ski Club. On Thursday noontime, his group had stopped for lunch when Dennis had a fatal heart attack. The ski patrol and paramedics tried but Dennis did not revive. He was a friend of mine and will be sorely missed. We wish his family and club mates our deepest sympathies. On the final ski day, the forecast was for, of all things, snow! Everyone’s goal was to hit every slope they could. Pat H. and I were coming down to Rendezvous Lodge when someone (who me?) turned a little too soon and ended up mired in three feet of powder. It took nearly 30 minutes to cross 20 feet step by step to reach the groomed slope. I have a newly found respect for tree well stories. That reminds me, there were several tragic tree well incidents at Steamboat this winter but none occurred during this BRSC Winter Carnival. Yes! The BRSC Dinner/Dance included a memorial tribute to Dennis and the awarding of the race medals. PSC took two club awards and many race medals. I tried to capture them but I beg forgiveness if I miss anyone. Paige Rappe, and Steve Peirce took thirds; Christina Anderson, Peter Lee, and Jeff Burka took seconds, while Ross Garrison, Evan Garrison, Peter Rappe, and Dave Olson took firsts. PSC took second for the combined team of Evan Garrison, Peter Lee, Dave Olsen, Steve Peirce, and Christina Anderson. The snow stopped for our starlight gondola ride down the mountain. What a delightful end to the BRSC Winter Carnival. Just for the record books, we had +50" of snow during the course of the week.
By Steve Thompson
hearty group of 16 PSC members arrived in a picturesque, snow-covered Quebec City on February 16. After checking in at the historic Chateau Frontenac Hotel, our group was off to see the finale of the city’s Winter Carnival in the form of a spectacular night parade. Un-
fortunately, hunger and cold took over and upon the realization that the parade would not make its way to our location for some time, the group embarked in search of some much needed nourishment. Under the capable leadership of veteran Quebec City visitor and unquestionable foodie, Larry Powers, most of the group found its way to Les Freres de la Cote. This warm, cozy restaurant served some tasty local fare and offered a nice variety of domestic and imported beverages. We also noticed that they offered an all-you-can-eat mussels night later in the week and several in the group vowed to return. One of the nice aspects of participating in a ski trip with a relatively small number of participants is that everyone really has an opportunity to get to know each other. It also made it easy for the group to find restaurants almost every evening that could accommodate the group. Staying at the Chateau Frontenac is one of the highlights of the PSC trip to Quebec and the hotel did not disappoint. Each morning we enjoyed a buffet breakfast that included a wide variety of options from traditional croissants to some nice cheeses and meats. There was also an indoor pool, whirlpool, and a spa. The hotel is also very conveniently located in the heart of the old city, just above the lower town, the most historic area. Our ski days were filled with a variety of experiences. The first resort we visited was Le Massif. We enjoyed a beautiful, brisk day skiing some nice terrain overlooking the St. Lawrence River. By Monday, the temperatures were rising and there was a light rain moving into the area. When we arrived at Mont-SainteAnne we found most of the area closed due to the weather conditions. Not to be deterred, we headed for the one open lift and hoped for the best. After a few runs, several of the group stopped to explore the Sugar Shack that was located along one of the few open runs. This proved to be one of the highlights of the day. Helen Fiske, Marli Dirksen, Larry Powers, Don Budowski, and I enjoyed some of the local maple sugar flavor as the attendant poured warm maple syrup in a trough of fresh snow. Each of us had a popsicle stick and, as the syrup cooled, we picked up the syrup by rolling it onto the stick to create sort of a maple lollipop. As we were finishing up here, it began to rain a bit and many of us headed in for an early lunch at the base of the mountain. While we enjoyed something to eat and drink, we were amazed and disappointed to see the rain continue and the temperature rising. There was a big board that displayed the temperature and it topped out at 46 degrees. This was after the previous day when the high was only low twenties, quite a shift in the weather. Tuesday took the group to Stoneham for what turned out to be the best ski day of the trip as colder weather returned. The weather was clear and the conditions were great. For our final ski day we returned to Le Massif for another nice day skiing down to the St. Lawrence. In addition to skiing, another high point of the trip was enjoying a few of the multitude of eateries located throughout the historic heart of Quebec City. In addition to Les Freres de la Cote, which the group frequented on two occasions (and the mussels were tasty and unlimited), a few of the other restaurant highlights included L’Echaude, Aux Anciens Canadiens, and Le Continental. The concierge at the hotel was a valuable resource in recommending establishments that did not disappoint.
As a first-time trip leader, I thought I would share a few of the things I’ve learned. (1) I’m not going to get too attached to a flight schedule because I learned that that can change. Our initial mid-morning departure was changed to 6 AM only to be further revised the day prior to departure back to mid-morning. (2) Helen Fiske commented that she liked my bright yellow baseball cap because it made me easy to find. I had never thought of that, but I will now and it will become part of my travel wardrobe. (3) I learned on this trip and also the trip to St. Anton that it is important to know where the closest hospital is located and how to get there. Luckily, no one was seriously injured in Quebec, but I didn’t come away with a very high opinion of socialized medicine. (4) If you ever need to try to change your flight schedule to return home early, I learned that you should never let the airline know if you are having any medical issues. It should always be that someone at home is sick in need of your immediate return. (5) And finally, I learned that you cannot be too organized in keeping track of all the paperwork that goes along with leading a ski trip. Luckily in the club we have trip leaders with a wealth of experience that they are always willing to share and the PCS Treasurer is a valuable key to keeping the trip finances in proper order. All in all, this was a rewarding experience primarily because of the people on the trip. Skiing is a social sport and the PSC offers its members terrific opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy skiing each winter. I’m looking forward to the many years of skiing with the club.
ankle, and advised Tracy to get it looked at ... which she did, immediately following the party. By ~5:30 PM Tracy called and confirmed that she had in fact broken her leg, and that there was no way she could go on the trip. Clare came to the rescue again by suggesting that a mutual friend of theirs and of Carmel, Joanne Ward, might be interested in taking Tracy’s place. Long story short, Joanne was indeed ready, willing and able to join us, bringing great smiles from Tracy as this substantially reduced her financial loss. Jump ahead to a week later at National Airport’s Alaska Airlines counter. Tom Griesacker and Tom Ligis were the first to arrive, and were just about done checking in when I arrived at 5:45 AM. With three agents working at the tiny counter it took me all of about three minutes to get checked in. Next to arrive was Pat Berry followed in rapid succession by Steve Peirce and Christina, Don, Caroline, Ginny Lester, then Clare and Roger DeCesare with Joanne. Not yet 6:15 and we had all twelve of us checked in, well ahead of the 6:30 mark by which I had asked everyone to arrive. After some morning coffees and assorted provisions we boarded the 737 for our nonstop flight to Seattle, pushing back from the gate a few minutes ahead of our scheduled 8:00 AM departure and lifting off (“wheels up” as aviators like to say) ten minutes later. Some of us nibbled on whatever we had bought in the terminal while others purchased the $5 snack boxes that Alaska was selling. No video entertainment system on these birds, but for $10 they would rent us a “digEplayer” that held a number of movies and other fare. After an uneventful flight (the best kind) we touched down in Seattle just shy of 10:00 AM. A long flight—more than five hours from gate-to-gate—but more than 45 minutes ahead of our scheduled 10:49 AM arrival. Plenty of time to wander SEA-TACs shops and eateries. Our scheduled 1:20pm departure was delayed by about half an hour but the free beer and wine (a nice Yakima Valley Chardonnay) aboard the Horizon Air DH-4 turboprop made for an enjoyable 45-minute flight. We touched down in Kamloops, British Columbia, about ten minutes beyond our scheduled 2:25 arrival time. Less than 40 minutes later we had retrieved our luggage, cleared Canadian customs, and loaded our shuttle bus for the hour-long trip to Sun Peaks Resort. Check-in at Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge was a breeze, allowing ample time to procure some beverages from the local shops for the club-hosted pizza party in the tripleader’s room. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Mountain High pizza including Carmel, who had arrived from Fort Lauderdale on Air Canada via Toronto and Vancouver. Christina commandeered the clipboard from the lobby that had the signup sheet for skiing Sunday morning with Nancy, and most of us signed up. We had been planning on the availability of breakfast at the on-premises restaurant—Mackers Bistro—but were disappointed to learn that it was undergoing repairs for the duration of our visit. We found a couple of options nearby including the 5 Forty Café & Deli that made some reasonably priced breakfast wraps and
By Dave Olsen
ur tale starts a week before our departure with the great pre-trip party hosted by assistant tripleader Christina Anderson and her husband Ed. There was food and drink aplenty and we probably set a club record by having present virtually everyone that was on the trip and in town for the event. The only absentees were Carmel Roche who would be joining us from Florida and Don Blasl who was airborne, returning from the club’s trip to Lake Tahoe. Everyone else—all 11 of us—were present. That’s right—this was to be a boutique trip with just 13 skiers signed up to enjoy the pleasures of two great Canadian destination resorts. Joining the trip from the Ski Club of Washington DC, courtesy of the Blue Ridge Ski Council sanctioning process, were Caroline Janov and Tracy Long. Tracy was unfortunately sporting a recent injury—an apparent sprained ankle—that she feared might prevent her from going on the trip. During the party, Clare DeCesare dusted off her nurse’s cap, examined the offending
