Coming off of a rockin’ weekend in Park City, UT for the 20th Anniversary RV & Party Tour, the FREESKIER crew made its way to Colorado’s own Steamboat Springs this weekend to keep the celebration going.
With 10 inches of fresh snow on the ground—and more expected before the end of the weekend—locals and visitors, needless to say, were all riled up to get out on the ski hill Friday morning, February 23. But, with the FREESKIER RV (wrapped by the experts at Kree8) parked just steps away from Steamboat’s Gondola, skiers couldn’t help but enjoy our bottomless supply of hot coffee and fresh donuts before hitting the slopes.
With Steamboat’s annual Winter WonderGrass music festival also occurring this weekend, featuring some of today’s most recognized bluegrass bands including Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival, Yonder Mountain String Band and more, the energy in the town of Steamboat was at an all-time high for music, skiing and enjoying time in the mountains.
After some afternoon chairlift laps with the FREESKIER crew, where we had the chance to cruise around on our custom 20th Anniversary twigs handmade by J Skis, and a quick dip in the hot tub at the Trappeur’s Lodge, it was time to enjoy some live music and libations at a classic Steamboat venue: the Old Town Pub.
Live music by the Denver-based band Yamn, shots of Seurte Tequila, cold, crisp brewskis straight from the OTP tap, gear giveaways galore—including Oakley and Giro goggles, a YETI cooler, custom Seurte Tequila skis made by Meier Skis, Pret Helmets, and much more—and a tangible excitement for being in the mountains kept the party going late into the evening.
Team FREESKIER will hit the road again in early March for the final stop of the 20th Anniversary RV & Party Tour to be held in Aspen, CO. Performances by DJ Hawt Dogg and Berkel Beats at Bootsy Bellows are sure to close things out with a certified bang.
Coffee and donuts with team FREESKIER
Late night tunes at the Old Town Pub
FREESKIER’s 20th anniversary; thanks to our readers
Twenty years ago FREESKIER’s founder—then 25 years old—stood on a secluded lakeside dock in Wisconsin, clad in nicely pressed khakis, hoping to appear professional. He carried a laptop case in one hand and a prototype edition of FREESKIER in the other. He was there attempting to get world renowned model and actress Cindy Crawford—who was a ubiquitous presence on magazine covers, runways and in fashion campaigns in the 80s and 90s—to star on the magazine’s first-ever cover, alongside newly crowned Olympic champion and skiing celebrity, Jonny Moseley. To his surprise, she obliged. The next few years were much more “all-nighters in a dirty office than hanging with supermodels on the dock,” jokes our founder and CEO, Brad Fayfield, but it was the same entrepreneurial drive and anything-is-possible attitude displayed that fateful day that helped grow the magazine that is now celebrating two decades of fun-filled and inspirational storytelling.
Since the ‘97-98 ski season, FREESKIER has enjoyed a front-row seat to the sport’s greatest moments. The magazine has covered the technological breakthroughs of skiing’s top manufacturers, from the advent of rockered ski profiles to the widespread utilization of super-light yet super-strong materials in today’s top planks—not to mention the incredible advances in boots, bindings, outerwear, helmets and beyond. The magazine has supported your favorite ski hills, partaking in countless chairlift openings, base lodge unveilings, terrain expansions and noteworthy anniversary parties. Beyond the resort boundaries, FREESKIER has partnered with athletes, guides and under-the-radar adventurers to chart new territory in unexplored backcountry zones. We’ve shed light on iconic backcountry lodges and heli- and cat-skiing operations. The magazine has celebrated skiing’s unsung heroes, from patrollers to marketing managers to ski shop warriors. And FREESKIER’s staffers have witnessed skiing performances of the most fantastic sort, from the high peaks of the European Alps to Olympic stages to the halfpipes in Aspen.
Dozens of individuals have called the FREESKIER offices home over the past 20 years and I speak for the lot of ‘em when I say we’ve been mighty fortunate to collaborate on a near daily basis with visionaries and pioneers… with athletes, engineers and designers, snow scientists, “lifties” and instructors, photographers, cinematographers, writers, artists and so on. And we’ve been fortunate to serve a reader base that spans the globe. Today, we disseminate stories about our favorite products, places and personalities to millions of skiers whose collective appetite for great content is completely and utterly insatiable. It’s a whirlwind, and it’s a damn honor.
Though much has changed since FREESKIER’s inaugural issue hit newsstands, the skier’s passion remains constant. Yeah, we may still experience the occasional all-nighter in a dirty office, but those late-night fire drills are quickly forgotten about come morning, when we click into a pair of skis, ascend to a summit, point our skis down the hill and succumb to gravity’s pull. Today, we’re gearing up for the next 20 years of big fun and inspirational storytelling—covering gear innovations; exploration; rising stars and growing legends; and countless “firsts.” We’re looking forward to another two decades of smashing pow, cranking up the speed dial, engaging in high flyin’ antics and clinking our après mugs together, and we’re grateful to have you along for the ride.
— Henrik Lampert, Editor-in-Chief