Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Powder Post

Every year I look forward to working with Powder Magazine to try out next year's skis and write reviews for their forthcoming September Buyer's Guide. Powder has created such a unique and fun process, bringing in a bunch of ripping skiers from across the industry as well as all the brands that buy in to be featured in the magazine. Check out my posts from years past about Powder Week, the greatest week of the year.

This year in addition to the Powder Week "ski test" (they don't like to call it a ski test, but thats what it is), they invited me to participate in their outerwear test, Thread The Needle. Powder hosted this event at Deer Valley, Utah this year, basically in my backyard, which enabled me to have a little stay-cation while taking part in the event.

Much like Powder Week, Thread The Needle invites a bunch of ski apparel brands and an equal amount of ripping skiers to try on the gear and ski around in it in order to write reviews for Powder's gear guide that comes out in October.

Thread The Needle was basically a dream come true from a shameless "gear whore" like myself. Its basically a fashion show for next years outerwear from brands like Patagonia, Scott, Flylow, Faction, Eider, Arcteryx, and Armada, to name a few. I felt like equal parts model and princess getting dressed up and schmoozed by the brands I was paired with, ripping around the perfectly manicured groomers of Deer Valley for three days.

Skiing around in six or so different brands over three days showed me a lot about the construction of outerwear, fit, function and utility. Theres a lot of technical features involved in ski wear that you might take for granted. You obviously want a jacket to be waterproof yet breathable, possibly including ventilation like pit zips, easy to use and well-placed pockets, internal pockets for your phone, a hood that fits over your helmet and/or can zip off completely, and then theres more technical features depending on the use its geared toward, like if its a bulky puffy for cold resort days, or if its streamlined, and lightweight with strategically placed vents and zippers based on wearing a pack while backcountry skiing. No wonder they're so expensive!... and rightfully so.

A pleasant surprise and added bonus from the event was being named Powder POSSE "Duchess", which was awarded to me based on my sartorial prowess, enthusiasm, and representing "the most style and class." Their words, not mine. ;) The award for the Duchess is a gloriously bedazzled wizard staff/stoke stick/ski pole, which I own for the next year and intend on enhancing creatively for when I pass it off to the next Duke or Duchess next year.

Check out some of the clothing I got to ski around in during Thread The Needle 2016:

Flylow - their bib pants that I'm wearing are my favorite!

Another from Flylow

fun with Faction

little did we know Jesse and I would win Thread The Needle as Duchess and "Best in Class"

Taking this event very seriously

Duckworth - the yummiest merino wool base and light layers 

Scott touring kit

Scott big mtn pro kit

The winners of Thread the Needle, the Duchess and Best in Class 
The Duchess' wizard staff/stoke stick/ski pole

Patagonia super nice resort kit

One of my favorites from Patagonia, Powslayer bibs and shell jacket