We have an alarming trend of swapped skis. Alpine is not the safest place for equipment. They have had a rash of thefts (none to us, fortunately) and for that reason I am advocating that kids' use the Corral to stow their gear when they go inside. I can't guarantee some of the swapped equipment wasn't swapped at Alpine outside of our club members. Typically we don't know that equipment is missing until very late in the day - too late for us to to an effective search.

That also doesn't help us at our own bus stops where frequently parents are the perpetrators of swapped skis - where they innocently grab what they presume to be their kids' skis - and are not. I sound like a broken record - LABEL EVERYTHING. Most of the missing equipment has not been labeled. As some of you realized this week, if there is a label eventually I will have time to actually find said label and send you a note about having the item. Getting it to you, other than at Alpine, is another story. I have three bags of Lost & Found that travels to Alpine each week. Have your child take a peek at the: helmets, gloves, goggles, gaiters, pants, water bottles, and other miscellaneous stuff we have accumulated over the past two months.

Both Justyna and I hand delivered lost items to their owners this week. We still have outstanding swapped skis and poles and unfortunately are plagued by the lack of labeling on this equipment. We are looking for Fischer skis and Volkl 3 skis that have been swapped and need to find the original owners. 

This is not something I want to repeat on a regular basis. MARK EVERYTHING. Use a sharpie on duct tape or labels like Mabels Labels (see the “Clothing and What to Bring” entry under the “More Info tab on the website). Do not rely on Viking or other shop stickers as identifiers.

The Bus START TIMES for Sunday, February 20th - changes this week.
Bus return times can be found on the website under the "More Info" tab. All members on buses are asked to call or text their parents 20-30 minutes before we get to their stop. We loan our phones for that purpose.

Lincoln Park - 7 AM. There are two buses leaving from Lincoln Park at 7AM. 

River Forest -  7 AM. There are two buses leaving from River Forest.

Hyde Park - 7 AM, Hyde Park needs to leave on time at 7 AM as it is picking up at Winnemac Park (there are still seats available on this route)

Winnemac Park - 7:30 AM. Bus leaving from Winnemac will make a stop

Old Orchard/Skokie - 8:00 AM. Bus is coming from Winnemac Park

Schaumburg - 7:45 AM. Bus is coming from River Forest

Park Ridge/Des Plaines - 7:40 AM. Bus is coming from Lincoln Park

Half Day Rd/Bannockburn - 8:00 AM. Bus is coming from Lincoln Park

Oak Brook - 7:30 AM. Bus coming from River Forest 

This schedule is specific to the Week 10 trip. Times may be adjusted over the season as the routes may vary. The routes change each week depending on the membership. 

Please ensure your child(ren) have not been exposed to Covid prior to the trip and remain in a 5-day quarantine as directed by the CDC and CDPH (Chicago Department of Public Health). Face Masks are required on the bus and in communal indoor areas. This will be strictly enforced.

All equipment should be labeled.  All kids need helmets, skiers must have poles, and snowboarders need a safety leash. Kids should have enough money for lunch, or bring a lunch. No large bags - just what they need for the day like gloves, pants, jacket, gaiter or balaclava, Covid face masks, and goggles. Wear the clothing you are going to ski or board in. Dress in layers as the temperature will start off in the teens and reach 40° in the afternoon.

If you are driving up, you must check in at the Blizzard Desk to receive your lift ticket and your Blizzard Membership card (if you don’t already have it.) The Blizzard desk is in the FairView bldg to the far right of all the buildings as you face the slopes. If your child needs to be classified (first time with Blizzard and not a rank beginner) you must be there around 9 AM. Lessons are mandatory. Most lessons will go out as soon as the buses arrive. Our general meeting place is by the Blizzard flags in front of that same FairView building. You are not required to sign out your child if you drove them to Alpine, but do arrange to pick up any personal belongings you leave in the Blizzard area before we leave and do our sweep of the area.

"Can I pick up my kid and their friends from Wilmot or Alpine?" (Taken from the FAQ section on the website)
If you are picking up your child or anyone else's child from Wilmot or Alpine, we need two things. One, is a note that is given to the Bus Captain of the originating bus, from each parent on the morning of the trip. Second, you need to be at the area prior to our departure at 2:45 PM so we can ensure that you have coordinated with your child and whomever is leaving with you. Please arrange to meet your kid(s) at the Blizzard area prior to 2:30 PM, share your ID with us, and sign out the departing members. This is a liability issue for us and we will hold up the departure of the entire club if someone is missing, delayed, or has been taken without our knowledge. If you do not sign out your child(ren), it holds up the entire club from departing.

I shouldn't have to put this is an email, you should all have heard it on the webinar or read it in one of the emails or webpages. We are first and foremost the Blizzard Ski & Snowboard School the operative word being "School." Lessons are mandatory. To be in the appropriate lesson level you need to be classified if you are not a returning Blizzard member. If you have never participated in your sport of choice - skiing or boarding- then you are an "A" level and do not need to be classified. Your lesson will start at 10AM. If you are a beginner and have not ridden a chairlift or skied/boarded in the past 3 years - you do not need to be classified - you are an A+, also with a lesson at 10 AM. 

Many of our kids have the opportunity to ski during vacation. When you come back, let us know where you have been and what kind of runs you skied or boarded. A reclassification may be in order if you took lessons or had some instruction while on that trip.

Alpine has a place for your skis and board when you go in for lunch or to take a break. Just near our Lesson Area there is a hutch with racks that acts as a valet for your equipment. And, it is free! Just don't lose the token they give you that allows you to recollect your equipment. This should stop ski swaps and protect your valuable equipment from plunder and pillage.

The Lost & Found generally travels with the club up to Alpine each week. We are working on pictures of items we have. While we have gloves and hats and accessories, we know that kids have swapped ski poles and are missing poles. These are the more critical items as ski poles are mandatory for lessons. Please share with me any missing poles or swapped poles so I can investigate. Alpine has a Lost & Found area as well, but they will not do a comprehensive search for missing items. This weekend we will undertake an extensive search through their stash to see if any of our missing property can be located. If you are missing skis and poles, I need a detailed description, even a picture, of the missing item to assist our search.

When you cancel a trip, if it is before Thursday at 5 PM, you are refunded in full for the trip. After that time you are refunded with a "No Show" fee of $25 when I reconcile the bus lists after the trip. If you need more information regarding this, check out the FAQ section under the "More Info" tab on the website. I will NOT rollover anyone's payment from week to the next. 

The only time I ever issued a credit was the first trip of this season when WE cancelled the trip. The PayPal fees to reimburse everyone would have been egregious. I learned my lesson. I will never to do that again. Tracking the errant credits has been a manual nightmare - there was no way to automate it. 

It has been a real challenge to get all the Blizzard Tags printed. Another challenge to get them into the hands of the kids. And, yet another one to get them punched at Lessons. The tags are necessary. Their loss comes with a $10 replacement fee - and we will notice their loss as we use the tags to check everyone in at the bus in the AM. Tags are held at the Blizzard Desk at Alpine and need to be picked up there before class (if possible) on a trip day. Tags can be punched after class at the Blizzard Desk as well.

If you have a lanyard from a previous year - help us out by recycling it and reusing it for this year.

See you Sunday.

Really, pray harder for SNOW!

Suzanne Hoffman
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