Next year, the Eagle Ski Club will reach its 100th anniversary: it was founded by a group of British skiers staying at the very large Palace Hotel in the very small Swiss resort of Maloja (up the valley from St Moritz, and on the pass between the Engadine and Bregalia regions) in 1925.
Planning is underway for a number of special events and activities throughout 2025 to celebrate the centenary, to look both back on a century of ski-touring, and forward to the future. It is hoped that as many members as possible, young, old, recently-joined, and veterans of decades of touring with the club, will be able to participate in one or more events.
A special working group, co-ordinated by the club's Archivist, John Barnard, is currently planning for them, and a survey to assess members' interest in different ideas was carried out in the late summer of 2023. A report on its results is available here. The views expressed in it, along with informal soundings taken at other club events (such as this year's Argentiere meet) are being used to help plan the events to be held.
Those with some degree of definiteness so far include:
- a special centenary alpine meet, provisionally centred on the weekend of 15/16 March 2025. We are currently considering venues at Arolla and at Chamonix (a decision is expected by the end of February), and the activities will include multi-day tours starting and finishing at the venue, talks, training events, day-tours, possibly some sort of ski race, and a celebratory meal on the Saturday. The club's birthplace of the Maloja Palace Hotel has been discussed as a possible venue, but we have concluded that its relatively poor transport links, and limited touring and other opportunities, would significantly restrict the potential attendance. We hope, however to be able to organise some smaller-scale event there.
- a ski-mountaineering symposium to be held at the Duke of Gordon Hotel at Kingussie (near Aviemore) on the weekend of 15/16 November 2025. This will build on the successful symposia held at various venues in England and Wales over the last few decades, and will include lectures, workshops, training events and a dinner. We have arranged exclusive use of the hotel, which is only 100m from the railway station, with direct trains from London. As well as the hotel itself (which can accommodate over 100 people) there is a large amount of local accommodation to suit all budgets. The slopes of Cairngorm are close at hand should there be an early snowfall.
- a London dinner, probably to be held in the autumn of 2025, which is intended to be particularly attractive to those members unable to travel to more distant locations.
- a centenary book, to be published alongside the Yearbook, and probably containing a selection of articles from yearbooks over the past 100 years, along with special articles on the history of the club, the development of ski-touring over the past century, and prospects for the future.
- a range of club merchandise carrying a centenary version of the club's logo, which should be available later this year.
Other less-developed ideas include "world ski tours" organised by members in different parts of the world, "micro-adventures" and other ski challenges through the year and charitable activities in furtherance of the club's initiatives on climate care and the encouragement of youth and diversity in the club, possibly in association with other relevant organisations.
Further details of these events and activities will appear on this page as planning progresses. In the meantime, if you would like to help organise any of them, or have ideas of your own, then please contact John Barnard (email@example.com; 07985 465330) who is chairing the working group.
(Updated 12 February 2024; JMB)