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February 2018 Newsletter

 | Published on 1/30/2018
For a downloadable and complete version of this newsletter, click here: February Skiddoo 2018

President’s Message


Got a GoPro on your ski helmet?  A selfie-stick for your cell phone when you snowboard down the hill?  We all love seeing the smooth and speedy action of skiing as caught on camera.  We also love the unintended humor of seeing our friends’ mishaps.  (Yeah guys, you know who you are.)


Last month, the skiing world received news of the death of famed cinematographer Warren Miller.  So much of his life and his films captured the spirit of what ski club means to me.  From his near-outlaw days as, reputedly, the world’s first ski bum in Sun Valley, Idaho to his active but relaxed retirement in the San Juan Islands of Washington.  He did what he loved and that was the key to his success.


“I really believe in my heart that that first turn you make on a pair of skis is your first taste of total freedom, the first time in your life that you could go anywhere that your adrenaline would let you go,” Miller said at age 86.


I recall seeing one of his films apres’ ski in a yurt-style bar at Snowmass.  There were many scenes of high-flying acrobatic expert skiers.  But the most memorable scene was of the beginners piling up as they fall, getting off a lift.  The frustrated lift attendant finally gets so frustrated that he grabs the skis of one of the offenders and flings them as far as he can.

It’s been said that, before he died, Miller suggested that a fitting memorial, for those able, would be a run down a favorite ski slope in his honor.  Steamboat is behind us.  Sundown, Afton Alps or Welch Village may not have your favorite slope, but they do provide an opportunity to ponder this message of skiing freedom.


If you’ve been reading my President’s messages, you’ve no doubt come to expect my usual sign-off message of “Stay active my friends.”  I would like to end today’s message with a similar phrase of Warren Miller’s:  “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

-Mike Buckman, EISC President


Nothing Nights – Wed Eve – CJ’s Bar and Grill 7:00 

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.  By popular demand we have moved back to CJ’s Sports Bar and Grill, 62 17th Ave SW.  CJ’s has a varied menu and good prices.  Most of the time we are in the back room.  Watch here each month for the location or check the East Iowa Ski Club website calendar.  Interested in having Nothing Nights at a different venue?  Visit us at  CJ’s and discuss with the regulars, perhaps they are up for a change.

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


Soup & Chili Cookoff Photos:

Soup and Chili Cookoff and Member Meeting

It felt like spring with a warm 40 plus degree day on January 20 as about 55 EISC’ers arrived with crock pots of soup and chili at the Red Cedar Lodge in Squaw Creek Park.  To be exact we had 13 batches of soup and chili, along with many other wonderful snacks and desserts.   

The competition was intense once again.  Our winners by popular vote were:   1st place Clam Chowder by Sandra Cummings.   2nd place Minnesota Wild Rice by Anita Strouf.   And a tie for 3rd and 4th place with Bacon Cheeseburger Soup by Joanie Meyer and Creamy Sausage Potato by Jeff Sherman.  The winners all received a bottle of wine.   Thanks to Sandra Cummings for helping with the contest and the creative POEM to announce the winners.  


Some members enjoyed walking along the park trails in the afternoon.   Others played board games or bean bag toss games.   Everyone enjoyed the festivities and the hearty fare.  

Steamboat Recap


Overall the Steamboat Springs trip was a great time with good skiing and events enjoyed by all.  The plane flights out and back were on time, though the four-hour layover in Chicago was a tad bit tedious.  Other than a little snow on Rabbit Ears pass, on the way out the road was clear for those that drove.  What a difference a day makes though; later in the day when we departed, the Steamboat area and Rockies in general received 11+ inches of snow.  This would have made the drive back much more interesting, not to mention the blizzard warnings forecasted for most of Nebraska.  As it were, we outran the coming storm and made it safely home in a timely manner.


Mt. Werner, Storm Peak, and Sunshine Peak offered skiers a wide variety of terrain to carve on.  Really there is something for everyone on the mountain, from steep bumps to trees to wide open cruising groomers.  Sunshine Park, the backside of the mountain, had some challenging runs (read huge drops) among the trees.  Lift lines weren’t too bad either, busier at the beginning of the week, but not as bad towards as the end of the week.  Conditions on most days were Bluebird-ish; the weather warmed as the week wore on with what I would call Spring conditions (mash potato snow) on Friday.  The snow wore a little thin in places as the week progressed with the occasional rock suddenly appearing in an otherwise snow covered run.  We had one morning with flat light, some fog, and a light snow – it did clear off by afternoon though, and made for a wonderful day of skiing on the mountain.  There were a couple of casualties during the week.  Bill Bonewitz crashed after running into an unmapped mogul field and cracked a couple of ribs, and Mary Day took a spill walking on an icy path resulting in a bump on the head with a mild concussion.


