help_outline Skip to main content

News / Articles

December 2015 Newsletter

 | Published on 12/1/2015
For a downloadable and complete version of this newsletter, click here: December Skiddoo 2015

President’s Message 11/28/15


I got into snowshoeing not because of its exercise value but because I liked the old style wooden frames with woven leather strapping and thought they would look good on my wall when not in use.  There are a number of wooden snowshoe styles like the Alaskan, the Huron, the Bear Paw, the Ojibwa, and some variations on these styles.  The Alaskan and Huron styles are what most people would think of in a snowshoe, it is rounded in front and pointed in the tail.  The amount of upturn in the rounded front and the length of the snowshoe differentiate the two styles.  The Bear Paw is shaped like a big oval with no tail: actually, a variation of the Bear Paw style has a short tail. The Ojibwa snowshoe has both a pointed toe and tail. The pointed or “cusped” toe supposedly helps break through crusty or icy snow and with the long narrow tail helps glide the snowshoe like a ski on hard-packed snow.  I thought that the latter style fit the conditions of Iowa so I bought a snowshoe kit and built a pair for myself.  It didn’t take that long to weave the nylon webbing even though I made a few false starts, but applying four coats of polyurethane took some time.


Snowshoes have been around for many thousands of years and were originally developed in Asia but brought over to the Americas when there was an ice bridge from Siberia to Alaska.  The original snowshoes were little more than planks of wood strapped to the foot but they developed into lighter and more purposeful designs.  The Native Americans modified the basic design to fit their needs for hunting, long distance traveling, or hauling and to the snow conditions where they were used.  For instance, the Bear Paw design is meant for hunting in deep powder snow while the Alaskan is intended for hauling heavy loads.  Skis, as a technology, are an offshoot design from snowshoes: while snowshoes are intended for walking on snow, skis are intended to glide on snow.  So snowshoeing predates skiing as a form of transportation but it’s vice versa for winter recreation.


After I finished making my snowshoes and tried them out, I was not impressed.  They were difficult to get strapped onto my boots and my boots seemed to slip around in the bindings.  In un-groomed snow the toes would dig in so that I could not pick up the trailing snowshoe causing me to fall head of heels.  Rightfully, I did not give the wooden shoes a chance and would have learned to use them in time.  But modern technology has taken over snowshoe designs and they are much lighter and easier to use.  I think that is especially true with the bindings with which you use to attach your foot to the snowshoe.  The new technology makes it so much easier to make sure that your foot is secured on the shoe.  So after struggling with my wooden snowshoes for a couple outings I bought a pair of the modern non-tubular designs


Whatever the design, today’s snowshoes are much easier to pack, to strap on, and to walk in snow than the old wooden designs.  They even come with built-in crampons to help walking on crusted snow and ice.  As far as exercise value, snowshoeing is a great workout: in no time you will be shedding clothing in the coldest weather after hiking in powder for a short distance.  You can buy or rent snowshoes at ski resorts today, so I highly recommend you give snowshoeing a try.


~Bob Thorkildson, EISC President



Nothing Nights – Wed Eve

A long time tradition is to socialize on Wednesday nights, since there is nothing going on!   We will meet for supper and drinks at 7:00pm and see what’s going on. Our venue will stay at CJ’s Bar and Grill, 62 17th Ave SW, in Czech Village.


We have been having great turnouts at CJ’s.  The food and prices are good.  Watch here each month for the location or check the East Iowa Ski Club website calendar.  


Come on down!  You don’t want to miss out!


Salvation Army Bell Ringing Through Dec 24


It's that time of the year again when the members of our club can give back to the community by ringing the Salvation Army Bells.  Bell ringing will continue from now until Christmas Eve.

To volunteer go to and hit the Volunteer button.


On the upper right side of the page you will see the statement "I would like to volunteer". 


If you volunteered last year you would have already created an account with a user name and password.  Proceed to your account and sign up for any time and place that is convenient to you.  If two or more are ringing together only one of you has to sign in.


