Having been born & raised on Long Island, I hadn’t had much exposure to ski culture. Growing up, ski trips looked like my parents old Z71 packed to the brim, heading up to Vermont for holidays when my family of seven could make it work. In high school, I was skiing a pair of Atomics that I traded with a classmate for motocross pants. They were aggressively small for me, but I didn’t know that.

In 2019 it all changed. I had my first opportunity to ski the west. My family and I were headed to Telluride for Christmas. When we landed in Montrose, there was already an impressive coating of snow on the ground, and it wasn’t slowing up. The seven of us packed up a big suburban, like the old days, and started our trek to Telluride. I couldn’t keep my face off of the window glass - the open farmland leading into mountainous terrain had me in awe.

We woke up to a foot of snow and a view of Wilson Peak like no other. I left the undersized Atomics back east and rented a proper pair of twigs. With the right equipment, true champagne powder, and runs well over a mile long, I fell in love with the sport. Within two months I was back in Telluride - with my college friends this time.

I was hooked.

When the conversation started about entering the family business, Landscapes by Jeffco, it was agreed that I was to go out and gain industry knowledge before moving home. That meant internships for industry leading companies over the summers, and taking on a full-time position elsewhere when I graduate. I applied at three different companies, 'coincidentally' all of which were in Colorado. I landed at Designscapes Colorado, one of the nation's top 50 landscape companies. When winter rolled around, I was responsible for a snow removal route, but I also intended to pack as many ski days in as possible. The storms tended to come through at night, so I would be on the clock anywhere from 8pm to 8am until the snow stopped and my routes were cleared. The sun would be coming up, and I-70 would be calling my name. Drop the plow off, grab my quiver, a breakfast burrito and coffee from Santiagos and I was good to go. I may have been exhausted, but the thrill of flying down the Rocky Mountains, on a powder day, and midweek when the lift lines were non-existent, created the happiest days of my life. 

A friend of a friend of a friend had a place in Vail. He took me under his wing and gave me a bed to sleep on whenever I needed after one day of skiing together. We were fast friends. I will never forget hitting a cliff together, high-fiving, and Trill telling me I am welcome to stay with him whenever. It was an epic moment for me, and it was the inception of this brand. That day was the first time I heard someone call Two Skip. I instantly knew it was gold.

In the fall of 2022 it became clear that my Father was ready for me to come home and help him out at the business. It may have been too soon, but when duty calls…

Naturally, I felt the need to 'purge' the west and skiing out of me. I bought my first car, planned out a rough itinerary, and gave my company four weeks notice. The itinerary looked something like this: Two separate roadtrips, one starting north out of Denver, west from Montana, south from Seattle down PCH 1, Thanksgiving in San Diego, overlap with my sister Leigh in Scottsdale Arizona, ski Taos, back to Denver. The second trip was more ski orientated, driving west straight out of Colorado, couch surfing in Utah, running a 50k in Calabasas, ski Tahoe with some of The Long Island boys, then trek north to Canada hitting resorts along the way. From Whistler I would bounce around mountains all the way to Calgary then the same thing South through Montana.

And that was the extent of it.

Each day was impromptu, and many days I had no idea where I would sleep. Walmart parking lots, truck stops, closed parking grounds, etc.

I left the jeep unlocked in a parking garage in SLC, woke up and found my childhood backpack, Sony a7sii + GM lens, drone, film camera, parka etc. stolen. I fractured my fibula a few days later skiing in Alta, and had to sit out of the 50k I was training for. Mom expected me to pack up and drive home, but that never crossed my mind. I tore a tailgate off of an Audi in Park City, in the same week as the other two events. I also met amazing people along the way, like the owner of Hook Fish, Andy, in San Francisco. I met my favorite athlete & artist, Chris Benchetler, in Whistler. I was spontaneously blessed with amazing sunrises and sets, couches to sleep on, and safe journeys along some of the gnarliest driving I should ever endure over BLM snow-covered back roads.

Two weeks after the fracture, I was attempting to ski again. Slow and steady I was recovering. Walking in the boots and getting off the chairlifts were the worse parts, for weeks. But it was better than calling it quits, and I learned to love good corduroy.

The travels did everything but ‘purge’ the west and infatuation of skiing out of me. Within months of being home, I knew I needed to stay involved in ski culture, and the way to do so was clear. I had to ramp up Two Skip, an instagram page I had started to post my ski inspired clothing design and travels.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but that seems to be how I roll.

More on how to start a clothing brand in the next post. Thank you for reading & being a part of this journey with me - any and all support means everything to me.

To No Last Runs - Jeffrey T. Colón