October President's Letter

21 Sep 2022 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Fall will officially arrive on Thursday September 22 at 9:04 pm EDT, so we are getting closer to ski season.  It also means we are getting very close to the dates when we must drop unsold slots on our trips, so if you are considering going on one of our trips, the time to act is now:

  • Whistler BC                   January 21-28, 2023                 Trip Leader Roy Brunner
  • Telluride CO                  February 4-11, 2023                  Trip Leader Beverly Cleek
  • Park City UT                  February 25-March 4, 2023      Trip Leader Scott Kramer
  • Kitzbühel / Scotland      March 16-30, 2023                    Trip Leader Jim Mullenix

As you can see where I’ve scratched out Telluride, it is SOLD OUT.  Also, our trips are shown on the Crescent Ski Council website and we are getting inquires from members of other clubs (they have to join our club to go on our trips).  But that is another reason to call Roy, Scott, and/or Jim before it is too late.

At the end of October, while many of you will be enjoying the Halloween Party at the Flat Duck, Mike Hood and I will be representing our Club at the Crescent Ski Council Fall Conference.  One event we will attend is the Trade Show where we’ll get the latest news from the resorts and tour operators.

The board of directors is still investigating potential locations for our monthly membership meetings.  In the spring and fall, Hilda and Willis’ Flat duck farm is great; but it would be nice to be able to provide an optional meal and to be indoors when the weather isn’t as comfortable as it is right now.  None of the following stipulations are required, but we would like to meet at a place that has a private room that holds at least 60 people, has plenty of parking, is centrally located to our area, is near a major highway for easy access, doesn’t cost too much, and ideally it would be a restaurant where people could order a meal during the social hour (although we could have food catered like we were doing at the Enclave pre-pandemic).  If you know any location that meets some or all of the above, give me a call (423-827-2779) or send me an email (rjtram@gmail.com) and we’ll look into it.

Our European Ski/Touring trip this year is to Kitzbühel Austria, followed by touring through Scotland.  You may be asking yourself, where is Kitzbühel?  It is in the Austrian state of Tyrol, about 70 minutes east of Innsbruck and 75 minutes south-west of Salzburg.  Its population is under 9,000, but there are over 10,000 guest house beds.  You may have heard the name before because each year Kitzbühel hosts a World Cup alpine ski race, the Hahnenkammrennen, which is the world’s second oldest ski race, having started in 1931.  It is also famous because the downhill course, the Streif, is the most famous on the circuit as it is considered the most difficult (the 2.1 mile long course has a vertical drop of 2821 feet or an average grade of 27%, with a maximum grade of 85%).  The current record of 1:51.58 minutes was set in 1997, but I’m expecting someone for the CSC to break that.

While the mountains that surround the town are part of the Alps, the elevation of the town is 2,441 feet (not much higher than Lookout Mtn.) and the tallest peak is at a comfortable 6,574 feet (slightly lower than Clingman’s Dome).  The historic town center has a car-free area with shops and restaurants.  We will be staying at the Hotel Kaiserhof which has been run by a single family for generations.  Our package there includes a buffet breakfast and a five-course dinner every day.  For the people that aren’t skiing, there will be optional excursions each day.

For those of us that will be skiing, the Hahnenkammbahn gondola is about 150 feet away, and there are both Blue (easiest) and Red (intermediate) runs back to the hotel.  The mountain has 57 gondolas and lifts, 145 miles of downhill runs, 188 of which are marked and groomed: 47 blue (66 mi), 32 red (41 mi), 17 black (12 mi).  KitzSki, Kitzbühel's main ski lift operator, defended the title of “World's Best Ski Resort Company” for the eighth time in a row at the 2021 World Ski Awards.  Lastly, when you need a break, there are over 60 mountain huts and restaurants to choose from. 

Trivia Question, what world famous writer went to school in Kitzbühel briefly?  In 1927, he went to the Tennerhof, a small private school in Kitzbühel.  On a return trip in 1935, he began a long term relationship with Muriel Wright while skiing in Kitzbühel (unfortunately she was killed in a bombing raid in 1944).  In 1939, he became the personal assistant to the UK’s Director of Naval Intelligence.  In 1942, he formed “30 Assault Unit” that included about 150 men from other commando units, and trained in unarmed combat, safe-cracking and lock-picking.  He worked with Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan on intelligence co-operation between London and Washington, and also in creating a blueprint for the Office of the Coordinator of Information, which became the Office of Strategic Services and eventually the CIA.  After WWII, he would write 12 novels and two collections of short stories whose central character was named James Bond.  The writer was Ian Fleming.

Whistler Update:  Vail Resorts Inc. has announced the opening dates for their resorts, including Whistler/Blackcomb which is scheduled for November 24.  This matches NOAA’s prediction of a fall and early winter with cooler than average temperatures and higher precipitation in the Northwest.  Second, the company is saying they are on schedule to complete two Whistler/Blackcomb lift upgrades before opening day.  The current six-person Creekside Gondola is being replaced by a high speed 10-person gondola; and the Big Red Express chair lift will go from a four-person to a high speed six-person chair.  The third Vail announcement concerns their lift ticket sales. At each of their resorts, they will be limiting the number of lift tickets that will be sold each day; fortunately this will not affect people with Epic passes. 

I ran across an interesting article a few days ago.  The next time we ski Vail, Aspen, and/or Crested Butte, we may be sharing the slopes with wolves.  In 2020, Colorado voters narrowly passed a proposition requiring the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create and carry out a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves on the Western Slope by the end of 2023.  A study to determine the best location has identified an area the includes the three resorts mention above (Telluride is just south of the area and Steamboat is just north, but the wolves will be protected anywhere they roam).  Before you get too concerned, the article does state that “wolves generally avoid humans and attacks are extremely rare”.  See the entire article at Colorado wolves could be released in areas with ski resorts (coloradoan.com)

Stay safe everyone,

Bob

Event Listing   

October Membership Meeting @ Flat Duck Event Venue (7742 Three Notch Rd., Ringgold, GA 30736) – October 4, 2022     https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-4978082

Len Foote Hike – October 21-22, 2022    https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-3235020

Crescent Ski Council Fall Convention @ Gatlinburg, Glenstone Lodge – October 28-30, 2022  

November Membership Meeting @ TBD – November 1, 2022

Crescent Ski Council Race & Learn to Ski/Ride Camp @ Steamboat – December 3-10, 2022

Christmas Party (& December Membership meeting) @ TBD – TBD

Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Trip – January 21-28, 2023   https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-4813143

Telluride Ski Trip – February 4-11, 2023   https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-4813162

Park City Ski Trip – February 25 – March 4, 2023   https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-4813189

Kitzbühel / Scotland Ski / Touring Trip – March 16-30, 2023   https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-4818156

Crescent Ski Council Spring Convention @ Myrtle Beach – April 21-23, 2023  

Virginia Creeper Bike Ride – TBD 2023