If you do not have an account you can easily set one up. You only need to establish a username and password and set up a profile.  Only the very basic info is required including your email.  The email is used to send you reminders of your shifts.


IMPORTANT FOR ALL: Everyone please check Under "My Profile" and then "Additional Info"  that you have added East Iowa Ski Club (spelled out exactly like this) as the local group you are representing under Group Affiliation.  I can then get a report at the end of the season on how many hours our club has volunteered.


Please call me with any questions.   Thanks for volunteering.


~Sarah Wittnebel


December Member Meeting Sat Dec 19 – 7:00 VFW

Our Dec 19 meeting will be at the VFW hall at 3240 Southgate Place SW, Cedar Rapids. 

This location is easy to find.  Just turn west off Interstate 380 (exit 17) on 33rd Ave SW and then north (right) on Southgate Place.  Program: Trip updates and discussions.  Beer, wine, and pop will be available but it will be a cash bar with very reasonable prices.  Doors open at 7:00 with the meeting at 8:00.  Guests are welcome for a $5.00 fee.  Come on out. 


Wear your Christmas attire, ugly or not so ugly. 



Sundown Mountain Learn to Ski Day - Dec 29


Trip Chairs: Ann Robinson,   Beth Cottingham  Sundown Mountain Day - 12/29/2015


Calling all skiers, want-a-be skiers and all others – this is a great way to start off our ski season with some great group rates.  This year’s lift ticket only price is $32 or $48 for lift ticket, rental and lesson.  We are not restricted in number so let’s bring it on everyone!  This event is open to non-club members.


We will car pool from the Marion Walmart leaving there at 8:00 am, Tuesday, Dec 29th.  Sundown lifts open @ 9 am.  In the past some have met earlier at the nearby McDonald’s for breakfast.


Pick up your tickets in the old lodge building by 9:30AM (where the food service and bar are located).


We will need payment prior to skiing to get the group rates for you.  Please contact us either by phone or email and let us know how many in your party as well as the ski package you will need. Make checks out to EISC.


Signup at the meeting or you can call or email Ann or Beth.


~Ann and Beth



“Shop/Ski” – Mall of America/Welch Village/Afton Alps Jan 8-10


Trip Chair:  Jeff Owen,   Linda Berry      Afton Alps, Welch & Mall of America weekend. - 1/8/2016


$289: Trip price with Lift Tickets ($97 Sept, $96 Oct, $96  Nov)

$212: Trip price without Lift Tickets ($72 Sept, $70 Oct, $70 Nov)

$162: Under 18 Trip price with Lift Tickets (minor staying in the same bedroom with two adults.)

$85: Under 18 Trip price no Lift Tickets (minor staying in the same bedroom with two adults.)


Trip Cancelation date is December 4th, 2015


As of the Nov member meeting, we have 27 people signed up on the Shop-Ski Ski Trip. 

WE STILL HAVE ROOM FOR YOU, so let us know before Dec 10.   


This year, you will have the opportunity to ski at 2 locations in the area, Afton Alps and Welch Village or head out to the 9 mile trail for a day of cross country skiing. Or, you can spend the day at the Mall of America. There are a lot of activities for non-skiers on this trip, as well as a wide variety of restaurants at the Mall of America.  Linda Berry will assist with sightseeing and shopping in the Minneapolis area.


Please note the pricing for minors on this trip. All minors will pay a reduced rate for this trip when they stay in a room with 2 adults. Be sure to sign up at the December meeting or send your payment to the EISC P.O. Box. This will be your last chance to get onboard for this event.


Get ready for an entertaining weekend be in Minneapolis, MN.  


Trip includes the following:

  • 2 nights Lodging
  • Round trip Coach Bus
  • 2 – 1 day lift tickets
  • Wine and Cheese party

We will be staying at the Hampton Inn (Double Queen rooms) located near the Mall of America. The Hotel has a pool and hot tub.




Friday January 8th


4:30 pm - Begin loading the bus

5:00 pm - Depart from NW corner of Rockwell Collins parking lot off of Blairsferry Road and C Avenue, Cedar Rapids.