the rather pricey buffet at the Delta Hotel. We were welcomed Sunday morning with a blue-sky day with just a few wispy clouds. Lots of snow, nicely groomed—but alas, no new snow. A few of us took a quick warmup run when the lifts opened at 8:30, then we all gathered on the slope just outside the Cahilty to meet Nancy and her husband Al. We split into two groups for what would be a three-hour resort tour. Nancy, Olympic medalist (Grenoble, 1968 – gold in GS & silver in SL) and Canadian Female Athlete of the 20th Century, took the more adventurous group on a fast-paced tour that hit virtually every lift on the mountain including Mt. Morrisey across the valley. Nancy pointed out the series of evergreens decorated for Christmas—some by the resort staff and others by several of the families that visit the resort each winter. Our tour included an optional run down the Headwalls trail on which the Velocity Challenge was to be run, March 5-8. This is the only speed-skiing venue on the FIS World Cup tour outside of Europe. Racers reach top speeds of ~110mph in 8 seconds. We had planned to meet-up for lunch at the Village Day Lodge at the base of the lifts but, on Nancy & Al’s suggestion, opted instead for the on-mountain Sunburst Restaurant with its yummy fresh-baked Sticky Buns. Sunday evening Nancy & Al hosted a welcome reception for all their guests. We had to make an abbreviated appearance as we had reservations for a 6:00 group dinner at the Sun Peaks Lodge Steakhouse. Monday was similar to Sunday—more blue skies and another lunch for many at the Sunburst Restaurant. Tuesday—our third an final day at Sun Peaks—brought clouds and wind. Midafternoon we departed the slopes and changed into our street clothes for our 4 PM transfer to Big White resort. We stopped after about 2-1/2 hours in the town of Kelowna where we had a good, reasonably priced dinner at Montana’s Cookhouse. During the subsequent hour’s drive to Big White we found ourselves in a modest snowstorm that made it difficult for the driver, unfamiliar with the resort, to locate our lodge, but bode well for skiing the next morning. Our late-night check-in was thankfully painless as we were all ready to hit the sheets. The White Crystal Inn backs onto Big White’s “skidestrian” village: shops, restaurants and lodges adjoin the snow-covered thoroughfare through which the skiers make their way between the upper and lower lifts. Most of us started our visit as we had at Sun Peaks with a first-morning resort tour. A heavy morning fog made the going tough and our Snow Host prevailed upon me to run “sweep” at the back of our group, communicating over my FRS radio with Steve Peirce who was with him at the front of the group, to keep us together. It would have been a lost cause without the radios! Going up the Falcon Chair we caught first glimpse of the resort’s wondrous “snow ghosts,” the snow-covered evergreens. Weve seen snow-covered trees at other resorts but these are truly distinctive. They are totally packed and covered with windblown snow, many to the extent that you could barely tell that there was a tree beneath. After some great burgers at Snowshoe Sams, Pat, Chris-
tina, Steve, Roger and I frolicked around in the still-fresh powder in the glades off the aptly named Powder Chair, “woo-hooing” to each other (ala KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree) to keep together. Après ski we were joined by Carmel and Caroline at the Happy Valley Day Lodge where we shared some libations. A memorable afternoon. Thursday brought a reported 4+ inches of new snow. Powder? Yes. Champagne powder? No. While not a wet snow, this was a heavy, wind-blown variety that made turning difficult. Ginny found out just how difficult when she took a bad fall in the morning, seriously injuring her right arm in what would ultimately turn out to be a break. That made life most difficult for the rest of the trip, but her roommate Caroline and others pitched in to help as best they could. Thursday après ski we were hosted by the resort to a tubing party on their Mega Snow Coaster, claimed to be the largest tubing park in North America. Carmel arrived sporting the new white ski jacket she had acquired. Clare especially enjoyed the set of tubing lanes where you were allowed to hold onto as many other tubes as you wanted, going down the chute linked together. The other set of chutes was limited to single tubes, but had the advantage that the attendant would give you a wicked spin at the top, making for a dizzying ride down. To get back up, you would lie down in your tube and hook the handle onto a rope tow, making a sort of conga line. Those in the uphill tubes had a substantial advantage in lobbing snowballs at those behind them! Afterwards there was complimentary hot chocolate available at the adjacent ice rink. Friday’s skiing brought some high winds that seemed to sandblast a layer of skin off our faces. Friday evening we arranged a farewell dinner at Snowshoe Sams. Pat captured a great photo of their signature Gunbarrel Coffee in the making, with the flaming liquor engulfing the shotgun barrel. Check out all the great trip photos at our SmugMug site. After a too-short night, we gathered in the lobby for our 3 AM departure to the Kelowna Airport for our 6 AM flight to Seattle. All went smoothly with our check-in and on-time departure. We were treated to a somewhat light-hearted briefing by our flight attendant who explained how the seat cushions could be used as a flotation device “in case our flight turned into a cruise,” how the seat belt operation “was not rocket science,” and how we could use the grey button on the overhead panel to turn on the reading light but “the yellow button may eject your luggage.” Our SEA-TAC transfer between gates was a bit convoluted, involving not one, not two, but three separate trains on our way to Terminal C. The final challenge was to decide whether to get on that third train, with signage advising that we do so to get to Terminals C/D, or to go up the elevator to get to Terminals C/ N. We opted for the train and ended up OK. We touched down at DCA just before 4:30 PM, nearly a half hour ahead of our scheduled arrival. As is the case with most trips, as soon as our luggage came out we were all on our separate ways with barely enough time for a few quick goodbyes. Another great PSC trip in the books!
The town of Bend has transitioned from a lumber mill town to a growing resort community of 75,000 people renowned for golf courses and summer recreation. The former lumber industrial area has been redeveloped into an upscale shopping and dining area named, naturally, The Old Mill District. Both the Old Mill and downtown Bend abound with good eating establishments. Many of them feature fresh seafood. We ate in a different place every night. Thursday night we assembled at McMenimin’s Old St. Francis School Pub for a group dinner. The food was excellent. We ordered off the menu and they provided individual checks. Not many places will do that for a group of 17. Thanks to Jeanne Fox and Pat and Dennis Carroll for scouting out McMenimins. If you ever get to Bend, check out Baldy’s Barbeque. The beef brisket is outstanding as is the rest of their menu. I would rate the dining in Bend as being a significant cut above that found in most of the locales we frequent while skiing. Our hotel, the Riverhouse, is a golf resort in the summertime. The Deshutes River runs between the buildings of the Riverhouse and makes the physical location something really special. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The continental breakfast was ample. The hotel includes a very nice restaurant, a bar and a large conference center where we were welcomed with a very nice reception upon our arrival. Ron Botts, director of sales for the hotel, arranged our transportation to and from the airport and generally looked out for us during the week. In the evening, the Riverhouse provided a shuttle service for hotel guests to the surrounding area. This worked out great. John, the van owner and operator is a biodiesel-using, film making, world commentating, tour guiding, environmentalist and summertime pedi-cab driver who made every trip an adventure. If you get to Bend, be sure to look him up. He operates as Green Energy Transport. Getting to Mt Bachelor takes a little longer than most trips. It was six hours flying time to San Francisco, a three hour layover and then another two hours to Redmond. Fortunately, it was only about 20 minutes from Redmond to the Riverhouse. It was a long day of travel. But, the trip was definitely worth it. We should go again!
By Ernie Becking
or some unknown reason the PSC has never traveled to Mt Bachelor before. This trip was something of a test-case to check out what is advertised as “America’s 5th Largest Resort.” It has 3,683 skiable acres (that’s almost six square miles) and a vertical drop of 3,365 feet. That turned out to be big enough so that John White and Mike Fallon were able to do over 13,000 vertical feet before lunch. The skiing at Mt Bachelor offers something for everyone from beginners to experts. If the snow conditions are right, it provides almost endless off-piste skiing.The mountain is large enough to keep skiers busy for six days. Many of the very hospitable mountain hosts (Debbie, JJ, Tony, Melanie and others) skied with us for several days. As a group we ate lunch in three different locations on the mountain. The food was excellent. The consensus of the group was that the club should definitely return to Mt Bachelor. Bob Bourquard, head of Group Sales for the Mt Bachelor Resort, made every effort to see that our club had a very enjoyable time. He gave us an orientation to the mountain when we arrived, rode the bus with us several mornings and coordinated our activities during the week. Thanks to some extraordinary effort on Bob’s part, we enjoyed a dedicated bus to and from the mountain. This was a significant improvement over the normal shuttle transportation system. Mt Bachelor has two innovations not normally seen at US resorts. The first is the “Ski Corral.” This is a secure area next to the base of the main lift where you can leave you skis, free, while eating lunch. For $2 per day, the corral provides unlimited in and out storage plus overnight storage. After the first day everyone on our trip left his/her skis in the corral overnight so as to not have to transport them back to the hotel. The second impressive item was the sensor equipped lift line gates that could read lift passes carried in our pockets. No need to fumble with lift passes at Mt Bachelor. These systems made it almost possible to ski thru the gates with hardly a pause. There were no lift lines either! Not having been to Oregon before, I was surprised by the area. Redmond (where the airport is located) and Bend are located in the high desert (3000 and 3500 feet altitude, respectively) characterized by short pine trees and sage brush. Much of the area is volcanic in origin. Mt Bachelor rises out of that high desert to over 9000 feet. During our visit there was no snow on the ground in Bend. Twenty miles away, Mt Bachelor has a base of about 13 feet of snow. In some spots on the mountain you can see the holes in the snow created by the volcanic hot air vents.
