News from Gelandesprung Ski Club in Green Bay, WI

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  • 31 Jul 2024 5:31 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    July's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    Summer has arrived in full force with the high temperatures we are experiencing in mid-June.  Yet, this is the time that our Beaver Creek/Vail trip planning is going strong for 2025.  The details for Beaver Creek are in this newsletter, along with pricing.

    We have talked in the past about major changes in the ski industry. We have discussed purchasing Epic Day passes for this trip as the best option versus Beaver Creek passes. The cost difference is huge so the Epic pass is the option we are using. You may also choose from other Epic pass options. Read the newsletter for details.

    We will be opening the trip for signup early this year, which will be July 20th.  An e-blast will be sent out closer to the sign-up date with links/information on signing up. Lift pass pricing and availability of a condo or hotel are the reason we will do this. Stay tuned and read the newsletter for more information.

    Thank you to Claudia and Joe. The first bike ride for members of Gelandesprung, Sly Fox Clubs, and friends was held June 15. Claudia and Joe shared their cottage with us as the start and finish point. I am happy to say that the tradition of a great ride in Door County continues. We had a choice of a 20-mile or 30-mile ride.  We all had a great time and the hospitality was as good as the ride.

    Tom Piette

  • 30 Jun 2024 9:04 AM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    June's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    Summer, often a skier’s second favorite season, is finally here. It’s time for me to get out on the bike and play golf. I hope to see all of you along the way. We have several bike rides sponsored by our members throughout the course of the summer. I intend to participate in most of these and I hope to see you there.

    There have been a lot of changes in the western ski industry over the last five years. Consolidation of resorts into Ikon, Indy, Epic and other ski resort groups has changed how we are able to run trips. We simply cannot run trips with the same approach we did in the past.

    Our Western Trip Committee also had some changes and now includes Ron Quick, Frank Wickham, Kevin Klasen, Jeanine Bosdech, Jim McMonagle & Tom Piette. It is our intent to open the trip to Beaver Creek (March 1 to 8, 2025) early this summer, likely during July. This is much earlier than we expected and is being driven by changes in the ski industry that make rooms more difficult to secure later in October. The bottom line is that this change is to assure that people can participate and participate at a lower cost.

    Ron has a good article in this newsletter that covers some of the detail. Please read the June and July newsletters to be aware of the opportunity to purchase lift tickets now at a lower cost than later in the season.

    Finally, I mentioned that three rides are scheduled. The newsletter has information on them. If you have any other ideas for club activities, please let me know. I will be happy to help you get the ball rolling.

    Have a great summer!

    Tom Piette

  • 30 May 2024 4:52 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    May's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    With the arrival of May, we are beginning our2024 fiscal year.  With that, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you to send in your membership form and dues for the new year.

    We had our annual meeting at the Spring Banquet Aprilon26.As planned, we had plated meals for this meeting and it was a big success. Our Social Events Coordinator, Mark Heintzkill, asked membership for their thoughts on this approach and he received a resounding round of applause for the quality of the meal. Interestingly, the baked haddock (which was great!) was the most chosen entre.  Sirloin steak and Prime rib were the other choices.  I didn’t hear a single complaint.

    Highlights of the meeting included:

    Phil Heldt (Treasurer) reported that the club earnings were 1.14% more than our total expenses($160k).  This is the first time since Covid that income was greater than our expenses.

    ·       Phil also reported that costs are up substantially for a number of services (i.e. web page). Our dues do not cover those costs.

    Both Phil Heldt, and Scot Wederquist were rewarded for being good at their jobs by being nominated and re-elected without opposition.

    We typically have one and occasionally two Dick Wortiska Service Award Winners.  This year, we named four deserving winners due to special circumstances. I predict this will never happen again. Please join me in congratulating:

    ·     Rita Delveaux for a long history of marketing our club, running trips and bike rides, and her work on the Board

    ·     Mike Bast for his service on the board over decades.  Mike has served in multiple positions as a Director and has been serving as our membership chair for years.  Mike does far more for our club than meets the eye in this role.  He has also been a trip leader and has organized rafting trips for the club.

    ·     Special circumstances led to recognition of the team of Kevin Klasen and Ron Quick.  Ron agreed to help lead the trip as soon as I needed to drop out at the last moment due to illness. He led the Friday group of traveling through Calgary. He also helped Kevin via telephone. Kevin led the group traveling through Vancouver.  The connecting airlines bumped most of our passengers on the flight to Kelowna and claimed that there were no reservations for them. This was not true; everyone had a reservation.   Kevin was on site and helped people work through the issues to get all but one person to be boarded on a flight that night.  Kevin was the last one and arrived at the hotel early the next morning. One person could not be found and made their own travel arrangements.

    Finally, we have several bike rides planned for the summer and we have room for other activities. Contact the board if you would like to organize an activity for the benefit of club members.  We would be happy to help create and promote the event.

