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Updated 1/08/05 by Brad Buffett: make the archives page.

2001-2002 Wrap-up

Note: If you want to be notified of our trips by email, send an email to Mike Fry.

We had a good season, even though all our local trips were canceled due to lack of snow. My ski days totaled 30 (counting one day on sand). That is a little low for me, but quality days they were. I have many fine memories of excellent days, and enough ski contentment to last me until November. We earned enough from the 3 fundraiser outings (Elk Meadows, Yosemite, and Montecito Sequoia) to donate $5100 to the chapter. Many thanks to Alice, Afra, and Jackie for those successful trips.

This was the season that plastic boots came to back country skiing. Four of our skiers bought the Garmont Excursion boots, and a grip pattern tele ski. They all reported great improvement in their ability to make turns. They could still tour with comfort and efficiency, and except for the usual boot fit problems, the experiment was successful. I gave away my leather boots, and have joined them in my old T3 plastic boots. Garmont won't be making my size next season either. If you can find a pair that fits, you should seriously consider making the change.

We had three trips to places we had not been for a long time. The New Years trip to Elk Meadows worked out very well. They had more and better snow than California, their lodging rates were quite affordable, home cooking in the condos was inexpensive, and the bus ride was only slightly longer than trips to Yosemite or Bear Valley. We explored the area and I am looking forward to spending more time at the best places next year. Jan 1 is on Wednesday next year, so we may go for 5 days instead of 4.

We went to Rock Creek Winter Lodge in late March. It had been many years, and we had explored new areas on summer backpack trips since our last ski trip there. We had a really good time, found even more places to ski, and still have new places to ski next year. Their rates were half of what Tioga charged, and the food was just as good. They warned us that their rates would be going up next year, but I am hoping it will still be affordable. (Editor's note: see photos.)

Tioga Pass Resort was sold this year, and next season will be with some of the old staff (Tammy and Stacey) and the new owners. We wish Bob and Claudette well in their retirement in Montana. I hope you had a chance to experience their hospitality and the incredible skiing up there.

Seven of us flew to Reno, van shuttled to Clair Tappaan Lodge, and seeped in the long tradition of Sierra Club skiing. Our plan of going there after an early Easter worked out just fine. The San Francisco area skiers had put away their skis for the season, and we had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately, the next early Easter is in 2005. If we have a good El Nino, we can go in late April for the same effect.

We are going to try a new variation on the Yosemite trip in February. The room rates at Yosemite Lodge are a lot more expensive than a few years ago, and are responsible for the higher trip cost. We had 12 empty seats on the bus that might have been filled if the costs were lower. Next year, we will offer lodging at the tent cabins at Curry Village. They now have propane heat, and early morning Valley shuttle bus service. If you want to camp out at Sunnyside, you can save even more money. As usual, we need you to sign up early for that trip because of the deposit requirements of the concessionaire.

We are planning to return to Yellowstone for the last week in February, 2003. This is one of the finest ski touring trips we know about. The wildlife, the geysers, the snowed-in hotel, the snow coach shuttle service and wonderfully long ski tours back to the hotel are impossible to match anywhere else. Jackie will be announcing the trip later this summer.

Thank you all for a great season. Mike.

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