Alpine Meadows celebrates renaming Blue Trail |

Alpine Meadows celebrates renaming Blue Trail

Vick Kahn
From left: Former AM ski school director Greg Felsch, Werner Schuster, former AM GM and current GM of Alpine Meadow's sister ski area Homewood "Hoopie" Hoopingarner, and current Alpine Meadows GM Jim Kercher shared comaraderie at the coffee gathering before going out on the mountain.

Back in the 60s Alpine Meadows named its popular Blue, Red and Green Trails from the colored tape used by the surveyors to flag the runs. Fast forward to 2008. The new owners of Alpine Meadows, JMA Ventures, decide it’s time to rename those trails with more creative names and thus holds a naming contest, inviting the community to participate. More than a thousand suggestions poured in, with the contest winners receiving a sunset Snow Cat ride for up to eight people, a midweek pass for this winter, and a full-day mountain tour for up to five people including line-cutting privileges.

Red trail was named “Dance Floor” (we always called it that anyway) by Greg Jellinek, Green Trail was named “Boomerang” by Darryl Nolch (it looks like a boomerang if viewed from above) and Blue Trail was named “Werner’s Schuss,” thanks to Melanie Jackson’s winning name, after Alpine Meadows legendary ski school director Werner Schuster. Schuster has now officially left his imprint on the ski area, where he was ski school director from the early 60s through the 70s, and who continued his career there as Vice President of Marketing through 1997. Many credit Schuster with helping to make Alpine Meadows what it is today.

Wednesday morning about 40 friends and fans of Schuster’s, former Alpine Meadows’ ski instructors, assorted ski enthusiasts and longtime local residents, celebrated the renaming of the run with an early morning coffee gathering at the lodge followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, After which everyone followed the former ski school director’s perfect form down “Werner’s Schuss.”

You know, one thing becomes self evident when you have a gathering of healthy, fit and young-looking longtime skiers. Pundits surmise a year as president ages a person similar to that of a dog year ” equaling seven human years. But longtime ski enthusiasts seem not to age much, with seven years having the aging effects of just one!

Some of those who joined the group schussing down the newly-named run at Alpine Meadows were Werner and Hanni Schuster with daughters-in-law Jane and Jodi SchusteR, granddaughter Genevieve, Alpine Meadows GM Jim Kercher, Fern Elufson, Deanna Gescheider, Amber Kijanka, Doug Pierini, Casey Jones, Gary Murphy, Scott Swietanski, Rachael Woods, Chris Lange, former Alpine Meadows ski school director Greg Felsch, Nancy Collins and Gregg States, Melanie Jackson, Ellen Petteroe and David Clohessy, Art and Anne Penniman, Eddy and former Olympian Osvaldo Ancinas along with Jorg Dutschke, Babette Haueisen, Julie Kingery, Christian Cerceau, Mo Mahlot, Greg Wooley, Rick Wertheim, Patrick Arnello, Robert Frolich and Robie Wilson-Litchfield.

” Vicki Kahn can be e-mailed at

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