If you’re looking for good company and conversation on your next outdoor adventure, look no further than the Park City Mountain Sports Club. With some 600 members, this intrepid, social gaggle of sports lovers has been traversing area ski slopes, hiking trails, and Main Street watering holes for more than 25 years. The venerable local club offers a full schedule of winter and summer outdoor activities and social gatherings for members and visitors eager to make new friends. Downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing top the list of winter activities, while bicycling, hiking, and paddling draw members in the summer months.
Dues are just $25 a year and pay for the club’s excellent website (pcmsc.org), insurance, and the annual membership meeting. Newcomers are asked to pay up after attending three activities or Friday night socials. “It’s the best deal in town,” says retired pediatric dentist John Kantor, a board member and director of communications for the club. “You won’t find a better combination of sporting and social activities. Everybody is very friendly and welcoming.”
The club schedules and promotes recreational and social activities for its members and, according to its mission statement, strives to “have fun together.” That they do, as is evident at any of their weekly TGIF gatherings. These well-oiled events are a staple of the group. Friday-night revelers gather to socialize at local bars and restaurants or at members’ homes.
Park City visitors looking to make new friends are encouraged to join in the fun as well. Jon Scarlet, the club’s unofficial photographer, has been a member for 12 years. A frequent Park City vacationer, he joined the club several years before moving here from Massachusetts. “If you want to learn where to ski and hike and also meet some nice people, this is the place,” Scarlet says. “You don’t have to sign up ahead of time or get permission; you just show up. It’s easy.”
All club activities are led by members and rated by skill level, so members always know what they’re getting into. Wendy Roberts, a Boston transplant and member since 1999, says she’s excelled since she joined. “I had never hiked before, and now I can hike 20 miles a day. I know people like me who joined the group as beginner skiers and now are skiing black diamond runs,” she says. “We’ve got great leaders and some fine athletes in the club. There are always people better at any given activity who will share their knowledge.”
In addition to its plethora of outdoor activities and socials, the club is home to an enthusiastic bridge group. Lyn Nadel, a new member, recently spearheaded a knitting group, which, she admits, is not very sporting. “It’s social, though, and that’s a big focus of the club,” she grins.