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Another stellar ski season....done!
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March 2017 Newsletter
Hello Skiers,
 
The ride back to Vancouver after our recent Apex ski weekend was bittersweet. Sunday at Nickel Plate felt more like a day in January than March 5. Nonetheless, it marked the end of our ski season. We had such a wonderful time on this season’s trips; we became better acquainted with fellow skiers and discovered new and beautiful cross-country trails and ski areas.

This is the moment to thank all those who made this past season possible. First of all, we want to thank you, our members, for signing up and bringing your enthusiasm and positive energy to all of our trips. Special thanks and appreciation go to all our trip leaders who volunteered countless hours to organize and lead our ski trips. A very big thank you to our friends on the Executive, who volunteered tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make this season a great success: Brian O’Dwyer (Treasurer), Donna Money (Secretary), Lesley Anderson, Berni Koppe (Trip Coordinators), Paul Trantina (Membership), and Anna Bentley, Diane Whiteley, Joan Boxall, Ken Boxall  (Members-at-Large). Thank you!

We also want to recognize and thank: Susan Kokura who responded to our call for a newsletter editor and has created our newsletters since the beginning of the season; and Maia Engeli who (having obtained her CANSI Level 1 instructor certificate early this winter) generously offered free mini-coaching sessions to our members on several trips. Thank you, Susan and Maia.

With the 2016/17 season coming to an end, sadly, we have to say goodbye to several members of the current executive. After many years of ably taking care of the club’s finances, Brian is stepping down. Berni and Lesley are leaving the executive after two successful seasons. Donna, who capably filled the role of secretary for 3 seasons, will not be returning and neither will Joan and Ken Boxall who contributed in a number of roles for one season. Lastly, Irene will resign from her position as co-president; however, to help provide continuity, she will stay on as member-at-large. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s contributions and hard work.

In preparation for our next season, we are busy putting together a new leadership team. We invite you to take part in the nomination and approval process at our upcoming AGM on April   27, 2017.  We have located an exciting new venue and will provide you with an invitation and agenda within the next 2 weeks. Join us for this end-of-the-season event! 

~Irene & Eda
 
Touring Report        
 
This has been a busy year for our trips. There was a lot of interest in the trips and most had exceptional attendance.
 
We decided to run the long trip to Methow as a trial this year. The club usually only does a long trip every second year. However, we put it out there and the members responded with great interest. By all reports, it was very successfull. We propose the club runs a long trip every year, along with all the usual favourites.

We would like to thank all of the trip leaders for leading their trips. Each trip leader brings their own talents to trip leading and each of them has done an amazing job.
The ski trips can only run if there is someone to lead them.
Please consider being a trip leader during next season. There are many people who would be willing to assist you with your endeavor if you choose to be a trip leader.
 
Going forward Lesley and I will both be resigning from the position of touring chairs.  We thank you all for bearing with us as we struggled through the many ups and downs of this role. We also look forward to seeing you on the trails.
 
~Berni Koppe
 
Hi Skiers,
 
Here are the membership numbers for the 2016/17 season:
 
2016/17 Membership
Returning members                  176         
New Members                            45
Total Members                          221         
 
How did you hear about the Skier Club?
Past / present member            180
Web Site                                   10
Word of Mouth (Sigge’s)           30
Meet Up                                     1
 
Hope to see you all next ski season….

~Paul Trantina
 
 
 
Join us for our Annual General Meeting on April 27 at Harambe, Ethiopian Restaurant on Commercial Drive.
Check out the Vancouver Skiers website for more information:. theskiers.ca/events
 
“The Trip to Somewhere …”  (Vernon/Kelowna Feb 2017)
 
According to the schedule, we would ski at Telemark (near Kelowna) on Saturday, Silver Star on Sunday and McCulloch (near Kelowna) on Monday, with accommodation in Vernon.  It sounded great until all three highways out of Hope were closed at the same time.  Our trip leader, Susan Taylor, made a decision in the early hours of Saturday morning that we would ski in Manning for the day and then determine whether we could drive to Vernon and on what route.  There was a suggestion about driving to Mexico, but then we realized that no-one had brought their passports.
 
