Specialty ski shops exist for a reason: They balance the best and most-respected products with the best possible service, creating an experience the customer will rely on forever. The new archetype for this kind of shop is Ski AK. The 1000-square-foot space is located in the historic Spenard district of Anchorage, and is the go-to for skiers of all creeds—beginners to pros, ski teams to backcountry.
Owner Fred Parke is a retired investment manager who never lost a passion for skiing. Growing up in southern California, he learned how to edge on his home hill of Mammoth. Since moving to Anchorage, he’s been able to create a lifestyle that allows him to stay close to the mountains. And his shop is the proof. Continue reading...
SCARPA-athlete Dylan Freed has quite the pedigree. Mentored for years by world-class mountaineers, the humble and precocious ski mountaineer who’s not even a quarter century old already has years of professional skiing under his belt, which happens to be black, if you catch our drift. He’s all in, and here’s what he has to say.
You grew up in SLC in the mountaineering community. How has it been having hard man alpinist Mark Twight as your uncle? How did that influence you?
Having Mark as an influence when I was young has been the strongest force on my direction in life. He introduced me to what the mountains can offer, if you’re allowed to trespass in them long enough, and the way friendships and experiences evolve with people who embody similar attitudes. Seeing him in another realm as a compassionate family member made me aware that other people’s perceptions and the personas people create in the media are rarely accurate.
In addition to Twight, you’ve had a lot of great mentors to learn from, including Andrew McLean. What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from them?
Skiing and traveling with Andrew McLean is always entertaining. Whether swerving around Tehran in an ‘88 Land Cruiser cheating death (in an auto accident), waiting for cameramen in Iceland in a whiteout, or skiing some “low angle bullshit” on a high danger day in the Wasatch, he always has an incredibly positive attitude. It has been great to have a friend and mentor that has taught me about what it’s like to be a traveler and make the best of any experience you’re given. Continue reading...