Adventure

World's Greatest Boondoggle

Yes, testing next year's skis is technically part of our jobs. Please forgive us.


A nighttime storm was a fine welcome from Deer Valley Resort before our first day of ski test. Brendan Gooding makes himself at home.

A nighttime storm was a fine welcome from Deer Valley Resort before our first day of ski test. Brendan Gooding makes himself at home.

Tim Dyer and Barclay Rabin kick up some snow. These guys always know where to find it.

Tim Dyer and Barclay Rabin kick up some snow. These guys always know where to find it.

Yes, that is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the left. And no, we will not yet reveal what happened when he faced Anaconda Man on the dance floor…

Yes, that is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the left. And no, we will not yet reveal what happened when he faced Anaconda Man on the dance floor later that night…

A little good old-fashioned branding never hurts. And while we're at it, thank you to our sponsors—without them we'd be cold, hungry, and sunburned.…

A little good old-fashioned branding never hurts. And while we’re at it, thank you to our sponsors—without them we’d be cold, hungry, and sunburned. Huge shout-out to: Deer Valley Resort, Helly Hansen, Swix Sport, Pret Helmets, Smartwool, Flylow, Scott, Dakine, Chaos, Darn Tough Vermont, Skida, Stanley, Avex, Squatters Beers, Honeystinger, Beyond Coastal.

We're pretty sure this is Brendan Gooding testing some kind of skis. Hard to tell under all that pow.

We’re pretty sure this is Brendan Gooding testing some kind of skis. Hard to tell under all that pow.

Deer Valley is (clearly) known for its grooming. Megan Brown Brent digs deep.

Deer Valley is (clearly) known for its grooming. Megan Brown Brent digs deep.

The girls debrief (which means, ahem, review categories in our Smartwool) at Skiing Mag HQ in Snowpark.

The girls debrief (which means, ahem, review categories in our Smartwool) at Skiing Mag HQ in Snowpark.

Testers cycle through roughly 15-25 skis per day, evaluating each in every type of terrain. Four categories, five days, 150 skis, free beer from…
Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Testers cycle through roughly 15-25 skis per day, evaluating each in every type of terrain. Four categories, five days, 150 skis, free beer from nearby Squatters…See? We told you it’s hard work.

Brendan Gooding takes the Fischer Ranger on a flight test. Apparently, it passes.

Brendan Gooding takes the Fischer Ranger on a flight test. Apparently, it passes.

Testing one, two...Tim Dyer puts these skis through their paces in the Daly Chutes.

Testing one, two…Tim Dyer puts these skis through their paces in the Daly Chutes.

This is what happens to the Skiing Mag women's test team when the lifts stop humming.

This is what happens to the Skiing Mag women’s test team when the lifts stop humming.

Excuse me, we're working here...

Excuse me, we’re working here…

Leave it to Barclay Rabin to find all kinds of shit to launch off of among Deer Valley's manicured woods.

Leave it to Barclay Rabin to find all kinds of shit to launch off of among Deer Valley’s manicured woods.

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Usually we get nearly unanimous consensus on the best and the worst of each category. The dogs of the group tend to generate drawings, which we're…

Usually we get nearly unanimous consensus on the best and the worst of each category. The dogs of the group tend to generate drawings, which we’re not really sure how to translate here…Except to say testers have mastered renditions of a twig and some berries.