Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Sports Complex : Ski Season
by Jim Provenzano

This article shared 3497 times since Wed Feb 2, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Pictured Photo courtesy Altitude 2005.

Ski lodges around the U.S. and Canada attract thousands of GLBT skiers and snowboarders annually, and this winter promises even more snowy fun. Large-scale events now draw thousands of circuit-party regulars, and smaller ski clubs throughout North America organize local events and trips to ski resorts.

David Hazzan, president of the Toronto Gay Ski/Snowboarding Club, formed his group in 2000, and he says he has his daughter to thank for it.

When he was still married to a woman and not out as gay, he traveled with his daughter ( already a novice skier ) to Blue Mountain, north of Toronto, and took a few lessons. 'By the end of the day,' he says, 'I was hooked.'

After coming out, Hazzan decided to start a gay ski club. 'At first I thought it was a crazy idea,' he says, since he was new to the sport at the time, and also new to being out and divorced. But 'I said, 'What the hell. Even if I only meet one or two ski buddies, it would be worth it.''

Hazzan created a Web site and began promoting the group, which now has more than 200 members. The club has also started a GLBT youth ski trip for teens otherwise financially unable to try the sport. The next such event is in March.

The majority of club members are men, Hazzan says. 'But we are trying to encourage women to participate—we now have a women's event and a membership coordinator to grow the ranks of lesbians.'

For individual skiers, large-scale events like Altitude 2005 ( Jan. 29-Feb. 7 at Whistler Resort in British Columbia ) and Ascent, the Winter Party at Lake Tahoe ( Feb. 27-March 6 at Heavenly Mountain Resort ) include dance parties, as well as music, comedy, and drag shows. Proceeds from admission benefit local charities. The newest big event, Subaru's GLAAD Gay Ski Week in Telluride ( Feb. 28-March 7 at Mountain Lodge ) benefits the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Lee Bergeron, executive director of Altitude, expects up to 5,000 attendees for this year's event. 'The great thing about it is that people come for all different reasons. We plan on growing the event so it will become a festival.' Dance events, skating, barbecues, and scavenger hunts are joined by a 'Hat and Wig Day,' which brings a campy element to snowboarding and skiing activities. The ambitious Mile High Mountaintop Tea Dance, with scenic mountain views, boasts the distinction of being the highest circuit party in the world, at 6,000 feet above sea level. Bergeron even hinted about some sanctioned competitive events in future years.

Some attendees of these events are avid skiers, while others go simply for the parties. Hazzan, who was at last year's Altitude, says he finds a balance between fun on and off the slopes. 'There are lots of hardcore skiers,' he says. 'I've made a lot of ski friends while up there. The circuit crowd shows up later in the week.'

But some of the big events can be too circuity for serious skiers. Steve Mole, an active skier who lives in Pittsburgh, says he's not sure what the point is to having a circuit party at a ski resort. 'I guess they see it as glamorous.' Mole created Pittsburgh's Steel City Skiers, which now has 100 members, although about a dozen members ski at least once a week throughout the sport's season.

While in college, Mole skied at Pennsylvania's Blue Knob, which has 'some of the most challenging skiing I've ever encountered,' he says. Mole says that he prefers smaller events like Winter Rendezvous ( Feb. 2-6, in Stowe, Vt. ) , which draws about 300 attendees. 'That is a great group, very nice, down-to-earth people.'

While costs can dissuade some ski enthusiasts who can't afford equipment, ski clothes, pricey hotels, and travel expenses, local clubs in many cities continue to plan local ski trips for people in almost all economic levels.

Bergeron admits he used to think circuit ski events were pricey, until he took over Altitude after the original producer died. 'It's like trying to throw an event on a desert island,' he says. 'Whistler is remote, and there aren't a lot of services. We have to ship everything in. Now that I'm involved in producing Altitude, I see there is a value for the production costs.'>

Jim Provenzano is the author of the novels PINS and Monkey Suits. Read more sports articles at . He can be reached care of this publication or at .

