Skiing has a way of following us and of giving us skills that extend far beyond the hill. It opens doors, and we love hearing where those new doors lead. Alpine standout Eric Haferman has gone from running gates to running a local climbing skin company.
Eric grew up with the Bridger Ski Foundation, starting with our Youth Ski League (now called Intro) and moving up to find both national and international success as an alpine ski racer. He won six Junior Olympic medals, including a gold in giant slalom, and he was the Western Region Junior Champion. He was good enough that he spent four years skiing out of Utah, trying to get a spot on the U.S. national team and a World Cup spot. He won the Topopolino Shootout and took 7th in the Topopolino slalom in Italy. Meanwhile, he was also building up a ski mountaineering resume. Eric says, after a couple of knee surgeries and some slow skiing, he stopped racing seriously last spring.
But when one door closes, another opens. Eric's skiing had earned him a spot as the first sponsored athlete of Big Sky Mountain Products, a local startup that makes affordable climbing skins for skis, and he'd helped the founder Tom Jungst as he developed the product. Jackson Keogh, who skied for BSF for a year while he attended school in Bozeman and who also has a wealth of backcountry experience, was the company's other first sponsored athlete.
Eric explains the recent turn of events. "Tom got his dream job at the National Lab in Los Alamos working as an engineer so he brought myself and Jackson Keogh to run the company. I’m currently the Operations Director and Jackson is Managing Director." Tom is still spearheading the engineering and design portion.
Big Sky Mountain Products sells their skins online at skiskinsonline.com, and you'll also find Eric selling them out of an Airstream trailer in ski area parking lots. The goal? To provide a quality climbing skin at the lowest price.
Congratulations to Eric and Big Sky Mountain Products. We can't wait to see what you do next.