Prime Timers activities club offers skiing and a whole lot more

Lucianne Phillips enjoys a break in the rain in her backyard in the Highlands in King City. Barbara Sherman/Tigard Life

With spring weather emerging and fewer COVID restrictions to follow, people are venturing out more and more at this time of year, which might be the perfect time to check out the Cascade Prime Timers. It is a winter and summer activities club for women and men over the age of 50.

Lucianne Phillips (third from left) rides a chair lift with friends; she took up skiing in her 30s and is now in her fourth ski club. Courtesy/Lucianne Phillips

The volunteer-run club started in 1987 as part of a ski club called the Over the Hill Gang and in 1995 became an independent club that offers a myriad of activities and now has 350 members.

Lucianne Phillips, who lives in the Highlands in King City and is an enthusiastic skier, had been in three other ski clubs when she moved to King City four years ago. New to the area, she Googled ski clubs; Cascade Prime Timers popped up; and 1 ½ weeks later she went to her first event. And now she is finishing up a year as president of the club.

The group holds a social and monthly meeting six months of the year at the Crown Plaza in Lake Oswego. Following the social, the meeting begins with a speaker talking about an interesting topic, followed by a business meeting. The July social is an annual picnic at a public park or winery, and in April, officers are elected at a banquet.

The ski trips, depending on location, include downhill, cross-country and snow-shoeing. The club plans trips in Oregon and Washington, but it is also affiliated with the Northwest Ski Club Council and Far West Ski Association, which plan international trips.

“Some of our events are organized, and others are casual,” Phillips said. “People usually meet in Sandy if we are going skiing on Mount Hood, and activities vary week to week.”

Hiking is another popular activity in the club, which is offered at four levels, and hikes are held every week during warm weather. One hike leader likes to plan his hikes where the wildflowers are blooming.

Ethnic dining also is on the menu of activities once a month, and additional activities within the club include playing bridge, canoeing, kayaking and biking, according to Phillips.

“Our procedures say that if a member has an idea for an activity, they can send around a questionnaire (via email) to all the members,” she said. “If there is enough interest, the activity starts. All it takes is a member willing to organize the event, and off we go.”

All activities are organized via email and on the website, according to Phillips.

“When you join the club, you set up your profile and indicate your level of interest in the different activities,” she said. “When a coordinator sets up an event, he/she emails the group of people who indicated interest in that activity. We have a robust website run by a very dedicated webmaster. It is the glue that holds our club together.”

What she really likes about being in the Cascade Prime Timers “is the friendships, companionship and getting to know my new hometown,” Phillips said. “When I moved here four years ago from Seattle, I didn’t know many people nor my way around. Through Cascade Prime Timers, I have met many incredible and inspiring people. We have members in their 70s and 80s who are dynamic and active.

“Members in those age groups still ski, snowshoe and hike. My ski buddy is 86 and still going strong. She and others are a great motivation to graceful, active aging! Through the friendships I have made in the club, we socialize and travel together.

“For outdoor activities, it is always safer and more fun to go with others, and Cascade Prime Timers offers that. I have gone to many new places and know my hometown and the region a lot better. I am very fond of our ethnic dining group, where we are able to sample many of the interesting and unique restaurants that the Portland area offers. I have visited a number of the restaurants again after going with the club.”

For more information, visit www.cascadeprimetimers.org. Dues are only $50 a year.