|ESPN.com: Freeskiing||[Print without images]|
|Andy Parry and friends in New Zealand for Line Traveling Circus.|
In December, a new grassroots tour will be traveling to East Coast ski areas. It's called the Tell-A-Friend Tour and the plan is relatively simple: Meet a group of pro skiers and friends at a local ski shop, drive to the ski hill, rip around all day, then win free stuff through raffles, and more. I'll be there, as well as Ian Compton, Jack Borland, and more.
The first tour stop takes place Saturday, Dec. 1 at Killington, Vt., followed by Okemo, Ski Sundown, Sugarbush, Holiday Valley, Toggenburg, and Seven Springs, all throughout the month of December.
Why start an East Coast ski tour? Here's the backstory. Coming out of college I knew that getting a real job wasn't going to happen right away. I spent my first year out of school living in Burlington, Vt., filming with Meathead Films. I took out a $5,000 loan and enrolled in an online school for the winter in hopes that I would find myself in a masters program in a year or two.
|"Everyone should come to my tour stops!" Parry pleads.|
By the end of the winter, I owed $5,000 and wasn't any closer to finding what I wanted to do with my life. At the end of the spring, Will Wesson was graduating from the University of Vermont and was more or less in the same quandary -- go back to school or find a real job. We met with Line Skis founder Jason Levinthal and proposed two ideas: one of them was for a webisode series and the other one was for a tour. The tour idea was shut down in favor of the web videos, which quickly turned into the Traveling Circus. But the thought of creating a tour always stayed in the back of my mind.
In the spring of 2011, I started to send emails around that outlined an East Coast tour in which I would stop at seven resorts. It was the same idea as years ago but with a different intent. In 2008, when we had talked with Line, I hadn't really thought more than a year ahead, but this time I had some more long-term goals.One of the goals was to really try and inspire kids to attempt new tricks, keep skiing as a lifelong pursuit, and find the same passion for the sport that I have. It's one thing to watch ski movies all day, but it's different when someone you idolize comes up and shakes your hand or teaches you something new. That experience sticks with you for a long time and can help be an inspiration to keep skiing.
Only time will tell if my goals will be reached but until then, come check out one of the tour stops near you in December.