Skiers resort to car pooling for rides

Nathan Bottiger, Sports Editor

Pitt-Johnstown Ski Club members do not have the luxury of communal transportation. Instead, boarders and skiers either drive themselves or car pooling with two to three other members plus their gear.

The club’s system works by paying the ski-lift ticket for members who drive at least two other members. The club’s budget covers the lift tickets, which usually cost $20 each.

Club president Justin Wolfe said he and Ryan Kutzner, the club’s vice president, are the members who initiate car pools most frequently to the Seven Springs Ski Resort, although anyone is free to drive.

Wolfe said the trip’s gas usage costs approximately $20 per trip, so it equals the amount the club pays for the lift ticket.

He said it would probably be a lot easier for the Ski Club’s members if they could all ride in a small van, like the UPJ shuttle bus.

“It would be nice to have a shuttle, but, until our numbers increase, it would be a waste of money. I prefer to stay on the current system until we get more (members.)”

Wolfe said poor budgeting in past years has created additional problems for the club this year, and dwindles their chances of improved transportation even further.

Wolfe said another problem is that it is hard to predict the number of people who might attend a particular trip.

“We’re looking to budget for it in the future, but trip days are unpredictable on the amount of people, so it has potential to be a waste.”

Wolfe said at least eight to 10 members consistently attending each trip would be sufficient to outweigh the shuttle’s operation costs.

Wolfe said he does not understand why people who like snowboarding and skiing are not as active in the club.

Kutzner said the club started its year nicely by recruiting nearly 60 people to sign up to be in the group, with around 35 of the new recruits attending the club’s first meeting.

“Our current numbers are disappointing to say the least, especially due to the number of people that originally expressed interest,” Kutzner said.

“They just don’t have the passion for it.”

Wolfe said he is not going to focus on the lack of members, but instead on the members who are attending the trips.

“There’s not enough time in the season to worry about people who don’t want to be a part of this,” Wolfe said. “We just need to get out there and ride.”