PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE FREESKIER EDITORS
In its 18th year running, the FREESKIER Ski Test returns to Aspen, Colorado, bigger and better than ever. Today, our horde of ski testers and representatives from over 30 brands reached the infamous ski town, bringing with them more than 300 pairs of next year’s skis—freshly waxed to perfection—fashionable hot tub attire, Ziploc bags full of pocket bacon, and an attitude that translated to: “Let’s Party.”
It’s a tough job—but someone’s gotta do it. For the next week, we’ll be rippin’ and dippin’ on Aspen’s Ajax Mountain, reaping the benefits of its 675 acres of terrain and 3,267 feet of vertical, finding out which skis you need to find an excuse to ride next season. Don’t worry—everyone testing skis ranks and reviews each pair on-the-spot, so we can compile the most accurate information possible. It’s all in preparation of our annual Buyer’s Guide, our biggest, baddest magazine of the year, complete with gear reviews and expert advice on how to find your dream setup.
Thanks to the brand-spankin’ new W Aspen hotel, we’ll be stationed just steps from the gondola, the perfect place to catch First Chair; to Dragon Alliance for providing goggles and sunglasses to then entire squad; The Ski Monster for giving us a classic ski shop experience in modern digs, an online and brick-and-mortar marketplace to buy our favorite new piece of gear; Darn Tough for making f*ckin’ comfy ski socks with a lifetime guarantee; and, of course, to Aspen Snowmass for hosting the biggest party of the year.
Below, take a peek at our first night in Aspen—the load-in process and the Welcome Party—and stay tuned online for complete coverage all week long. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, check out the hashtag #FREESKIERFEST for more, and be sure to subscribe to the print-version of the magazine to see the complete results from the 18th annual FREESKIER Ski Test land on your doorstep in the fall.