After weeks of unusually warm weather, the winter chill finally kicked in, perhaps making it the perfect time to check out local ski resorts. Students at the College may not have to dig too far into their pockets or sacrifice their savings to go skiing, snowboarding or tubing this season. Some of the local resorts offer student discounts, and the TCNJ Ski and Snow Club sponsors several trips each year.
The TCNJ Ski and Snow Club, which has increased drastically in membership over the last few years, is open to all students and all ability levels. The club members recently got back from a five-day trip to Mont Tremblant, Canada.
The trip, according to club president Priscilla Jenkins, included 119 students from the College who traveled on three charter buses. The entire trip cost each student $509 including travel, lodging and a full lift ticket for each day.
The club has also hosted a two-day trip to Killington, Vt., and a five-day trip to Sugarloaf, Maine, costing $219 and $259, respectively.
Jenkins, who is a fifth-year accounting major, said, “The price has increased drastically in the past few years as the Student Finance Board began giving us less and less funding. This year we actually aren’t even an SAF (Student Activities Fund) funded club, unfortunately.”
When asked if the unusual warm climate has ruined any of their plans, Jenkins said, “The weather hasn’t stopped any of our trips but it has put a damper on the conditions. During our trip to Tremblant this year it actually rained one or two days, when in previous years the temperature was around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.”
TCNJ Ski and Snow Club is also planning a Spring Break trip “hopefully out west,” Jenkins said. Until then, the club also offers discounted season passes for the popular Mountain Creek Resort, located in the North Jersey town of Vernon.
The resort includes a total of 16 miles of 46 trails with 45 of them available for night riding. It also has 11 lifts, seven tubing lanes, seven terrain park trails and 36 rails.
For those students who do not have season passes, a one-day adult lift ticket costs around $50 depending on the time of day. The club will be organizing carpools up to Mountain Creek, which has been closed a lot recently due to the inability to make snow.
Jenkins also recommends Blue Mountain Ski Resort, which she says “usually has some great deals for students.” For any weekday, the mountain offers $10 off the regular lift ticket price, which regularly ranges anywhere from $29 to $42 for students who present their college I.D. If you plan in advance with 15 of your friends or housemates, you can also get tickets at a lower price.
Other Pocono ski resorts like Jack Frost and Big Boulder Mountains offer a $10 college discount off the usual $40 price on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you like night riding, they also offer “Midnight Madness” from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on certain weekends, with lift tickets costing a mere $25.
Shawnee Mountain offers a $27 lift ticket for college students on any non-holiday Friday, while Camelback Mountain’s college discount includes a $33 lift ticket available on any non-holiday weekday.
“If you’re willing to drive, Sugarbush in Vermont and Mount Snow in upstate New York are great,” Jenkins said.
No matter where you plan on going, it would be best to check out the resort’s Web site for weather conditions and rates for that day, as they tend to vary.
For more information about TCNJ Ski and Snow Club, visit tcnj.edu/~snow or attend a meeting on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. above the Rathskeller.