NASJA’s 50th at Mammoth

By Bob Cox Outgoing Meetings Vice President

NASJA members celebrated our 50th anniversary at Mammoth Mountain, April 7-12, 2013 and it was an occasion those in attendance will remember for years to come.

Among the highlights of the Annual General Meeting were two presentations that helped us celebrate our golden memories: a slide show of NASJA over the years, and a film presentation saluting the history of our organization. Longtime NASJA member and Hirsch Award winner Dino Vournas compiled both presentations.

Our breakfast speakers included Bear Whisperer, Steve Searles, who helped us all understand the challenges of dealing with the local bear population, and Mammoth tourism chief John Urdi, who gave us insights into the year-round destination. Other highlights included a day trip to Mono Lake, training with the biathlon team, and a fireside chat with Mammoth CEO, Rusty Gregory.

Evening events included a lavish welcome reception, a progressive dinner at three local restaurants, and an Italian family dinner at a new restaurant in the Village. The week was capped by the gala award banquet at the Parallax Restaurant at McCoy Station. Longtime Mammoth ski instructor and director, John Armstrong was the keynote speaker, recapping the changes in our sport over the years.

We also celebrated the spectacular skiing options at Mammoth, including some of the best off- Mountain. the-top skiing anywhere in the country. After being blown off the mountaintop by high winds on Wednesday, NASJA members and guests enjoyed the incredible bowl and steep skiing the rest of the week in sunny conditions. Mammoth’s Top of California peak, at 11,053 feet, was the scene of many pictures as members and guests posed by the signpost. Less than five feet of the 20-foot post were visible with a 15-foot base still evident at the top in early April. NASJA previously held a very successful meeting at Mammoth in 1999 and Communications Director, Joani Lynch was again the coordinator of a terrific event. She was assisted by PR Director Deena Betcher. We stayed at Mammoth’s extremely convenient Village, where the combination of lodging, dining, shopping and nightlife connects visitors to the mountain by the Village Gondola. NASJA begins its next 50 years in 2014 at Killington, VT, in March.

© NASJA 2013