And just like that, Blister Summit 2024 has come and gone. We had a phenomenal time skiing, riding, testing gear, and hanging out with all of the attendees, brands, sponsors, athletes, our amazing team of volunteers, and the rest of our extended Blister team. A big thank you goes out to all of them for making this our favorite week of the winter.
Things kicked off with our Welcome Session on Sunday afternoon, where we got to meet tons of new folks and reunite with the many repeat Summit attendees.
We then got into our group discussion on “How to Evaluate & Test Gear,” where we had Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson (4FRNT / Dynafit), Angel Collinson, Amie Engerbretson (Atomic), and Matt Williams (Never Summer) offered their thoughts to help attendees make the most of their time trying new gear over the next four days.
Then we went back to catching up with a bunch of great people and getting ready to hit the mountain the next day.
Monday, February 5th
The next morning, we did just that — everyone started trying TONS of new products from over 35 different brands, including 4FRNT, Bag Balm, BCA, Beacon Guidebooks, Bishop Telemark, CARV, Dalbello, Daymaker Touring, Deuter, DPS, Dynafit, Dynastar, Folsom, Giro, Glade, Icelantic, Kastle, La Sportiva, Majesty, Marker, MIPS, Moment, MountainFlow, Never Summer, ON3P, Ortovox, Phantom Glide, Raide, ROMP, Rossignol, Salomon, SCARPA, Volkl, Weston, ZAG, and Zipfit.
Attendees, athletes, and Blister reviewers all met up throughout the day for group laps at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, while others headed into the nearby backcountry for guided tours with Irwin Guides, courtesy of Bag Balm, the presenting sponsor of the Summit’s Backcountry Program. We even had another Blister Summit 1st: there was a marriage proposal on one of the backcountry tours! Congratulations, you two!
We closed out the first day of on-snow testing with our evening apres hangout, followed by three excellent panel sessions.
On that note — be sure to subscribe to our Blister YouTube channel to catch videos of all the panel sessions and a bunch of Brand Lineup videos we filmed about the new 24/25 gear at the Summit.
Monday’s panel-session lineup included:
(1) The Future Of Comps: Carter Westfall (CEO, Natural Selection), Snowboard Legend, Tom “T.Bird” Monterosso, and Olympic gold medalist, Red Gerard, who was coming fresh off of winning a gold medal in slopestyle at X Games, and was about to go compete in a Natural Selection Duels event.
(2) Ski Design & Manufacturing: Luke Jacobson (CEO, Moment Skis) and Ben Anderson (founder, Icelantic Skis) discussed the current state of ski manufacturing, shapes, and materials. We also had a conversation about the cost of manufacturing skis vs. the retail price of skis, and every skier and rider out there would do well to understand those dynamics, and it’ll get you thinking.
(3) Radical Acts: How to Create Change: Host Jason Blevins (co-founder, Colorado Sun) was joined by Caroline Gleich (Pro Ski Mountaineer / U.S. Senate Candidate), Nina Waters (Summit Country Commissioner / Blizzard Athlete), and Dr. Len Necefer (Founder, Sonoran Avalanche Center & NativesOutdoors) to explain the power and the responsibilities that those of us who claim to love the outdoors have when it comes to voting, getting involved in local politics, and perhaps, like Caroline, even running for national office.
Tuesday, February 6th
Tuesday kicked off with a group uphill dawn patrol lap at Mt. Crested Butte and restorative yoga to warm up for another full day of both resort and backcountry laps.
Another highlight of the Summit is that so many folks got to head into the backcountry for the first time, each led by the outstanding Irwin Guides.
Back at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, the beginning of a storm system started to roll in, which only made us more excited for the rest of the week.
Following another relaxing apres hangout, we dove back into some really interesting panel sessions. And just like every other night, we also handed out a LOT of great products between panel sessions during our nightly Gear Giveaway.
Tuesday’s panel lineup:
(1) Ski Boots: What’s New & What’s Next: Matt Manser (Atomic), Greg Klein (Willi’s Ski & Snowboard Shops), and Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson (Dynafit) got into all things ski boots — and some things that went way beyond ski boots, which caused Jonathan to rename the panel session: Sex & Ski Boots. Let’s just say, you’ll definitely want to catch our Blister Summit video of this one.
