The New Hampshire Ski Club was originally established as an adjunct of the New Hampshire College Alumni Association, now Southern NH University. The original trips were annual alumni events organized by Ken Preve in his capacity as Alumni director. The first trips were only Friday to Sunday weekend bus trips to Canada’s Eastern Provinces and Laurentians. On those trips we stayed in Sherbrooke and skied Mt Bromont, Orford or Sutton and Owls Head. Next the bus trips were expanded to 3 days and soon we ventured to stay in Montreal to ski Bromont, Tremblant and Owls Head. The village at Tremblant did not exist at that time, so we had to ski from the south side of the mountain. At that time there were between 40 and 80 alumni and friends who participated in the weekend trips. In the late eighty’s we began traveling to Quebec staying at the Concord and taking in Le Carnival. At that time we only skied Mt. St Anne, until we discovered Le Massif. As Quebec trips continued, we stayed at Mt St. Anne, and in later years we stayed at Le Frontenac.
In 1992, Ken Preve, still Alumni director at NH College, and with the assistance of Hank Croteau who became the clubs first president, Tom Space and Victor Snowdon decided to organize the New Hampshire Ski Club. The purpose of the Club was to promote skiing and provide the synergy of a large organization that could negotiate discounted ski passes. Initially the Club met at the Granite St. Bar & Grille, which became Jillian’s, and now the The Foundry is at that site. The first meetings generated interest of some 60 to 100 skiers, consisting of both alumni and friends. We soon out grew Granite St and moved to the old function room in the barn at the Derryfield Country Club. We were then meeting the second Wednesday every month September to May, and the Club grew to several hundred members. In 1994, the Club took its first major trip out west, to Whistler. The trip was so successful the destination was repeated 2 or 3 times. Over the next several years western ski destinations included Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, and in the late nineties we began traveling to Europe.
In 1997, Ken left NH College and negotiated separating the Club from NH College. At that time the Club consisted of some 600 to 800 members. Season startup meetings in September were attended by as many as 285 members eager to sign up for the destination trip of the coming season. Over the next few years under Ken’s stewardship as Executive Director the Club continued to grow. At this point in time, up to 100 members were participating in ski racing at Pat’s Peak. Racing, chaired by Brent Siveright, consisted of 4 to 6 teams having fun racing Thursday nights from January to March. At Ken’s demise in May of 2000, Club membership stood at over 800 members.
In September of 2000 under direction of the Board of Directors consisting of Victor Snowdon, acting President, Dan Dorgan, Mike Collier, Dale Rogers and others, the club was organized as a corporation and established as a non-profit organization with the State of New Hampshire. In 2001, Brent Siveright became the Club’s President. Jeff Lavoie succeeded as President in 2007, and Jim Eilenberger took over leadership of racing. Under Jeff’s leadership and with new members came more and new year round activities. Weekend mountain biking activities began which evolved into weekly biking from June to September, and with the advent of fat biking, biking is happening year-round. Occasional kayak trips down the Merrimack evolved into a kayak trips nearly every other weekend on various rivers around the state, as well as ocean kayaking along the NH coast, and northern Mass. In 2011, Jim Eilenberger was elected President and led a very committed, volunteer Board of Directors. In 2017, Kevin Reigstad became the current NH Ski Club President.
This Club is open to everyone. It’s great for skiers (we’re cool with snowboarders :)), kayakers, hikers, mountain bikers, and dance ’til the band stops playing party goers. Come see who we are, join in, and help make the Club what you want it to be.
And you can see how we operate by reading our 2014 Bylaws.