The Hamam Haram By Anne Willemann
irl bonding, Istanbul style. Here we were in the heart of the steaming hamam, near the Blue Mosque. Lying there on the toasty warm marble platform were 17 naked women, some of PSC’s finest, and let me tell you, we all looked pretty damn good. You go, girls— I’m proud of you for being willing to try a uniquely Turkish experience. We first tried the body scrub where a naked (except for
her tight fitting black bikini underwear), Turkish woman scraped off dead skin as she lathered us from top to bottom in soap suds. She made it look like she was decorating a cake. When she taps you on the shoulder it means roll over. When Lesa Scott rolled over too quickly she found that she had caught part of the woman’s body under her shoulder. Whoops—but it snapped back—so sorry. You can sit for hours pouring warm water over your body and then we lined up on benches, sitting there wrapped in our Turkish towels to await the oil massage. The only danger we had was of slipping on the smooth marble floor—but Thank God—we all survived, exfoliated, oiled and glowing from the experience. So hats off to the brave 17, Judy Ramage, Mary Lib Glovier, Helen Fiske, Marylou Whelan, Linda Wilkinson, Lesa Scott, Pat Hobitz, Deborah Cureton, Janet Cyphers, Ruth Marie Finley, Mena Moran, Lee Hagenstad, June Doezema, Sharon Harris, Diane Flury and Lorree Smith. I hardly recognized everyone with their clothes on afterward. Later at the restaurant as we loudly chattered on about the experience, we disturbed the quiet meal that Gail and Jerry Nifontoff were trying to enjoy next to us. Sorry guys, we were on an Istanbul high. What can I say about our Turkish experience? It was spiritual, emotional, historical and delightful. Starting with Turkish Delight, that sugary concoction that some how tastes best when sampled at an exotic bazaar. Our first night most of us tried a unique Turkish kebob at either the Meatball Shoppe or the Pudding shop, famous from the days of the hippies. We all enjoyed the variety and tastes of the Turkish cuisine. Sharon Harris and Marli Dirksen were brave enough to try ayran, a traditional salty yoghurt drink, but the pinched expression on Marli’s face showed us she suffered through the experience. We also enjoyed the local Efes beer as well as the Raki— a national alcoholic drink also named “the Lion’s milk” which is a clear, anise flavored liquor that turns cloudy when water is added. Of course there’s always strong Turkish coffee and lots of apple tea, especially when you’re bargaining to buy a carpet. Speaking of carpets, Marylou Whelan found a beautiful runner for the entrance way of her new home in Easton. Peter Porton and Marli Dirksen both bought traditional kilims while Dick Fiske impressed us all when he and Helen bought two stunning carpets for their 30th anniversary and it was his idea! Lorree Smith found another shop where the owner designed his own contemporary patterns and hers is being shipped to their carpet shop in Old Towne Alexandria. I can’t wait to see all the carpets in place. Great souvenirs of a marvelous visit. What also made this trip special was our fabulous guide, Atilla. According to Dick Fiske, he was one of the most knowledgeable guides he’s ever followed on a tour. Not only that but he was helpful, kind and went the extra step to make this a great experience. We extended our one day tour with him to three as we explored the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the mosaics of the Kariye church and museum, the blue Iznik tiles of the Rustem Pasa Mosque and more. One day we hired a private ferry boat as we floated down the Bosphurus, enjoying the view of Istanbul from the sea. We got to celebrate the birthdays of two very special women in our group—the two
Judys—Ramage and Bennett, with delicious cakes especially made in a local bakery. Thanks to Nick Bennett and Marylou Whelan for organizing the event. Since we had five nights in Istanbul we had plenty of time to explore and shop on our own after the three days of touring. There’s nothing like walking through the Grand Bazaar, enjoying all the sights of sounds of a place that has been there for generations. You felt like you’ve stepped back into another time. The shopping awards have to go to Sharon Harris and Diane Flury who seemed to have lots of fun coming up with fabulous buys. Even if you didn’t want to buy, you sometimes had to— like the time Marge Alia had her shoes shined before she could even say no, thank you. Oh well—sometimes you just go with the flow. One night many of us went to the local belly dancing show. They even got Judy Ramage, Gail Nifontoff and Marge Alia up on the stage. It was fun watching the different moves—amazing how someone can move various parts of their body independently. We’ve decided we’ll do our own belly dancing class at an upcoming club meeting just to bring it home. One of the dancers is a local talk show host, so she’s leveraging this career nicely. We did have one injury when June Doezema got so wrapped up in taking photos that she stepped off the curb and twisted her ankle badly. Luckily she had not planned to ski with us but was headed home after the side trip. Hopefully she’ll get back to teaching skiing again soon. We stayed at the Hotel Ottoman Imperial which had one of the best locations in the old city right next door to the Hagia Sophia. You could lie in bed each morning and clearly hear the call to prayer from the various mosques throughout the city. What an overwhelming, haunting sound. Five times a day you’d hear the call and it became part of you. The breakfast was delicious each morning and the staff was open and friendly like most Turkish people that everyone met as they enjoyed the city. Overall I’d say a good time was had by all. It was an easy, pleasant flight into Munich our last day and we actually got there early. It allowed us to get on our way quickly for the 3½ hr. drive to St. Anton. My group arrived around 9pm for a quick dinner before unpacking. The only incident was watching our huge bus drive mistakenly on a narrow walkway trying to find the hotel. The driver explained they had changed the road— I don’t know about that, but luckily he didn’t tip the whole bus over. In the meantime, Steve Thompson had escorted the rest of the group—another 20 people—to St. Anton from Munich earlier in the day. They had plenty of time to get their rentals set up, buy lift tickets and tour the town before relaxing that night. St. Anton didn’t have quite as much snow as we had hoped, but enough to have a fabulous day on the first day of skiing. Sunshine and blue skies helped the group explore the vast region looking for the best conditions at the top. Since I’m not skiing this year, I had the opportunity to explore St. Anton by hiking trails. We had a group of us who would walk most days—sometimes going five miles in one day on the hiking trails all over the area. But, that first, sunny day we took advantage of the sunshine and explored the cable cars leading up to the top of the Valuga Glacier with magnificent views. Giving ourselves semi-Austrian sound-
ing names, we had Heber Garcia (Heidi), Carol Nelson (Cinderella), Suzanne Schaefer (Suzette), Gail Nifontoff (Trude), Linda Johnson (Lucia), Georgette Toews (Gretchen) and myself (Anabelle). It was fun taking the bus to Lech and Zurs one day. The best find was a creperie that I had been to with Marli Dirksen almost 12 years ago on one of Ric Nauen’s adventures. I found it again on the slopes of Oberlech and yes those crepes were every bit as good as I had remembered. Most of the group later found that same restaurant at the Sonnenberg. We enjoyed hiking with an old college friend of mine, Harold Price, who visited a few days from Munich where he’s currently living. We followed part of the trail that led to St. Anton from further down the valley. This trail connects to a longer trail leading to the famous A Camino Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain (the trail of St. James). It was a bit slippery that one day, but we loved the adventure and being part of a larger trail network. In the meantime, people struggled to get Internet connections at our hotel, the Karl Schranz.Most people found it was easier going to the one Internet café in town. That’s where Laura Harley hung out most of the week, trying to get a project completed. We dubbed our less-than-friendly owner’s wife, the “black widow” for her consistent unfriendliness to all of us. When I asked her one day where she would recommend touring if I hired an excursion bus, she simply replied, “there’s nothing to see” and turned her head. I guess I learned not to ask any questions. I’ve heard that that attitude is fairly typical in this area, but it was harsh after the friendliness of our Turkish hotels. We did enjoy the maitre d’ at the hotel dining room and the bartender—they made all the difference. We were surprised by the fact that we were not allowed to drink tap water at any time in the dining room and had to buy overpriced bottled water. Many found a way around that unusual system. I don’t know a lot about what happened for the skiers, but I heard that Jerry Nifontoff often led a group of people all over the mountain. One day that included Helen Fiske, Dick Fiske, Marli Dirksen, Luella Montgomery, Roscoe Johnson (a fluid skier), Boris Lloyd, Doug Hackett (who injured his rotator cuff but still skied) and David Nelson (he’s only skied four times but was strong enough to stay right in the middle of the pack). They enjoyed trying to keep up with Jerry. Of course some of the groups found the exotic Ice Bar over in the Lech area to be a fun place to hang out. I hear that Linda Wilkinson, Lesa Scott and Pat Hobitz hung out there a few times. Of course Jerry Carter, Rick and Julie McBride, Judy Ramage and Loren Eggen found it to be a great stop-off as well. We did get some snow later in the week and that led to some typical, difficult, St. Anton wet powder skiing that wasn’t easy. It took a lot of energy to plow through that heavy snow and unfortunately one of our members took a life changing fall. Mary Lib Glovier was helicoptered out to a hospital several miles away when she fractured her pelvis in several places and developed a huge hemotoma. She spent the next week at the local hospital in the town of Landeck. They were very helpful but she had to remain in traction for several days, not easy for anyone to do. Finally, the travel insurance company had a nurse escort her back to the USA on a marathon trip. It wasn’t until she got home that
things got even more complicated and Mary Lib is still working on rehabilitation for her condition. Many thanks to all those who helped her by visiting and coordinating her return, including Lee Hagenstad, Lorree Smith, Sharon Harris, Mena Moran, Steve Thompson and her roommate, Kathryn Leckey. There’s nothing like a visitor when you’re in a situation like Mary Lib’s. We all wish Mary Lib the best for full recovery. With conditions deteriorating, we hired an excursion bus on the last day and 19 of us had an adventure trip to explore the region. Contrary to the negative response from the “black widow.” we found there was a lot to see in the area. We spent three hours touring the streets of Vaduz, the main town of Liechtenstein, right underneath the castle walls not far from Heidi’s real home town. Apparently there is a current conflict going on between Germany and Liechtenstein over secret bank accounts held by some wealthy Germans and things are just beginning to heat up. Some of us found the stamp museum since this area is famous for its colorful and unusual stamps and I remember collecting them as a kid. We toured the littlest town in Switzerland, the small medieval town of Wertenberg, where we walked around a lovely lake watching geese and ducks play in the sun. We then stopped at the cheese factory in Appenzell where we toured the factory and tried the cheese before we walked through the lovely village with hand painted buildings. It made for a fun day trip that we all enjoyed. In the meantime, my assistant Steve Thompson spent his last day with an old college roommate who had come along, Victor Castillo. They discovered the joys of European spas in the heart of St. Anton. There were more topless women there than in the hamam in Istanbul. Both Victor and Steve came back glowing from the spa and their smiles never left them that evening. Traveling home was fairly easy even with the early morning departure and we found ourselves glad we had a direct, non-stop flight from Zurich back to Dulles. Thanks to all for another wonderful European trip and I look forward to traveling with all of you again.
