Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

March 2005

Snow Mates

Can't Find Anyone to Ski With? Look No Further...

Getting to know new people, particularly those who share a common interest, isn’t easy in a big city. For those who are good on the slopes or just take an interest in skiing, the Munich International Ski Club is one way to meet fellow skiers and a friendly crowd of faces. The ski club proclaims that its purpose is to “promote and encourage skiing and good fellowship among ski enthusiasts for the recreation and benefit of its members,” according to its Website. You don’t have to be an expert skier to join, however—the only requirement is an interest in the sport. “People find other people to ski with who are at their level,” says Evin Lavery, president of the club. “There are bad skiers, too!” What’s nice about the club is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It doesn’t organize races or competitions, nor does it put its members under any kind of performance pressure on the pistes. That doesn’t mean that some of the members aren’t skilled at skiing maneuvres. Lavery works as a ski instructor, as do a couple of other members.

The club opens its doors to “kids of all ages” who are interested in joining. Persons must be 18 years or older to qualify as a regular member. The only other criteria is that the would-be member is a “decent individual” who is interested in skiing and in making new friends, according to Lavery. The ski club was originally set up by the US Army in the mid 1960s and was re-established in 1992 when the Americans left Munich. It now has about 120 regular members, as well as “a whole host of people who fly in occasionally from the US and elsewhere” to join in a ski trip, Lavery says.

First time membership costs € 40 for the year from June 1 until May 31. Membership renewal costs € 30. Once you’re a member, a day trip to a ski resort costs just € 35, including the ski pass and transport by bus. Non-members who want to join in the fun pay € 45 for a day’s ski trip. The club runs at a zero profit. Any money left over is kept for insurance, Lavery says. Day trips this season include St. Johann in Tyrol and Zell am Ziller. The club also arranges longer trips to resorts such as Sölden in Austria and Livigno in Italy. A new link-up with the larger Frankfurt Ski Club, which is still affiliated to the US Army base near Frankfurt, means members will soon be able to join in their arranged trips. According to current plans, the Frankfurt crew will stop in Munich to pick up members.

As well as the skiing, one of the main attractions of the Munich International Ski Club is the opportunity to meet new people. “Many of the members just come along on a ski trip to sit in a mountain restaurant and talk to others,” says Lavery. “The whole idea of the ski club is to bring foreigners together to socialize. People who have moved to Munich often find it difficult to become integrated and to make friends. The club is an ideal way to meet others who share a common interest. It provides a social network.” Skiing buddies aren’t the only people you might end up encountering, though. At least ten couples who met at the club are now married and other couples have come together. Lavery himself knows exactly how it feels. “I got a lot from the club when I came to Munich,” he says. “Namely friends. I also met my girlfriend through it.”

The ski club doesn’t stop when the snow melts. Members also meet during the summer months for outings, including biking, hiking and sailing trips and an annual barbecue on the Isar. Depending on demand the club also organises summer ski trips to glaciers, for the hard core ski addicts.

The language of the club is English, but a lot of members speak some German. Indeed, 40 per-cent of its members are German, says Lavery. The other members are an international mix of mainly young professionals, ranging from doctors to consultants in every branch, from IT to finance.

The Munich International Ski Club meets socially every second Tuesday at 7 pm at Centrale, Occamstrasse 3, near Münchner Freiheit. Potential members are welcome to come along and attend a meeting. <<<

Donna Peavey
Prinzregentenstrasse 116,
81677 Munich E-mail:

Annual membership fees:
No children’s or family fees
Adults (18 years and older): New membership € 40; renewal € 30

tell a friend