6:00 pm - Pick up our Ski buddies up North. Location Elk Run Truck Stop

9:30 pm - Arrive at Minneapolis, MN. Staying at the Hampton Inn


NOTE: Bring a sandwich and beverage and snacks to share to enjoy on the way. There is not a dinner stop on the trip leg to Minneapolis.


Saturday January 9th


8:15 am- Load bus.

8:30am - Depart for Welch Village.

9:00 am- Lifts open

4:00 pm - Bus arrives for return trip to the Hampton Inn

6:00 pm - Wine & Cheese Party.

7:00 pm - Dinner.


Sunday January 10th


8:15 am- Load bus.

8:30am - Depart for Afton Alps.

9:00 am - Lifts open

3:00 pm - Load the bus for non-skiers

3:30 pm - Depart Afton Alps and return to Cedar Rapids. Meal stop around 5:30.

8:00 pm - Drop off up North passengers

9:00 pm - Arrive in Cedar Rapids


If you need a printed copy of the itinerary pick one up at the December meeting.

For more information visit:,,


On a personal note, I (Dan) will not be able to attend this trip. Linda Berry has volunteered to backfill my trip chair position and will assist Jeff in the planning of this event.


~Jeff and Dan and Linda


Interlaken Switzerland and Prague Czech Republic Jan 22-Feb 4 

Trip Chairs:  Brian Keller        Tammy Keller     Interlaken Switzerland Ski Trip - 1/22/2016


Interlaken 1 week ski trip                       Interlaken trip with 5 days at Prague


Dates: January 22 – 30                         Dates: January 22 – February 4

Cost:            $2009                               Cost:            $2335


Due to the fact that we did not have the minimum number of trip takers, there is an additional cost in order to keep the trip going.  Everyone will have to pay an additional $66.  Please send in a check if you have not done so yet.


There are 19 of us going this great European skiing and sightseeing opportunity in Switzerland and Czech Republic.   All have chosen the one week at Interlaken and 5 days of sightseeing in Prague.  We start off with a week of skiing or sightseeing at Interlaken then head to Prague for 5 days. 


We fly from Cedar Rapids into Zurich and get bused to Interlaken.  Stay at the Oberland a 3-star hotel for 7 nights lodging, breakfast and evening meals each day.  Lift tickets are not included, I found a couple 1 day passes for $60-$70.  At this time all taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included.  We are flying United and there may be additional baggage fees.  For the 5 day extension will be bused to Zurich and then fly to Prague staying at the Ameytst a 4 star hotel for 5 night lodging including breakfast each day. 


Interlaken is a unique skiing experience with arguably, the most dramatic mountain scenery in Europe all around you.  Beneath the mighty backdrop of the world famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks lies the equally famous ski resort town of Interlaken. Conveniently situated 40 minute drive from the closest airport (Belp) and 20 minutes from the valley stations of Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren, Interlaken earns its name as the gateway town to the Jungfrau Ski Region.  These peaks all rising up to heights peaking at 4158 meters (13642 feet) from your Interlaken base of only 567 meters (1860 feet).  And what a way to see it all too, with a 100 year old mountain railway always running on time from Interlaken right the way up to the Jungfraujoch..


It's not just the scenery that will impress.  The Jungfrau region offers fantastic skiing conditions, well prepared and uncrowded pistes, excellent beginner areas and a large snow park.  Snow conditions throughout the whole winter season can be guaranteed with the combination of Swiss Alps snowfall and extensive snow making facilities.  Other close major international resorts like Adelboden, Kandersteg and Andermatt.  


Jungfrau ski region is an ideal base for both skiers and non-skiers, offering a large variety of accommodation options, activities, and extensive public transport connections to the mountain.   There are several organized sightseeing tours and daily bus excursion from the Hotel.  Here is one website to get some ideas on what activities are available:,  winter activities 


~Brian and Tammy Keller


Canyons/Park City/Deer Valley Utah Ski Trip February 20-27, 2016

Trip chairs are:  Kathy Takes,  Steve Cummings    Salt Lake Canyons/Park City/Deer Valley - 2/20/2016


$1450 full Pkg, W/O Air $994, $1165 W/O Lifts, $709 Land Only.