The victuals and drinks supplied to the club by La Casa for the wine and cheese party were quite tasty and abundant, a cut above the usual fare.   Accommodations ranged from good to excellent with La Casa 16 being by far the most tastefully appointed condo.  Members soaked their aches and pains away in the hot tubs with a cold libation after a hard day of skiing.  Non-skiers enjoyed reading a book on a sunny balcony or touring the many shops and restaurants.  Some members made the short journey to Rabbit Ears pass for a cross country ski or snowshoe adventure.  The only real issue at La Casa was the condition of the driveway and parking lot which essentially transmogrified into an ice rink due to the weather.  Warm days melted the snow/ice and cold nights refroze it. 


The hot air balloon glow and the 44th Annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill races were enjoyed by many members.  Some members also made friends with the four Denver Bronco cheerleaders on hand for the races; others had a chance to meet and take pictures with 1964 Olympic Gold Medal winner Billy Kidd.  Strawberry Park hot springs was an interesting place to visit.  The hot springs were very rustic and relaxing, but changing from clothes to swimsuit and back again could be challenging.  Nothing like changing out of a wet swimsuit into street clothes next to the hot springs with nothing but a towel wrapped around you while a complete stranger of the opposite sex is managing the same task an arm length’s away.  It is rather amazing that so much hot water is naturally expelled from the rocks so high up in the mountains.

Special thanks to those members that hosted the wine and cheese party, the pizza party, and the left overs night dinner.  And many thanks to all the members on the trip that assisted in making this an interesting and rewarding trip.

Ruth Van Tol and Mike Monroe


Steamboat Photos:

Twin Cities Winter Carnival and Other Fun Feb 9-11

Last chance to sign up for a fun winter weekend getaway!


We have a trip planned to the Twin Cities February 9 – 11, 2018. The trip includes bus transportation to the Hampton Inn located near the Mall of America in Bloomington for a two-night stay.  We will leave at 3 PM on Friday from near the water tower in the parking lot of Collins on Blairs Ferry Road. The hotel has complimentary breakfast in the morning and shuttle service to Ikea and the Mall of America. The Light Rail Transit hub is located at the MOA and provides access to downtown Minneapolis with an easy transfer for a line that also gets you to downtown St Paul. The Winter Carnival festivities are wrapping up that weekend with a number of activities happening. Cost of the bus and hotel is $237 per person double room occupancy. Arrangements have been made for transportation to and from Afton Alps for those that want to ski on Saturday. Lift ticket rates on weekends are $60 for adults and $50 for youth 5-17 and Seniors 62+. We won’t have enough skiers (15 or more) to get a group discount there. You will need to purchase your tickets at the windows at Afton. Sunday skiers will be able to ski at Welch Village.  Standard weekend rates at Welch are: $48 5-12 and 62+, and $58 13-61. Welch has an on-line system of purchasing tickets up to 24 hours prior to the date of skiing and the more purchase tickets, the more the discount. Let the trip coordinators know of your interest in skiing Welch so arrangements can be made to get you the information needed to make the purchase. We can actually look at weather conditions in advance and know whether we want to ski in “weather unfit for human habitation”.


In 1885 a New York reporter wrote that St Paul “was a Siberia, unfit for human habitation.” The residents of St Paul took offense and decided to prove that there are plenty of things to do in winter months. In 1886 the first Winter Carnival took place. This year the event is 17 days long. On occasion in the past a spectacular ice castle was built. Organizers had hoped to showcase one this year with the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, however, they couldn’t find enough corporate sponsors. There are however snow carving competitions, ice carving competitions, parades and new this year: Lawn Mower Racing on Ice (some reaching speeds of 60 mph!).


Schedule of Events that are happening while we will be there are:

•Wine and cheese reception at the hotel Friday evening from 8 to 10 PM.


*5:30 to 7:30 Lawn Mower Racing on Ice at Vulcan Park at the State Fair Campus.

*5:30 to 7:30 Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade, Downtown St Paul. Followed by the overthrow

  of King Boreas and Fireworks.

Other things to do before the late afternoon events are to view snow sculptures in Vulcan Park or see the ice sculptures in Rice Park (all weather permitting). St Paul has an indoor Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings that include specialty chefs offering lunches. The Light Rail is within walking distance to the Minnesota Science Museum which has a great view of the Mississippi and has an IMAX theater if you prefer indoor activities for part of the day. If having fun outdoors isn’t your thing than you have the MOA with 500+ stores, 50 restaurants, movie theaters and all sorts of entertainment.


Join us for a fun weekend February 9-11, 2018

Ruth Van Tol;   Jeff Owen;   Mary Day


EISC X-Country/Snowshoe Schedule 2018


Join us Saturdays at 1:00pm. 

