Outdoors Blog

Bogus Basin Ski Club members ‘play to stay younger’ — and have since the 1930s

The Bogus Basin Ski Club took a trip to Grand Targhee Resort last year.
The Bogus Basin Ski Club took a trip to Grand Targhee Resort last year. Courtesy of Michael Bouton

The Bogus Basin Ski Club will slide into the spotlight in June when the Far West Ski Association holds its annual convention in Boise for the first time.

The convention, which will attract delegates from ski clubs in 12 member states, is June 7-11. About 500 ski club members are expected to attend. A community Fountain Party is June 9 in the Grove Plaza.

The Bogus Basin Ski Club dates to 1938 and was involved in building the Bogus ski area. To use the original rope tow, skiers needed a $25 membership to the club. The membership fee remains $25 today. It’s a social club of about 250 members who participate in activities and trips year-round.

Michael Bouton, a 32-year member, past president and current social director, answered a few questions about the club and the upcoming convention.

Q: When you introduce the club to others, how do you describe it?

A: The whole theory of it is we play to stay younger and we try to create an image of if you stay active, you stay young.

Q: The club pre-dates Bogus Basin. Where were members skiing?

A: It was right after Sun Valley opened and a lot of people in the (Treasure Valley) felt like they wanted to get involved in the sport. The group started skiing over on Horseshoe Bend hill.

Q: I assume you guys take a lot of pride in being involved in the beginnings of Bogus ...

A: Absolutely, yes. When people really think about what Bogus Basin is about, it’s about the values that the club offered even at that early stage. It was for the whole family and to enjoy the outdoors and skiing as recreation.

Q: What kind of “playing” does the club do?

A: We’re a year-round organization. We do a lot of fun things ... river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, golf. And then we have an annual campout that all of our members can bring their kids or grandkids to.

Q: You’re a 21-and-over club. What are the demographics?

A: I would say the age group would be in the area of mid-40s all the way to age 91.

Q: What experiences stand out to you from your time in the club?

A: Ski trips are definitely an experience memory that we always think about. There’s always great memories. We did a ski trip last year to Switzerland and France. The new members who come in and take a ski trip always remember it.

Q: Do you do a ski trip every year?

A: We do at least two different areas. This year we’re going to Banff in Canada and that will be a full-week trip and we just recently did a Sun Valley trip.”

Q: Does the club have a home?

A: We have this special event this year called Second Sunday on the Slope. We meet on the third floor of Pioneer Lodge on the second Sunday of each month for just a fun get-together.

Q: What will the general public notice at the Far West convention?

A: It’s bringing people together to learn more about what the ski industry is doing overall, as well as simple things about safety, ski and board tuning, and it’s an opportunity to meet new people.