By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Senior Editor
BIG SKY – Powder Magazine will bring its famed Powder Week to Big Sky Resort for the first time, Feb. 22-27. The private event has been held at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo. for 13 years, and spent one year at Utah’s Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
The event brings ski industry professionals together and helps the magazine build its annual Buyer’s Guide that appears in its September issue, according to Matt Hansen, Powder’s Editor-At-Large.
“We try to celebrate the skiing lifestyle,” Hansen said of the overall Powder Week vibe. “It’s something we all love to do more than anything else, and Powder Week gives us that opportunity to do it together.”
The magazine will bring 34 ski companies from around the world to have their planks tested by 34 industry professionals – including Big Sky locals Brit Barnes from Big Sky Ski Repair and East Slope Outdoors’ Alex Bueking. Testers will ski brands that have been around for decades, as well as skis from boutique startup companies.
“What we have seen over the last five or six years is the emergence of small, independent ski companies,” Hansen said. “One of the coolest things about Powder Week is we don’t isolate the big brands from the small ones. [They] love it and readers of Powder appreciate that all these skis are looked at through the same lens.”
While Powder Week is a mostly private affair, there are two events open to the public. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Powder Editor John Stifter – a Montana State University alum – will present “Snow Science and the Human Factor” in the Yellowstone Conference Center’s Jefferson Room, from 7-9 p.m. Stifter also presented the multi-media forum on avalanche safety and group decision-making at MSU’s Procrastinator Theater on Feb. 17.
The second public event will be the First Annual Greater Yellowstone SubRegional Gelande Quaffing Quaffifier on Wednesday, Feb. 25. A beer drinking game that started in Jackson, the gelande quaff pits teams of four along with a coach against each other to throw down as many pints as they can, scoring points for style. The 16-team tournament begins at 4:20 p.m. in the Mountain Village Plaza outside of Whiskey Jack’s, and costs $100 per team to enter.
Hansen said moving the venue from Jackson was intended to freshen up the event, and Big Sky Resort’s terrain, vertical drop and abundant snow made it an ideal candidate.
“It’s a big industry event and we’re honored they wanted to do it here,” said Lyndsey Owens, the resort’s director of marketing. “It’s only fitting that they would have such a large ski test at the ‘Biggest Skiing in America.’”