FREESKIER and Zepparella Ramble On through Park City, UT

Following stops in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Crested Butte, Colorado, FREESKIER’s 20th Anniversary Tour rolled on through Park City, Utah this weekend. And the celestial beings of winter were on our side as up to 20 inches of snow blanketed the Wasatch upon our arrival.

The FREESKIER RV, ready to roll to Brighton Resort at sunrise.

The FREESKIER RV and FREESKIER Land Rover with Brighton Resort looming behind.

With all of that pristine Utah powder awaiting us, the FREESKIER crew headed to Brighton Resort with our friends from Ski Utah to float the deep and distribute high fives all morning long. After enjoying rope drops and indulging in endless face shots, we motored down to Salt Lake City to visit our friends at DPS Skis. We were given a behind the scenes look at how each DPS ski is built and the incredible attention to quality control that is given to each pair of planks. The skis that you see on your local shop floor are downright impeccable in terms of construction. We also witnessed the application of DPS’ new Phantom base glide treatment. (For more on that process, click here.)

After attending a kickass concert by The Cold Hard Cash Show (a Johnny Cash tribute band) at OP Rockwell in Park City, we retired to our beds, ready to hit Park City Mountain bright and early on Saturday morning.

Park City Mountain employees taking advantage of the free donuts and coffee.

We were greeted by warm temperatures and the bluest of skies on Saturday. With the FREESKIER RV parked front and center in the resort parking lot, we greeted eager skiers with fresh coffee and donuts to fuel them for a day on the slopes. The 16 inches of new snow over the past week had folks fired up to load the lifts—whether they were headed to Park City’s world class terrain parks, the incredible hike-to terrain of Jupiter Peak and Ninety Nine 90 or just the impeccably maintained groomers.

When the moon finally replaced the sun in the sky, we took to OP Rockwell along with the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella to party on down. The gals pulled out classics like “Ramble On”, “Misty Mountain Hop”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “The Lemon Song”, “The Ocean” and an encore of “Kashmir” that shook OP Rockwell to its foundation. The band, quite simply, brought the house down.

People jam-packed OP Rockwell to rock out to Zepparella.
Bassist Angeline Saris with the solo.
If you haven’t seen Zepparella, we highly recommend you change that.
Lead singer Anna Kristina and lead guitarist Gretchen Menn, teaming up.
Anna Kristina is as close to a female Robert Plant as you can get.

In the midst of the incredible performance, we gave away baselayers from Kari Traa, a sweatshirt from Fjallraven, two Pret helmets and a gaggle of next year’s goggles from Giro. The crowd went almost as wild as they did during When The Levee Breaks.

FREESKIER publisher Damian Quigley tosses out a brand new Pret Helmet to the crowd.

Next weekend the RV Tour continues on to the Winter Wondergrass Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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

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