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The North Face Celebrates 40 Years With Scot Schmidt

In the early 1980s, a new dawn of skiing began to emerge. The sport had become stagnant, if that’s even an applicable word to describe it. Looking back, it appears to be more complacency than stagnation. Most people were satisfied with the casual turns and country club atmosphere that skiing had garnished… most people, but not all. Enter Scot Schmidt, freeskiing’s native son.

Schmidt is credited as being the original extreme skier. Prior to this period of rapid progression within skiing, cliffs were used only as scenic ambiance. Tricks were an afterthought. Freeskiing as we know it today was nothing more than a fantasy. Growing up near Helena, Montana, he was molded by the freeride mecca of Bridger Bowl. As a high schooler, he put in the work on the ski team, with one foot in front of the other to hike up and access the fabled ridge terrain. His skiing was formed by the epic steep and deep terrain that is not commonplace in many other areas of the world. Scot went on to conquer lines across North America and Europe ahead of his time, to say the least. To put it in perspective, one of California’s most famous in-bounds lines, aptly named Schmidiots, was skied by Scot in 1983. It wasn’t skied again until the late great Robb Gaffney took on the challenge in 1995, over a decade later.

These lines required not only technical knowledge but also the gear to match. Outerwear had not caught up to the pace that Schmidt was pushing the sport. That beautiful area of desire and necessity is where his partnership with The North Face (TNF) was born. Now, 40 years later, TNF has released a round table discussion celebrating their 40-year anniversary with the one and only Scot Schmidt.

From YouTube –

When Scot Schmidt joined The North Face athlete team in 1983, he was at the forefront of the Freeskiing revolution. Now, over 40 years later, Scot joins fellow skiers and TNF Athletes Ingrid Backstrom, Dennis Ranalter, Tom Wallisch & Jossi Wells for a round table discussion on the impact Scot and his outerwear line Steep Tech have had on skiing and culture.

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