Behind the Scenes at Our 2018 Ski Test
In February, we put more than 250 pairs of next winter's skis through their paces at Snowbird, Utah. We're talking 18 testers, three days, and a total of 1.5 million vertical feet. Find out which planks rose to the top in the Winter Buyer's Guide, which hits newsstands in October. In the meantime, let photographer Lee Cohen take you through the test.
To stand out in Snowbird’s socially competitive tram dock, it helps to throw out lines like, “Yeah, I’m just here testing skis for Outside. Did I mention I’m a ski tester?”
More than 20 brands submitted 150 models (many in multiple lengths) for our test.
Tester Gabe Glosband sees how next winter’s boards handle this winter’s wind buff in Snowbird’s Cirque.
Chad Jacob in the thick of the ski-test daily grind. Grab a pair of skis, hop on the chair, burn a lap, fill out a test card, repeat 18 to 22 times.
Another pitted bro: Longtime tester and ski tech Greg Peruzzi takes a turn in the pit adjusting demo bindings. Brady Newton heckles him for the effort.
Get back to work. Testers Nick Loomans and Stephie Kasun dog it above the ’Bird’s Mineral Basin.
Loomans rips Puckerbrush.
Plenty of skis shred powder. Fewer stand out on leftover alpine chalk. Loomans descends Bonar’s Pass, Little Cloud.
The annual ski test is a collaboration between Outside, Mountain Magazine, and Gear Institute. Here, Gear Institute’s Tal-ee Roberts pounds out multiple-syllable words as instructed by the test director.
Alta ski patroller and tester Andrew McCloskey finds some wind buff near Tower Three off the Cirque.