By Amos Kenyon
his year’s “ski trip to be on” was…the envelope, please… the PSC’s trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, visited from March 8th to the 15th. This was during the resort’s “Ski Club Week” promotion, which meant that a couple of parties and a free NASTAR race were included in the itinerary. Over half of our group were new club members who had joined just to be on this trip. These included Tom Wright and Ollie Haines, friends of Ray McKay who had skied together extensively in the east but were both enjoying their first taste of big
mountain western skiing (we think they’ll be back!). Tom’s friends Bill and Janet Childs flew in from Florida, while Allen Prewitt recruited his sister Barb. Daniel Churchey, Lisa Hedrick, Brian and Karen Bryson, Jill, Jason and Malachi Chassé, Gayle Dixon and Jill Tirnauer arrived on the Club’s doorstep from cyberspace in order to join us on this trip. After arriving about 15 minutes late into Boise, we found the bus that we shared with the Lancaster Ski Club for the trip to the resort. All of our bags had made the trip, but someone evidently took Ollie’s ski bag for a little walk before returning it to the baggage claim. This cost us a few more minutes and some consternation. The bus was a little crowded with the under-floor storage maxed out and some luggage stowed in passenger spaces, but there was still an empty seat here and there. It was a bit warm on the ride out of Boise, but fortunately the bus was equipped with passenger-operated climate control, regulated by opening and closing the bus’s rooftop hatches at appropriate intervals. After a quick stop for groceries and road lunches we were on the road to Sun Valley, arriving a little after 5 PM. Sunday, several of us opted for the complimentary mountain tour. We were split among two guides. Karen, Pete, Ray, Ollie and I followed a guide who was actually from Austria, actually named Hans, and was also the director of the ski school. With a pedigree like that, how could we be steered wrong? On Sunday night, with our first day of skiing under our belts, many of us made the trip over to the legendary Sun Valley Inn for the resort-hosted Ski Club Week welcome party, also known as free drinks and appetizers, plus registration for the Tuesday race. A door prize drawing was held, and Jason and Jill Chassé managed to capture 100% of the PSC take, bringing home new pairs of goggles and poles, respectively. Tom Shantz relayed that at lunchtime, having seen a Reuben Sandwich on the menu in the Warm Springs day lodge, and liking same, he decided to order one. Not so fast… nobody seemed to know how to make a Reuben this far from New York. We aren’t talking about subtleties here, but the basics, like what’s in it. Tom had to walk the line cook step-bystep through the process, and even then he narrowly avoided a sauerkraut and cheese sandwich. I returned the next day and ordered the same thing with no problems, so apparently the training was effective. I hope Tom’s consulting invoice has gone out by now. Rumor also has it that we had been skiing in the tracks of California Governor “Ahnult” Schwarzenegger all day Sunday, but none of us seem to have spotted him. Some people had a better Monday than others. Lisa Hedrick earned the “multitasking” award for the week by being offered and negotiating the terms of a new job while riding the ski lift. But the day will mainly be known henceforth as “Black Monday” as two of our group had their ski weeks cut short by ACL injuries. In the afternoon, Mary Martin was with several tripmates who were dropping single file into Extreme Death Cornice According to witnesses, she appeared simply to collapse on a routine turn, but apparently there was a caught edge involved. I heard about Mary’s accident from Dave Lerner upon returning to the condo. Later that afternoon, her husband Dan mentioned that the cab driver who returned her from the hospital had remarked that he had
ferried another injured skier from the hospital to the very same property earlier in the day. Although our group occupied only a fraction of the complex, this was enough to raise the concern that we might have suffered another casualty. Sure enough, minutes after hearing this factoid, there was a message waiting in my condo… New club member Jill Tirnauer had actually been our first casualty of the day, having also torn her left ACL. She had gone out on her own, missed a turn on a black bump run and checked up off balance on the next bump. We all missed Jill and Mary’s company on the slopes for the rest of the week and hope this article finds both well along the road to recovery. Tuesday was Race Day. Dave Lerner, Tom Shantz, Brian Bryson, Rod Taylor and I represented PSC. Dan and Mary Martin had signed up to race on Sunday night fully intending to dominate the field, but by the time Tuesday morning rolled around, they had a conflicting appointment with an MRI technician. The Lancaster trip leader, Joe Hershey, earned the fastest time in the field and a platinum medal, finishing 0.09 seconds behind the pacesetter and putting four seconds between himself and the next finisher. For Kentucky Derby fans, that equates to a lead of over a hundred lengths after scaling up to the Derby’s longer course. Having locked in a silver medal on his “conservative” first run, Rod decided he had nothing to lose by airing it out and trying to shave a couple of seconds off his time in search of gold. His attempt got off to a great start. Here is the running commentary from the race officials at the top of the course, as reported by Tom: “Looks like we have our second place finisher here… we’re looking at a 21…Ooooooh! Triple whirly-worm…” Rod had lost an edge on one of the final turns and gone spinning off the course on his back—wisely keeping his skis in the air instead of trying to dig them in and bounce back up. Allen Prewitt, his sister Barb, our SCWDC guest and token snowboarder Pete Dragon, Brian and Karen Bryson and Jim Stahler assembled at the Sun Valley Inn Tuesday night for a moonlit sleigh ride to dinner at Trail Creek Cabin. Allen organized it. The group gave the food and ambience high marks but the sleigh ride was described as “cold.” For an extra touch of service, a grey fox escorted the sleigh for much of its return trip to the inn. Wednesday was “take it easy” day for many of us who had signed up to ski all six days, and spring conditions prevailed for the day. While hanging out in the River Run day lodge in the morning, Rod Taylor was selected to go on camera with international superstar celebrity interviewer Tara Bell as one of the day’s featured guests on the local “Plum TV” cable channel. Always quick on his feet, Rod managed to work in a nice plug for PSC. Meanwhile, we had a third injury as Ollie caught an edge and took a tumble. Because of pain and stiffness in his shoulder, Ollie decided to check for blood, swelling, et cetera, and needed some help from Ray to get his shirt off in the day lodge men’s room. This led to a “this isn’t what it looks like” moment as a stranger walked in with perfect timing. Ollie went back out and skied for the rest of the week, but upon returning home and seeing a doctor, discovered that he had fractured his collarbone. That should take six to twelve weeks before he is fully recovered, and we hope he is already well on the way.
