Skiing's Secret Society - Ski Mag

Skiing's Secret Society

Every ski hill seems to have a secret society, a band of skiers who live for nothing but powder turns, top ramen, and cheap beer. We recently were able to infiltrate such a tribe and sneak some photos of their clubhouse.
Publish date:
Social count:
Secret Society Clubhouse

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.


Bald Mountain’s shady north face is named after the hot springs-fed creek that runs through the base area. The signature run, Warm Springs, is one of the classic groomer descents in the country. If you can’t have fun on Warm Springs, you need a fresh tune and a ski lesson. This is not the place to slide a turn or suck at skiing. Few things compare to over 3,000 vertical feet of high-speed GS turns down this alley. Your legs will tremble and your lips will quiver with a strange mix of terror, excitement, and exhaustion. Warm Springs will make you remember that like powder, carving is pretty damn exhilarating. Plus, if you luck out with a fat storm with southwest flow, The Burn, the sidecountry zone created by the 2007 Castle Rock wildfire just off Warm Spring’s western boundary, is some of the best powder skiing in the country.

Secrets to Skiing Sun Valley

It’s a simple existence in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ski, party, repeat. But combine a demanding mountain with celebrity sightings and seemingly bottomless schooners of beer, and spending time at America’s most storied ski resort is anything but easy. Here’s a guide to doing it right.

Julia and Lindsey Celebrating

1-2 USA: Celebrating Ski History

Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso made history yesterday when they claimed the gold and silver in the ladies downhill. We were there while they toasted glasses of champagne and celebrated with friends and family.