2011 GEAR TEST
DAY 1: EARLY BUZZ | DAY 2: SNOW DAY | DAY 3: SNOW DAY | DAY 4: STANDOUTS | DAY 5: WRAP UP
It was another day in paradise today, the final day of the ski test. The group was stoked to start the morning on their favorite pair of powder skis and ride another epic powder day. Most headed straight to Paradise for laps in the steep trees, some traversed out to Gnarnia for a longer descent, and a few set out to Powder Country. The sun broke for the first three runs, and then snow socked back in for the rest of the day.
Life on the chain gang. [Photo] Simon Peterson
There were a lot of great skis tested and many testers plan on purchasing their favorite, but the week wrapped up with more hugs and high-fives than gear talk. Testers exchanged contact info and talked about meeting-up for spring skiing or summertime mountain biking.
“We never say goodbye, we only say ‘see you later,’” said Jaime Krakowiak, a fourth-year tester from Breckenridge, Colorado. “The ski test is not always about the skiing or the skis. It’s about the relationships.”
Tyler Cohen in Wolf Creek. [Photo] Simon Peterson
There are four attributes that comprise a good ski tester, Jamie explained. The best testers are enjoyable to hang out with and have a great personality; they need to have the ability to party and still have the endurance to ski the next day; they need to help out all week, moving skis, testing as much equipment as possible and recording data. Good testers lend a hand whenever and wherever needed. And a great tester has the ability to ski hard, and the motivation and enthusiasm to do it for five solid days.
Heading out under blue skies. [Photo] Simon Peterson
“Most people don’t usually ski bell-to-bell every day,” Adam Howard, editorial director of BCM said on the chairlift. “Even ski bums only ski three to four hours a day. Patrollers maybe, but even they don’t ski all day. It’s a lot of work, what testers do.”
Breaking out: Adam Howard breaks trail out of Wolf Creek. [Photo] Simon Peterson
But the work is worth the rewards in the end. If anything, the week allowed testers to escape from daily routines and recharge with good company and non-stop skiing. Whether a ski patroller, a professor or a financial analyst, the week was about forgetting life at home for a short time, and skiing hard, living in the moment and enjoying the company.