Fresh snow fell intermittently for much of Thursday, refreshing the surfaces just in time for another day of skiing hard. This was the night of the group dinner and gag “awards ceremony,” which was held in a private room at the Ketchum Grill. We got this off to an early start and enjoyed a leisurely dinner, hitting the sidewalks well before the nightlife really got underway. Thursday, incidentally, was the first day of qualifying events for “48 Straight,” a weekend-long program of competitions including skiercross, snowboard-cross and freestyle skiing and boarding events held against the backdrop of a street festival and a beefed-up array of entertainment options. About half of the group from dinner ended up at Whiskey Jacques, arriving early enough to beat the cover charge and snag coveted stage-side seats to the band’s sound check and first set. Friday, Bill Memler and Tom Shantz made their way over to Dollar Mountain to take in the snowboard-cross event. Jason Chassé extended his lucky streak from Sunday by escaping uninjured from a tumble from Gun Barrel Lane, a cat track, airborne over rocks and into a ravine. He walked away with just a sore elbow and bragging rights. All told, we had no more significant injuries after Ollie’s spill. Even Jim Stahler made it through the week unscathed, in spite of skiing with Dave Lerner all week. We loaded the bus for an 8:00 AM departure back to Boise on Saturday morning. Mary had made good use of her downtime and condo leftovers Friday night, baking a delicious batch of cookies that were quickly scarfed up by grateful bus passengers. There were several requests for the recipe. Check-in went smoothly, but thanks to an understaffed ticket counter, slowly. The Delta agent in Boise balked at checking Ollie’s boot bag as half of a ski bag-boot-bag pair because even though it held his boots, in his judgment it was not made specifically to carry ski boots. Still, he was unsuccessful in collecting the attempted $80 surcharge, since Ollie didn’t already have a carry-on bag, and so had only to sling it over his (good) shoulder and bring it on board. Besides all the excellent cruising and bowl skiing and the great company that we brought with us, what I will remember about Sun Valley is something I haven’t touched on before now: the most consistently friendly and hospitable locals I have met in any ski town. I had several comments from others in our group to reinforce this perception. I owe a big thank you to more people than I can itemize here for your help in many different ways to make this trip a success socially and logistically. For some, the reasons will be different than for others, but this trip should be memorable for everyone involved.
By Dick Fiske
ow! That’s all you need to know about this trip. The rest of this article is just filler. Whether it was the terrain, the snow conditions, trip timing, the weather, the accommodations, the town, the travel, or our fellow skiers, this was the trip of the season. Let’s take these issues in order. Terrain. Heck, this is Aspen. One of and arguably the best ski resorts in the country. Aspen Mountain, formerly Ajax, tends toward challenging, with lots of black slopes but still enough blues to keep things from getting too out of hand, and allowing for some pretty enthusiastic skiing. It is not particularly welcoming of beginners. Therefore, we have—Snowmass, my blue heaven. Dozens of runs over 200+ acres. Most of our group divided most of their time between Aspen and Snowmass. Aspen Highlands is where the locals go; blue bombers on the front face and world class steep-and-deep blacks on the back. Finally, Buttermilk; an even and interesting distribution of terrain. Mountain tours were available on each mountain each morning, and Luella Montgomery among others took advantage thereof. The snow conditions. Let’s combine this with timing and weather. The timing was perfect, both in terms of which year and when during the year. There were no spring break skiers, heck, not many skiers at all during the week. It was not unusual to see completely open slopes and not more that a dozen skiers on a fast top-to-bottom. This year Aspen had the most and best snow in 20 years, 25 years, living memory— pick your superlative, all of which came from locals. The snow was great to begin with, with over 400 inches having fallen this year. As predicted, the snow was still in great shape when we arrived on Saturday. Terrific on top and just a bit slushy at the base. Then it snowed 11 inches on Monday and Monday night with much of the snow falling after the snow cat groomers knocked off, which gave a bunch of our skiers first track powder, on Tuesday morning. More snow on Thursday with another first tracks in fresh snow on Friday morning. Other than snowing on Monday and the snow that began on Thursday afternoon, we had near-shirt-sleeve spring weather—this with high season, mid-winter snow. It was sunny on four and a half of six ski days, and fresh snow on five of six. The PSC council needs to keep using whatever crystal ball they used to plan this trip at this time for this year. Accommodations. We stayed at the Gant, one of the topend properties in Aspen. And we were really in the heart of Aspen. The grocery store and the liquor store were just a five minute walk away. One thing some of us learned later in the trip was that Colorado has a two-tier beer policy. Beer sold in the grocery store is 3.2% alcohol by weight, with less alcohol content than that sold in the liquor store. The liquor store sells beer that is 6% alcohol by volume. However, because of density differences be-
tween the alcohol and the remainder of the beer mix, 6% by volume is actually about 3.6% by weight, which is only slightly….But I digress. (Engineers have no life, and I can prove this mathematically). In any event, our bags were tagged in the entry on arrival and the Gant staff schlepped them to our various rooms. How nice is that? The Gant had an on-call shuttle, available any time and which seemed to run continuously—just tip the driver. Both the lifts and the buses to the other mountains were a five minute bus ride away. We could take the shuttle to dinner at various restaurants or other establishments and call for pick-up when we were ready to head home for the evening. And the front desk folks and drivers were friendly and helpful, often taking our skis and loading them into the carriers on the side of the bus. The condos were quite comfortable and the Gant sported multiple pools and hot tubs. The Gant had a welcome ‘wine and cheese’ party for us on our second night. A rep from the mountain told us about the mountains, transportation, facilities, dining, etc., and a young lady from a local spa spun a tale that seduced more than a few of our ladies into the land of baths and massages. The ‘cheese’ portion of the party was actually lots of moderately heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a number of folks simply skipped dinner that night. The town. Ya’ gotta love a town that has Volvo SUV police cars. Lots of high end shops with high end prices, although occasional end-of-season bargains were to be had. Christina Anderson made the leap into Surefoot boots and spent much of the week getting to know the Surefoot personnel as she had her boots adjusted daily enroute to ski boot nirvana. Somehow we were able to resist the terrific opportunity to reserve a set of next year’s Stöckli skis for a mere $3,100. Terrific restaurants, of course, and art galleries that got Sue and Don Worden’s attention. And the celebrities. Marylou Whelan saw Kris Kristofferson and Maggie Fitzgerald found Cheryl Tiegs. Travel worked. While not really a surprise, the smoothness of the trip was certainly pleasant. A 6:20 AM departure from Dulles would certainly not be my first choice, but a number of folks, including Nick and Judy Bennett, and son Dan spent Friday night in an hotel near the airport. Most of these hotels have a deal in which you get a good rate for the night and then, included in the price, is parking for a week or two, which saves an $80+ airport parking fee. And flying directly into Aspen is great, saving a threehour bus ride each direction. Two quick caveats about that. First, the planes are Canadian Regional Jets. Nothing against Canada, but these planes, though jet powered, are of two sizes, both relatively small, and timely arrival of skis is always a crap-shoot. Len Schlossler, Bill Check, and Len McGuire shipped their skis, using UPS and FedEx. Cost was about $30 - $60 each way and saved all the hassle of hauling the silly things. Given the upcoming airline policy of charging for a second bag, shipping of skis will likely become more and more popular. John Pratt was the only one whose skis didn’t show, and they came on a later flight and were delivered to the Gant Saturday evening, an advantage of an early flight with several subsequent flights for clean-up. Departure for home was a bit of a challenge as we were late out of the gate and sat on the runway for 15 minutes, collectively willing the tail-wind to drop below 10 mph so we could take off. It did and we did, so
we could make our connection in Salt Lake City, and the rest of the trip was gravy, despite the late evening arrival back at Dulles. Our fellow skiers. By far the most numerous and most inspiring were the Wounded Warrior contingent. It’s one thing to have one of their number come to a club meeting and tell his story about how he was wounded, what damage was caused, and how Disabled Sports USA and the Wounded Warrior program got him back outside doing physical stuff, like skiing. A next step is to have one of these folks and his fiancé along on a trip. Aspen, though, was a whole different ballgame; having one of if not the largest program for getting wounded military folks back into the active world, this was the varsity. The first thing we noticed on arrival was that instead of stairs rolling up to the side of the aircraft for deplaning, there were long (70 ft?), gently sloping ramps. The reason for this became obvious when we saw the line of wheelchairs ferrying veterans, most younger than our kids, off arriving planes and disappearing into the scrum in the small airport. Hundreds of wounded veterans with all manner of disabilities, and ages ranging from late teens to sixties. Air Force personnel, on permissive TDY from a unit in Phoenix, provided escort and assist. There was a large local volunteer WW group to provide receiving and welcoming services. The Wounded Warriors were housed in condos at Snowmass and they and their skiing escorts set up camp, a big camp, just up from the base of the Village Express lift. Many sit-skiers, some mono-skiers, a couple of one leg, single ski folks, blind skiers, and just about every combination of challenge and hardware you can imagine to get them skiing. Lift personnel have developed efficient techniques for quickly loading various configurations of skier onto the lift, with minimum impact on moving all skiers up the hill. Most all of the skiers had escorts of one sort or another; some escorts took an active role in helping the less experienced and more disabled folks ski while others simply tagged along to pull WW skiers out of the ditch if they got into trouble. One middle aged woman I spoke with had been doing escort duty for a dozen years. These folks are hard core. WW skill levels ranged from never-evers to wild men. Several of them, including sit-skiers, were all over the mountain, skiing at speed and running away from their escorts. As to our PSC’ers, as I said earlier, after a pizza party on Saturday night where everyone got to see who else was on the trip, and to stuff themselves with some of the local fare, most skiers divided their time between Aspen and Snowmass. Bill Check sought without success (too much deep snow!) to find shrines to Marilyn Monroe, Bob Denver and others iconic persons hidden on Aspen mountain. Jesse Evans sipped black Buttermilk Tiehack and loved it. Lisa Alford had the best of all worlds, combining ski lessons at Snowmass with stone massage at the spa. Dave Olsen charged all over the mountains, on and off piste, steep, deep and continuous, and Christina Anderson hung in there for the duration. Bob Chatman held up his end of the hard charging, too. George Salmoiraghi and your humble scribe stayed up with them, but only for a while. Anna Enkenhus burned up Big Burn with top-to-bottoms on Thursday. George and Jessica Salmoiraghi with studly Georgie Jr. and Paul and Helen Warmath with their golden child Ava managed to
combine skiing and child care. Ava, of course, had to be shared with Aunties Heidi and Sarah. Young Georgie S. was the hit of the Snowmass toddler ski day care program. Paul hit every multiple black diamond on 3 of the 4 mountains, including those that required hiking to get to. The Bennetts dealt with child care issues on a somewhat elevated level, with son Dan along for the week awaiting award of his MD in May and other son Dave and wife on board for a couple of days. Bennetts received several calls b/c the two bedroom condo they occupied at the Gant was for sale, somewhere in the vicinity of $1.5-2 million. For the first time in over 30 years, John Pratt, accompanied by Jesse and Len Scholssler, fell when getting off a lift. This Pratt-fall was a source of great embarrassment. However, he notes with pleasure the lack of need to don long underwear and the ability to keep the side vents on his jacket open because of the beautiful weather. Don Worden, among others, was up early for first tracks in Aspen. One of the highlights of the trip, reported by several observers, was Marylee doing bungee gymnastics (not, one presumes, on the ski slopes). And if my lovely two-thirds, Helen, had died on the last evening of the trip, it would have taken a dozen undertakers to wipe the smile off her face. This ski trip was that good.
