Racing to the Top

Bode Miller's new ski company.

The much-anticipated Peak Ski Company is now fully operational, with Bozeman as its home base. Behind the wheel, or should I say behind the skis, is Bode Miller, along with his co-founder Andy Wirth. Before we try to understand where this groundbreaking ski brand is taking us, it is first necessary to realize where it came from.

Bode Miller is much more than just the winningest male ski racer in North American history. When he was off the snow, he was behind the scenes, working diligently to give himself and his skis the edge needed to take his skiing to the next level. His accolades on the snow could not have been achieved without those breakthroughs and innovations he helped design. Bottom line: Bode knows skis and Peak is the brainchild of all his hard work.

Bode hails from New Hampshire, where the state motto is “Live Free or Die.” That ethos, combined with the unique amount of public land in “the Granite State” (relative to other New England states), made Bozeman a natural progression for Bode and his ski career in the west. All that, combined with Bozeman’s booming outdoor and ski community, made this the perfect base for his new company.

When Bode and Peak Skis chose Bozeman, they committed to being a part of the community. And, unlike many outdoor companies based here, Peak is more than just a website and a product with "Bozeman, MT" written on it. There's a full showroom that folks can visit to check out the latest line of skis. Peak has already partnered with a few local organizations, the most significant being two nonprofits, Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) and Big Sky Bravery, to get a hand in some meaningful projects around town. In fact, if you visit the showroom right now, you’ll see it adorned with Christmas trees for their Parade of Trees benefit for BSF. And there is more community engagement to come.

Back to the skis. One of Bode’s most significant discoveries in ski design is something Peak has coined "keyhole technology." Simply put, Bode and his design team use a revolutionary method to maximize a ski's power and energy underfoot, while still enabling the tip and shovel to deliver a fun, playful experience. They do this by laser cutting away a "titanal disk"—the keyhole—from the top layer of metal in the forebody of the ski. That cutaway acts as an inflection point in the longitudinal and torsional flex of the ski. The effect is a forgiving ski at turn entry with extra grip underfoot. But there’s more: because the keyhole makes the ski easier to turn, Peak is able to reduce the sidecut (the hourglass shape of a ski) for a still more forgiving ride, especially off-piste. This, along with other design features, makes Peak Skis among the most versatile all-mountain skis on the market.

I was able to get a pair to try out myself, which I took to Bridger Bowl on opening day. Huge base, lots of untracked snow, packed-powder groomers, untouched tree stashes... who can ask for more? I chose the 104s, which seemed like one of the better do-it-all widths. First things first, I had to take them on a hot groomer lap and try to lay it down. Wow, did they love to be on edge. The power generation was incredible. When I figured out how to engage the sidecut and core, I felt like skiing circles around everyone else on the mountain—which is exactly what I did.

After a couple knee-deep laps through the trees, the Peak 104s won my stamp of approval in the deeper stuff, too—plenty of float for a good time there. Finally, once the mountain was a bit more carved up, they held strong and sturdy through some choppier snow. Long story short: these things are certified, all-mountain beasts.

Though Bode Miler was a downhill racer, Peak Skis offer so much more. The company has designed a full line of skis to take you everywhere on the resort, from carving trenches under the lift, to jump-turning down tight chutes, to floating in deep, hike-to sidecountry terrain. Width options are 88, 98, 104, and 110. There are two SC (sidecountry) options as well that have around 100 grams shaved off, to save weight when skinning and off-trail skiing.  This option is great for lighter on-piste skiers, as well.

Throughout his time in the Olympics, Bode learned to understand and appreciate how far a good crew goes with skiing. Peak Skis is carrying on that work ethic here in Bozeman, with everyone who wants to dig deeper into what Peak Skis are all about. There are no middlemen. Go ahead, stop by or give them a call to find out.


Peak Skis is located off Quail Run in Four Corners.