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'Made Back East'

A ski film that celebrates backcountry skiing in the Northeast and the region's lovable saltiness.

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Mark Wallace skiing below Smugglers' Notch
Parlor Custom Skis founder Mark Wallace getting some in Vermont.Photo courtesy of Parlor Skis / Vagrants

Mark Wallace is a true skier. Boston-based but with an international racing background, he spends most of the winter driving all over New England to ski in any condition. He has to, as he founded Parlor Custom Skis, a custom ski company that makes all of its products in the Northeast. After all, those skis won’t test themselves.

Wallace teamed up with Vagrants, a Boston-based film production company, to document one of the bigger missions he put together with fellow skiers Tyler Grees, Jeb Wallace-Brodeur, Jen Borofsky, Tucker Beatty, and Alex Goff. The big crew rendezvous in New York’s Adirondack Mountains to take on the Angel Slides.

“We had been dreaming of a trip to the Dak’s for years. They have always felt tantalizingly close but also mythically distant,” says Wallace. “We knew we were on the right track when we picked up the phone and started calling our friends and they all jumped at the chance to make the trip.”

While things don’t go quite as planned in “Made Back East,” the film successfully displays the passion that New England skiers have for skiing, something that Wallace cherishes. 

“One of the best parts of my job is hearing people tell me their ski stories,” he says. “Some are better than others, but people just LOVE skiing. We wanted to make a film that captured that passion and was set here in New England. We could have shot a film with one deep powder run after another, but where is the fun in that?”

Alex Goff sending in Vermont
Alex Goff flashing his bases in Vermont.Photo courtesy of Parlor Skis / Vagrants

Narrated by the legendary Jon Egan of Warren Miller film fame, “Made Back East” is sure to put a smile on New England skiers’ faces, but also does an excellent job of providing a glimpse into what it’s like to be an East Coast skier for the uninitiated. The film oozes character thanks to the crew that takes on challenges with a infectious enthusiasm.

“New England skiers can focus on how much fun it is to ski, how perfect that one turn feels, or a few turns when it all comes together,” explains Wallace. “They have the ability to forget the long late drives, the rain, the cold… they know there will be a fire and stories to tell at the end of the day. In all seriousness, people that like to whine about bad conditions just don’t last here. They hang up their skis and take up tennis or something. The ones that are left have a certain saltiness.” It’s a saltiness that makes the place what it is.

Watch: ‘Made Back East’

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