We asked Boston-based Maureen Grady, a veteran cold-weather weekend warrior, for tips on finding the perfect ski house. A corporate accountant during the week, she joined her first ski house in 1985 and hasn’t missed a winter at Killington, Vermont, since.
Polish your networking skills. Take advantage of chairlift and gondola time, and chat up your fellow riders to see whether they know someone who knows someone who has a ski house. “One of the funniest aspects of being in a ski house for so many years is trying to explain how I know all these people,” notes Grady. “It might go something like, ‘This is my friend from work’s college roommate’s brother’s high school friend.'”
Look while the weather’s warm. Search for a ski house in June, when the season’s over and house organizers have determined the number of available slots. House shares are often listed in local ski-town newspapers or through rental agencies.
Make a site visit. Plan to scout a few houses in the spring or summer. Mountain towns offer fun off-season activities, so combine your ski-house hunt with other diversions, such as mountain biking, hiking, or golf.
Know thyself … to know your ski house compatibility:
Roommates: party all night or up with the sun for first chair
Sleeping arrangements: bunk beds or private rooms
Location: slopeside or 20-minute drive
Availability: every weekend or once a month
Rules: smoking or nonsmoking, guests or no guests
Evaluate the pros and cons. Lifelong friendships, a place to stash your gear, less expensive than a hotel room … versus lots of stinky ski boots.