A snowboarder throws some spray during magic hour in the Whistler backcountry, BC, Canada.
A snowboarder throws some spray during magic hour in the Whistler backcountry, BC, Canada. (Phil Tifo/Tandem)

Your Perfect Ski Season Playlist for 2018

As crowdsourced by the Outside staff

A snowboarder throws some spray during magic hour in the Whistler backcountry, BC, Canada.
The Editors

We had a hard time coming up with a neat synopsis of this year’s ski season mix. As a staff, we may have managed to put together a playlist even more eclectic than last year’s.

Here’s what we can promise: This is a utilitarian mix. Got an anxious designated DJ on your drive to the hill? Hit shuffle and blame us for the songs your carmates don’t like. Bored with your usual pump-up tracks? We have one from just about every decade. Have your own perfectly curated playlist for the season? Is it really perfect until you’ve incorporated our oddly specific favorites? Only one way to find out.

I just stumbled onto Habibi Funk, an album whose subtitle (An Eclectic Selection of Music from the Arab World) says basically everything you need to know about it. The lead track, “Bsslama Habit” sounds like it was recorded in an American garage circa 1960 and is the perfect thing to queue up as you’re exiting the lift into a bunch of fresh pow.

—Jonah Ogles, articles editor

My one song selection is easy: Grinderman’s “Mickey Mouse & The Goodbye Man.” Why, you ask? Because it’s badass. Earth-shaking, rocking-rolling, hard-driving, ass-kicking rock and roll that makes me want to go fast. Play it loud.

—Kevin Meyers, human resources manager

I Get Overwhelmed” from Dark Rooms has been on repeat for me this winter. It’s mellow and a little dark, yet somehow super-catchy. Perfect for those dawn-patrol mornings where you want to ease into the day.

—Marie Sullivan, associate video producer

You can’t not carve hard to throwback synthpop. “Take on Me” by A-ha works equally well as an après pump-up.

—Aleta Burchyski, senior copy editor

Admittedly, “Dancing with Myself” by Generation X is an “on the way to the hill” song, since I believe in headphone-free shredding for reasons of safety and sociability. Though it’s nothing new, this 1980 song will always remind me of one of my root inspirations—the snowboarding video Lame (circa 2003). In fact, I have an entire playlist of songs from the legendary shred trilogy by Robot Food.

—Christopher Thompson, visual producer

There’s a song in the movie 127 Hours called “Never Hear Surf Music Again” by Free Blood. It’s a dangerous-sounding track that I was addicted to for months after seeing that film. It fits the bill here, methinks.

—Svati Narula, assistant social media editor

Shakey Graves’ “Family and Genus” will be my number one song this year, for sure. It appeared in DPS Skis’ The Space Within, and I was blown away by how well it fit the film. Now if only listening allowed me to ski half as well as those shredders…

—Mitch Breton, video curator

Get Back Up Again” from the Trolls soundtrack. Yes, I have kids, and my kids love the Trolls movie. As a result, we end up bumping the soundtrack when we head out skiing. But even if you don’t have kids, this song is worthy of a ski-day soundtrack thanks to the pump-you-up lyrics and driving rhythm. Just watch. You’ll be shouting the lyrics out loud before you know it.

—Jakob Schiller, marketing manager

Thanks to a mellow yet driving beat, “Animals” by West Coast indie outfit Coast Modern is perfect for marking turns on laid-back powder days. Also: “I Know What I Know” by Geographer. Not too slow or too fast, this indie-electronic gem is perfect for rolling into the ski hill parking lot for a predawn lap.

—Nicholas Hunt, associate editor

I’d be surprised if anyone could sit still listening to the dance tune “That’s What I Like” by Flo Rida. I time it on my playlist to come up when I’m gonna hit a steep incline because it drives me right up the hill.

—Mary Turner, deputy editor

We have no snow in sunny Santa Fe. This brings some people sadness. It brings me some late-season mountain biking joy. To accompany your tears, dear listener, may I suggest either “Suffer Well (M83 Remix)” by Depeche Mode or perhaps “Smoking Section” by St. Vincent.

—Scott Rosenfield, digital general manager

Chicano Batman’s “El Frío” and “Cycles of Existential Rhyme” are smooth and kinda trippy, so they’re great for the ride up the canyon or for some fluid carves down the hill.

—J. Weston Phippen, senior editor

Full disclosure: I am a total Jerry when it comes to skiing. Luckily, I am a pro road-tripper. Here are a few of my favorite driving jams to stave off sleep: “Fully Automated Luxury” by Cymbals; “Good As Hell” by Lizzo; “Dirt” by DJ Format, Abdominal; and “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow.

—Jenny Earnest, social media manager

Typically, I’m a very social skier. But without fail, there always comes a point in the day where I crave a little ski therapy—basically an excuse to play “Liars” by Gregory Alan Isakov and do some thinking while I cruise down a few runs by myself. It starts off slow but hits this awesome crescendo toward the end. The whole song feels like it belongs on a movie soundtrack. For something a little more upbeat, “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader is one of the happiest songs out there. It’s the perfect thing to blast through your headphones on the first run of the day. You can’t help but dance down the slopes.

—Carly Graf, associate editor

I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King. I don’t ski, but I run in the winter, and lately I’ve been playing this classic on repeat to get me motivated to hit the trails on extra-cold mornings. My mom is a big Carole fan, so this always takes me back to my childhood, makes me happy, and takes the sting out of those dark, early mornings.

—Abigail Wise, online managing editor

I love Waxahatchee’s newish album, Out in the Storm, even more than I love saying Waxahatchee. One of my favorite songs is “Brass Beam,” which starts out laid-back and picks up just enough that you will be publicly shamed (in my car, at least) if you don’t sing along. It’s the exact right song to kick off a long, snowyish drive.

—Erin Berger, senior editor

Where Next to Conquer” by Bolt Thrower. Because, like bacon, Bolt Thrower makes everything better.

—Sean Cooper, copy chief

Some “Buick Mackane” by Ty Segall in your eardrums will pick you up if you left home without coffee. It comes from Segall’s Ty Rex album, which is entirely T. Rex covers, and it’s oh-so perfect.


Lead Photo: Phil Tifo/Tandem

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