Disclaimer: Due to the privacy of such a secret tribe, the names, locations, and preferred brand of malted beverage will be discarded from this report.
There are some secret societies you may have heard of: Like the Illuminati or Yale University’s Skull and Bones. But you may not have known that some ski areas have their own versions of secret societies, bands of powder whores staking claim to the mountain by housing in makeshift clubhouses secretly located at the resorts they ride. I had the opportunity to be introduced to one of these unspoken tribes and explore the humble abode they call home during the storm season.
As I am led to the headquarters of this unspoken coalition, I realize it is so close to a place I’ve been many times before. It never crossed my mind that such a dwelling could exist so close to a run as familiar as the label of my favorite brew. Having taken the solemn oath of secrecy, we take the preferred approach to the cabin as not to attract “outsiders,” like myself, towards the clubhouse. Deep in the woods, just outside of the ski resort boundaries, stands a discrete shelter-made from tree limbs and logs cut down during summer trail maintenance.
The shelter seems like a replica of something out of a Tom Sawyer book, perfectly camouflaged within the snow bank. Noticing skis on the outside of the shelter, we know that one club member is probably inside drinking a midday malted power drink in privacy. We courteously knock. Immediately the trap door swings open and we’re greeted with the aroma of burning organics.
Inside this squatter’s paradise the walls are cluttered with various bottles of malted delight, cans of soup, and cooking utensils. The floor is lined with Astroturf and the makeshift benches are coated with blue foam. Sitting down, I begin to question the origins of the shelter and requirements of membership. The rules are simple, share the space (attitude free), clean up after yourself, make repairs as needed (there are also organized work parties), and every time you come up bring something to share, hence the untouched cans of soup and beer. After the brief tour, we can’t help but get back to the powder dumping outside. It is time to enjoy the perks of the cabin's locale.