Heliskiing: The Trip of a Lifetime! ByJohn Condia
irst let me start by saying that words can not adequately describe how wonderful this trip truly was. But please keep reading, I’ll do my best. On April th 11 , seventeen skiers and boarders left Dulles airport on a trip unlike any other offered by the PSC. The planning of this trip started over a year and a half prior to this date. The trip was finally here. Everyone made it to the airport, including Doug Kennedy, childhood friend of Stephanie Gillard, who had flown in from Michigan the previous evening. Everyone checked in rather quickly, cleared security and had some time to relax and enjoy a brew prior to our flight. The scheduled 2:40 PM departure came and went but the delay was relatively short. Our plane departed a half-hour late, but most of that time was made up in the air. After a short layover, in Chicago, we were off to Calgary. At baggage claim in Calgary, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that all our baggage actually arrived with us. This was as far as we were going for the day. We made our way through the terminal to the Calgary Delta Airport Hotel and checked in for the night. Although some went into the heart of Calgary and bar hopped.
The following morning, we had a nice buffet breakfast provided by the Calgary Delta and then at 9:15, boarded the Canadian Mountain Holidays-provided bus that would take us to the town of Revelstoke. The bus trip was a 5 ½ hour ride through some very scenic countryside. CMH provided snacks and beverages for the ride which helped make the trip quite pleasant. By 2:30 we pulled up to the Regent Inn in Revelstoke and checked in to our rooms. A warm front had pushed through this day, and it was quite warm in town. At 4:00, we were off to avalanche rescue training. By getting this done on arrival, we were able to get an earlier start to the top of the mountain the following morning. The CMH guides did an excellent job of teaching us how to quickly locate a buried skier. They even hid transceivers in the snow and had us demonstrate the procedures to locate them. At 6:00, CMH provided us free drinks at the hotel bar. We did our best to drain them dry but we were unsuccessful. Next, we had dinner at 6:30. We had heard about the food prior to the trip, and it truly was excellent and plentiful. A morning stretch class was offered every day to help prepare for a day of skiing and prevent injury. Almost everyone took advantage of getting in a good stretch to start the day. However, there were so many joint-cracking noises in the room that it was hard to maintain a serious atmosphere. Immediately following stretch class was breakfast. Again, the food was excellent and abundant. You may be familiar with the old adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” For this trip, truer words have not been spoken. You needed quite a bit of energy to ski and board. After breakfast it was time to get ready and then off to the helicopter pick-up point. As the helicopter approached, the sound of the blades brought memories of the movie Apocalypse Now. All that was missing was the sound of Wagner’s Flight of the Valkerie playing in the background. Steve, the pilot, made quite an entrance by putting the heli through some cool maneuvers. While we huddled on the ground, Steve put the heli down within 4 feet of us, standard procedure for the entire week. After loading, we were off to the top and into the Vortex, the name of the first run. Vortex is located in the Monashee Mountain range. As soon as we headed down, we knew we were in the vortex and swirling around. That warm weather from the previous day caused the snow to melt and freeze overnight. A crunchy layer on top with soft snow beneath made it very difficult to turn the boards. There was carnage everywhere at the top. Everyone had a fall. No one could match the quality and quantity that Ralph Davis exhibited on that run though. In fact, Vortex was unofficially renamed to “Ralph’s Run”. I can recall Ralph asking Stefan (lazy left eye) Brooks, “How do you ski this [email protected]
!” And Stefan responding, “I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure it out.” The snow conditions changed further down the run and actually got quite nice, and then got difficult again as we got closer to the pickup point. In search of better snow, the guides picked Armstrong as the next run. Conditions were better than on Vortex, but still left a little to be desired. We stuck with Armstrong for three more runs. Each time making fresh tracks but ultimately the guides decided to call it a day at lunch due to the snow conditions. The total vertical for the day
was 9,512 ft. After dinner, everyone assembled in the hotel bar to watch video captured by Tim Tharps’ helmet cam on the big screen TV. A great way to recount the day’s events. This became a nightly event and even the guides and hotel staff enjoyed watching our follies. Monday started with the report of fresh snow, an entire foot of it. We went to the Monashee range again. Conditions were great! The Atomic Heli-Daddy skis worked impressively well. And the boarders Tim Tharp, Kristina LeBoeuf, and Tim Andersen were having an epic day ripping through the snow. They looked like they had so much fun that I may have to give boarding a try next season. Viper seemed like a totally different run. Everyone was giddy about the snow conditions and folks were letting loose and having fun. We even got to see Tim Andersen and Dave Mastran in a WWF Powder Wrestling match. Other runs we did on this day were Glider, Radar, Ten Pin and Caribou. The vertical total for the day was 25,912 feet. On Tuesday, we had approx six inches of fresh snow but the visibility kept us in the trees for most of the day. All groups stuck to the two runs, High Roller and Caribou, but with fresh tracks on each descent. John White had a memorable day as he took a tumble, lost a ski and ended up in a treewell. Later in the day, John, Don Blasl, Lucy Gruenther, Annette Foster and Allen Prewitt saw four Caribou walking on Lake Caribou. Speaking of losing skis, I lost one for a while myself. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find. Dave Mastran, Tim Tharp, Doug Kennedy and Kristina LeBouef helped with the search. Just when the guide threatened to call for a metal detector, we found it. It wasn’t where we thought it was. By this day, the expert group was actively seeking out jumps for Dave Mastran. Dave had an affinity for hitting jumps, but many of his landings tended to result in some spectacular yard sales. Thanks, Dave! The total vertical for the day was 19,680 ft. Wednesday morning we awoke to trace amounts of snow in town. It snowed for most of the day up in the mountains. This day, all the groups headed over to the Selkirk range. Tons of fresh snow. Again, due to limited visibility, the groups had to stick to the trees, but it was another great day. At one point, we had a peak drop-off that was aborted due to updrafts. Pretty exciting! The runs that were completed were Crawford East, Fantastisch, Holyk, Viking, Arrow, and Shadow. Total vertical was 23,780 ft. By now, there was a friendly competition between our expert group and a group from Germany on who would cover the most vertical by the end of the week. There was also some friendly ribbing between John Anderson and a young German skier named Mike. Mike was making fun of the Barbie graphics on John’s skis. With the skis side-by-side, they created a nice graphic of the female form, I must say. This touched off some funny joking between the two for the remainder of the week. One evening, John snuck into the equipment room and applied some glow-in-the-dark decorations on Mike’s skis. (You’ll have to ask a trip member to find out what they were). Everyone got a good laugh out of that. But the glow-in-the-dark decorations would rear their ugly head again later in the week. Thursday brought more great skiing, all above treeline. There
