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The History

Copyright Bergfreunde Ski Club 2009

1966: 'SKI FANS' it read. 'Proposed Skiing Club' will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, in the large auditorium during lunch hour, 12:00 pm, November 22, 1966. No requisite skills are needed, just feel free to come and munch your lunch during the session. Any questions, call Dale Holmes, Val Lava, or Karen Brandt. The article appeared in a publication of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), called 'Watts News.' BERGFREUNDE SKI CLUB is born!!

The original group, mostly BPA employees, initially met every other Wednesday in the auditorium at noon or evenings and eventually gathered in the party room of Dale Holmes (1st President and still an honorary member). World-class skiers were found mostly near the European Alps. The language there was German. Holmes suggested a combination of 'mountain' and 'friends' to name the new organization, which member Andy Vincent (2nd President) translated into German 'Bergfreunde.' Pronounced 'berg-froin-dey' and often fondly called 'Bergies.' (used as reference to either the club or members). Charter members soon became a closely woven family of well-mannered skiers. They included four married couples, one instructor, two intermediates, and a herd of snow plowers.

1967: Ski events calendar and welcome flier distributed for the upcoming 67-68 season. Events included 'Flake-In Dinner/Dance' at Timberline; White Pass trip; Overnighter Mt. Hood Trip; Ski Bowl Outing and the Bend Ski For All. Trips to Bachelor cost a mere $20. Classified ads ran for Yamaha Hi-Flex skis, 205cm, with Salomon bindings for $65 and Schilltex Hosen men's ski pants for $20 (or best offer on both).

1968: February 4th, Bergie members (11) sign a 'Charter', recognizing that the club is dedicated to the promotion of recreational skiing. In the early years, communication was by word of mouth or a series of small articles entitled 'Ski News', 'Ski Patrol' or 'Sitz Marks' published in BPA's newsletter. The first official 'Mogul Notes' newsletter was distributed March 20, 1968 and remained one page for several years. Club members initiate a yearly 'Fun Race' at Timberline. Participants required to negotiate a gate twice, one backwards, and tackle a gate and take it with them while skiing through. Race bibs were of varied decoration-from the ordinary to the wildly outrageous. The weekend is dubbed, 'Bergie Booze-In.' Lodging at Sno-Line Motel cost $3.50 per person. Mt. Hood Meadows opens and Mogul Notes reports some skiing there--where an easy run was at least as steep as #3 Chair at Timberline and moguls were abundant!! Mogul Notes reminds members of skier safety with small drawings of signs seen at ski resorts-one explains, 'No Schuss booming. Bergies first participation in a public event was at their 1st Annual 'Fall Ski Kickoff', held in October, at the Mayflower Auditorium. The event was designed to attract new members to the club. Bergies assist Schnee Vogeli Ski Club with the Far West Khandahar Golden Rose Race at Timberline. Duties included gather supplies, prepare and distribute 300+ lunches, serve soft drinks at top of Mile chairlift, and drive visiting competitors and officials from Portland to Timberline.

1969: The club calendar offered at least one major ski trip each month, November--April and a Ski-Ender party in May that concluded the season. Members would typically arrive at Timberline Lodge at O'Dark Thirty when the lifts opened and skied till they closed. The Mile and Pucci were the only runs operating. Night skiing was available only at SkiBowl. Evenings were spent consuming mass quantities at the Blue Ox at Timberline, while piling beer cups to the rafters and listening to 'Snoopy And The Red Baron.' Dennis Griffiths (3rd President) recalls the first overnight trip to White Pass where 'fewer than 20 of us, including four guests, rented a loft in a lodge somewhere. We skied all day, listening to the yodelers on the slopes, and drank all night.'

Ski Show in October, at Memorial Coliseum, draws 12,000 in attendance. The club booth sprouts a sign that reads 'Adult-Minded Ski Club.' The 2nd Annual 'Fall Ski Kickoff is held at Mayflower Farms Auditorium. Membership recruitment, presentation on benefits of joining Pacific NW Ski Association (PNSA), fashion show, display tables, and a movie. Wooden skis and a pair of long poles are advertised in Mogul Notes for $4 total. A ski trip to Mt. Hood Meadows is highlighted in Mogul Notes. Mt Bachelor offered a 5,000-foot main slope serviced by three double chairs at $5 per day. The rope tows and T-bar were bargain priced at $1.50 per day. Rooms for up to 16 people were readily available for $2 per night. Meetings were soon moved to Caro Amico's Restaurant, featuring ski lessons, safety tips, a movie and lots of camaraderie. Club dues were $15/singles and $20/couples. During the first few years, meetings were attended by a core group of 10-15 people. Movies were usually featured at meetings and sponsors included Henki Ski Boots, Saska-Parrott Ski Co. (Kneissel), Swissair, and Skiing Magazine, as well as local ski shops-Alpine Hut and Skyline (Sam Bennett).

