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Indiana Ski Area Guide -- Very Complete

  • Paoli Peaks, Paoli • 70 skiable acres on 300' vertical
    Specs: Summit elevation: 900'; Base elevation: 600'. 9 Lifts: 1 quad, 3 triples, 1 double, 3 surface, 1 magic carpet. Uphill Capacity: 11,200/hr. Terrain Mix: 25-65-10. Longest Run: 5300' (?!). Season: usually December through March. Night Skiing 7 days; open all night Saturdays til 6:00 AM Sunday morning. Rentals. Annual Snowfall: 18". Snowmaking: 100%.
    The SKInny: Any place that allows you to ski at four in the morning can't be all that bad. Upside down (lodge at summit) little ski area with a couple of pleasant trails winding through the woods. Ideal for newbies through lower end intermediates; good service and very good instruction program. Considering size and proximity to population, Paoli does a good job of moving bodies back up the hill.


  • Perfect North Slopes, Lawrenceburg • 75 skiable acres on 400' vertical
    Specs: Summit elevation: 800'; Base elevation: 400'. 9 Lifts: 3 quads, 2 triples, 4 rope tows. Uphill Capacity: 12,500/hr. Terrain Mix: 25-50-25. Longest Run: 2,640'. Season: usually December through late March. Night skiing 7 days; open til 3:00 am weekends. Rentals. Annual Snowfall: 35". Snowmaking: 100%.
    imageThe SKInny: Groundhog Day 2002 was a dark day in skiing history, for it was then that Perfect North elected to allow snowboarders on their hallowed grounds. It's still arguably the best in the state; possibly the best in Illinois/Indiana/Ohio. Easy terrain, crowded at times, but a good little ski area. We salute Perfect North for holding out as long as they did.
    Signature Trail: Clyde's Super Slide.


  • Pines Peak Family Ski Area, Valparaiso • 15 skiable acres on 150' vertical
    Specs: Summit elevation: 868'; Base elevation: 718'. 4 Lifts: 1 quad, 3 surface. Longest Run: 1200'. Season: usually December through mid-March. Night Skiing Mon-Sat. Rentals. Annual Snowfall: 36". Snowmaking: 100%.
    The SKInny: Small ski area provides a great little recreation outlet for the Valparaiso area. The world needs more little tows like Pines Peak. Located at 674 Meridian Road, Valparaiso, IN 46385 phone number is 219-477-5993.


  • Pokagon State Park • XC & Toboggan Run
    The SKInny: We don't usually focus on places unless they offer lift-served skiing, but here we make an exception. Pokagon has a long history of cross country skiing, and the Toboggan Run is an absolutely cool, must-do, throwback winter activity. Really we need more of these in the USA. Do yourself a favor, if you're in the area, hop on this toboggan run before it becomes the victim of some idiotic budget cut.


  • Ski World has currently suspended skiing operations. It is for sale; 812-988-6638 just in case you ever dreamed of owning a ski area.


Additional Links

Use this to get Lift Tickets at Discount: There is a "clearinghouse" of sorts that many ski areas use to raise cash by selling discount tickets in advance, called Liftopia . If you haven't used this service, it is usually best to know for certain that you are going on a specific date. The deeply discounted tickets must be purchased in advance; generally up to two days out. The sticking point is that some ski resorts only make a limited number of tickets available to Liftopia for any given day, so they might be sold out if you wait too long...so, as soon as you are absolutely, positively sure that you will be skiing on a certain day, click this link to get deeply discounted tickets . I've used this service many times, usually when I am absolutely certain I will be skiing on a specific date. Some resorts offer "flex" tickets with which you can specify the date, and some have a few different tiers of pricing. In other words, you might be able to get a lift ticket that can be used on different days, but you'll pay a little more for that privilege. You need to have access to a printer to print out your receipt, and you have to take identification with you to the mountain. I've knocked a third off -- even half off -- the price of some tickets. Not every area participates, but it's well worth checking before you head to the slopes.

A tiny portion of your Liftopia purchase helps fund this website, at no added cost.

If the ski resort business interests you, I strongly recommend a book by Hal Clifford called Downhill Slide: Why the Corporate Ski Industry is Bad for Skiing, Ski Towns, and the Environment. It provides an inside look at the marketing logic behind clocktower villages, and the dubious practices of the US Forest Service that enables these resorts to be built. Fascinating reading.

Ski Movies for Mere Mortals

Did you ever feel like those big money ski movies are often a big let-down? You get all pumped up for the new release from some ski film company, and it's mostly incredible footage of guys jumping out of helicopters and shredding down some un-named mountain on the far side of the globe. They're neck deep in powder, skiing lines that you'll never, ever see. If you want ski movies you could actually relate to, a bunch of guys called The Meatheads, from Burlington, VT have made a series of "Ski The East" films. They film at real resorts like Sugarloaf, Blue Mountain, Big Boulder, Mount Snow, Ski Sundown, Stowe, Jay, Mountain Creek, Killington, Sunday River...urban locations ranging from Virginia to Quebec...mogul skiing with The Hammer and Radio Ron...and backcountry throughout New York, New England, and the Chic Chocs. It's simply fantastic -- and since it's the same terrain we can get to, it's inspirational!

Their most popular current release is No Matter What , which received the ski equivalent of an Oscar for the Jay Peak powder segment, filmed during 2012 of all things. One that is probably their best is from a year ago, called Prime Cut . Another favorite is Wanderland: An East Coast Ski Thriller. All Meatheads DVDs have hours of "bonus" footage, so it's like getting three ski movies for the price of one. The links go to Amazon.com, which enables you to order and return if you don't like them. And a small percentage of the sale helps us pay the expenses of this website, at no extra cost to you.

Here's a preview, courtesy Youtube...




Pokagon tobaggan run photo in masthead courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources.