Welcome to 2018

December trips are always a bit of a trial. Leading up to the Christmas week; the traffic is different, everyone is a little more anxious, and we have limited snow coverage. Things tend to smooth out after the holidays and life at Blizzard reaches a state of normalcy. New processes we put in place this year should run more smoothly. For instance, no badges were mailed out this year. We are hand delivering them on the member's first trip. That's been a point of confusion for returning members. While our rental proceses with Wilmot have changes almost every year for the past 5 years, this year is the first time we have actually listed rentals as a purchaseable item as you sign up from our website. Also, another tactical point of confusion. And, finally, when Vail purchased Wilmot last year are we graciously decide to honor their Epic Pass, we still have gaps in our knowledge about who actually purchased passes, what kind of passes they purchased, and where they purchased them from. And all of that matters, as we only accept Epic Seasonal Passes, not day or weekly passes (too hard to track), and we need the pass numbers. Most of the other clubs are sponsored by a Ski Shop. Our independent not-for-profit club lacks the infrastructure and mass production of the other clubs, while still being just as large and more focused on education. This is good and bad. No one is paid full-time to ensure our 24/7 uptime. When something happens we are reactive rather than proactice and we can't put in place some of the stop gaps and fixes we would like to have. We are also the oldest club in Chicagoland, and the largest not-for-profit, I believe, nationally. So, while it can sometimes be frustrating when you can't reach us by telephone, know that cellphones are recent as is a website and this club has been around for 60 years (almost) and withstood all that has been thrown its way.

Looking Forward to 2018!

Under the "More Info" section of our website is a Calendar and Bus Schedule listing. This tells you what days we have trips planned. (This is a hint as we are off for the next two Saturdays.) I heartily advocate reading our website end-to-end to find answers to your questions before firing off an email (which I know is easier.) All of the pertinent information relating to the operation of Blizzard is on our website with a few exceptions. Fundamental information about our trip schedule, when to sign up, and the rate of payment, is all found on our webpages. If you'd like a detailed review of the website, let me know, and I will do a one-on-one tutorial for you.

Our First Trip is Behind Us (UPDATE)

Each new season of Blizzard brings a fresh, healthy perspective on the reality of hosting a club of this size; it is not without its challenges. For our first week, there was a lot of excitement, new friends created, new adventures, and the tedium of finding your place in the group. It was a bit brisk on the hill, but the snow cover was good on the open terrain and the crowd was fairly light. 

The First Trip of the 2017-2018 Season

Wilmot has furiously made snow for the past two days and expects a dusting of natural powder to make a nice topping on the man-made stuff. I can't pass up the opportunity to take advantage of any snow - so we are going sking and boarding this weekend!

Waiting for a Decision from Wilmot on Whether we go or Not

Typically on Wednesday evening I send out a reminder notice for signing up for the following Saturday's trip. Today I am erring on the side of caution and letting everyone know that we are still undecided about having a trip this weekend. A number of factors play into this decision. We are short staffed, and on the first week f the season it helps to ahve seasoned Supervisors to guide the newbies and limit the confusion. Last year is not to be repeated in my book! And, some of the same problems exist this year. Wilmot has completely new systems for rental, again this year, and the majority of the Epic Passholders do not in fact have their passes yet - which means a potential huge wait at the desk while the passes are accessed and photos taken.