Seniors, 65+ $1420 Full Pkg, W/O air $964 for Seniors 65+, $1165 W/O Lifts, $709 Land Only.

The trip cancellation date is past.


We had a fairly rough November ski club meeting.  The final payments were collected for the Park City / Canyons / Deer Valley trip & that went pretty well – we still need to hear from a few folks.  We tried to run the ‘One Park City’ video and found the club projector doesn’t support audio after several gallant tries by some great technical help.  Thanks to all who all who braved the weather and suffered through the uneven presentation.  Thanks to all who will be joining us on this great EISC Utah expedition.  We did have one cancellation, which opens up one spot on the trip.  Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to join us.


As winter and the trip date gets closer we have had some folks asking about flight times & details:


United-6024 departs Cedar Rapids 2/20/15 01:14 pm          Arrive Denver 02:25 pm

United-5231 departs Denver 2/20/15 03:15 pm                     Arrive Salt Lake City 04:44 pm

United-6475 departs Salt Lake City 2/27/15 10:10 am          Arrive Denver 11:41 am

United-6078 departs Denver 2/27/15 03:12 pm                     Arrive Cedar Rapids 05:59 pm


We will be riding the LE BUS charter bus from the Salt Lake City airport to Park City for 30 passengers.  We will need the correct spelling and full names of the 20 flyers for the airline tickets before December 17th.


We had some questions on the Lunch on Us promotion.  For those who bought the lift ticket package (we have a few non-skiers and folks with Epic passes that are not included in this deal) we have a $15 per day lunch voucher to use at any of the Park City / Canyons restaurants.  We have a 4 day lift ticket for the Park City / Canyons, so you can use a $15 lunch voucher each day.  The lift ticket also includes a day at Deer Valley, but they aren’t offering a voucher – however, the restaurants and quality of food there is some of the best in the skiing world.  We are really looking forward to it. 


We have been mentioning some of the other than skiing activities the last couple of months, so we

need some ski related topics.  We are assuming everyone is well into their ski conditioning programs by now.  If not, no worries – it only takes 3 months of conditioning to get into ski shape.  Remember the stretching and flexibility are just as important as the strength and cardio training for skiing.  The base area is at 6,800 ft. which shouldn’t be as hard on us as some resorts, but the summit is above 10,000 ft. which can make it a challenge to catch your breath.  Last month we mentioned that SKI magazine listed some of the Mandatory Runs & Apres at each of the resorts.  Since you all have had your maps for some time now and have had an opportunity to study them and pick out the routes you would like to try, we thought we would share what the readers of SKI suggested:


Canyons – Mandatory Run “Another World to the Drop.  Yes, it is a blue groomer, but no other run exemplifies the wide open, cruisey feel of the Canyons better than Another World.  At the end of the run, skip the cat track back to the lift and take the Drop, a short tummy flipper of a black.” 


Après Spot – “Have a beer or glass of wine on the deck of Lookout Cabin before making your last run down Doc’s.  Or ride down the Orange Bubble express if the sunny scenery lures you into a few too many for the run.”  This would not apply to the EISC.


Park City – Mandatory Run “Prospectors, a solid double blue groomer drops you into the Silverlode lift area.  It is a wide open run that stays soft enough, long enough for you to put the hammer down at whatever time of day you crest the fall line.”

 Après Spot – “O.P. Rockwell.  This is the basement bar at the top of Main Street.  It offers a hushed speakeasy vibe and well-made cocktails.  It is also the town’s best music club later in the evening.”

And don’t miss ski country’s only ski in distillery, the High West Distillery and Saloon.  Offers tours, award winning whiskey and on-point food.”


Deer Valley – Mandatory Run “Take in the views of the Jordanelle Reservoir from Tycoon or Stein’s Way, off of the Sultan chair.  It is Tahoe-esque.’ 