    Thanks, Tom 

  • 30 Apr 2024 12:42 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    April's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    Welcome to the first Post of spring.  As much as I love to ski, I’m also happy to welcome the warmer temperatures that usher in months of cycling and golf.

    That said, I am happy to report that our trip to Searchmont was excellent. Thank you, Adam Hanson and Frank Wickham, for leading 33 fun-loving people to the good snow conditions and great terrain at Searchmont.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and consensus is that we should go back.  One aspect of the hill that I certainly did not fully understand before the weekend was that Searchmont added a chair lift and a new run that caters to green slope skiers.  Several of us took that new run and found a wide and gentle slope through the woods.  It might be just what some of our members would prefer in order to be comfortable on the slopes, especially early in the day.   I’ll leave the rest of the story for our trip leaders Adam and Frank.  You can also go to the Gelandesprung Facebook page and see the photos from several of our participants.

    Our Spring Banquet Business Meeting will be held April 26 at the Woods.  There are a few very important things to be aware of.  

    • First, this is the time of year that we encourage you to nominate someone for The Dick Wortiska Service Award.  This award is established to recognize people for leadership and/or service in any number of ways.  If you have an idea of someone to nominate, contact me and I will be happy to help you prepare the nomination.  The Full Board will choose the winner of the award at our meeting on April 9. 
    • Second, many of you were requesting different food at our banquets.  This is the first experience you will have with this significant change to plated meals that you must order ahead of time.  To order your plated meal, you MUST sign up by the deadline in a week or so.  See the article in this newsletter for meal choices and information about sending in your sign-up. 
    • Third, the positions of Vice President and Treasurer are up for election at the banquet this year.  Although Scot and Phil have both agreed to run for election again, anyone that wishes to become involved is invited to run for one of the positions or to indicate that you would be interested in helping down the road.
    • Fourth, we are working to update the Bylaws for our club.  We intend to have a draft version available for review prior to the Spring Banquet

    Finally, if there is a summer activity that you would like to share with club members, put your thoughts together over the coming weeks.  We would be happy to work with you to market an event for the benefit of our members and friends.

    Tom Piette

  • 31 Mar 2024 10:58 AM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    March Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    Our trip to Big White ended after last month’s Post was submitted.  Most of you know that I had to drop out of the trip at the last minute.  I would like to recognize and thank Heidi Janowski, Ron Quick and Kevin Klasen for providing great leadership for Big White.  The trip had significant challenges from the start.  Alaska Airlines altered the schedule for the Saturday group late in September.  The Friday flight was canceled 2 ½ days before departure.  Each of these changes created problems for our travelers.  Once people arrived, they were faced with poor weather throughout the week, with the exception of a bluebird day on Friday. 

    I received a number of comments from people regarding the issues.  Most of people that shared their thoughts with me were complimentary of the leaders and the entire group for making the best of situations that could not be controlled.  Some people compared the conditions to those that occur closer to the coast.  Although Big White is much further from the coast, this unusual event had a significant impact.  If we choose to select a trip to this region in the future, it is likely that we would be hundreds of miles further north. 

    I was also asked if we should have canceled the trip when airline issues arose.  The problem is that we sign contracts with the resorts well in advance of the trips.  For example, we signed a contract last summer to go to Beaver Creek March 1 to March 8, 2025.  The contracts include limited flexibility to drop condos and rooms based upon the number of days prior to the trip. It is also very difficult to find lodging for a group once we get within a year of the trip.

    Prior to joining the ski club to participate in trips, I learned to enjoy the simplicity of choosing what trips to go on, packing and writing a check for less money than I could travel on my own.  I have been on a couple of trips where conditions were not ideal.  But I have had amazing experiences as well.  The powder days I experienced at Breckenridge (48 inches), Aspen (25 inches), and last year in Salt Lake (100 inches) include three of the best powder trips I have been able to enjoy.  I also enjoy going to places I would never have gone on my own.  Lake Tahoe, Sun Peaks, Whitefish, and Banff are on that list for me.  Consequently, I remain committed to continuing to help our club meet the wishes of our members for great ski trips.  

    I do appreciate the feedback from everyone and the understanding of the situation by most of the people that reached out to me.  The Board is interested in your thoughts.  Please feel free to share your ideas by sending a note to me at

    Finally, the trip to Searchmont is March 22- 24. Although the trip signup period is past, you could call us to see if a hotel room is available if you want to go.

    Tom Piette

  • 29 Feb 2024 5:13 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    February's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    As I write this, the trip to Big White with 71 people is closing on its final days.  The participants were challenged with travel issues and an atmospheric river hitting the west coast and flowing to the Okanogan region of Canada bringing warm weather, limited visibility, and light rain on multiple days of the trip.  I was challenged with missing the trip when I tested positive shortly before I was due at the bus stop. It came at a poor time for me but it would have been much worse for everyone if I was sick while on the trip.  Thank you to Heidi Janowski and Ron Quick for ensuring people had a good week in spite of the weather.  The trip story will be in the newsletter next month.