1970: Bergfreunde Ski Club is incorporated with the State of Oregon as a 501©(7) organization.
Membership rises to 32 hearty skiers. Meeting locations moved from Caro Amico's to several locations that included the Imperial Hotel, Ramada Inn, Mallory Hotel, Sylvia's, Nendels, and Salty's. Outside of the ski season there were little or no organized social activities. Impromptu ski trips during the week via carpool were popular, but the major trips to Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Anthony Lakes, and White Pass were always scheduled, however, always in doubt until members appeared on the day of departure. 3rd Annual 'Fun Race' at Mt. Hood Meadows. Cascade Ski Club holds the 1st Annual 'Ski Fair.' This event, which runs at least through 1983, is in conjunction with the Warren Miller movies. Warren Miller was a member of Cascade Ski Club.

1971: Dues were scaled back to $10/singles and $17/couples. Membership grows to 61 which created a need for advance operating funds. Trips planned to Lake Tahoe, Big Mountain, White Pass, Bachelor, & Mt. Hood. The Lake Tahoe trip article states more about cocktails than skiing!! Five nights at Harvey's, 5 days lift tickets, and lots of free cocktails, all for $106. The Bachelor trip was $4 per person (sharing with several others), or $10 per couple. Lift tickets were $6 for all day, $1 for Murray Meadow rope tow, and #1 rope tow is free.

1972-1974: Board of Directors began thrusting a recruiting campaign-placing posters and notices in shopping centers and commercial malls, enthusiastically hoping for more membership. Dues were lowered to $5/singles, and $10/couples. Trip packing lists as seen in Mogul Notes, always included 'Bar Kits.'

1975: Membership reduced to just 20 members and four scheduled trips. Cross-country skiing began and the meetings were changed to the first Wednesday of each month. The theme of the inaugural Wednesday night meeting was the 'What's Happening' membership drive. Efforts were rewarded when 57 guests outnumbered the 18 members in attendance. Club newsletters and official documents show a recurring artwork-a skier on a mountain in a square box. Posters and bumper stickers appeared, T-shirts were sold and a membership meeting at Gino's Pizza piqued enough excitement to set a Bergfreunde attendance record for the next Mt. Bachelor trip when 34 Bergies appeared.

1976-1978: A ski trip to Mt. Bachelor/Sunriver, with 2 nights lodging, bus ride, and lift tickets cost $29. Standard Plaza Ski Club forms and invites Bergies to join them for mid-week night skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows. Bergies look forward to future activities with Plaza. Skiers attend the 'Bachelor Boffo' in December.

1979: Significant development is introduction of summer activities. This element proved to be pivotal for the membership explosion of the 80's. Events added were wine tasting, volleyball, softball, tennis, backpacking, camping, water skiing, sailing, and concerts. Mogul Notes went to a full-year publication, albeit two, 5x7 pages. June saw 56 new members join Bergies. The club goes big time and rents office space on SW Barbur Blvd (current office location), and hires a part-time Office Administrator. Portland Area Ski Club Council (PASCC) is formed. Bergies do not have much involvement with them-yet.

1980: Start of the year appeared promising when 100 members attended a meeting at Nendels. The cautious, optimistic board of directors doubled the Crystal Mountain trip capacity, while carefully remembering that only 40 core members were totally dependable. Elections were delayed that year because no one ran for office, the Mogul Notes was uninspiring with two pages devoted to recipes for Swiss steak and peanut butter cookies, the movie projector was broken and only eight people showed for volleyball. A meeting is held at Pat Fuller's home, for PASCC, with reps from various local clubs. They discuss individual club activities and how clubs can possibly interact. Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA) holds their annual convention at Timberline. PNSA membership ($16) includes a coupon book, good for free mid-week lift tickets to 23 different Northwest ski areas, free lessons, discounts on lodging and a subscription to 'Northwest Skier.' PASCC hosts 1st Annual 'Summer Fun at Timberline' event. Over 160 skiers showed up for three competitive events, including an obstacle course on Palmer. A $1.75 discount was offered on lift tickets. PASCC negotiates discounts at ski resorts for clubs, and 'club nights' at ski resorts become popular. PASCC hosts the 1st Annual 'Bachelor Blitz' in December. This infamous trip runs for 21 consecutive years. Attendance ranges from 1500 fanatic skiers on each trip, in the early years, to a mere 50 skiers at the final, 21st Annual Blitz in 2001. In the early years, The Blitz trips utilized nearly 35 buses going to Bend/Mt. Bachelor for a long weekend with ski-improvement camps, two full days of skiing and the most crowded condos you can imagine! Not to mention the all-night consumption of alcohol.

