Words & photos by Julie Weinberger

Amidst all the baseball hoopla last Wednesday night, I almost entirely forgot I was leaving Jackson, Wyoming early the following morning for the seventh installment of The Meeting in lovely Aspen, Colorado. After feverishly throwing the necessities in the car and picking up my road trip buddies Griffin and Trish, we arrived in time for the ninth annual NEPSA awards a whopping nine hours later.

Packed house for the NEPSAs.

This year’s NEPSAs (Aspen spelled backwards) were the highest quality I’ve seen in the six years I’ve attended. The local talent on all fronts was amazing. First place went to Geoff Stump and legend Klaus Obermeyer for their film An Extreme NEPSA. How could Yoda voiceovers and Klaus skiing not win?! Second place went to Jacqui Edgerly, Erin Erickson, Megan Vanaznot, Lula Chapman and Rachel Moen for Fit for Real, a hilarious take on getting in shape for ski season, which was capped off by Jacqui skiing a sick line in South America. Ted Davenport took third for “Hey Look at me!...and my puppets.” If anyone needs puppets for anything, Ted’s got a seriously massive collection.

After that, we cruised on over to Belly Up for the D&E Fashion Show and a performance by Boulder’s Robotic Pirate Monkey featuring Matt Berryhill, Matt Flesher and Andrew ‘Hathbanger’ Hathaway. Needless to say, one heck of a dance party ensued.

Robotic Pirate Monkey (Matt Berryhill, Andrew ‘Hathbanger’ Hathaway & Matt Flesher)

Friday morning began in a fog. After breakfast with the Brain Farm crew where we were yelled at for sitting down too quickly, it was time for the more than just a party part of The Meeting. Three forums discussing the Olympics, sustainability and social media brought together a who’s who of the industry to listen to panelists ranging from athletes to brand VPs sharing their expertise and thoughts. This was one of the coolest parts of the weekend. It really is a privilege to get people in all walks of the industry together to talk about the state of freeskiing and where it’s gone and where it will continue to go.

Then, it was time for ski porn. Level 1 Productions’ After Dark and Poor Boyz Productions’ The Grand Bizarre played at the Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen. After a quick dinner break, it was time to load Ajax’s Silver Queen Gondola to watch Voleurz’ That’s Fine and Teton Gravity Research’s One For the Road at 12,000 feet in the Sundeck Lodge.

Another sold-out crowd at the Sundeck Lodge on top of Aspen Mountain.

Again, Saturday morning began in a fog. But all was made better once we arrived at the Woody Creek Racetrack for some Go Kart action courtesy of Red Bull. After Aspen/Snowmass’ very own Dave Amirault took the overall race win, we were all left wondering how much time he spends practicing.

Simon Dumont, Peter Olenick, Henrik Lampert, Dave Amirault and friends get their Go-Kart on.

Evening rolled around and it was time for 1242 Productions’ The Ordinary Skier and MSP Films’ Attack of La Niña at the Wheeler followed by yet another party at Belly Up to close out The Meeting.

#BadDanceParty featuring Freeskier’s Matt Harvey and Aspen/Snowmass’ Dave Amirault.

Once again, thanks to Aspen/Snowmass for making The Meeting such an amazing weekend. And, thank you to Colter Hinchliffe for telling us of a short cut to knock almost two hours off our drive back to Jackson!

This pretty much sums up The Meeting.