By Casey Pickard
Although they are beginning the school year with a decreased budget, the new leadership of Lewis & Clark’s Ski Club is determined to make ski culture on campus just as prominent and sought after as it was in previous years.
Jake Sherer ’20 is one of the newly appointed leaders of the Ski Club. He explained that the focus of Ski Club is shifting from real time ski trips to lower cost events that will still engage a variety students.
“In the past, Ski Club has been really focused on reimbursing gas to Mt. Hood,” Sherer said. “It’s a lot of gas. Unfortunately, because we don’t have a budget, we can’t make that happen.”
Instead, Sherer said that club leadership is looking at the situation as an opportunity to encompass a greater variety of students.
“We want to pivot what Ski Club can do,” Sherer said. “We want to have more variety, we want to do more low cost events that have high exposure and high group cohesion.”
Sherer also explained that many students who are interested in attending ski trips may not have their ski equipment with them during the school year.
“We’re trying this year, partially because we don’t have a budget, to incorporate (students without ski equipment) on campus,” Sherer said. “We want to run clinics and also try to show some ski movies. Lets hang out, let’s talk, let’s make this fun.”
As far as events go, the Ski Club is planning on continuing their annual trip to Skibowl on Mt. Hood. Sherer claimed that Skibowl has “excellent” night skiing and the tickets are usually cheaper.
“We can buy a bunch of tickets for members and then offer them an extremely subsidized rate,” Sherer said. “It was one of the events that really solidified me and Clay’s (Delay ‘20) place in the skiing community at Lewis & Clark.”
Clay Delay represents the other half of Ski Club leadership.
“Ski club did not have a lot of events last year,” Delay said. He said that the gap in Ski Club activity was due to the prior leadership’s responsibilities that didn’t involve the club.
“The leaders were seniors and they were in charge of frisbee team,” Delay explained. “They were putting all their love into the frisbee team and not the ski club. Which, looking through their perspective, is totally understandable.”
Delay expressed his desire to regain LC’s status as a ski college.
“We just want to make Ski Club really prominent again,” Delay said, “Lewis & Clark used to be known as a really rowdy ski school with lots of good skiers.”
Sherer mentioned that LC made it onto Unofficial Networks’ “The 10 Best Colleges for Ski Buffs” in March 2016. The article claims that ski buffs who attend LC “won’t regret it” and that students prefer “unstructured outdoor activity” compared to “organized sports.” Additionally, the article claims that LC is a school that “may get overlooked by avid skiers” as it doesn’t lie in the shadow of a ski slope.
Delay agrees that the Pacific Northwest is “one of the best kept secrets” for skiers due to its accessibility and because it’s often uncrowded.
“Mt. Hood is super easy to get up and down,” Delay said. “There’s barely any traffic and lift lines are pretty short.” He also explained that although popular skiing locations like Utah and Colorado are accessible, there are “millions of people” and they’re “really busy.”
In addition to adding movies and ski clinic events to their schedule, Delay and Sherer also want to revisit competitions that Ski Club attended in prior years. After looking through Ski Club’s email account, Sherer discovered that members of Ski Club attended competitions called rail jams.
The new leadership of Ski Club is ready to make ski culture at LC “rowdy” again. The budget cuts have caused Delay and Sherer to rethink the types of events they can offer students. However they look at their circumstances as an opportunity to reach out to more LC skiers and snowboarders. Their first meeting of the year was held on Oct. 25; and their next one is yet to be determined.