Perfect North, Ind.


Take a ski area that rocks until 3 a.m. on weekends and put it in southern Indiana, a state known more for hog farms, race cars and basketball than skiing and you've got Perfect North Slopes. It has a modest (even by Midwest standards) 70 acres, 400-foot vertical drop and average snowfall of less than two feet in a good winter. But hordes of skiers from Cincinnati and further south assail its slopes from December through mid-March.

Located in Lawrenceburg-within sight of the Ohio River-Perfect North is a day-trip area for the Queen City, which is just a half-hour away. Indianapolis and Lexington, Ky., are only an hour farther, and the area also draws plenty of skiers heading north of the Mason-Dixon Line. "We attract skiers from all over the south. Louisville, Nashville and Memphis are big markets for us," says Mike Mentler, longtime marketing director. "We'll end up with around 150,000 skier visits in a good year."

Perfect North, which spreads along a ridge overlooking an ancient glacial river valley, opened in 1980 with four rope-tows and a handful of runs on an old family farm. Today, there are five chairlifts and 18 runs-some wide open, some wooded. The terrain comprises two peaks with a natural division in between, offering a nice collection of black and blue cruisers that are covered by five feet or more of man-made, meticulously groomed snow most of the winter. The area is 100-percent covered by snowmaking.

The more rowdy skiers congregate on the gladed runs-appropriately named Showtime and Encore-off West Peak. Center Stage and Deception (it looks gentle at the top) provide good fall-line skiing off East Peak. Beginners will enjoy The Far Side and Backstage, a couple of long runs that circle around the outside of each peak. (Perfect North has proven itself a "breeder and feeder" for the ski industry, giving close to 20,000 lessons a season.)

One major change in the operation of Perfect North is the end of its boarding ban. Owner Clyde Perfect was dead-set against the idea, but when he retired last winter, so did his prohibition. His son Chip will continue to make Perfect North a little haven for skiers (and boarders) in an otherwise inhospitable ski environment. perfect north, Lawrenceburg, ind.vital stats Vertical drop: 400 feet; lifts: 2 quads, 3 triples, 1 rope-tow; runs: 18.Tickets Adults: $35 to $40 depending on day and time; juniors: (12 and under) $30 to $35.a good deal The Perfect Debit Card costs $30 and is worth $40 at the mountain. Information 517-381-7517 or 812-537-3754,