Cold Air, Don’t Care

Concordia’s Ski and Snowboard Club Hit the Slopes to Start the New Year

  • Fundraising and sponsorships make hitting the slopes affordable for members of Concordia’s Ski and Snowboarding Club—and help keep it among the university’s most popular clubs. Photos Sheldon Arcand Laliberte

In a province where winter sports reign supreme, it comes as little surprise that Concordia’s Ski and Snowboard Club was hailed as hosting the “Best Off-Campus Event” and was named “Most Active Club” by the Concordia Student Union in 2012.

The club branded itself as the CSSC in 2007, and today boasts over 2,500 members in their Facebook group, and counting.

Their rise to the top could largely be attributed to simple economics: offering a popular product cheaper than the competitor.

“The purpose of the club is to offer cheap ski trips to students who can’t necessarily rent a car or go to the hills, because all the hills are within minimum 30 minutes and the good ones are like two hours away [from Montreal],” said CSSC president Sheldon Arcand Laliberte, who first joined the club after attending one of their ski trips four years ago.

“Tickets for ski hills are really expensive; it could cost almost $100 just to go skiing once. We’re able to offer that for less than half that price and that includes transportation.”

Everything from fundraisers—the club’s “Howler party” last year drew about 1,000 people and raised a few hundred dollars—to partnering up with sponsors makes it all possible.

“We order in bulk and order on certain days that we can get [our trips] cheaper,” Laliberte explained. “We order through agencies where they pool different people. We’re part of a pool so we send say 100 people to [a] mountain. Well, that one day this agency is sending a couple other groups of 100 people, so we’re a 700-person order where we can reduce the price from $90 tickets to $40, $45.”

Long-term relationships with bus companies further allow the club to receive cheaper rates, “so instead of paying $1,500 for a coach bus we can reduce that by about 30 per cent,” says Laliberte.

A recreational club, the CSSC is open to skiers of all levels, including total newcomers to skiing or snowboarding.

“A lot of people ask me if they’re good enough to come on the ski trips—we want them to know that this club is not just about good skiers, everybody is welcome,” said the club’s VP External Ian Townsend.

“There are so many new skiers that come [on trips each year]; Concordia is such an international school and you don’t have snow in Dubai, so [joining the club] is definitely a good opportunity to learn, experience the good side of the Canadian winter and meet great people.”

The CSSC held their first trip on Dec. 19 at Mont-Tremblant, when 56 skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes.

This weekend’s ski trip to Owl’s Head is already sold out, but there are still spots available on the club’s main ski trip of the year, held at Mont Sainte-Anne from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19.

The CSSC organizes ski trips nearly every weekend throughout the winter season, hitting mountains around Quebec and even occasionally crossing the border into the United States.

For more information on the club and their upcoming trips, you can visit www.surfthesnow.org, check them out on Facebook or drop by their office at 2020 Mackay St. room P-103.

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