The Allegheny College Ski and Snowboard Club will soon hit the slopes this year for its annual ski trip.
Every year, several members from the 150-person club attend a three-day weekend trip to Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville, New York, where the club is able to both ski and relax.
The three-day trip begins late Friday afternoon, following the completion of classes.
“Typically, everyone just hangs out Friday night and some people don’t know anyone else on the trip, so they are able to hang out and get to know each other,” said Matthew Kim, ’19, club president. “We all have pizza Friday night, and then Saturday morning people go skiing.”
Saturday is spent on the slopes, and Saturday night typically people go to the local strip near the resort, where several restaurants and stores are located. Sunday morning, the skiers hit the slopes one final time before heading back to campus, according to Kim.
Holiday Valley is the only trip the club makes, due to budget restrictions.
“For the past three years, I’ve been trying to get the budget to allow a group of students to go out to the west coast for skiing during spring break because a lot of ski clubs do at other universities and colleges around the area, but Allegheny Student Government hasn’t been able to find the money,” Kim said.
By making the club more prominent around campus, some members believe they will be able to spark a greater interest for skiing among Allegheny students.
“One person told me ‘I never knew we had a ski club,’” Emma Zurowski, ’21, said.
Zurowski will be the president of the club next year, and she hopes the club will become more active.
“We’re keeping it the same this year where we just ski for the weekend in Holiday Valley, but next year I want to try implementing different weekends that can be learning trips or different expertise levels with terrain parks, ski racing and stuff, or even just going to different resorts,” Zurowski said.
She also hopes the training trips will become a regular club function.
Kim is confident in Zurowski’s ability to lead the club next year.
“In future years, I am encouraged because Emma is going to be our president, and she knows what she’s doing,” said Jesse Ottaway, ’19, club vice president.
One priority Kim had for this season was to leave his predecessor with a bigger budget, so more ski trips can be planned throughout next year, even if a trip to the west coast is not feasible.
“There is a lot of interest in skiing from a lot of the students, and even last year and this year, we have way more people who sign up for the trip than we can actually take, so I’m just trying to get (Zurowski) a lot more money in our budget for next year,” Kim said.
Kim said the club needs to have a stronger presence on social media. He thinks that would increase awareness about club events and trips on campus.
“We have a Facebook and Instagram, and we send out emails to the people who signed up during the activities fair, which we did have a lot of new incoming first-year students sign up for, so that was nice to see we have constant interest to keep the club going,” Kim said.
In terms of this semester’s trip, members of the club who are going on the trip are excited.
“This year I expect a good trip,” Ottaway said. “We have nice condos this year, they’re ski in and ski out which is going to be more fun than previous years where we have to haul our gear to the slope.”
Whether the club plans more training trips or a full spring break excursion, the current leadership is hopeful that under Zurowski’s leadership, the club will be able to flourish for years to come.
“I think the trip basically takes care of itself in terms of people having fun,” Ottaway said.