Après Spot – “In Park City hit the No Name Saloon to consort with your ski tribe before taking your pick of downtown dinner spots.  We like The Riverside on Main”

“Empire Canyon Lodge.  Dinner isn’t usually as “experience” per se, but Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, is the exception.  Swiss raclette, leg of lamb, soups, stews and a chocolate fondue to die for.” 


Please go to the Park City Resort websites at or the for more information on the activities and the town.    

Please contact Kathy or Steve if you have any questions on the trip of would like to sign up for the wait list on for this great EISC adventure.


Thanks, Kathy and Steve



EISC Roughriders Hockey Night– Saturday, March 12th


Trip Leaders:  Dan Lombardo    Rough Riders Hockey Night - 3/12/2016


Join your fellow EISC members for a night at the Stable to cheer on our Cedar Rapids Roughriders. On Friday, March 12th. The game is between Cedar Rapids Roughriders and Dubuque Fighting Saints.  The seats are located in section C, which is in the Roughrider’s attack zone for periods 1 and 3. I have 30 seats reserved. Ticket price is $14.


March 12th is Military Appreciation night at the Stable and the Roughriders are offering a $2 Two-Fer Concessions Special. This includes: 12 oz. Domestic Draft beers, 20 oz. Bottled Pop/Water, Hot Dogs, Popcorn-only $2 each.


You can sign up for this event at the December and January member meeting or contact me by email, and send your payment to the EISC P.O Box.


Game on!!


~Dan Lombardo






 The Linn Community Food Bank was very happy to receive the recent donations from the East Iowa Ski Club.    At the November member meeting, we collected 143 pounds of greatly needed food items, along with $415 in monetary donations.    Each dollar donated will generate even more food than what each of us can buy on our own as our HyVee stores offer the food bank items “at cost”.    


Remember to contribute to your local food banks often.  The need does not end with the Holidays. 

     Thank you so much.       Marty and Janet Stimson



EISC Board of Directors Election

Larry Smith, Don Boland and Pat Boland will be the election committee for our 2016 Board of Directors election in February.


If you are interested in running for the board contact committee member Don Boland.


The current members up for reelection are: Kim Betts, Jim Wittnebel, Bob Thorkildson, and Mike Buckman.


EISC X-Country/Snowshoe Schedule 2015 - 2016

Join us Saturdays at 1:00pm Contact- Kim Betts.

Dates in red are when a ski trip coincides, blue are member meeting days.  If not enough snow, consider taking a hike and get some fresh air.   This schedule is found on the ski club website calendar which provides a map.  If we get a good snow day outside this schedule, use the ski club forums & set up a spontaneous ski/snowshoe day. There are 25 members in the Snowshoe forum and 29 in the X-country ski forum. Give it a try.


Matsell Bridge Park 12/05/15

Wickiup Hill Park     12/12/15

Squaw Creek Park  12/19/15

Jones Park              12/26/15



Ellis Golf Couse        1/02/16

Morgan Creek Park  1/09/16

Squaw Creek Park   1/16/16

Matsell Bridge Park  1/23/16

Wickiup Hill Park      1/30/16



Jones Park              2/06/16

Ellis Golf Course     2/13/16

Morgan Creek Park 2/20/16

Squaw Creek Park  2/27/16



Matsell Bridge Park 3/05/16

Wickiup Hill Park     3/12/16

Jones Park              3/19/16

Morgan Creek Park 3/26/16



Kim’s Korner


The ski club has a YouTube channel, and our own, Jim Wittnebel helped to make a how-to video on tuning up you own skis.   The video is a 3 part series, with part 1 on explaining the tools, supplies and waxes needed, as well as some inspection pointers.  Part 2 deals with sharpening the edges, and part 3 deals with filling in gouges and waxing.  This series is devised to help out our ski club community and also to help with marketing our club to the overall community.  Please take time to share this with your friends and family in whatever way you can, so as to help with this effort.


The channel is found at


The specific video playlist, which will play all 3 videos in order is:


At any time you are in the ski club website, you may click on the icon on any page to take you to the corresponding social media outlet.