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U of C Ski and Board Club still going strong after more than 50 years

By Kristy Koehler, January 8 2019 —

The University of Calgary’s Ski and Board Club is well-known on campus for throwing epic parties and shredding epic powder. Founded in 1962, the club has almost 4,000 members. Club vice president of events Kyra McRitchie says that, over the years, they’ve even partied with some of the club’s founding members.

“We’ve actually been on trips and met people who were here in the ‘70s and were execs then,” she said.

McRitchie says the membership has about a 60–40 split between skiers and boarders but that they welcome everyone, even those who don’t feel they have the skills to shred with the best of them.

“Some people will come with their friends and their friends will teach them,” she said. Others just hang out at the hotel or take in the mountain environment while the rest of the crew hits the powder.

“The ski and board trips are like parties too, so there’s bar crawls and it’s really inclusive,” McRitchie said.

A membership to the Ski and Board Club costs $10 and the card pretty much pays for itself in one use, says McRitchie.

The membership gets you access to their parties as well as discounts from sponsors. The club has nightlife hookups at Commonwealth, Cowboys, Knoxville’s and the Dancing Sasquatch in Banff.

“We’ve got discounts at a lot of burger places and food places too,” McRitchie said. “And outerwear hookups. A big one is you can get your skis or board waxed at the Ski Cellar for free. They’ve been a good supporter of us.”

Plus, access to the club’s stash of discounted lift tickets is well worth the 10 bucks.

“You can buy lift tickets for the hill and get them at 20–30 per cent off,” McRitchie said. “It’s much cheaper than Costco or any other discount place.”

Some of the hills offering discounted lift tickets to club members are Lake Louise, Sunshine, Nakiska, Castle Mountain, Fernie, Kicking Horse and Kimberley. The tickets must be purchased in-person from the Ski and Board Club during their office hours. They’re fully run by student execs and volunteers so McRitchie recommends checking the club’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date hours or sending them a message to arrange another time to purchase.

The club arranges several trips each year, all of which include transport on a party bus, quad-occupancy accommodation and lift tickets. Food and drinks aren’t included but, if you already have a season’s pass to the hill you’re headed to, you can request a further price reduction. Trips range from $260–$370 and usually sell out the day they go on sale.

McRitchie says the trips are great for international students and emphasizes the inclusive nature of the executive team and the club.

“Even if you don’t know anybody going on the trip you’ll definitely meet people,” she said.  “We’ve had people come who don’t know anyone. If you don’t have anybody to ski with, [the executive team] will ski with you.”

The trips are fun and the people are friendly.

“That’s why people keep coming back,” McRitchie said.

Current trip offerings and on-sale dates are available at the club’s website uofcskiandboard.com or on their Facebook page.

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