In the end, with much juggling of the itinerary and the ticket purchases, we had three great days of skiing.  The weather was perfect, hovering around zero, there were sunny skies, no injuries and everyone was on time.  A trip leader’s dream.  Until the return journey, almost at the Langley stop, when the bus got a flat tire. 
 
The amazing thing about this club is the diversity and adaptability of our members in the face of adversity.  There were jokes about the member who said “we will be home early” which others felt was a jinx.  But, nobody got upset—it was just an excuse to prolong the party.  Beer, rum, chocolate & cookies were passed around because now we didn’t have to drive our cars for a while.  Stories and jokes were told, “tank tire” was googled, homework and reading assignments were completed. 
 
In my over 20 years of participating with the Vancouver Skiers, it is the trips with “unusual” events that I remember and that create lasting bonds with other members.  The skiing is the main focus of our group, but it is the joy of discovering new people and places that is the untold treasure.  I always learn something new on every trip. 
 
For example, two members on the Vernon trip found out they are related to the same former US presidents.  On the Kelowna trip, someone took a picture of a white plumage “rock Ptarmigan”, which many of us thought was only an Arctic bird.  At Larch Hills, I not only learned how to identify a larch tree (it has needles that drop in winter, but also has cones) but was also told that larch and tamarack are the same trees. If you want more information on these and other fascinating topics, you will have to join a weekend trip.
 
Thank you to Susan for doing such a masterful job on your first trip as a leader.  Hopefully, it won’t be the last!!

~Shelley Lear

Methow Valley - February 21-26, 2017

Vancouver Skiers’ love letter to  Methow Valley, Washington State X-C Ski area near Winthrop, Washington.  Five ways we love you.

Dear Methow Valley,

Your name (pronounced like The Met, and ‘ow’ like an après-ski-fall) is the site of North America’s largest Nordic skiing area.  Your 200 km (120 miles) of daily groomed trails celebrates its 40th anniversary and offers three main ski areas: Mazama, Sun Mountain, and Rendezvous Trail Systems.

For Vancouver Skiers’ club from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, you’re our annual ‘big trip’.  We had plenty of flexibility to ski-romp any which way we liked with you.  Up or down, fast or slow, skate or classic.

Love #1

Gotta love that.  But I wondered if I’d have enough energy to survive five consecutive ski days, LOL.

Under Vancouver Skiers’ leadership of Dawn Wimbles’ and Fred Peters’, and with Kevin’s professional driving, decision-making seemed effortless.  Members appreciated the time and care taken to make it so.  Dawn and Fred thanked the Club Executive who had a hand (and a ski glove) in the planning.

The first night was spent at the Best Western, Osoyoos after classic skiing China Ridge’s 20-kilometers of slopes, overlooking Princeton’s Similkameen-and-Tulameen-Valley and the Coquihalla-Mountain-Range  vistas.  We skied some version (or diversion) of Ridge Trail.

The whole trip boasted good weather with light wind, until the day we left you, when the sky saddened.  We sniffled.We pizza’d and hors d’oeuvre’d.  Some went out for supper.  After sunny skies and (just) below-zero temps on a skiff of new snow, some were getting ready to meet you.  Others were ready to fall in love all over again.

Love #2

How you ski-enticed us from Okanagan Country to Okanogan County, known for over 3000 years as an Interior Salish nation.  “People living where you can see the top” is its suggested meaning.

Day Two, we left Osoyoos to cross the border and declare to you that we came peaceably. We weren’t hiding firearms or fresh vegetables/fruit—just Nordic ski-fire in our veins.  We arrived expediently at Loup Loup’s South Summit at 4000-feet and had the incredible luck of freshly-groomed tracks # 

Love #3

Once at Winthrop Inn, we opted for dinners out or in, given the microwave ovens and fridges in our rooms and a grocery next door…PLUS a Pony Expresso drive-through coffee shop.  The hot tub was a hot-hub with skiers alternatively rising and falling like pistons to foil ‘water overflow’.  Most restaurants were within easy walking distance although we had the luxury of a bus ‘taxi ride’ two of the four nights.

A few of our ‘mature’ skiers got a free-three-day pass as skiing in the Methow is community-supported by 1200 businesses, with a ‘Trails for Life’ mission statement.  It’s free for under-17s and over-75s, and the Canadian dollar is at par.  We love your respect for youth, pocketbooks and…Senor & Senora tenure!


