Waiting for winter

Oct 172005
Authors: Amanda Schank

For more information on Snowriders, check out www.csusnowriders.com or visit the officers during their office hours in the basement of the Lory Student Center.

They hold meetings in the Lory Student Center, but that's just a guise. The real action materializes at approximately 8,000 feet above sea level or higher, on vertical drops of 1,000 to 5,000 feet and on the sole reliance of wax on water.

The Rocky Mountains host some of the country's best snow and terrain, and no club at CSU uses them to its advantage more than Snowriders. Snowriders, a skiing and snowboarding club, provides students with cheap and easy access to the mountains through a socially active, member-driven atmosphere.

"This year we're doing it member-oriented so they tell us what they're interested in doing," said Trevor Gamble, co-president and senior marketing major. "We thought, 'Why don't we bring this back to a grassroots perspective – just a group of people who love to ski and ride?'"

With a growing membership of more than 200 students, Snowriders is the largest club on campus. It is organized and run by 18 officers ranging in duties from marketing and sponsorship directors to "VP of keeping it real."

Traditionally, the officers have made the final decisions on where the club travels to, but this year is an exception. Rather than embracing club hierarchy, the officers have chosen to put matters to a vote in weekly meetings, allowing the members to choose when and where each trip will occur.

"We're trying to work on ways to get the club very involved," said Emily Gross, marketing director and senior graphic design major. "We're a social ski and snowboarding club … We bring a camaraderie to campus. When you see people with a Snowriders shirt on, it makes you feel like a part of campus instead of just walking around with some 20,000 kids. It's nice."

Snowriders organizes day, weekend and weeklong trips to nearby resorts and some as far as Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada. The club's signature event is a six-day trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo., which is always held the first week of January.

In addition to trips, the club organizes movie premieres, social member nights at sponsor shops and social barbecues throughout the season. The first movie premier, Tangerine Dream, is Thursday and acts as fundraising activity. Tickets are on sale for $5 in the LSC and Christy Sports or $7 at the door.

With the threat of winter weather on the horizon, the members have already set their first trip to Loveland Ski Area for Oct. 29 – a trip which will cost each member approximately $10 for transportation and $27 for a lift ticket. Gamble said Loveland Ski Area is calling the day a 'special Snowriders day' by providing a picnic barbecue to enhance the social event because "mountains always want to work with (Snowriders)."

For an average trip, a member usually pays $10 to $15 for transportation and anywhere from $35 to $75 for a lift ticket.

The officers encourage any student with an interest in riding to join, regardless of skill level.

"We are very approachable people," Gamble said. "From first time beginners to seasoned experts, we recognize that those people have different skills and abilities and we cater to them.

"If we do a trip where there's a certain number of beginners, we'll be sure we get them rentals and lessons; if there's experts, we'll be sure we hook them up with the best terrain on the mountain."

For $20 a year in fees, Snowriders' members receive a T-shirt and a membership card good for discounts at any of the club's 17 sponsors. Sponsors include local shops such as Outpost Sunsport and The Skateboard Market, and shops and resorts around the state like Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge Ski Resorts.

"The membership discounts are definitely an advantage to joining – you get some serious hook-ups," said Kelli Ludwig, senior political science major. "Even if someone doesn't offer what you specifically want, if you say you're a member of Snowriders they'll be willing to work with you."

With a club motto of "Live to ride," Snowriders' members will hit the slopes this winter with a sense of camaraderie and social spirit.

"We're just an awesome social ski and board club," Gross said. "I love the freedom of being on the mountain – everyone has their little thrill.

"Basically, we love to ride and are about doing anything to get everyone who wants to, to the mountains."

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