Made Back East sets out to show that backcountry skiing isn’t just for the west. I recommend playing this film in full-screen to appreciate everything Parlor Skis and Vagrants put into this stellar film.
You probably know that I have a soft spot for anything made Back East. This might be the best film I’ve watched all year!
Made Back East begins in Massachusetts, an unlikely location for any ski film to take place. It is here we meet two of our main characters, Mark and Tyler. The two of them run Parlor Skis, a custom ski shop located in East Boston. The winters here in New England are unpredictable making it near impossible to plan a ski trip. But, the guys at Parlor see a window of opportunity to take a long-awaited trip to the “dacks” and they’re going to take it. After an arduous journey in the VW Vanagon to Lake Placid, the guys link up with the rest of the crew Tucker, Jeb, Jen, and Alex. The plan is to ski Angel Slides. A popular backcountry ski destination but Alex cautions the crew that at its steepest there is a risk of avalanche. The team then embarks on their journey. Slogging their way to the base of the slide only to hear a “whumpfing” sound. A clear indication of avalanche risk. Reluctantly, the crew makes the decision to turn back, but in New England, we’ve learned to cope with disappointment. We just swallow our pride and say “we’ll get ‘em next time”. And the crew did just that. Awakening to a bluebird day at the Notch in Smugglers Notch, VT. After a day of slashing fresh powder the crew, surrounding a bonfire that night, reflected on the “risk-reward” principal that makes the northeast, the northeast. In the end, what makes any trip great, are the people that you’re sharing it with.”