What a spectacular season of ski trips the OKC Ski Club just completed. Snow conditions were amazing! The trips went full, the accommodations were great and the busses ran smoothly. Even though prices in the ski world keep rising our club managed to make some great deals for great trips at prices that were hard to beat. The highlight of the year was our trip to Innsbruck Austria. Over 80 club members joined us for a trip of a lifetime.
As spectacular as the 2018-19 season was our up coming offerings could make for even better opportunities to ski or board some of the best areas in the world. Yes we are going to Europe again, Cortina in Italy is an amazing area not only for skiing, but also for enjoying the Italian countryside. There is even an opportunity to add on an extra four days in Venice.
Crested Butte is always a great way to start the snow sports season and it is unfortunate that they are not offering us free ski days any more, but they still made us a great deal for group rate tickets. Ticket prices at every resort are continuing to go up, that is one advantage of our club is our ability to negotiate for group pricing, just compare them with the window prices resorts offer.
Wolf Creek goes over MLK weekend in January. Year after year Wolf Creek gets the most snow of any area in the Rockies. It is a great area with a wonderfully friendly family feel. Oh and did I mention the most snow in the Rockies!
For those of you not familiar with our trips, we use sleeper busses that have seats that reconfigure into flat bunks that give us the opportunity to drive overnight and arrive fully rested for a full day of skiing. We also drive overnight on the way home and arrive (pending weather conditions) back in OKC in plenty of time to make your way to work if desired. It’s the most possible ski days for the amount of time out of town.
Steamboat is hosting FSA again this year. That’s the annual Flatlands Ski Association race/party/fun, fun, fun event. FSA is a group of ski clubs in the Midwest that get together for a friendly competition and a party weekend. Steamboat Springs is a world-class resort!
Taos is another extremely popular trip over Presidents weekend in February. The skiing is great and the local food and culture is amazing. Remember, those of you that got a voucher from Taos last year. It’s good for one day’s lift ticket this year.
I already mentioned the Italy trip in March so check with the trip captains for more details. Oh and by the way we don’t use the sleeper bus going to Italy, they don’t do well on the ocean.
Keystone rounds our trip offerings with some wonderful spring skiing (and/or boarding, we love snowboarders too) in early April. The days are sunny and the spring storms provide plenty of the white stuff. River Run condos are a short walk to the gondola.
Those of you that have or get the Epic Pass, depending on which version you get, are good for your lift tickets at Crested Butte and Keystone. If you are thinking about going on both trips the Epic Pass would more than pay for it depending on which pass you get and the time of year you make the purchase. Your Epic Pass purchase will count towards our numbers to qualify for the group ticket pricing as well, it’s worth checking out.
The Ikon Pass is good at Steamboat and Taos as well pending restrictions and pass version, so it would be worth checking out compared to our lift ticket prices if you are going on those trips too. We’ll know more details as the season approaches.
As you can see, we have another great offering of snow sports available for the upcoming season. For more details check with the trip captains.
Let’s Point Em Down!
Randy Carter • Vice President of Trips
Some of you may not know, but if you pay your trip in full when you sign up, you get to pick your spot on the bus!
We also have a new, secure location for people to park while we are away on trips. We are parking at the OKC Will Rogers Airport Overflow Parking Lot #1. You will turn left before you enter the terminal area and signage will be provided. The cost is around $6 per day.
Don’t forget, you can earn $25 off your trip for each person you get to join the Ski Club…get 4 people to join and you get $100 off!
Trips are how the club is able to operate…our membership fees are low and allow us to host meetings, have a website and keep our members informed via a newsletter and social media, but trips are really the heart of this organization and we have to pay a lot of money up front to reserve lodging and transportation for each of our trips well in advance. So, invite your friends and thank you for your support!!
Want to go on a trip? Fill out this trip application, and mail it to the Trip Captain along with your deposit or full payment, depending upon the date. Check individual trips to see when your money is due.
For Trip Application – CLICK HERE!
Trip #1 CRESTED BUTTE
Oh Crested Butte, oh Crested Butte,
How lovely are your ski runs!
Oh Crested Butte, oh Crested Butte,
We love to ski your long ones!
You butte is high and gleaming white
The snow is deep and shining bright
Oh Crested Butte, oh Crested Butte,
We love you in December!