Contact- Gary Dalecky or Brian Keller


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 34 members in the Snowshoe forum and 37 in the X-country ski forum. Give it a try. 



Jones Park                2/03/18

Ellis Golf Course      2/10/18

Morgan Creek Park 2/17/18

Squaw Creek Park   2/24/18



Lake Macbride Park 3/03/18

Matsell Bridge Park 3/10/18

Wickiup Hill Park      3/17/18

Jones Park                3/24/18

Hockey – We Need More Cowbell

The EISC is headed to the Stable to see the Roughriders defend the home ice against the 380 corridor rivals the Waterloo Blackhawks.


Bring those cowbells!  I have 3 – Gordon loves them!

Open to ALL members and non-members

Date – Friday March 9th

Time – Puck drops at 7:05 pm (TICKETS available at 6:15 in the lower lobby)

Price - $14 per person sitting in Gray Zone!

Ways to Pay – Pay me at the February Meeting OR EISC website OR mail payment to EISC, PO Box 843, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406.


Am looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Remember let’s make some noise and be loud because how often do we really have a chance to ring a cowbell??  See you at the Stable!  

Sandra Cummings



2018 EISC Golf Outing - SAVE the DATE!!  Saturday, July 28th

Before you know it, schedules will be filling up for the summer months.   We want to let everyone know that the annual

EISC Golf Tournament will be at Wildcat Golf Course in Shellsburg on the morning of Saturday, July 28th.    We’re working out details on start time and cost and will have a sign-up sheet at Post Party and the spring picnic.  Hope you can join us for a fun outing.


Kathy Healy             Nancy Thorkildson            Sarah Wittnebel

EISC Board of Directors


Our 2018 Board of Directors election will be held in February.  We have 4 positions open.  Kim Betts, Bob Thorkildson, and Jim Wittnebel are leaving the board.  Mike Buckman will be running for re-election.     The nominating committee is Marty Stimson, along with Pat and Don Boland.  If interested in running for the board, please contact a committee member.  Please give consideration to say “yes” to EISC if you are contacted.   Thank you.   

Linda Berry


I have been a member of EISC for many years and I have never done any downhill skiing. I do love to snowshoe. I havebeen on trips to Canada and other locations. I loved every minute of it. I love summer activities such as biking, hiking and kayaking. I am an avid traveler and enjoy exploring and discovering new places. I hope to introduce new places and trips to the club for people who ski and don't ski.

Mike Buckman

I am Mike Buckman and I would like to be returned to serve on the board of the East Iowa Ski Club.  I have been a member for over 10 years and I have gone on at least one West trip each of those years.  I consider myself an intermediate downhill skier and I also enjoy cross-country skiing.  I participate in many of the non-ski activities of the club as well. 

 Most recently, I have been your President and an assistant trip coordinator on the board and I am planning on going to the Mountain Travel Symposium in Lake Tahoe this April.  I previously went to MTS in Keystone in 2016.  I have been a co-chair on the 2014 Crested Butte trip. Thank you for your support.


Steve Cummings

Hi – my name is Steve Cummings and I am running for the board this year. 

I have enjoyed being a member of the EISC for around 17 years or so and served on the board for approximately 7 years in the past.  Joining the ski club has afforded me the opportunity to travel and ski some of the greatest & most scenic resorts in the world.  Being a member has given me the chance to meet and ski with interesting and fun people which have become good friends.  Serving on the board is a great experience and an opportunity to give back.  I have participated in some great ski and bicycle trips, events and outings.  This past year I did have a few health challenges, but am looking forward to an exciting comeback year.  My wife, Sandra is also an active member of the club & an occasional poet.  I currently work in the Design Assurance Center at Rockwell Collins.  Please support me for the EISC board.  Sandra says “Please vote for me; I like to ski.” 




Brenda Garbe


I’ve been a member of the EISC for quite a few years and enjoyed all the camaraderie, great trips and experiences that a club can offer.  My first ski trip was to Welch Village for a weekend and then it was full steam ahead. I have organized and enjoyed years of summer activities from biking to canoeing and picnics. I’ve had previous runs on the board serving as trip coordinator and president, but I know that the future life-blood of the club is to stay relevant and continue to challenge our members to evolve, grow and welcome new members. I hope to be a part of that solution going forward and open to member ideas to enhance our club.


Teresa Smith


Hi, my name is Teresa Smith.  I've been a member of the ski club since 2008. My Dad was a member way back in the  day and I actually went on a couple of ski trips with him when I was in my teens. I love to snow ski, camp and kayak. I bring a lot of energy to the board and hope to help bring new ideas and leadership. Will look for new ways to grow the club and continue to bring speakers in that will share interesting topics. Please vote for me at the February meeting.