Featured Image: Elise Sterck
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, it’s FREESKIER Ski Test, baby! Every season, we at FREESKIER gather a gaggle of the best skiers we know to hop on a variety of next year’s planks from myriad of brands. From brand-new constructions to totally unconventional designs and everything in between, we’ve employed our dedicated testers to ride, review and ultimately rate the best planks of the season for you—those who live to ski—to froth over in our annual Buyer’s Guide in the fall.
This season we are back at it again at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the 21st annual FREESKIER Ski Test. Notorious for its steep, demanding terrain, legendary snowfall—especially this season—and diehard locals who prioritize skiing over everything else, we couldn’t be in a better place to test the latest and greatest new product from some of the best brands in the biz.
Beyond the epic turns and non-stop faceshots, FREESKIER’s annual Ski Test is about bringing together stand-out humans to celebrate the weird and wonderful act of sliding down snow. Après parties, high fives and good vibes round out the week as we bask in the culture of this incomparable experience. And none of this would be possible without the support from our partners… our resort host Jackson Hole, the experienced testing crew at The Ski Monster, which also happens to be one of the best online and brick-and-mortar gear shops around, Continuum Hotel and Bar for housing our crew right at the base of the mountain all week, the famous Mangy Moose for all things après and live music, and Coors Banquet for fueling the madness once the lifts stop spinning and carry late into the evenings. We also want to thank Zipline Ski, Arcade Belts, Smartwool , Pit Viper, Phoozy and Booster Strap for decking out our testers in the best looking gear on the mountain.
Now, we want to give you a peek behind the scenes at FREESKIER’s annual Ski Test with a photo gallery from the entire week. Stay tuned online for complete coverage and follow us on Facebook 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 21st annual FREESKIER Ski Test land on your doorstep in the fall.
DAY TWO — March 7th, 2023
The second day of the 2023 FREESKIER Ski Test was welcomed in with cold temps and blue skies. We got the chance to chew up the leftover powder from the recent storm. With a few inches of additional snow falling last night, the conditions were as good as it gets. We broke out the 100mm – 110mm underfoot skis, and our testers sought out every nook and cranny around the mountain to put them through the wringer. We went through skis from top leading brands, as the testing went down bell to bell.
Jackson Hole is a mountain that holds plenty of soft snow and incredible lines days after a storm, so it wasn’t hard to find a few great lines today. The newly updated Thunder lift yielded some steep terrain in the Tower 3 chute, with a top tier groomer awaiting below. We found plenty of tight tree lines, bumps and cat tracks to boost off under the Bridger Gondola. We fueled up mid day with pizza from the Mangy Moose Cafe, and sent our crew of rippers out for more.
Of course, what day would be complete without a top to bottom lap on the signature Jackson Hole tram, which provided us access to over 4,000 feet of vertical terrain. As the chairs stopped spinning, we headed to the Continuum Hotel at the base of the mountain for a cold one and a proper après party. With hot tubs, a DJ and the best bartenders in the country, it’s arguably the most sought after place to wind down for a true Jackson après. Stay tuned for our third day of testing tomorrow, as we break out the all-mountain power house skis that will get you through every day on the hill.