    Looking forward, we have a good trip to Searchmont coming up March 22 to March 24.  Searchmont is a favorite destination for our members due to the good terrain and the snow conditions we typically enjoy given the propensity for good storms off of Lake Superior.  I am happy to report that the sign-up is proceeding well and there will be a good number of people.

    During the signup period, we had a prospective new member to our club ask about the possibility that we would allow his 19-year-old son to join him on this trip.  The Board has decided to address this possibility during February.    The thought process is that we do want to remain a club for adults.  Eighteen-year-old people are adults that are able to join the military, have a full-time job in industry, get married, etc.  They are not allowed to legally purchase or consume alcoholic beverages in the United States, with limited exceptions. 

    Our club no longer supplies alcoholic beverages for our trips and other events.  Therefore, we will consider the issue.   It is not a given that this suggestion will result in a change to our by-laws that specify age 21 as a requirement for membership.  We have significant questions to address in order for this to happen.  It is possible that we would start with a trial approach this year by voting to approve a temporary rule to allow this approach on only the Searchmont trip this year.  We will only proceed with such a change if we are convinced that we have the right approach.  For example, adults are allowed to bring and consume alcoholic beverages on our trips.  We must never have an incident in which a member illegally supplies alcohol to someone that is 18, 19, or 20 years old.

    The Board is interested in your thoughts.  Please feel free to share your thoughts by sending a note to me at

    Tom Piette

  • 31 Jan 2024 6:00 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    January's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    Happy New Year everyone. We are at that time of year where we expect snow and cold temperatures. As I’m writing this, I am asking where is that weather? These warm temperatures and rain are damaging the finances of our Midwest Ski areas including our favorites: Granite Peak, Snow River, Brule, Powderhorn and others. I suggest that at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, we all go outside and shout “We want snow!!!”. Perhaps someone will hear that and change the weather pattern. It’s either that or we write to the National Weather Service and ask them to forecast colder weather and snowfall instead of this weather.

    I am happy to say that we had a great turnout (55 people) for our Holiday Party on December 12. Everyone had a great time.  People are definitely excited about our ski season. We have 70 people that plan to go to Big White in a few weeks, the signups for Searchmont have been strong and we expect more people to sign up during January and February. 

    IMPORTANT:  For anyone on any of the winter trips this winter, you need to know that the pickup spot in Appleton has changed. Instead of a bus pickup at The Bar, The Northland Mall on Northland Avenue is the location. The pickup location will be in front of the old Shopko store between Kohls and Festival Foods. Park in the spaces closest to Northland Avenue.

    The Green Bay pickup will continue to be at The Woods. For all Gelandesprung and Sly Fox trips, drive westward into the parking lot and turn left (south) as far as possible and turn left (east) to park in the area close to the homes.

    The Big White trip is only a few weeks away. Details for travel information and information regarding Big White will be published and sent to all trippers no later than January 12. The Big White Pre-Trip Meeting will be at The Woods, 6:00 PM on January 23. The meeting will cover details of travel plans including any late changes. Additional information about Big White will be shared including information about the location of lodging, meeting spots, lifts, etc.

    The trip to Searchmont is departing March 22. Adam Hanson (Trip Leader) and Frank Wickham  (Assistant) are the leaders for this trip. This location is a longtime favorite. New owners have invested a lot of capital to establish a great lift system and no ski races are planned. Check details in the newsletter and join us!

    Trip teams have put in substantial time to prepare for this season. Let’s get out and have fun!

    Tom Piette

  • 31 Dec 2023 5:03 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)
    December's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post

    I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with your family and friends and that your holiday season is off to a great start. With December here, many of us are ready to move to huge snowfalls and great skiing in the coming weeks.

    Our plans for winter activities are going great.  Our Christmas Party will be at the Woods at 7:00 PM Tuesday, December 12, after a short Board Meeting.  Although we do ask for a small donation, we’ll have some good food and prizes to celebrate the start of the ski season.  Gelandesprung covers a good portion of the total cost of this party.  Many prizes are contributed by our sponsors.  We will include short updates on our trips to Big White and Searchmont.  Come for the party and stay to enjoy time with your friends.  Please, RSVP to Mark Heintzkill at  It’s always a fun time and I am looking forward to seeing our members.

    Planning for our trip to Big White is nearly complete.  We are pleased by the great response for this trip to the Okanagan region of British Columbia.  It takes more time to get there than some areas.  The payoff is the great skiing and boarding with less crowding on the slopes.   Adding to the adventure, we did add the day trip to Silver Star.  I expect that our bus to Silver Star will be full or nearly full by the time you read this message.