were intermittent periods of blue sky and fog. At one point the fog rolled in on us while descending down Cochise. The fog was too thick for the helicopter to attempt a pickup. All three groups waited together for the weather to clear. We all made the best of the situation and decided to have an early lunch and tell jokes. Shortly after lunch the weather cleared and the helicopter flew in to pick us up. The weather cooperated for the remainder of the day. Eleven runs were completed for a total of 24,100 feet. The names of the runs were Zipper, Vortex, Cochise, Viper, Vortex, 10-Pin, Radar, Geronimo and Blanket Pass. Friday was a short day for almost everyone. We went to the Selkirk range, but the snow conditions had deteriorated a bit so most folks decided to save some vertical and call it a day by lunch time. But not before doing Boo Bear, Yodel, and Crawford East totaling 6,070 feet. We all managed to find other things to do for the remainder of the day. There were bars, shopping, and a PSC water slide competition at the Revelstoke Aquatic Center. One group played a drinking game at Speeders bar called threeman. The group composed of Erik Knobl, Stephanie Gillard, Doug Kennedy, Ralph Davis, Kristina LeBoeuf, Allen Prewitt and myself played this game for several hours and consumed many “jugs” of beer. One of the guides, Conrad, had also been filming the Powder Intro Group all week and he played the video that afternoon in the bar at the Regent Inn. Conrad captured some amazing video including a 360 degree “roll” from inside the helicopter. He also imparted his three rules of skiing: 1). Speed is your friend. 2). Turns are a sign of fear, and 3). You can’t hurt yourself in the air. Saturday was our final day on the mountain. The plan was to ski for a half day until lunchtime, then fly back to the hotel to shower, pack and board our bus. But the snow conditions were great. Several inches of fresh snow made us all want to stay out all day. John Anderson even had one of those glow-in-the-dark decorations adorning his helmet. It was a source of laughter all day for our group. We all wanted to continue skiing and so we convinced our guide Tim to make another run. Tim took the group down Sunrise which was a tree run, with Erik Knobl and John Anderson close behind. Unfortunately, Tim caught a ski tip which caused him to get off balance and loose control. He impacted a tree head first. It was interesting that none of the guides wore helmets. Erik and John were first on the scene and a radio call went out for help. The CMH staff quickly went into action providing critical medical attention, and immobilized Tim’s neck and back. Also, the staff were actively working on alternate plans to get all of us guests off the mountain while the helicopter was being used to evac Tim to the local hospital. The word on Tim’s condition is that he broke a vertebrae in his neck, he is doing well, and is expected to make a full recovery. It should be noted that this injury could have happened at any resort where tree skiing is possible. There was nothing terribly difficult about this run that would have been a factor in the cause of this injury. This was an awesome day of skiing but unfortunate that Tim’s accident occurred. The runs for our final day were Disco, Sicko Moose, Dancing Bear and Sunrise. We had the same routine on the tail end of the trip. The bus
ride from Revelstoke to Calgary, except this time we drove through heavy snow for part of the trip. It had been snowing in Calgary for two days and it was still snowing when we left on Sunday. Upon arriving in Calgary, we again had rooms at the Calgary Delta hotel for the night. On Sunday, we all awoke happy but sore and had our breakfast at the hotel before heading over to check in at the United counter for our 8:30 flight. Our flight was only delayed approx 40 minutes despite all the snow that had fallen in Calgary. Most of the delay was attributed to having the de-icing chemical applied to the wings of the aircraft. We arrived at Dulles by 5:45 PM and again collected our baggage. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip. What an amazing experience. I wish that each one of our members could experience this at least once in their skiing/boarding lifetime. CMH is definitely a premiere Heli-ski operator; they truly exceeded our expectations. Also the group of PSC members that participated really made it a special experience. Now, the part about this trip being a once in a lifetime experience may not be entirely accurate. Many of the folks on this trip are looking into doing this again next year. This may just become an annual event.
course, because of the skiing but ski trips remain my favorite way to enjoy that. I’ve never met a mountain I didn’t like but the people make the experience. Now the pressure is on to put up or shut up; you’ll see me on another trip next year.Though racing will honestly be the minor motivation. Lee
LoudounExtra.com (Washington Post) Racing for the Gold: Virginia Gold Cup Draws Thousands of Horse Racing Fans By Matt Tobin Sunday, May 4, 2008 On a day when the equestrian world celebrated Big Brown's victory at the Kentucky Derby, some 50,000 spectators lined Great Meadow in The Plains to take in the spectacle of the 83rd Virginia Gold Cup Races. On Saturday, it was Bubble Economy and jockey Chip Miller who captured the glory and the $100,000 purse of the marquee four-mile, 23-fence steeplechase event, but Jayne Krebs, of Clifton, also received a share of the attention. Krebs, wearing an ensemble of bright blues and turquoise to go along with her strikingly bright and feather-adorned hat, caught glances and stares nearly everywhere she went. So impressive was her Londonimported hat that she was persuaded to enter the illustrious Gold Cup hat contest. "The guy next to me said, 'Enter the hat contest' and I said, 'What contest?'" Krebs laughed. Krebs won the contest and a $500 gift certificate to Vineyard Vines. "Five-hundred dollars!" she screamed after receiving her prize. Krebs' hat and outfit, although bright and unconventional, was almost the norm at the event, where many attendees came to people-watch as much as they did to watch the horse racing.
Letters to the PSC (The PSC has members all over the country, mostly because they moved, but some who joined us later. Lee Hagenstad sent this letter regarding her enthusiasm about racing—and earning a platinum medal—to Dave Olsen, a credit both to him and the club as a whole:) our note made my day, David, and I appreciate so much your bothering to write. You have been crucial to the greater DC community in leading the ski race component of the ski clubs. I was perhaps overly excited about the medal in writing Anne she is such an inspiration to me and I look for good news to share with her when there is way too much bad stuff in her life. Starting a ski “career” at about 60 because my body couldn’t take competitive tennis, I was most flabergasted to win a silver, as my first medal, in Lake Louise with the Ski Council trip there in ’02 - probably with Crabtowne. The sweetheart, Linda Bain, did arm twisting, and captured me for the Columbia Team. That group of racers was the most encouraging group ever; I can’t say that strongly enough. They let me race when I would make 2 turns between a gate (I’m not kidding) and a starter (David?) got me over the steep start gate at Wisp by whispering to me “Just snowplow”. And then they would ski with me the rest of those race days, to work on my skiing. It was no secret I had a lot of work to do. Linda will always be remembered. Pentagon appears on the scene because you were going to the right place at the right time (Chile) and I stayed because of Peter and Anne and the comraderie and skill of the groups. I moved to Colorado, in part of
Thanks from alert reader Lucy Gruenther. Who woulda thought the couturially challenged Jayne Krebs would make The Post? —Jokingly, Yr. Most Ob’t Ed.
Pentagon Ski Club ub 2008 - 2009 Trip Schedule Dates
Dec 27 Jan 3
Jackson Hole, WY
Jan 3 - Jan Vail, CO 10
7 nights at Elk Country Inn in Jackson Hole with daily Tim Tharp - 703-5857177/Boris Lloyd - 301- continental breakfasts. One Elk BBQ dinner included at the 49er Inn. 4-day lifts to JH; 1-day to Grand Targhee. RT on 317-4944 Delta from Dulles to Jackson Hole via SLC.
Dave Olsen - 301-5792749
$ 5 nights at the historic Strater Hotel with daily deluxe continental breakfast. 4-day lift tickets. RT on United from Dulles to Durango via Denver. 7 nights Park City Peaks Hotel (ex-Radisson); daily breakfasts $ plus apres-ski cider and cookies. 2-day lift tickets at PC, 2 days at The Canyons, and 1 day at Deer Valley. Optional day at Snowbasin. Nonstop RT on Delta from Dulles to SLC. Welcomee wine & cheese.
7 nights at 2BR/2BA & 3BR/3BA Vail Spa Condos. 5 day interchangeable lift tickets also good at Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, A-Basin. Non-stop RT on United Dulles to Denver. Welcome wine and cheese party.
Jan 10 Jan 17
Jan 17 Jan 24
Big Sky, MT
Jan 30 Feb 7/11
Trois Vallees, France
Feb 7 Feb 14
Feb 15 Feb 20
Jim McDonough - 703619-0020
Feb 21 Feb 28
Park City, UT
Christina Anderson 703-719-6714
Mar 1 Mar 7
Winter Park, CO Pat Riggs - 703-615Budget saver Sunday- Saturday trip; 6 nights lodging at 2709/ Lucy Gruenther - baseside Vintage Hotel. 5-day lifts. Ski Winter Park, Mary 703-771-9316 Jane, Vasquez Ridge and Parsenn Bowl! RT on United from BWI - Denver.
Mar 2/6 - Davos, Mar 15 Switzerland
Approx. Cost $ 1,430
Lesa Scott- 703-2503211/ Pat Hobitz - 978373-8364 Steve Thompson - 703435-5170
7 nights in 2BR/2BA slopeside Solitude Village Condos. 5-day lift ticket. Nonstop on Delta from Dulles to SLC with connection in Cincinnati on return. 7 nights in Mountain Suites at The Lodge at Big Sky, daily breakfast buffet, 5-day lift ticket. RT on United, Dulles to Bozeman. Only 3 days of leave (MLK & Inauguration Holidays) needed. Anne Willemann - 703- 7 nights in 3-star Hotel Merilys in Meribel w. breakfasts (dinners TBD). RT on Air France, Dulles to Geneva via Paris. 941-7910 Those doing optional 4-night post-trip will travel on Air Lingus, via Dublin, both ways. Lodgings at Royal Dublin Hotel w. breakfasts for $850. Medical (not cancellation) insurance included. Lift tickets extra. Steve Peirce - 301-924- BRSC Western Carnival. 7 nights in 2BR/2BA Snowdance Manor Condos. 5-day lift tickets also good at Vail, Beaver Cr., 5173 Breck., & A-Basin. Welcome & apres-ski parties, inter-club race, farewell dinner/dance. RT nonstop on United from Dulles to Denver.