1981: Bergies 1st 'Freebie Day' club picnic at Laurelhurst Park. A club picnic has continued annually since 1981. Officers discuss limiting membership. A 'Winter Activities Coordinator' is appointed. Mogul Notes states that Trip Captains are not allowed to drink and drive!! Every club member is expected to volunteer. Mogul Notes issues production deadlines. Membership is about 200. PASCC 2nd Annual 'Summer Fun at Timberline.' After skiing, folks head down to Charlie's Mountain View lounge, where you can BBQ a steak for a $1.50. PASCC offers Friday Night Specials of ski lessons at Timberline. Charlie's Mountain View lounge remains an icon in the world of skiing on Mt. Hood. Timberline opens the W-east Day Lodge.

1982: Bergies hatch the idea of placing special emphasis on welcoming new members and encouraging volunteer participation in planning a wide variety of new activities on a year-round basis. Dues increase to $20/singles and $35/couples. The 1st golf tournament is held. Disclaimer provision appears in Mogul Notes on safety and responsibility of club members as they sign up for events. Skiers are advised to support United States Ski Association (USSA). Bergie members partake in the High Mountain Run & Festival, a fundraiser for Oregon Winter Sports Foundation. The recurring artwork changes slightly (skier & mountain contained in the shape of the state of Oregon instead of a square box) and becomes the official logo for Bergies. City League Racing is announced for the 1983 season, with a series of eight races at Timberline & Mt. Hood Meadows. Membership pins are given out to members. Mt. Hood Meadows offers a 'Club Day' for each club in PASCC. Bergies are invited to 'Spring Fling' at Timberline, sponsored by Plaza Ski Club. Just $2 gets you skiing, fun events, and lots of beer. PASCC 3rd Annual 'Summer Fun At Timberline.' PASCC's Annual 'Fall Forum' in November at the Cosmo AirTel. A full-day event with emphasis on skier awareness, trips, fashions, ski area expansion/development, racing, ski patrol, ski instructors, ski equipment, traction device laws, etc. This event continues for several years. PASCC 'Club Ski Night' at Timberline-on Pucci and Victoria runs.

1983: Bergies make their first scrapbook to enter the 'Outstanding Club' competition for USSA/Sports. We see lots of interaction with PASCC clubs (16 total). Mogul Notes runs an article explaining what PASCC is and how their organization can help Bergies. Bergie annual summer picnic swells to over 400 members and guests. Meetings moved to Salty's for five months and then to The Greenwood Inn for a ten-year run. Mogul Notes announces the appointment of a new Editor, a Mr. Jack Young, transferring from a ski club in Ohio. Jack, a success story for Bergies, served as President and board member for 13 years. We remember him best for our mantra, 'an all-volunteer club.' 'Themes' introduced for the monthly parties. Party locations moved to public facilities with admission at $6. New events were introduced, such as a fashion show of ski clothing, road rally, talent show, casino night and Special Olympics fundraisers. Membership doubled to over 500. Monthly membership meetings hold an 'FYI Meeting', to orient new members and guests to the club. The ski calendar had 22 major events along with numerous local weekend slope attacks. More popular non-skiing events were added to the agenda-hot air ballooning, rodeos, Oktoberfest, San Juan sailing, Shakespearean Festival, Zoo Grass. Ninety-three trip captains were rewarded at the first Leadership Party with a dinner and ride on the Sternwheeler ship. The Leadership Party continues to be an annual event, held at various local venues. Elections produce a 'Ski Director' position to help manage the increasing ski activities.

An article in the Oregonian, lists ski clubs and how to contact them: Bergfreunde Ski Club, Cascade Ski Club, Edgeset Ski Club, Mt. Hood Community College Ski Club, Oregon Nordic Club, Oregon Physicians Ski Association, Plaza Ski ClubSchnee Vogeli Ski Club, Ski-Tek, Skiyente Ski Club, Union Pacific Railroad Ski Club Rampage Ski Club, and Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Club. Rampage Sports hosts 1st Nastar Ramp Races - proceeds benefit March of Dimes. PASCC 4th Annual 'Summer Fun At Timberline.' Bergie Ski Tune Up Party - all area clubs invited. PASCC - Mt. Bachelor Trip. Cascade Ski Club holds 14th Annual Ski Fair at Civic Auditorium. Warren Miller movie and exhibits are the highlight.

