A winter warm-up comes fast when your knees are pumping in rapid turns, running downhill through a mogul field. That’s a snow covered ski run, plastered with bumps and troughs. It’s bracing, exciting and dynamic. It’s also more fun when you do it with others who like skiing and snowboarding as much as you do. So, why not join a ski club? There are more than 35 in our region. Members socialize, save on club ski trips, enjoy racing and build new skills and friendships. Here are a few of the clubs, selected for regional distribution and activities. – Jay Lloyd
KING OF PRUSSIA SKI CLUB
P.O. Box 60146
King of Prussia, PA 19406
King of Prussia is an adult club for the over 21s. More than a few romances have blossomed on the slopes during the full schedule of trips over the years. This winter, eight skiing odysseys are on tap. Club members will be taking off for Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Quebec and New England. They’ll ring in the New Year at Lake Placid and ski in the tracks of Olympic stars. Among the most active of the region’s ski clubs, King of Prussia members meet monthly during the winter at the Jeffersonville Golf Club. Off-mountain activities throughout the year range from wine tastings to biking. The membership fee is $35 for singles or $45 for a household. Applications forms can be found here.
BLAZERS SKI CLUB
P.O. Box 13052
Philadelphia, PA 19101
The Blazers is one of the few ski clubs created by and for African American skiers and snowboarders. They’ve blazed the trail to bring a growing number of black skiers and snowboarders into the sport through an active development program, which teaches novice and advanced skills to both adults and children through structured lesson programs on the Pocono Mountain slopes. But that’s just the beginning. This winter, Blazers members will be heading for the Rockies with trips to Crested Butte, Colorado and Sun Valley, Idaho. The hills of New England will host the club when members visit both Bolton Valley and Vermont’s Sugarbush. The club meets monthly at the Underground Railroad Museum in historic Belmont Mansion. An annual membership fee–which offers access to discounted lift tickets and trips–is $50. Check membership information here.
BUCKS COUNTY SKI CLUB
P.O. Box 763
Doylestown, PA 18901
Bucks County Ski Club has evolved its focus on just snow sports into a year-round social and activities clan that includes sailing, tennis and golf during the “off-season.” This winter, Bucks County skiers will take part in the revelry at the energized Winter Carnival in picturesque Steamboat, Colorado. The club is also taking advantage of short lift lines, wide open trails and midweek pricing with a pair of weekday bus trips to Elk Mountain. The group meets monthly at locations in central Bucks County. The membership fee checks in at $25 for singles over 18 and $35 for a family. Membership forms are available here.
MAIN LINE SKI CLUB
Wining and dining are high on the list of activities organized by the versatile Main Line Ski Club, but skiing and snowboarding are the mainstays. Members will be jetting off to Interlaken in the Swiss Alps for a week of skiing in the rarified atmosphere of alpine peaks and smothered in legendary Swiss hospitality. Other ski trips will take Main Line members to Steamboat and Vail in Colorado, Lake Tahoe and Heavenly Valley in California, and to Vermont’s towering Killington. The club is active year-round with biking outings, theater trips and tennis. It caters primarily to skiers who live near the Main Line in Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties. Meetings are held monthly in King of Prussia. Membership fees are $35 for singles and $45 per family. Prospective members can sign-up here.
FLYING DUTCHMAN SKI CLUB
P.O. Box 14233
Reading, PA 19612
It’s worth a drive to the Reading area to hook up at frequent happy hours with the Flying Dutchmen. It’s one of the most dynamic, free-spirited and largest ski clubs in the region, and it made its bones with the hottest racing teams and by putting together some of the most sought-after ski ventures. This winter will take club members to the post-card-perfect village at Mont Tremblant in Quebec; to Steamboat, Colorado; and to Stratton and Mt. Snow in Vermont. Then there’s Sunday River in Maine and California’s Mammoth Mountain. The club owns its own seven-bedroom Pocono Mountain lodge near Jack Frost and Big Boulder that can be rented in part or whole by club members throughout the season. Members can also take advantage of consistently discounted lift tickets. Off-slope activities include biking and tennis. The membership fee is $35 and you can sign up here.
SOUTH JERSEY SKI CLUB
Garden State snow-seekers have gravitated to the South Jersey Ski Club for nearly half a century. The travel and social schedule is packed. Ski trips this season head for the Austrian Alps at Garstein Valley, then to Mammoth Mountain in California, Big Sky in Montana and finally, to Vermont giants, Stowe, Okemo, Sugarbush and Killington. Monthly meetings are held at the Ramblewood Country Club in Mt. Laurel, and there are social events for the group that counts tennis, softball and golf among their off-season activities. Membership dues are $20 for singles or $35 per family. An on-line application and information is available here.
This is just a brief sampling of the ski clubs and activities that charge the Delaware Valley winter. As many as 38 clubs are spread through the region. The focus is on skiing and snowboarding, but most groups are heavily involved in social activities too. The Eastern Pennsylvania Ski Council is an umbrella organization that can link you to a ski club in your own community.
It pays to attend a meeting before joining since different clubs have different personalities. Some are geared to singles and active adults. Other clubs focus on families. Off-season activities range from theater and dining to Chesapeake Bay charter sailing. The discounted lift tickets and favorably priced ski trips are worth the cost of admission.
See you on the slopes!