[Gallery] The best photos from FREESKIER’s 2018 gear tests

[Gallery] The best photos from FREESKIER’s 2018 gear tests

While you’ve been out romping around in the mountains, enjoying resort laps, park sessions and backcountry adventures, team FREESKIER has been hard at work putting a plethora of next year’s ski gear to the test in preparation for our annual Buyer’s Guide, set to hit shelves September 2018.

The testing festivities kicked off March 5th through 9th for our annual week-long all-mountain ski test, held this year at Aspen Snowmass. Here, we spent a week with our 30-plus beloved ski testers charging through every condition imaginable, trying out more than 250 pairs of skis, the best of which will be showcased in the aforementioned Buyer’s Guide.

Next, March 20th and 21st, we made our way to the Clear Creek County backcountry, just off of Colorado’s infamous Interstate 70, with the guides at Powder Addiction and a group of 15 testers to get the down and dirty on the best backcountry skis to be offered up next season. Skinning uphill and skiing down for two full days, sun up to sun down, we gained valuable feedback on what sets the best backcountry-specific skis apart from the rest.

Finally, we trekked up north to interior British Columbia, Canada, for a week-long stay at the fabled Retallack Lodge, March 26th through 29th, for the inaugural FREESKIER Outerwear Test, where we examined the performance of racks on racks of apparel from top brands in the industry within some of the steepest and snowiest terrain in North America.

Now that the snow has settled and we’ve had some time to reflect, we couldn’t help but realize how lucky we were with the weather we received during each particular test and at each location. In Aspen, more than a foot of snow fell overnight as things kicked off on Monday morning; in the Clear Creek County backcountry, despite warmer weather just a few miles away, we experienced a two-day snowstorm that just wouldn’t let up; and, at Retallack, we skied blower powder snow—up to our chins in certain places—for three days straight.

Below, we’ve compiled a gallery of the best photographs from each of our three gear tests, which should help you cope with the approaching spring and summer season in the mountains. With much more to follow in the Buyer’s Guide, coming this September, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a beat.

Ski Test @ Aspen Snowmass

Photography by Matt Power

Backcountry Ski Test @ Jones Pass

Photography by Jeff Cricco

Outerwear Test @ Retallack Lodge

Photography by Matt Power

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