Welch Village Ski Trip!
Red Wing , Minnesota
January 8 - 10, 2021 DONE!!!
JSC Welch Trip Report:
Ahhh. It's that time of year again! The mercury hangs lower. Our breath lingers longer in the air. We can finally dust off the skis!
The Welch Village trip started with a reconnaissance mission by Jim and Ron. They headed up Thursday afternoon to scout conditions on Friday. As expected, their report on Friday afternoon indicated conditions were as good as we could have hoped for in Minnesota in January. The rest of the crew arrived Friday evening at the wonderful Super 8 in Red Wing. The Newman clan arrived before Andrew, Steve, Paul, and the wonder dog Bryn who formed a caravan in Joliet. Steve played the role of navigator proclaiming he has made this trip a million times! Well, only one missed turn and we finally made it! (told you it would make the report, Steve) No worries, however. Priority number one was making it to the cheese shop on the way up in time before it closed. Mission accomplished! Attached is a picture of a receipt that can only happen in one state. We were greeted by a beautiful new tile floor in progress in the lobby area. Almost made up for the closed hot tub... stupid Covid... We had two snowboarders recruited for this trip, Abby and Catie, join us from Minneapolis.
We awoke Saturday morning to watered down coffee and surprisingly good breakfast sandwiches supplied by the Super 8. It was also our club President's birthday, and what better way to celebrate! Happy birthday, Noelle! We arrived at Welch Village shortly before opening at 9am... Big mistake! We waited in line at the ticket windows for WAY too long... stupid Covid... And then once tickets were obtained we waited in long lift lines at the front of the mountain. This was Andrew's, Paul's, Abby's, and Catie's first time at Welch Village and it did impress! What a bizarre little hill. It looks so small when you see it from the parking lot. It looks so small when you look at the trail map and read the stats. Yet some of the runs, especially on the east slopes seemed to go on forever. Some favorites were Mary Jane, Dike Run, and Belle Creek Ridge. Unfortunately much of the Back Bowl was not open yet but we did enjoy the few runs back there that we were able to get on. We did learn that three grown men can, in fact, ride the Sunrise Triple chair at the same time. Paul proclaimed that he indisputably heard a cork popping sound as he, Steve, and Andrew exited the lift at the same time. By mid afternoon, most of us were pretty skied out and we returned to the Super 8. Many indulged in watching NFL playoffs and eating Wisconsin cheeses and drinking Wisconsin beer. Andrew and Bryn went for a walk from the hotel around the West End neighborhood and discovered it's a pretty interesting place. A brand new Holiday Inn Express also indicates this could be an up and coming area. Future Joliet Ski Club trips can keep an eye on these developments! Pizzas were ordered from the brewery up the street, steaks and burgers were ordered from the bowling alley across the street, and everyone retired early to bed.
Sunday began much the same as Saturday did, except we learned from our mistakes and got to the hill MUCH earlier. Perfect. We walked right up to the ticket window, then jumped right on the lifts as they started spinning. Tell me, truly, is there anything in the world better than FIRST CHAIR? The weather once again cooperated as it did the day before. It could have been a little sunnier, but nothing to complain about. It was cold, but only if you were standing still. Ski harder if you start getting cold, that's all there is to say about that! A group picture was taken by Madd Jaxx. What a great spot to take a break except for the porta-potties... stupid Covid. After an excellent day of skiing, the group said their good-byes and made their way either to home, or back to the hotel. Ron and Jim were ski bumming the next few days, and the Newmans decided to leave Monday instead of late Sunday. Well played!
It cannot be expressed in words how enjoyable this trip was. In fact, it was reported that Abby and Catie, with just a short 45 minute drive from home, returned the following Sunday to get even more runs in at Welch Village. I can safely speak for everyone when I say we are all looking forward to next year. Have a good season, everyone!