THE BEGINNING OF THE SKI TRIP
On the Monday before Thanksgiving 1976, I put up a 8 x 11″ sign that just said “Ski Trip, if interested please sign up.” I came into work at 6am on Tuesday and 70 people signed up; I tore the sign down. We didn’t say where or when but we had interested people.
We decided we would take the trip during the last week of the winter break and we decided on Mount Sutton, Canada as the location. It started snowing the night of January 12, 1977 as we arrived; by the time it stopped we had two feet of snow on the ground. Lou Sorrell E78′ said it was the coldest day he’d ever experienced. We actually had the mountain shut down at 2 30 p.m. that day because you couldn’t see the chair in front of you; there were only Cooper Union skiers on the hill that day. Harry Bush, Dave Weiser and Edgar Nokogi never forgave me for taking us off the hill that day. Maybe that’s when the Baker effect came into play.
In 1977 we had 70 skiers and by 1979 we had 125. By 1980, we had 150 skiers, and no snow so we went to Lake Placid where we were the last skiers before the Olympics. In 1981 we went up to 200 skiers and the Auberge de sutton couldn’t hold us anymore. Four people in a room, pajamas and slippers at breakfast with only one glass of orange juice in the morning.
In 1985, Jacques Gladu then made us an offer at the Village Archimede and a record 265 skiers accepted . We used 55 chalets and 5 buses. One of those buses picked up Walter Mehl, his family and friends at their home in Jersey and brought them into Cooper Union the day of the trip. By that time Montreal was big on Tuesday, Bromount was big on Wednesday and Tony would produce 5 kegs for the troops’ roast beef dinners. Al Balba, Bob Volp, Paul Stehluk, and Larry Bovino would go on ten straight trips and amazed the world with the things they achieved and enjoyed. We will never forget what these early skiers endured and produced.
It was cold, cool and friendly and everybody continued to go on our trip. The Canadians knew they’d have a great week with us, especially the guy who owned the I.G.A. store. He’d put $5000 in his register in one hour. Our skiers were hungry and thirsty. From 1984 to 1994 we had at least 4 buses on the trip.
The late 80′s and early 90′s introduced the Chi Chan, Doug Stoffa, Myler German and Mike Potenza era. Bromount was big, TDP was big and so was the expanding party nights. We were getting better skiers and more creative frontiers. Chi’ Chan, Sharkley Yip, Jason Kyhn, Tony Yip, Gloria Tsu and Tonia Sewell began an era where friends were as important as the Cooper Union Skiers.
Snowboarding in the 90′s was the next best challenge. Otto Petersen, Jane Shin, Mike Potenza, Mike Keiser, Jason Vollen, Diana Rea and Dino Plakas were the popular skilled skiers who would venture out and succeeded.
These outstanding boarders helped bridge the jump to the next century. Jane Shin and Diana Rea are the leaders of the Alumni Ski Trip in February. The Archimede has been sold and housing is difficult to provide but the hill is getting better and so are the services. We play our basketball game on Monday night against a “ranked” Canadian team where we hold a 6 to 3 edge. We stay in Montreal till 1am, get home at 3:30am and ski at 8:30am the next morning.
We say… “If you’re going to party with the owls, you have to soar with the Hawks!”
Since the turn of this century Alison Lennix 04′, and Victoria Luel 04′, taught Dean Baker how to snowboard, the twins Ryan And Trevor Oakes refined his boarding and we now have about 25% of people boarding or trying!
The Sutton Ski Trip is annual, and this upcoming trip in 2012 will be our 36th anniversary! This trip takes place during the last week of winter break. *** Please contact Dean Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in this annual event!***