Members of the Palmetto Ski & Outing Club prepare for a new season on snow
December 2-9, 2023. Meredith Ann Heyde has had the week circled on her calendar for almost a year. “I’m going to Steamboat Springs for ski camp,” she screams excitedly. “I feel like I’m three years old again. I’m going to camp!! I may come back in a body bag, but I can’t wait.”
The Simpsonville resident is Colorado-bound alongside friends from the Palmetto Ski & Outing Club (PSOC). “I grew up in Connecticut and started skiing in 4th grade,” the multi-sport athlete shares. “I dropped it when I moved to South Carolina, thinking there weren’t any places to ski. But then I found out about the ski club, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
The downhill bomber estimates she hits the slopes about two dozen days a year between North Carolina runs and trips outside the region with club members. Last year, she carved her way across Banff Ski Resort in Canada. “Being on the mountain, I feel like a teen again,” the 50-year-old reveals. “The high I get from it lasts me weeks. It seriously digs into my soul.”
Heyde learned about the ski club from Membership Director Bonnie Turner-Adomatis. “It’s been around since 1969,” the five-year member explains. “We have beginners to expert skiers, and a small part of the group likes to race. PSOC belongs to the Crescent Ski Council that represents and organizes activities for clubs in Charlotte, Spartanburg, Charleston, all over the Carolinas.” Prior to COVID, PSOC’s rolls hit 500 skiers and snowboarders. “Yeah, we’ve got those too,” Turner-Adomatis admits with a laugh, acknowledging the healthy rivalry between the two disciplines. “My husband boards. I can’t help it.”
Like Heyde, Turner-Adomatis divulges the intense drive to fly downhill at rapid rates of speed with her feet strapped to thin pieces of laminated wood. She learned to ski when she was two, and it’s something she MUST do. “When we got married, my husband and I promised each other we would ski every single year,” she recalls. Nowadays, she skis about 25 days a year, usually with fellow club members. “We’re always swapping information on gear, what makes good snow, off-season training,” she says. “It’s funny. In summer, no one else can even think about winter, but we’re thinking about it all summer long.”
Schuss. Shred. Snowplow. Skiers have a language all their own and a mentality to match. “A lot of us are fearless, a little bit crazy,” she confesses. “We’re resilient. You fall; you get back up and go again. And we’re very welcoming and friendly for the most part.” Friendships strengthen through PSOC adventures. “There are people in the club who don’t even ski; they just like to come have fun with us,” exclaims Heyde. “We’re as much about the social as the skiing. And the crazy thing is, you can leave Greenville at 6am and be taking first runs by the time you get up the mountain in North Carolina. It’s beautiful.” Corduroy before coffee? Let’s go!
2023-‘24 Palmetto Ski & Outing Club Trips Include
Steamboat Race & Ski Camp, Colorado, December 2-9, 2023
Taos, New Mexico, January 13-20, 2024
Sun Peaks, Canada, March 16-23, 2024
Iceland Adventure Trip, May 19-28, 2024
Palmetto Ski & Outing Club members bike, camp, and kayak during the summer months, hold monthly happy hours, and travel far and wide to ski. For more, visit PSOC.org.
Regional Slopes Ratings
Take it Easy (Smaller slopes)
Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock, NC, 2 hours 40 minutes from Greenville. (365 vertical drop). AppSkiMtn.com
Sapphire Valley Ski Area, Sapphire Valley, NC, 1 hour 35 minutes from Greenville. (200 ft. vertical drop). SkiSapphireValley.com
Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley, NC, 1 hour 50 minutes from Greenville. (740 ft. vertical drop). Cataloochee.com
Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain, NC, 2 hours 50 minutes from Greenville. (830 ft. vertical drop). BeechMountainResort.com
Winterplace Ski Resort, Ghent, WV, 4 hours 30 minutes from Greenville. (600 ft. vertical drop). Winterplace.com
Go Big (Larger mountains)
Sugar Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain, NC, 2 hours 32 minutes from Greenville. (1200 ft. vertical drop). SkiSugar.com
Snowshoe Mt. Resort, Snowshoe, WV, 7 hours from Greenville. (800 ft. vertical drop) SnowShoeMtn.com
Stephanie Trotter also skis every year, since Santa brought her skis when she was five.