The early years of the Roanoke Ski & Adventure Club are intertwined with the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, where downhill skiing was successfully introduced to the South in 1959, and with its skimeister, Austrian-born Sepp Kober. Although the Club was founded in Roanoke in 1963 by the late Frank E. Koehler, a transplanted New Englander who enjoyed cross-country skiing before coming to Roanoke, Frank had help and advice from Sepp in starting this area's first ski club. The early meetings of the Club were held in the basement of Frank's house and at the Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
This was a time when there were no ski resorts in West Virginia or North Carolina. The only downhill skiing available to Roanoke area skiers was at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia or at Bryce Resort in the Shenandoah Valley north of New Market, Virginia.
Frank was the President of WDBJ radio in Roanoke, and long-time Roanoke area skiers recall how Frank would regularly broadcast a telephone interview with Sepp Kober about the skiing conditions at the Homestead. When Frank would ask Sepp about the current skiing conditions, Sepp would almost always reply in accented English, "Ya, the skiing ist goot." Club members soon learned that Sepp was sometimes an optimist. Nevertheless, the Roanoke Ski Club owes much of its heritage to Sepp Kober as well as Frank Koehler.
In the early growth of the Club, we offered one-day or weekend bus trips to the few local resorts in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Club has grown significantly over the past 10-15 years, and we now run 4-5 long distance ski trips, several local weekend trips, beach trips and international non-ski trips each season. Our past ski trips have included week long trips to Colorado, Montana, Utah, Idaho, California, New Mexico, New England, Canada, Europe, South America, New Zealand and Japan. Since we are more than just a ski club, we have also enjoyed fabulous beach week trips to Kiawah Island, South Carolina and the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
In addition to our ski trips, recent years have seen the introduction of non-ski international trips, and past destinations have included Windstar-cruises, bike & barge trips to Greece, the Caribbean, a Sailing Cruise to Costa Rica, Austria/Germany, Croatia, and trips to the Amalfi Coast.
We are a very active social group with exciting monthly membership meetings the first Wednesday of the month... In addition, we get together throughout the year for happy hours, whitewater rafting, hiking, canoeing, and parties where we make lasting friendships.
You are welcome to join us for any of our events. Members of the club receive monthly newsletters, regular emails about club activities, and discounts with local ski retailers.
To actively promote and engage our members’ appreciation of the outdoors, our love of skiing, travel, and adventure.
** If you have any questions/ suggestions for edits please reach out to the President