Crested Butte in December is always a little….iffy. Not this time! We had great conditions and so much more of the mountain was open than usual, for this time of year. We got snow the first 2 days and then blue skies the next two! Some of the changes with Vail Resorts buying them last year were welcome and some were…..well, let’s just say we figured out some workarounds. 😊
Even when the snow is a little thin, everybody would agree, we STILL have a great time! The town of Crested Butte doesn’t disappoint, with lot of shops and plenty of restaurants or bars to keep you occupied. The locals always welcome us with open arms!
Our wine & cheese party was a huge success, as we toasted our friend and beloved ski club member, John Bomhoff (may he R.I.P.), drank a LOT of wine, demolished 3 platters of summer sausage, 6 trays of cheese and 5 bowls of crackers. Who know 63 people could eat so much? This is always a great time of fellowship, catching up and getting to talk to the peeps that were on the other bus, as well as getting to know the first timers and making them feel welcome.
Saturday brought about our dinner at Donita’s Cantina, Kelli’s early birthday celebration and the Heisman trophy presentation. Boomer!!! The ladies that own Donita’s, and their staff, always take such great care of us and serve up some of THE best Mexi and New Mexi fare I have ever tasted….and you can’t beat their Special Margs! We are going to miss them greatly next year, but wish them well in their new endeavor! Maybe we WILL see them again…hint, hint.
Luckily, the road conditions were good too, which made for a pretty easy ride up and return trip. Thanks for memories Crested Butte….see you next year!
Stefanie James & Kelli Kinnamon
Trip #2 WOLF CREEK
Words to describe Wolf Creek this year: Snow. Lots. Powder. Stoked.
Leading up to this year’s departure Wolf Creek already had 3+ feet of snow the week we arrived. Some past trip goers had been at the mountain during the week and reported epic skiing. We left eagerly (and ahead of schedule I might add) Friday evening, prepared to have an epic ski club trip. Once we arrived and had quickly eaten breakfast, we departed for the mountain. The reports of deep powder did not disappoint. Three full days of groomers, racing, and trees. Oh, and not to forget one day of wet underpants. I won’t say who, but just a reminder that if you have to relieve yourself in the woods make sure the branch you are holding on to is sturdy and not going to break off. Enough said on that subject…! Anyways, in addition to the excellent skiing once again Wolf Creek put on a fun race the weekend we were there. They setup the gates and allowed all ages, ski or board, male or female. OKC Ski Club entered 20 racers in the fun race and came home with 15 medals. Those that placed are listed at the end. At the end of each day we all returned to the hotel tired and full of smiles. While I am pretty sure we didn’t have any skinny dippers in the springs this year, I know some partook of the hot springs and enjoyed themselves. This year was a bit colder than last year, but with all the snow we will take the polar temps.
Congratulations to the new skiers and boarders that joined the group this year. While we can all attest to the soreness we felt on day two, we also can attest to the path of enjoyment we had started. Where else can you put on multiple layers of clothing, go out in the freezing weather, exercise until you are about to drop over, hurl yourself down a mountain, and then get up the next morning to just repeat it all over again? And did I mention that you have to pay to do this? All kidding aside, this can be a lifelong activity. Just think, our oldest member on this trip was 79. Next season he will get his lift ticket for free from Wolf Creek.
Finally, it was time for the bus to head home. One stop to get pizzas, some goodbyes, and off to OKC. Thanks again to all for a great trip, thanks to those that helped out on the bus, thanks to Doug for getting us to the mountain and back safely, and thanks to Randy for making sure everyone behaved on the trip home.
Ryan (Papa Smurf) • Trip Captain
Fun Race Medals:
Caroline Carter (Silver)
McKenzie Famer (Gold)
Elizabeth Bertrand (Gold)
Ryan Carter (Gold)
Kay Alsobrook (Gold)
Kate Elliott (Bronze)
Ryan Breding (Bronze)
Brad Bertrand (Gold)
Craig Deyoung (Bronze)
Victoria O’Kain (Gold)
Lori Seelig (Silver)
Lisa Mitchell (Bronze)
Mike Parenti (Gold)
Ed Farmer (Bronze)
Bruce Barry (Gold)
Trip #3 STEAMBOAT, FSA RACE TRIP 2019
It was a very good time, had by 45 OKC SKI Club Members. We met with 7 other clubs. We skied together, had happy hours together and competed in friendly race events together. The snow conditions were fabulous! It was a little foggy at the top of the mountain most days, but if you kept the trees in sight you could come out of the fog as you came lower on the mountain. This is a great event to enjoy for any beginner to intermediate skier or boarder.
