Freeskier Fest Ski Test Puts The Biggest Brands’ Skis to the Test at Aspen/Snowmass, CO

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The ski review is without doubt the most important part of our annual Buyer's Guide issue. And we're right in the middle of a 10-day mission at Aspen/Snowmass, CO, doing the legwork to make it happen.

Aspen Mountain, or Ajax, has proven to be the ultimate testing ground. A single lap on the gondola covers over 3,200 vertical feet. Within this single lap, we can hit backcountry, cliffs, soft mogul fields, hard mogul fields, glades and groomers. There is no better way to test all-mountain, big-mountain and powder skis that the 40 ski manufacturers have brought to us this year.

Last week, we tested the microbrew skis: select offerings from some of the smaller, independent manufacturers. This week, it's the big boys. In three days of testing, (thanks to some help from Mother Nature,) we've managed to get through all the powder and big-mountain skis that will be on the market in the fall. The next two days will be full-on charging with the all-mountain skis.

This week, skis are provided by 4FRNT, Armada, Atomic, Blizzard, Black Diamond, Dynastar, Elan, Fat-ypus, Fischer, Head, K2, Kastle, Line, Liberty, Moment, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Scott and Volkl.

And our experienced testers include the likes of Mike McCabe, Chris Tatsuno, Pat Sewell, Josh Bishop, Grant Savidge, Kiffor Berg, Emma Lahde and Evan Glover, to name a few. Each of our esteemed testers is ripping down 3,200 vert from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day, filling out a detailed test form, which we will then use to compile our scores and ultimately, our editor's picks: the best skis of the season.

Stay tuned for more video and product preview vids that will give you a glimpse of what's coming down the pipe.

Tonight, the Freeskier Fest heads out to Belly Up to see Appetite for Destruction, a legit Guns n' Roses cover band. Then we're back at it at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Check in at the end of the week for many more goodies, photos and videos. And if you're in Aspen, stop by and say hello!

Click here for our gallery from today.

Or here for Aspen/Snowmass' gallery.