This article shared 3497 times since Wed Feb 2, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Trans boxer wins first match in four years 2023-03-30
- Trans boxer Patricio Manuel beat super featherweight Hien Hyunh in The Pyramid at Long Beach State University on March 18 in his first match since December 2018, per Outsports. By the fourth round, Manuel had boosted ...

Gay News

Four Chicago Red Stars called up to USWNT for matches against Ireland 2023-03-29
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 28, 2023) — The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski has called four Chicago Red Stars players to join the team for camp during the April FIFA window. 2023 SheBelieves ...

Gay News

Chicago Blackhawks mark Pride Night, with one change 2023-03-29
- The Chicago Blackhawks organization again hosted its annual Pride Night celebration, in partnership with BMO, on March 26, as the team took on the Vancouver Canucks. (The Canucks prevailed 4-2.) As media outlets previously reported, the ...

Gay News

Biden appoints Laura Ricketts to Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition 2023-03-27
- President Joe Biden has appointed Laura Ricketts—the lesbian co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, board chair of Chicago Cubs Charities and board chair of LPAC, which works to elect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer women and ...

Gay News

Red Stars lose season opener 3-2; Fire FC get first win by same score 2023-03-26
- In women's professional soccer action, the Chicago Red Stars opened their season on March 25 at the San Diego Wave FC, losing 3-2. The Red Stars started the match winning a series of calls for corner ...

Gay News

World Athletics Council: Trans women banned from track-and-field competition 2023-03-24
- The World Athletics Council has barred transgender women from competing in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty, ESPN reported. Organization president Sebastian Coe said at a press conference that the decision was ...

Gay News

Blackhawks not wearing Pride jerseys out of concern for Russian players 2023-03-23
- The Blackhawks will not wear rainbow-colored Pride jerseys during warmups against the Canucks on Sunday, March 26— the team's scheduled Pride Night—because of safety concerns for Russian players, The Chicago ...

Gay News

Navratilova says she is cancer-free 2023-03-21
- Legendary tennis figure Martina Navratilova said she is now cancer-free—four months after announcing she had been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer, ESPN reported. "As far as they know I'm cancer-free," Navratilova told Piers Morgan for ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars release roster ahead of 2023 NWSL season 2023-03-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 20, 2023) — The Chicago Red Stars released their roster ahead of the 2023 National Women's Soccer League's (NWSL) season. The Red Stars kick off the 2023 season Saturday, March 25, against San Diego ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars sign all three draft picks from 2023 NWSL Draft 2023-03-20
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Ill. (March 20, 2023) — The Chicago Red Stars announced the signing of all three of the team's draft picks from the 2023 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft. Penelope Hocking (Penn State, 7th overall) ...

Gay News

Mexican Women's National Team to kick off inaugural MexTour W this April in Chicago and Houston 2023-03-08
--From a press release - NEW YORK CITY & MEXICO CITY (Wed., March 8, 2023) — In celebration of International Women's Day, the Federación Mexicana de FÀtbol (FMF) and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) announced the ...

Gay News

National Gay Basketball Association founder steps down after more than three decades at helm 2023-03-05
- Mark Chambers—the founder of the National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA)—has stepped down after more than 30 years in the business, Outsports reported. The player and organizer has been on the LGBTQ+ basketball scene since 1990, when ...

Gay News

Gay race-car driver Zach Herrin on industry, historic partnership with Lambda Legal 2023-02-26
- NASCAR driver Zach Herrin has announced a partnership with Lambda Legal, a national organization aimed at achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV through litigation and public advocacy. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bob's Burgers,' P!nk, sports items, Billy Porter, Ben Platt 2023-02-24
- Animated sitcom Bob's Burgers marked another major milestone with its 250th episode. Gay actor/comedian/musician John Roberts (who voices Linda Belcher) talked with Queerty and said that one of the most important lessons he's learned from ...

Gay News

First bobblehead of gay figure skater unveiled 2023-02-24
- On Feb. 24, Milwaukee's National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the first bobblehead of U.S. Olympic figure skater Jason Brown, who had a personal-best showing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.