    The trip to Searchmont departing March 22, is in good hands this year.  Adam Hanson has agreed to lead the trip to a longtime favorite for the club and my personal favorite Midwest ski hill.  Improvements to the lift systems, through repairs and by replacing a couple of the old lifts, along with improvements of other amenities promise to make this a great trip.  Additionally, we chose this weekend, in part, because there are no races planned.  Signup forms can be found in our newsletter and we will have signup forms at the Christmas party (bring your checkbook). 

    Finally, I wish all of you a great Christmas, Hannukah, or other holiday and the Happiest New Year that you can imagine.

    Tom Piette

  • 30 Nov 2023 6:00 PM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    November's Newsletter (click here)

    Piette’s Post


    Happy November everyone.  I have two favorite times of the year for outdoor fun.  Clearly May through October can be great for cycling, golf and other outdoor activities.  Most of that is over, but ski season will be here in about a month.  In my view, there is no better sport than skiing and boarding in the mountains.  I treasure the time I spend with friends skiing the best runs in the Rocky Mountains.   Local skiing is great too.  As I write this, local ski areas are about a month away from opening.  I intend to be Granite Peak weekly throughout the winter to strengthen my legs and refine my skills.

    For me, now is the time to get ready by visiting the YMCA.  I was reminded today that the first day in spin class after a six-month hiatus is the hardest part.  But it is a part of the price of being ready to ski throughout the day at our trip to Big White January 26 to February 3.  Long ago, I used to train for a few weeks before a trip.  For whatever reason, it seems to take three months these days, maybe because I am over 55 years old this year.

    Our trip to Big White has grown beyond our initial limit of 64.  We still have limited room available for anyone that would like to join us.  Big White is far from the coast and is in the region of Canada that is known for great snow throughout the season.  And the price for the trip is as low as you are likely to see again, given the inflation we continue to experience.

    We announced the trip to Searchmont (near from March 22 to March 24, at the Fall Banquet.  Searchmont has been a favorite weekend destination for Gelandesprung for a long time.   I am happy to share that the owners have made great improvements to the lift systems since our last trip.  Searchmont now features three triple lifts and one quad.  The terrain is very good and the area is known for getting significant lake effect snow.  There is also Nordic skiing is also available.  The trip is open for signup.  See the flyer in the newsletter.

    Our Christmas party will be on December 12 this year.  Similar to recent years, we will have a buffet and ask for a small donation to help cover the cost.  Please review the information in the newsletter and RSVP to attend. 

    I hope to see you December 12, at our Christmas Party.

    Tom Piette


  • 31 Oct 2023 6:00 AM | Gelandesprung Web Architect (Administrator)

    October's Newletter (click here)

    Piette's Post

    Isn’t it great to be enjoying some great fall weather as we enjoy paddling, cycling, golf, hiking and other outdoor activities!?  Yet, this time of year always gets us thinking about skiing and boarding down those mountain trails in the coming winter.  I couldn’t be more excited about the skiing experience we will have at Big White in January.  We’ll have the great snow and good weather of the Okanagan region of Canada to enjoy for a week.  If you have not signed up yet, we have one spot remaining that includes Friday to Friday transportation.  We also have limited hotel and condo availability for a few people willing to provide their own transportation.  You can pick a nice hotel or a luxury condo for your experience.  Both are true ski in/ski out and they are close enough to easily visit friends at either location. 

    The Fall Banquet is Friday, October 6.  Sign up today and join us at the Fall banquet on Friday, October 6.  We will have more news about Big White including a review of some of the amenities.  Scot Wederquist will also share information with you about the trip to Searchmont March 22 to March 24.  Searchmont has been a favorite destination for us for years.  The bus is usually full for that trip because of the great terrain and the good lake effect snow that the area receives.  The new owner has made significant improvements to the lift systems to enhance our skiing experience. 

    We received a lot of feedback during our spring banquet regarding a number of topics.  One question that we asked you was if you would prefer to have different food at The Woods during future banquets.  The survey results strongly supported changing the food.  Although we will have our typical menu at this banquet, we intend to make the change that you prefer at the Spring Banquet.  We will ask you to complete a short survey at this Fall Banquet to enable us to know what you would like to have based upon the choices available and the costs for the options.  So, show up and share your thoughts with your elected Board regarding our banquet food and other operations of your ski club.

    Finally, we had three great bike rides this summer.  Thank you to Frank & Shelly Wickham, Rita & Gary Delveaux, and Ron & Jackie Quick for your efforts to provide great bike rides and camaraderie to our members every year. 

    I hope to see you October 6,

    Tom Piette

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GELANDESPRUNG MEANING ge·län·de·sprung a jump, usually over an obstacle, in which one plants both poles in the snow in advance of the skis, bends close to the ground, and propels oneself chiefly by the use of the poles.

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