Good lessons are there for the taking. This is the fastest 5 days you can have, full of fun and seeing Mother Nature give her best show in the mountains. We will return to Steamboat next season, so if you want to experience an awesome time, start planning now!
Dolores Hopeman • Trip Captain 2019
Trip #4 – TAOS, NEW MEXICO
TRIP #5 PREMIER TRIP TO INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA
On March 3, eighty three members of the Oklahoma City Ski Club participated on its annual premier air trip. However this trip was just a little bit bigger and special compared to where it has gone in the last 25 years. We were off to Europe!
Airlines in the air after a approximate travel time of 16 hours, Two groups – the first of 43 arrived via the Delta flights and the second group of 40 via its United airlines flight arrived in Munich, Germany, March 4, 2019 Monday morning, approximately one hour apart. After a minor issue due to only one bus having an auxiliary trailer (for all the luggage), we boarded our two buses and were off to our final destination, a beautiful two-hour drive through the countryside to Innsbruck, Austria.
If you have never been to Europe before let me say when I say countryside, I mean genuine picturesque postcard countryside. No large billboards or excessive advertisements in neon lights or outdoors displays. To quote one of our members. Its was worth the trip just to see how beautiful Austria really is. Its “so Bavarian and Tyrol” (meaning Alpine!).
We arrived at Innsbruck, capital city of Tyrol in western Austria approximately 3 hours later. Due to the bus hauling the extra trailer, the driver was limited on speed limit due to the German/Austrian speed limits – which we found out they take very serious unless of course you are on the Autobahn. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted and met there by the hotel staff, where the service was professional, friendly and always seemed personable. I dare say, having 83 persons checking in at one time was quite the task however; they were more than up to the task. Our lift tickets, room keys etc. were already waiting for our pickup. All the trip captain had to do, was distribute the lift tickets (ha). I want to thank everyone who made my job so much easier, because admittedly, I had really expected perhaps some error or miscommunication with an overseas vendor would surely befall us, but our order was perfect.
Next item on the list was the Ski rentals. This went rather smooth relatively speaking! The rental shop kept the van shuttling back and forth and some even just walked over due to it only being four or five blocks. I think most just wanted to get out and see the town.
Of course Innsbruck is an uptown ski town. You can find restaurants and bars from all price ranges. I saw many a plenty OKC folks making sure we supported their local economy. There were so many really historic and beautiful places and buildings and many of the restaurants and bars were designed to operate within the old town with out losing the ambiance that you were in a historic European location. And speaking of Beer!
During the week we had our traditional ski club “wine and cheese party”. Special thanks to Kelli Kinnamon who arranged this. Truly I say, it was a blast and had to be one of the classiest and fun wine and cheese party’s this club has ever had. And, did you know Kelli also provides “security for our wine party”. She made one arrest that night from a local who could not resist trying to PARTICIPATE! He insisted our bottles were his bottles. If you did not go on this trip Kelli will be glad to share her story! By the way if you look for him he is in our group picture.
Although this was a ‘SKI trip” so many of the group took various trips away from Innsbruck. Some visited the famous Bergiselschanze, Ski Jumping –large Hill. Some took the train to places such as Salzburg, Vienna and even some went to Venice, Italy. (Yes, I said Italy). Our group went to see the famous castle of Herrenchiemsee built by Bavarian king Ludwig II. This is the castle that the famous Disney castle is modeled after. Afterwards, our guide and driver took us to a quaint little town of Oberrammergau, Germany. (I had mentioned to our guide, I wanted to buy a genuine German cuckoo clock from the Black Forest). (It was on my bucket list) You will see a picture of it in the photos below, I couldn’t resist!
