Pics courtesy Liz Boston & Gary Kellogg
Adventures and Misadventures in Whitefish

Five days of skiing in theRockies on a trip by train that starts on St. Patrick’s Day and ends on Easter has too much potential to ignore.  Or so sixteen SkiHawks decided.   Under the enthusiastic leadership of Bob Calla, we departed King Street Station, Seattle just before 5 PM and settled by two’s into those cute little Amtrak roomettes—after a bit of midday celebrating at FX McCrory’s for some and with unusual green neckwear for others.  The train ride included dinner (The flat iron steak was great.) and breakfast and got us to Whitefish in time for a full day of skiing.  The first evening, we shared wine and snacks and our usual camaraderie.  The next morning we compared notes on who’d slept the best.  (Larry Sorenson won, but only because he was using both his mattress and Marie’s.)  Most of us made mental notes on what we were going to do differently on the return trip.  Bravo to those who took the top berths.  You are good people.  But the challenges of train travel were worth what was waiting for us—prime snow and a great group set-up on accommodations.  We had three adjoining condos which became the Bull Pen (where six guys ended up together), the Harem (which Bob Parker shared with five gals) and the Other Condo.  We had access to the Bull Pen so those who wanted to could change to ski clothes immediately.

There’s a fair amount to Whitefish Resort, but the TOWN of Whitefish, which is less than ten miles away and accessible by free shuttle, added a lot to the experience.
  As for the skiing--we learned fast that the fog usually dissipates by noon and you can avoid it entirely by skiing in the trees earlier in the day.  The depth and quality of the snow was perfect.  Even without a major dump while we were there, the powder hounds were finding as much as twelve inches of fresh stuff on the last morning.  (You know the opportunity was ample when guys like Fred Root and Randy Singer admit to rubber legs the fifth day.)

There were snow ghosts and snow hosts (some of whom had to be rescued from tree wells).  There was apres’ ski fun at the Bierstube and great clam chowder at the Hellroaring Saloon.  It seems SOME resort business was hosting a wine and cheese event every night.  And once we got the knack of using the shuttle, the stories about great restaurant experiences in town were endless.

About half of us participated in the Dine and Ski on Friday.  The pitch was to eat prime rib (or something else delectable) and watch the sunset at the Summit House Restaurant and then ski down from the top by the light of the full moon.  Well, the restaurant was there and we were there, but the sunset and the full moon were no shows.  But those who skied down said the only problem was not plowing into the ski patrol boarder in the lead when she/he stopped to be sure everyone was keeping up.

The greatest confusion was from Bobs, who made up almost 20% of the participants.  Distinctions quickly became Leader Bob (Calla), Lawyer Bob (Taub) and just plain Bob (Parker) although Bob Taub was briefly called Dancing Bob (because he likes to) and Trailer (because he was the last one to pretty much everything).

The trip was enriched by Bob Calla’s willingness to do what he could to enhance everyone’s skiing experience.  That included complimentary ski waxing, advice on gear problems and a clinic on the last day for those who were interested. 
The return was more mellow—mostly because we were partied out by the time we got on the train at midnight.  Easter morning included breakfast on the train, with the line’s stand-up comedian as waitress, and chocolate from the Easter Bunny (aka Bob Calla.)  Those who went had it right—we are not likely to have all this combine in one six day stint again soon.   It was a really fun trip.        –Mary Lloyd

<>Mary toasts St. Patrick
Mary toasts St Patrick

Bob shows off his tie
Bob Calla showing off his tie

Bob explaining something
Bob explaining something


Sue in her sleepette
Liz                                                                                                            Sue

Sushi in Whitefish
Sushi in Whitefish

Pizza pals
Pizza pals

Barbecue dinner line
Barbecue dinner line

Dog sled tours



Bob emerging from tree well


Gary on Connie's Run

Connie compares ski boots
Connie compares ski boots