Soul of the East
THANKS TO A NATURAL GEOGRAPHIC DENSITY, EASTERN SKIERS DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR TO CRAFT A SHRED-PACKED WEEKEND AT SOME OF THE REGION’S INDEPENDENT SKI AREAS.
AS ANY SKIER who grew up in the East will tell you, Eastern skiing is the soul of the sport. It’s where kids learn to tip a ski on edge because they have to, not because they’re wannabe Olympic racers. It’s where people learn to appreciate those edges early on, or else go barreling down the icy slopes until they either reach the bottom or collide with a static object first. That’s not to say there aren’t powder days and sweet corduroy, but as any Eastern skier will also tell you, the days of “frozen granular” are the ones that make you a better skier, hands down.
There’s no shortage of large, commercialized destination resorts in this part of the country, complete with ski-in/ski-out lodging and enviable après scenes. We’re not talking about those. The Eastern resorts that dot the Indy Pass map from Jay Peak, up by the Canadian border, down to North Carolina’s Cataloochee, cannot be compartmentalized. Some boast serious vert and passionate racing programs, others are teeming with first-timers and
attract folks who’ve never seen snow before. But the one thing they do have in common is community and a sheer love of sharing the sport of skiing.
The good news is, with 20 Eastern resorts on the Indy Pass this season, there’s likely an Indy weekend in your near future wherever you hail from on the Right Coast—and bonus if it means hopping off the highway a little sooner and saving a bit of gas. So plan on making acquaintance with some unique and down-home ski areas this winter, where the skiable acres might be few but they more than make up for it in stoke and a welcoming smile.