Some of us prefer windburn to sunburn. We don’t mind the shorter days, gloomier weather and colder nights that this season brings.
That’s because within these weekday warriors, who are seemingly immune to seasonal affective disorder, there exists a weekend warrior dreaming of making buttery turns in soft white powder.
You know who we’re talking about. The one whose checking the snowcast all week whilst silently hiding behind that oversized monitor pretending to “work”, plotting his or her pre-rush hour Friday escape from the city to beat traffic to the mountain. The one who’s browser is littered with so many gear ads, you wonder if he’s actually logged into his work email in 2015.
They exist everywhere (although we kind of thought it was a San Francisco thing), so here’s a look at where these types rush off to. Enjoy discovering a mountain driving distance away from every major northern city in the US.
Escape from: SeattleBack country skiers hike with Mt. Rainier in the background. | Photo courtesy of BCC Team 3.
Destination: Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Why it’s rad: Leave the office in downtown Seattle at noon and be on the chair at Crystal Mountain before 3pm. Mount Rainier is just one of a host of mountains you can chose to ski when you live in the Seattle area.
Pro tip: Snow is better than rain. This is how you stay sane in Seattle during the winter months.
Why not stay: 5432 Chuckanut Drive, Bow, Washington 98232
Escape from: PortlandDrop in here? | Mt. Bachelor courtesy of Jake Gamage.
Destination: Bend, OR
Why it’s rad: Mount Bachelor: 22 miles from Bend, 2,000 skiable acres and a 9k summit? That’ll do just fine.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to sample all of the beer.
Why not stay: 19693 Harvard Place, Bend, OR 97702
Escape from: San FranciscoSki with a side of lake (Tahoe).
Destination: Lake Tahoe, CA/NV
Why it’s rad: San Franciscans don’t need seasons, there’s Tahoe for that: ski bum by winter, boat rat by summer, and one hell of a view all year long. Packing tire chains when it’s 50 degrees outside will never feel normal. Rest assured, winter is alive and well at Alpine Meadows or any of the 10+ resorts in the Sierras. Don’t pack your winter jacket in the trunk. You may not need it when you leave the city, but you’ll be thanking us when you hop out at the gas station and find the temp has dropped 25 degrees.
Pro tip: After your last run hop on the free shuttle that runs between sister mountains Alpine and Squaw Valley and snag yourself an aprés spot at the Shammy.
Why not stay: 179 Myron lane, Lake Tahoe, NV 89448
Escape from: Los AngelesMammoth on a powder day. | Photo courtesy of Eric Gorski.
Destination: Mammoth, CA
Why it’s rad: Not everything in Hollywood is fake. Everything about Mammoth Mountain and it’s 11k peak is very much real.
Pro tip: Beat the traffic. A nearly 5 hour drive from LA without traffic, leave at off-times to avoid sitting in the car longer than you have to.
Why not stay: 3005 Meridian Boulevard, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Escape from: DenverSolitude in Telluride back country. | Photo courtesy of Ron Creager.
Destination: Telluride, CO
Why it’s rad: Coloradoans are hard core. Skip the groomers and head to the back country for fresh tracks all damn day.
Pro tip: Take an avalanche safety course with the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE).
Why not stay: Any of these gorgeous ski chalet palaces.
Escape from: ChicagoTerrain park at Baraboo Bluffs. | Photo courtesy of Brooke & Matt Couch.
Destination: Baraboo Bluffs Mountains, WI
Why it’s rad: Okay, so the midwest may not be able to compete with the elevations of the Rockies and Sierras, but resorts like Devil’s Head – with 16 lifts serving 30 runs over 250 skiable acres – aint too shabby if you’re a ski bum stuck in the middle of the country.
Pro tip: Stay in nearby Lodi for gorgeous lake views and a short drive to the mountain.
Why not stay: N2212 Trails End Road, Lodi, WI, 53555
Escape from: BostonRiders taking in the view in Vermont. | Photo courtesy of Janine.
Destination: Bennington County, VT
Why it’s rad: Just three hours from Boston, Bromley Mountain is a local’s mountain – and a less-crowded alternative to Killington.
Pro tip: Every day is a bluebird day on this south-facing mountain!
Why not stay: 281 Rock Bottom Lane, Peru, VT 05152
Escape from: New York CitySnow patrol on Hunter Mountain in New York. | Photo courtesy of Ben Helmer.
Destination: The Catskills
Why it’s rad: Head to Hunter Mountain, where Manhattanites go when they want to ski and don’t want to get on a plane.
Pro tip: Beat the traffic. Take the train to to Hoboken and rent a car there in stead of in the city.
Why not stay: 290 Garfield Ave, Hunter, NY 12442
Escape from: Washington, D.C.Winter in western Maryland. | Photo courtesy of Jason Litten.
Destination: Deep Creek Lake, MD
Why it’s rad: WISP is a great beginner’s mountain with tons of coverage and a full bar at the lodge when you need a break. It can get icy here after a couple of warm days. Silver lining: learn to ski on ice and you can ski anything.
Pro tip: Be sure to explore nearby old-town Cumberland, Maryland and visit the lake for some gorgeous scenery.
Why not stay: 855 Deep Creek Drive, McHenry, MD 21541
Cover photo of fresh, delicious powder to the face courtesy of Zach Dischner.