Oh yes and then there is the skiing. The club was able to procure a separate ski bus just for our own use. Special thanks to Ryan Breding and Randy Carter who ran point on this. The club mainly stuck with three of the “Big Four”. Axamer Lizum, Kuhtai, and Stubai Glacier. They were all uniquely different and totally different from each other. That said, I can see why they have hosted the Olympics in 1964 and1976 and why Austria’s – Franz Klammer made his famous out of control downhill run to beat Switzerland’s – Bernhard Russi.
This was a Fun Trip!
Thanks to all – it was a my privilege to be your Trip Captain, however so much of the credit goes to all who supported this trip and the wonderful attitudes, huge smiles on your faces made it all worthwhile.
Trip Captain • Stan Solo
Below is a side note to our trip captain, Stan for organizing an amazing trip.
Thanks again for all your hard work on putting together our OKC Ski Club trip to Austria. It has been on my bucket list ever since I saw Franz Klammer winch gold at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.
I host a travel radio show in Dallas and a travel podcast where I discussed the trip with some of our fellow OKC Ski Club members. I thought you may want to share this with our fellow travelers.
Link to Blog and Podcast: https://travelwithhawkeye.blogspot.com
TRIP #6 Telluride
When you have an amazing winter like 2018-19 turned out to be—it is important to go out in style. This year in order to properly say goodbye to winter, the club bit its farewell to snow from Telluride, Colorado.
With nothing but a short 15 hour bus jaunt standing between OKC and Telluride, 36 brave skiers strapped in for the adventure. Among those were many new members, as well as guests that came in from both Texas and Arkansas for the trip. The club’s reputation both regionally as well as right here in our home community continues to proceed us.
Of course the snow was fantastic! The mountain was beautiful; and the 36 of us pretty much had the whole mountain to ourselves. We stayed right on the mountain with ski valet service. You could walk right over to the slope and trade your shoes for your boots—then walk outside and your skis/board were set up right there on the edge of the snow ready for your day. When you were done for the day, you would do the opposite—never having to haul your equipment around. This was my first time living this particular type of luxury—it was pretty nice.
Our second night there was the end of the season street party and dance. Telluride is not only a true mountain town in the old tradition, it was also accessible from where we were staying by gondola. Taking the gondola over the ridge and down into town—seeing the town lights throughout the valley from high above as you fly in—is one of the most beautiful sights imaginable. The street dance that night had all kinds of drinks flowing—there were some amazing sights to be seen there as well.
There is nothing like a great ski trip to close out a fantastic season. But all good things must come to an end. Now it’s time to get all that stuff in the box and into the top of the closet for the summer. But don’t be sad, December will once again be here before we know it. Happy Summer!
Frank D. Evans
Trip Captain – 2019
Even fun loving skiers/boarders like us have a few rules. We strongly suggest you read them. Trip Policies May 2019-20
The original sleeper bus was made specifically for OKC Ski Club…way back in the day! However, it is our standard way to get to the mountain and is perhaps the most affordable, logical and comfortable way to travel to Colorado and New Mexico.
Our sleeper buses have seats designed to make bunks so that you can actually rest lying down! There are 2 types: Uniquely-designed, the first type of sleeper bus transports 40 people arranged in 10 booths, with four seated comfortably per booth. Each booth converts into two bunk beds so people can lay horizontally and sleep while driving overnight to their destination. The second type of sleeper bus has regular upright seating that converts into bunks for sleeping. The type of bus will depend on which bus is available for each trip. Passengers typically bring a pillow and either a blanket or sleeping bag (so the guys won’t get cooties if they’re laying next to another guy!). Some also bring sleeping aids and earplugs.
Traveling this way has many advantages:
- You travel while you are asleep, saving precious daylight hours for skiing.
- Your luggage remains with you at all times in the luggage area on bottom of the bus.
- A professional driver is trained to drive overnight through ice, snow and over mountain passes.
- Alcoholic beverages are allowed on the bus.
- The booth design encourages interaction with others on the trip and provides comfortable roominess to play games such as cards.
- You don’t have to stay in your seat the entire time and can stretch and mingle with other passengers.
- Dividing up travel costs with 39 other people really cuts the transportation costs. Many times, the entire trip price is what you would have to pay in fuel just to drive yourself!
- Your meal on the return trip is provided and paid for in advance as part of your trip cost. Many people also bring snacks and games to share.
For Bus Trip Etiquette – CLICK HERE!