Peter Porton - 703-4717791/ Tom Strawbridge 301-6527410
7 nights in 4-star Sunstar Park Hotel, daily breakfasts & 4 dinners; 1 additional night in Munich. BRSC Eurofest with apre-ski party & dinner/dance. RT Dulles to Munich on Lufthansa. 4-night pre-trip option to Budapest for $775, with breakfasts, at 4-star Mercure Korona Hotel; RT United & Lufthansa via Frankfurt. Medical (not cancellation) insurance included. Lift tickets extra.
Mar 14 Mar 21
Banff, Alberta, Canada
June Doezema - 301306-9683
7 nights at the Banff International Hotel w. welcome reception; $ 5-day lift tickets good at Lake Louise, Sunshine & Norquay. RT National to Calgary via Toronto on Air Canada.
Mar 22 Mar 29
John Pratt - 703-5345759
End of the season! 7 nights in Hotel Alyeska (former Prince). Welcome orientation breakfast. 4-day lift tickets. RT National to Anchorage via Seattle on Air Alaska.
racers earned invitations to the Nastar National Championships held at Steamboat in March. To get invited you had to rank in the top three in your age group at a Nastar resort. Although none actually accepted the invitation and made the trek to Steamboat, it’s a noteworthy accomplishment to have earned the invitation. Congratulations to Christina Anderson, Pat Berry, Pat Carroll, Lee Hagenstad, Ross Garrison, Kathy Gibson, Dave Olsen, Judy Shields, Ken Simpson, and Jay Weides. We base our age-group awards on how close you are to a Gold Medal in your age category. We compare each racer’s Final Handicap (the average of your best two remaining handicaps after throwing out your season-best handicap) to what you need for a gold medal. We do this to match the Nastar program’s 5-year age groups with the 10-year groups in our own program. The competitor closest to gold (or deepest into gold, i.e., with the lowest Medal Points) prevails in their age group. Our fastest skier awards are not handicapped by Medal Points like the age-group awards, but are presented to the skier with the lowest Final Handicap. Our most races awards include both an Eastern and Western racer, in recognition that it’s a lot tougher for our DC-area skiers to find a Nastar course than for those living out West. More than 88,000 skiers raced Nastar this winter, and Jay Weides’s 18 races placed him Number 500 in the rankings for Most Times Raced. That’s in the top 1%! Christina Anderson’s 8 races placed her in the top 4% . The Spirit of Racing award recognizes skiers who have contributed in some special manner to our recreational racing program. It’s unrelated to a skier’s performance on the racecourse. Any given year we might recognize one skier, several skiers, or sometimes no one at all. We presented this year’s award to Lee Hagenstad who embodied the Spirit of Racing with her enthusiasm for racing and her praise for those who have encouraged her.
2007-2008 PSC Racing Awards Congratulations to all our award winners from last winter. Fifty-five club members raced Nastar a total of 122 times during the season and 12 qualified for our awards by racing at least three times. The results appear in the accompanying table, showing all the categories recognized at our April awards meeting. The table includes all the Nastar scores earned by our racers subsequent to the March/April Liftline. The points we earned in Nastar’s national competition for ski clubs ranked us119th in a field of 1,843 named clubs — the top 7%! In addition to all the medals pinned on during the season, ten of our
PSC 2007-2008 Nastar Scores -- Grouped in n Age Groups, Sorted by Medal Points Scores shown for all award qualifiers and all new w results subsequent to March/April Liftline Skier
Brian Amos Dave Diana George Tom Rod
Bryson Kenyon Lerner O'Donnell Salmoiraghi Shantz Taylor
Previously Published Results
Total No. Races 9
Copper Mtn 1/23 53.61S
Copper Mtn 1/24a 62.84S
Copper Mtn 1/24b 63.94S
Steamboat 1/31 68.96B
Copper Mtn 2/10 57.56S
Keystone 2/11 42.54G
Beaver Creek 3/8
Sun Valley 3/11
Total No. Races
Previously Published Results
Copper Mtn 3/26
Aspen Highlnds 3/30
Winter Park 4/1
Winter Park 4/4
Average H'cap #
Gold Point %
Medal Points @
Initial Handicap &
42.59 43.06 43.38
Percent Age Improved Cat
07-08 Award E-Champ; Most Improved; Most Races (E)
Pat Jo Lee
Berry Simpson Hagenstad
44.58 47.12 53.35
51.62 52.71 69.26
37.07G 32.13 37.07 42.54
F-Champ Fastest Racer; G-Champ
Jeff David Steve
Burka Webster Peirce
36.21 36.40 36.59
C-Champ; Most Improved
24.55 25.73 34.88
25.85 26.71 30.73
Jay Dave Ken Bob Bill
Weides Olsen Simpson Chatman Weigand
Jessie Dick George
Evans Fiske Salmoiraghi
17.19 17.31 17.87
Fastest Racer; F-Champ, Most Races (W)
18.45 19.20 19.63
32.23 36.92 40.98
32.69 38.04 40.76
38.47 42.68 42.81
Results are tabulated for all club members registered as such at Nastar.com. # Average of the best 2 handicaps remaining after throwing out the lowest handicap. 3 races required for awards eligibility. % Handicap needed, in age/gender category, for Nastar gold medal. @ Difference between Average Handicap and that needed for Gold. & Lowest Average Handicap earned in recent years
Ski Helmets By John Pratt
ow much is your brain worth? Or put another way, how much is it worth to you to be able to control all your body functions? That’s a question from one of my Masters of Science in Safety professors at USC. There is an excellent article on the subject of ski helmets at http://www.telemarktips.com/Helmets.html. After you read it, you’ll realize that through the PSC, in concert with the Blue Ridge Ski Council (BSRC), you will no longer have an excuse to ski without wearing a helmet. On the subject of safety it dawned on me one day that I would never think of driving my car without the seat belts fastened. That same epiphany also occurred to me on the subject of helmets. As a helicopter pilot, I would never dream of starting a helicopter without a helmet on, even if I wasn’t flying it anywhere. Nor would the Arlington County Chief of Police ever think of riding his bike again without wearing a helmet. But the thought of spending $100+ for a helmet kind of held me back for a while (God knows why, considering the price of skiing). Now for the price of a lunch on the slopes you can have your own personal “Brain Bucket.” The PSC is offering ASTM 2040 Certified ski helmets. The ASTM certification process for ski helmets is explained in the above link. I will also have a copy of it with me at club meetings. For those of you who are really fashion conscious, at $17 each, you can have one that matches all your ski outfits. They come in black (as pictured above), red, blue, and silver. You can order them at club meetings and have them by the next meeting. If you can’t make the meetings, but want me to order one for you, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you back the size charts and the website to choose your color(s) along with an order form. As soon as I get your check, I’ll order the helmet(s) and when they come in I will let you know so we can make arrangements to get you your helmet.
PSC Logo Items By John Pratt
ant to get extra Ski Lotto tickets or just some great clothing? At all ski club meetings except the picnic we have Ski Lotto, and if you are wearing something with the PSC logo on it, you are entitled to an extra ticket. Even if you don’t attend the meetings or play Ski Lotto, the logo items are a great way to show off your club while you are on the slopes. We have all of the following in stock: automobile license plate holders, baseball caps, and cloisonné ski pins. For clothing and others item such as tote bags, we have a new supplier—Jill’s Designs. Jill Lee has set up a web site at www.jillsembroidery.com. It’s also on the PSC website as a link. At the website you can pick the item you want from the pictures shown there, but if you don’t see it listed don’t hesitate to contact Jill directly. Just pick out what you want, print out the order form, mail it to Jill, and she’ll get back to you when it’s ready. In addition to picking out the basic color of the item you want, you also get to pick out the colors on the logo: the skier; the pentagon diagram; and the words can be all the same color or whatever colors you want them to be. On a final note, if you live out of the area or your schedule just doesn’t allow you to get to meetings and you still want other non-clothing logo items such as ski pins, license plate holders, etc., send me an e-mail at [email protected]
"Any skier who skis away from a head-first impact with a tree owes at least as much to his lucky stars as to his helmet. But there's certainly nothing wrong with giving your lucky stars all the help you can by wearing the best helmet possible." —Ed Becker, Executive Director, Snell Memorial Foundation.
Pentagon Ski Club The Liftline
PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE
Peter Porton, Editor
11918 Moss Point Lane
PERMIT NO. 2782
Reston, VA 20194
CLUB HOTLINE: 703-471-7791 CLUB WEBSITE: WWW.PENTAGONSKICLUB.ORG MEETING DIRECTIONS: WWW.PENTAGONSKICLUB.ORG/DIRECTIONS.HTML
t’s time to start thinking about ski season and join us at the PSC Picnic at the Coast Guard Station on July 19. Details are on Page 1. We also have our ski schedule inside and you can check our website at www. pentagonskiclub.org for the latest updates. If you’re interested in PSC logo’d items, examples will be available at the picnic as well. Join us. And bring your checkbooks! 20