Arriving in Germany for the first time presents many opportunities to explore Europe. One of the most exciting is to explore the famous Alps. If you already a skier or a boarder then you are no doubt itching to get on the piste already, but where and how do you start?
It’s a bit daunting trying to organize your first ski trip in a foreign language. Equally, if you have not yet tried skiing or boarding, then its hard to know where to start. Joining one of the local ski clubs is a great way to take the stress out of your trips, meet some like-minded people and keep the cost of your hobby down.
The Tannenbaum Ski Club (TSC) is the biggest ski club in Europe. It is geared towards singles and couples who enjoy a very energetic crowd – this is the party club! Membership is open to any individual, military or civilian, American or not who has a military ID able to access Ramstein or Vogelweh Military Complex, a desire to be a part of a fun club, meet and make lasting friendships, and to get out and enjoy Europe.
The main advantage for members is having a calendar of trips and events all organized for you. Each trip is assigned a Trip Captain (TC) who takes care of all of the arrangements from sign-ups, payments, and accommodation to transportation and purchasing lift tickets. All you have to do is sign up, make your payment, and drive to the centrally located departure point. After loading, you’ll settle in your seat and enjoy the ride. TSC even provides food and drink on the bus! Depending on the location of the hotel, the TC may collect lift pass money and purchase the passes for you the next day. TCs will provide you with departure times, breakfast and dinner times, and help you find the lifts. Sometimes the lifts are within walking distance from the hotel, sometimes you’ll take public transportation, and sometimes the group will use their own bus and go to the lifts together, it all depends on the location. When the weekend comes to an end, the bus will return you to the original parking area.
The cost of a trip varies depending on the destination. The price for most trips includes bus transportation, hotel room, breakfast and dinner, and food and drink on the bus. You’ll be responsible for paying for your lift ticket, lunch on the slopes, and drinks at dinner. Bus trips usually depart on Friday afternoon and, depending on the weekend, will return Sunday or Monday evening. Trips can take anywhere from 6-9 hours depending on the destination.
TSC holds twice monthly socials on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday from September through May at the Belgian Support Unit on Ramstein Air Force Base. The socials feature trip sign-ups, entertainment, refreshments, and a chance to hobnob with fellow enthusiasts.
The Tannenbaum Ski Club provides its members not only an opportunity to ski Europe, but to see and do other interesting things in and around Germany as a group. Trips such as Oktoberfest, Cannstatter Festival, Bad Dürkheim Wine Fest, wine tastings, and river cruises are all on the social calendar for 2014.
Check out the next upcoming TSC trip in our events calendar here.