OK. Another big weekend. Read towards the bottom for other information other than tomorrow's trip

START TIMES for Saturday, January 29th

Lincoln Park
- 7 AM. There are three 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

Winnemac Park - 7:30 AM. Bus leaving from Winnemac will drive straight through to Alpine

Old Orchard/Skokie - 7:30 AM. Bus is coming from Lincoln Park.

Schaumburg - 7:45 AM. Bus is coming from Oak Brook

Park Ridge/Des Plaines - 7:45 AM. Bus is coming from River Forest

Half Day Rd/Bannockburn - 8:00 AM. Bus is coming from River Forest

Oak Brook - 7:00 AM. Bus starting in Oak Brook (Time change reflects that the bus is starting in Oak Brook)

This schedule is specific to the Week 7 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. 

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. For Never Evers and very beginning skiers and boarders lessons will start around 9:30. Other 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.

"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.

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. 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+.

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.

In addition to email, I am using if we have any bus problems. You have to subscribe to this service by your departing stop. For those of you already subscribed, you most likely received a text message from us a few weeks ago when the River Forest, Schaumburg, and Winnemac Park were delayed by 45 minutes. Only members who signed up based on their bus stop received that message. So no one from Lincoln Park received a message for example. 

I don't use it if we are within a half hour of our original arrival time as Supervisors have been instructed to have kids call home 20-30 minutes before the expected arrival time. If you are not getting these calls, please say something to your youngster and ask them to call or borrow a phone to call. Supervisors are more than happy to loan phones for this purpose. The main reason we get delayed is a late-arriving member, bad weather, traffic or accident, bus breakdown. is an SMS messaging system that allows us to reach the smallest segment of our club or the entire club to share information on the fly. This helps if we encounter traffic, or are delayed for any reason. I can reach out to those who have subscribed to the system with a brief SMS telling them at the granularity of a bus stop. Here's the link to sign up and learn more. All of the currently used Bus Stops are listed by their name. Skokie is no longer separate from Old Orchard, so if you signed up before for Old Orchard, you'll have to re-subscribe for Skokie/Old Orchard.

DON'T CALL ME (although the Blizzard phone is at the Blizzard desk for emergencies on trip days)
As most of you have noticed, I don't answer the phone during the week, unless I for some reason have free time on my hands. The phone rings incessantly and mostly they are questions you can answer yourself on the website or SPAM. I work full time and am usually on a conference call or a Zoom session during working hours. The website has answers to any question you might have. The drop down under the "More Info" tab has 20 or so pages of information that answers all the questions I have received over the past 30 years of doing this (the club has been around for more than 60 years). If you need a response - email is the best way to reach me. You might get a response at 2 AM, but you'll get a response. 

Winnemac has become the departure destination of choice. I don't know why or how. I added it as it brought a stop closer to my house. Clearly more people from the northside like it too. Most of the phone calls I get are about switching stops or being put on a waitlist for a bus stop. I need a paper trail of any conversation. Hence my focus on emails. If you are shut out of a stop due to "no stock" in seats for a stop, send me an email. Maybe you'll get lucky, like the two people who I gave Winnemac seats to this morning, based on cancellations I received. It does happen.

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. As of the reconciliation of this week's trip (trip #7), no one will have a credit balance.

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. No tag gets noticed. 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 tomorrow.

Really, pray harder for SNOW!

Suzanne Hoffman
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