Love #4

The Mazama Community Trail (MCT) runs 30 kms or eighteen miles from Winthrop to Mazama via Brown’s Farm where trail-enthusiasts have opened a winter-wing of their home for skiers to relax with hot drinks or soup.  This proved a ½-way haven for Vancouver Skiers.

Local skiers couldn’t have been more helpful in guiding and encouraging us.  Trail conditions were typically spring-like.  We tuf-loved the odd leaf or pine needle that said, ‘Slow down’ between the North Cascades National Park and the State Game Range and Wilderness Area.


Winthrop, Washington boasts the oldest legal saloon in Washington State and their craft beer and cider are par none.  Vancouver Skiers hydrated sufficiently to maintain an Old West swagger to match the town’s architecture.Winthrop’s Old West decor

Native Americans established a hunter-gatherer culture along the Methow, Twisp and Chewuch rivers and in the 1860s, fur traders, gold panners, settlers and adventurers like  Guy Waring and Theodore Winthrop built the town.  It was restored in Wild West style in 1972.

Love #5

We loved your Mazama General Store’s homegrown treats and crafts.

Winthrop’s restaurants have names like the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Arrowleaf Bistro, East 20 Pizza, Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon (Kevin’s fave), Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Copper Glance (CG) and Carlos 1800 Mexican Grill and Cantina.  Some dined so well, they wouldn’t let on the name of the establishment.   Some skiers took a day off to explore gift shops, deli and bakery.


Thanks to the 175 families who share easements onto the Methow trail system (25 conserve hundreds of acres on their own properties).  The non-profit society covers 7,603,200 inches of x-c skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking.Back at Brown’s

Do we dare convert that to loving-it centimeters?  It adds up to a whole community of love.  Five days? No problem!

Submit your own love story/letter to the Methow Conservancy at www.methowconservancy.org.

Xoxoxoxoxo, Vancouver Skiers

 

~Joan Boxhall

Manning Park February 17 -19
 
I joined the Vancouver Skiers in December 2017 with the wish to meet more cross-country skiers and to enjoy the ski areas in BC.  Manning park was a good start for more to come. I was able to join the trip thanks to Daniel, as he was so very kind to offer me a carpool ride and to meet me not too far from the ferry. 
 
Our first day was a bit icy, yet sunny in the afternoon with beautiful vanilla skies on the way back to the cabin. During the night more snow fell, and Saturday was a snowy day, giving us the opportunity to work up an appetite for the potluck in the evening. Besides being Canadian, I am also Dutch and to my happy surprise, there was a significant Dutch presence in our group, 4 out of 11. The potluck was a success; lots of laughter and good food, including this amazing cream cheese, curry, chicken dip. Dinner was simply delicious,  followed by homemade apple pie and a short evening walk.  The next day, the last day of our trip, we skied on fresh snow under a perfect blue sky with lots of sunshine.  I enjoyed the trails at Manning park very much, including the Cascade outlook, as I like to climb. 
 
Perhaps a funny anecdote to mention was my return to the cabin on Saturday afternoon. I was rather tired, cold, hungry, and it was snowing.  I got back to the cabin area and noticed other people entering the cabin so I hurried over.  I noticed some new folks entering the cabin, thinking they must be staying in the main lodge and not joining us for the potluck. I made it just in time before the door closed, and one of the new people held the door open for me. I introduced myself and he introduced himself to me as Paul. I asked him if he is staying at the main lodge and joining us or the potluck? He answered 'no, I'm staying in this cabin', oh, I said, 'so I guess we are with more people today?'. I then walked over to where I thought my bag was and realized that things looked a little different. At that point, I turned around and said with a smile: "this is not my cabin!". Paul, laughing, said: "yes, you have the wrong cabin!" I laughed  and asked "why did you let me in?" and Paul said, " I'm a welcoming person I guess!"   
 
I feel grateful to have been part of Mo & Diane's yearly Manning Park trip, and I am looking forward to more ski adventures with the club.
 
~Melanie M.
Planning ahead for the 2017/2018 season?

Add these dates to your calendar:
Wine and Cheese - October 24, 2017
Silver Star – December 7-10, 2017
Sun Peaks – January 5-7, 2018
Copyright © 2017 The Vancouver Skiers, All rights reserved.


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