PESHASTIN, Wash. — Lithic Skis is okay with it if you’ve never heard of them. For the time being, at least.
In the small town of Peshastin, Wash., just East of Leavenworth, you will find two guys who’ve been working tirelessly for the past seven years to create handmade skis.
Ty Bourgeois and Paul Roberts started Lithic Skis together because of their shared passion for the sport.
“We’re not trying to compete with K2,” said co-owner Bourgeois, “They make most of their stuff in China. That’s not really our gig, we’re trying to keep it pretty regional and local.”
And that means handcrafting them on their own. Thankfully, Paul’s background helped them with the process.
“I have an engineering background and I kind of thought that ski building would be kind of the perfect blend for a passion for skiing and you know, my education,” said co-owner Roberts.
The two can make everything from powder skis and carving skis to wide skis and backcountry skis, all within a short time period.
“We can come up with an idea or drawing one day, draw it, cut out the template that same day, make the ski, and have it on the snow the next day,” said Bourgeois.
The entire process, from start to finish, is completed by the duo. They even hand-pick the wood they use from a sawmill down the road.
“We pick strong, straight grain boards without any defects, and that’s time-consuming,” said Roberts, “But in the end, you end up with a better ski because of it.”
That quality in skis led local ski hill Mission Ridge to ask Lithic Skis to create a special 50th-anniversary ski for them.
“Yeah, the 50th Anniversary Mission Ridge is a really big deal for us,” said Tony Hickock of Mission Ridge. “And there is no better way we could think to honor and commemorate that milestone than to have just an amazing ski produced right here in our backyard.”
All the money from the skis made for Mission Ridge's 50th Anniversary goes directly to the volunteer ski patrol.
For Lithic Skis, opportunities like this are exciting.
“Manufacturing in America, while it’s certainly not as strong as it once was, I think it’s slowly coming back and brands like us are part of that movement and we’re excited to kind of be here now,” said Bourgeois.
“And if you’re ever in the area, let’s go ski together,” said Roberts.