(2) Stories From The Field: Athlete Session: Mallory Duncan (4FRNT), Elyse Saugstad, Vasu Sojitra, and Angel Collinson told tales about their favorite days in the mountains, they most scared they’d ever been in the mountains, and more.
(3) Concussions, Safety, Helmet Designs, & Best Practices: Blister reviewer and physician assistant, Sascha Anastas, hosted this panel and was joined by Steven Kennedy (Giro), Fredrik Kjellberg (MIPS), and Drew Petersen (Salomon). This turned out to be a conversation that all of us who ski and ride should listen to — lots of important information in this one.
Wednesday, February 7th
Our third day of gear testing started off snowier than the others, with fresh flakes falling throughout the day. Many attendees took the opportunity to start trying some wider skis and powder-oriented boards, as Mt. Crested Butte and the surrounding backcountry received a fresh blanket of snow.
Some folks got it first by skinning up the hill before the lifts started running, and then we all took advantage of the soft snow throughout the rest of the day. Once again, we had a whole bunch of ski / ride group meetups, covering a huge spectrum of ability levels and terrain preferences. Some got to enjoy leisurely tours of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, while others opted to dip into the Extremes off the North Face and High Lift T-bars. Regardless, there were smiles all around.
Now getting into the rhythm of the event, we then transitioned to apres mode, enjoying refreshments from Revelshine, New Belgium, Montanya, and Acli-Mate, and we tucked in for another night of panel sessions and gear giveaways.
On Wednesday, our panels covered:
(1) Blister Labs: Jonathan Ellsworth and Dr. Sean Humbert discussed the Blister Labs ‘Ski Flex’ project, and why boot flex modeling is getting incorporated into a project centered on skis. Then, Luke Jacobson (Moment Skis) and Matt Manser (Atomic) chimed in with their industry perspectives, and we got lots of great questions from the audience.
(2) Climate Issues: Individual Behavior & Collective Action: Amie Engerbretson (Atomic), Dr. Len Necefer (Founder, NativesOutdoors & Sonoran Avalanche Center), and Jake Black (Sr. Director of Programs, Protect Our Winters) dove deep into the underlying issues of guilt, pride, individual principles, and personal joys / hobbies that aren’t frequently discussed when it comes to climate issues. Definitely another not-to-be-missed conversation.
(3) LIVE Blister Podcast | Reviewing the News w/ Cody Townsend: Jonathan and Cody sat down to record their monthly series, and the live audience did not disappoint!
Thursday, February 8th
The last day of Blister Summit 2024 seemed to arrive quite quickly, but fortunately, it was the best one of the week in terms of conditions. We got several more inches of snow overnight, then it went blue, then it started nuking again, and then it went back to bluebird skies. I.e., great snow and great visibility.
Despite the fact that it followed three full days of laps, it seemed like almost everyone took advantage of the conditions and rode bell-to-bell. After more group meetups at CBMR and more tours in the backcountry, the Blister team all linked up for our now annual group photo at the top of Monument, slashed down the soft snow to the base, and regrouped for our final night of the event.
We hosted one more panel session on Thursday, where phenoms like Trevor Kennison, Tristan Brown (ZAG), Cody Townsend (Salomon), and Hoji (Dynafit & 4FRNT) all swapped stories about their experiences in the mountains.
We then gave away even more gear, enjoyed some more refreshments from Revelshine, New Belgium, and Acli-Mate, and closed out the week with a brand-new venture:
The 1st Annual Blister Film Awards
We will have a LOT more to say about this in the future, but in short, our goal with the Blister Awards is to highlight and celebrate the incredible filmmakers, athletes, and creatives in the outdoor world, and the launch of our 1st Blister Film Awards was a great success. More on this soon!
Following the awards, we brought the Blister Summit to a close, gave out lots of hugs, said our goodbyes to all our old and new friends, and then … at about 11pm … there was another Blister Summit 1st:
The 1st Blister Summit Karaoke Party
The 1st ever Blister Summit Karaoke party. Yes, this happened. Oh man did it happen. And as the clock struck 1am, it was clear to everyone crowded inside Blister HQ that another new Blister Summit tradition had just been born.
More hugs were given out, and we all finally headed to bed.
Then, yesterday morning, we immediately started discussing next year’s Summit — Blister Summit 2025 — so stay tuned for more info soon!