Joe Sargent

With California’s ski resorts opened or opening soon, the ski and snowboard season has begun, and the Central Pacific Ski Club (CPSC) wants to get you down the slope.

CPSC is an off-campus club that is focused on skiing and snowboarding, and is open to those of all experience levels.

“There are people in the club that have never seen snow,” CPSC president Ryan “Yan” Downing said.

The Cal Poly Ski Club was established in 1941. In 2002, Cal Poly and ASI considered the club to be too high of a liability, according to cpsconline.com. The club was moved off campus and “dissolved.” CPSC was started to take its place. It is not affiliated with Cal Poly but is geared towards students, although members do not have to be students.

Every year, CPSC takes one “big trip.” This season they’re going to Whistler Blackcomb Resort, in British Colombia. The trip is from Dec. 10 to Dec. 17 and there are still spots available on the bus, Downing said.

“The bus ride was like being downtown for 30 hours straight,” communication studies senior Erica Jorgenson, said of the Whistler trip four years ago.

Whistler is the largest resort in North America, with 8,171 acres of terrain, 33 lifts and a superpipe.

“Whistler is our flagship trip; we try to go every four or five years so that everyone gets a chance while they’re at Poly,” Downing said. “Go this year; it might not come around again.”

CPSC will take five small trips to resorts across the West during the winter and spring quarters. These trips include Mammoth Mountain, Lake Tahoe, Utah, Mt. Bachelor and Snow Summit. The trips cost around $100, according to CPSC’s Web site, and include lodging, food and “beverages.”

Ryan “Yan” Downing, president of Central Pacific Ski Club and a man that has been skiing since he was 3 years old, ranks his top three resorts in California.

1. Mammoth Mountain

Opening day: Nov. 10

Where: 325 miles from Cal Poly, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas.

Ticket prices: day passes vary from $56 to $73 depending on day and time of season.

What they have: 3,100 vertical feet, 3,500 skiable acres, 150 named trails, 28 lifts, and three parks and pipes spread over 75 acres.

Yan’s comments: “A large mountain with varied terrain and a lot of runs above the tree line.”

2. Squaw Valley

Opening day: Nov. 18

Where: 400 miles from Cal Poly, between Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

Ticket prices: An adult all-day pass is $62.

What they have: 2,850 vertical feet of terrain on 4,000 acres, 33 lifts, three parks and one superpipe.

Yan’s comments: “Squaw is purely about the extreme terrain and has the highest caliber of skiers.”

3. Alpine Meadows

Opening day: Nov. 18

Where: 400 miles from Cal Poly, off the western shore of Lake Tahoe.

Ticket prices: $41 to $49

What they have: 2,400 patrolled acres, 14 lifts and more than 100 designated run.

Yan’s comments: “It’s similar to Squaw, but a cheaper alternative, with a lot of hidden spots.”

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