1984-1986: Club telephone hotline makes its debut and is dubbed, 'Aunt Bergie.' Membership soars to over 2,400. Mogul Notes increased to a lively eight pages. 'Aunt Bergie' (written version) appears in the newsletter - questions & answers to many problems. The 3rd version of the member recruitment brochure is produced. PASCC holds 'Fall Forum' in 1984, 'Expose Yourself To Skiing' at Jantzen Beach Thunderbird. Bergies join PASCC in 1984. Portland Area Clubs Recreational Alpine Teams (PACRATS) is formed in 1985 as the racing league of PASCC. Several articles appear in Mogul Notes about PASCC. Local clubs extend invitations for their ski activities. Much news about legislation, and a call for club competition in various categories-outstanding ski event, club scrapbook, outstanding non-ski event, outstanding club individuals. Bergies organize ski lessons and they are very popular! Restoration of Silcox Hut on Mt. Hood begins. Bergies subsequently hold several overnight trips to the Hut. Bergies organize their 1st PACRAT team(s). FREE SKIING introduced. This subsidy program runs until 2004. Bergies (954) bought over 3,700 lift tickets, reaffirming Bergfreunde's lofty status as the Western United States number one ski club. BERGFREUNDE had arrived!!

1987-1989: Bergies hold Annual 'Fall Ski Kick-Off' at Montgomery Park. The 1st Annual 'Timberline Takeover' in 1987 takes place--Bergies rent the entire Timberline Lodge, one weekend every year, for 14 years straight. Each trip had a different theme-the most exciting was a Murder Mystery Weekend. The 80's close with membership approaching 3,000.

1990: The Greenwood Inn proves to be too small for monthly meetings and we take up residence at Shenanigan's Restaurant. Special Olympics donations proudly rose to total over $175,000 in ten years and is our official philanthropy program. PASCC joins Far West Ski Association (FWSA). Their tag line is 'The Voice of the Western Skier.' FWSA is comprised of 9 Councils in the Western United States (Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, & New Mexico). Club members gather each June for an annual convention-which rotates to different Council locations. Bergies have attended FWSA conventions since 1992 and compete in the various outstanding club, newsletter & website competitions and the Man & Woman competition.

1991-1998: Long time club president Jack Young dies in 1994. Mogul Notes takes on another new look-8.5x11, glossy paper and several pages in length. And another updated tri-fold brochure is produced. 'Ski Fair' is re-born and becomes a joint adventure with Bergie and PASCC-held in 1994 at Red Lion Jantzen Beach. Cross-Country (XC) skiing catches on in a big way with Bergies and several specific XC trips are planned. Bergie boasts several XC workshops each year. In 1996 Bergie wins the 'Outstanding Club Newsletter' award at FWSA convention. The FWSA convention is held in Portland in 1997.

1999: Mogul Notes is newspaper style, 20-24 pages. 'All-Star Awards' program begins-club members are recognized and awarded a gift for going above and beyond in the role of volunteering and leadership. Bergie members, Steve Coxen and Marilyn Sigler are 'Man & Woman of The Year' for Bergfreunde and NWSCC, competing in the FWSA competition. Bergie wins the 'Outstanding Club Newsletter' award at FWSA convention. PASCC changes their name to Northwest Ski Club Council (NWSCC). Bergie racers participate in the Far West Race Association (FWRA) Championships, this year and many subsequent years.

2000-2005: A two-day Leadership Retreat is well attended by members-striving to learn how to lead better trips. Mogul Notes goes back to 8.5x11 format, in 2005, using newsprint medium. Dues are $80/singles and $165/couples. Steve Coxen serves as President of FWSA, 2000-2003. In 2002, the FWSA convention is held in Portland. Bergies are the major sponsor for the 'Ski Day' event to Timberline. Mary Olhausen is Woman of The Year for Bergfreunde and NWSCC, competing in the FWSA competition. Steve Coxen is awarded the J. Stanley Mullin Award (Far West man who has, through efforts in his club, council, region, national or international activities, made a decisive contribution to skiing). Bergie wins their 6th Outstanding Club Award. At the 2004 FWSA convention, Marilyn Sigler is awarded the Elizabeth 'Schatzi' Wood Award (Far West woman who has, through efforts in her club, council, region, national or international activities, made a decisive contribution to skiing). In 2003, Bergie is awarded the Outstanding Website Award. The club holds a large fundraiser in 2004 to benefit the clubs' coffers-a Caribbean theme party at Oaks Park.

2006-Current Quality activities and leadership have maintained Bergfreunde as one of the premier ski clubs in the nation. Bergies inordinate growth can be attributed to hard work by a multitude of dedicated volunteers. To insure continued success, we repeat a phrase from a fallen leader who was most responsible and volunteered more time than anyone, Jack Young; 'Remember-this is an ALL volunteer club.'!
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