By Tucker Harris EBS STAFF
BOZEMAN – For Red Bull mountain athlete and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Member Chris Davenport, skiing is all about having fun and being a part of a community. These are values he hopes to apply through his new role as the senior director of skiing and product innovation for Bozeman-based Peak Ski Company.
Peak Ski Company, founded this spring by Andy Wirth and Bode Miller, is a high-performance and ski brand platform defined by grit, innovation, precision and performance.
“It’s a purpose-built company,” Miller said. “To allow someone like Chris [to join Peak Ski Company] who has this incredible history in the sport, knowledge and background and sort of intelligence that’s hard-earned over decades and decades of time in the mountains and experience … is amazing.”
The respect is mutual between Davenport, Miller and Wirth, all having grown up skiing, a passion they’re handing down to their children today.
“When this group of people that I respected came together under this Peak brand with Bode and Andy cofounding this thing, I said to myself, ‘This is a really strong group of individuals, people that I love and respect in the industry,’” Davenport said. “The opportunity to be a part of that was really kind of what piqued my interest and made me want to participate.”
Davenport is a two-time World Champion big mountain skier and an experienced ski guide of more than 20 years. He’s skied all seven continents of the world’s highest peaks and was the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in under a year.
“[Davenport’s] intellect, his thoughtfulness, his approach to equipment, development and more is very unique,” Wirth said. “His name and his fame in his CV or in his bio were what piqued attention, but it’s really what he is contributing and can contribute to the development of the business, to the brand and more. And that’s plainly why he is very much part of the executive team.”
Part of the larger vision for Peak Ski Company is the ethos of innovation: to continue to develop a product design that focuses on performance.
Davenport just spent the past few days testing out all of Peak’s new lineup in the mountains of Portillo, Chile. Making the switch from his former Kastle skis to Peak skis was a new experience, Davenport said. His reaction? All smiles.
“I just loved the feedback that they gave me and they put a smile on my face,” Davenport said of the experience. “If that’s what’s the result of the skis that we’re making, we are doing a good job. We’re winning.”
In his new role, Davenport will continue to work with Wirth and Miller to advance the Peak SC by Bode Miller line of skis as well as a forthcoming line of high-performance backcountry skis.
“We’re literally building products and creating experiences that give people a great time and make them feel good about themselves … and their experiences in the mountains,” Davenport said. “And that’s exactly what was translating through the snow, through the skis, through my ski boots and into my body.”
Another part of Peak’s larger vision is building community around the brand, something aligned with Davenport’s own values.
On Thursday, Sept. 15 from 4-7 p.m., the company will host the Peak Ski Company Bravery BBQ in collaboration with local nonprofit Big Sky Bravery to celebrate its new showroom opening and allow community members to meet the team. The event will take place at Peak Ski Company Headquarters, 245 Quail Run Rd. in Bozeman.
“We want people that own Peak skis to feel like they’re part of something bigger than just ‘I own this pair of skis.’ That’s not what we’re trying to do here,” Davenport said. “So by having a barbecue with music and beers and bands and all the fun things and having all of our team there together, I think it’s just the beginning of some of the things that we want to do in future to build community.”