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Ski Trippin'

PSC Ski Trips for 2018
By Tom Crockett
Posted on 9/09/2017 9:20 PM
Although the club takes a break from meetings during the summer, there's still quite a bit going on behind the scenes to finalize our ski trips for next season. With the addition of a mid-week trip to Snowshoe in February, our skiing schedule for 2018 is now complete. As of August 1, here's where things stand:
Demand for our two western trips has been amazing, with Snowmass filling up in less than a day, and Banff essentially full in about a week. We hope that those of you who may have missed out on these trips will consider Québec City and Snowshoe as alternatives, but if you had your heart set on western skiing and didn't get a slot, let me know — we have a number of options available through our affiliation with the Blue Ridge Ski Council.

Cathy Margiotta has put together an intriguing trip to Québec, with lodging inside the old walled city, a charter bus to transport us to three nearby ski areas, and a free day for sightseeing and exploring the town. Or for non-skiers, five days to really get a taste of Old Québec! Featuring a convenient mid-day air itinerary, this trip will have much of the flavor of a European outing without the jet lag and expense incurred by an overnight flight across the Atlantic.

Susan Crockett has organized a mid-week trip to Snowshoe for the third year running, with four nights lodging and three days skiing/snowboarding at what many of us consider to be the best ski resort within a reasonable day's drive of Hampton Roads. At a base price of $588 (with various discounts available), this is our most affordable trip for 2018 and the closest to home. Past participants have consistently had a good time, and we had superb snow last year: 12" of light, fluffy powder to play in on our first day!

We also looked into offering a weekend trip for this season, hoping to attract young families and other folks who can't get away during the week. Despite several requests for input, though, no one has expressed interest in such a trip, so we have shelved that idea for now. One of the problems for weekend trips from our area is that participants spend a good chunk of time traveling to and fro, then pay exorbitant prices to stand in lift lines and ski on crowded slopes. It may be that weekend trips are just not practical for us to run as a club, given that we normally need 20+ people in order to get group rates and we have to make financial commitments months in advance.

Remember that we are also offering a $25 discount for early sign-ups on all of our ski trips. To qualify for the discount, you must register for the trip by September 30, including all payments due as of your registration date. There are three ways to register: online through the website (encouraged), in person at a club meeting, or by mail. For mailed-in registrations, we will use the postmark to establish the sign-up date.

Also, please note the registration deadlines for trips that still have openings:  Nov. 1 for Québec City, Dec. 1 for Banff and Snowshoe. These are the dates after which it becomes difficult if not impossible to accommodate additional participants, due to contractual obligations imposed by airlines, resorts, lodging properties, etc. Circumstances permitting, trip captains may allow sign-ups after these dates, but are under no obligation to do so.

Finally, a few words about the mechanics of using the website to register for trips. As of September 1, the limit on individual credit card transactions has increased from $500 to $1,500. In most cases, this is sufficient to cover a scheduled payment for a primary member and spouse. The exceptions would be sign-ups later in the season, when a larger payment would be due, or when making payments which cover several family members.  But in these cases you can make as many individual credit card payments as needed, so long as each one is $1,500 or less. You can also get around this limit by sending in a check instead, in which case you can register and pay for as many family members as you want in a single transaction.

There are two approaches to registering additional family members. Each adult member has his/her own username and password, so the simplest approach is just to have your spouse/partner login and register under his or her own account. If you and your spouse share a computer and web browser, you should review this "Important Web Site Tip for PSC Family Memberships" to ensure that your spouse will be able to login using his/her own credentials.

The other approach is for the primary member in a family membership to register additional family members as "guests"—and this is the only way to register children. The process is more convoluted than I'd like, and our software vendor is considering some simplifications, but for now this is what you have to do (it's not quite as bad as it sounds):
  1. Primary member logs in and navigates to the desired trip registration page.
  2. Click on the "Sign Up Now" button.
  3. If the primary member has already registered for the trip, choose "I'm Already Registered and I'm Registering Someone Else" under Registrant Type; otherwise just go with "Member".
  4. Proceed to the next screen and click on "Add Guest to Registration".
  5. This will bring up a dialog window entitled "Add Guest" (make sure you don't have pop-ups blocked in your browser).
  6. Important: Click on the tab for "Add Spouse/Partner/Child Member(s)".
  7. Under "Spouses/Partners" and/or "Children", select the "Additional Family Member" option in the menu beside the name of each family member that you wish to register, then click "Save".
  8. This returns you to a screen that shows the person you just added.  Proceed to the next screen.
  9. Select the activities and items (airfare, lift ticket, etc.) desired for that person.
  10. Continue through the remaining registration screens (questions, liability release, registration confirmation, and payment), supplying the appropriate information for each family member being registered.
If you find the online process too cumbersome, feel free to provide the trip captain or webmaster with the registration details for additional family members, and we can add them for you. Or just use the traditional offline method of delivering a deposit check to the trip captain and telling him/her that you want to go on the trip. Of course, for destinations which are likely to sell out in a hurry, online registration avoids delays and improves your chances of getting a slot.

With the heat and humidity of Tidewater summer subsiding, I find myself thinking more and more about being back on a ski slope with PSC friends. A recent conversation with the Libermans regarding the wonders of Snowmass has me even more stoked (this is the first time I have ever used that word in a sentence—my apologies), so hang on folks, we'll be there in just a few more months. In the meantime, come join us at a meeting and hear more about the delights our trip captains have in store for us.

-Tom
  Member of the Blue Ridge Ski Council