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Transforming Passion for the Outdoors into a Thriving White Mountains Business

Published Thursday Mar 21, 2024

Author Scott Merrill

Andrew Drummond skiing in the White Mountains. (Courtesy of Andrew Drummond)

Ultrarunner and backcountry explorer Andrew Drummond has become an ambassador for small business owners in NH’s outdoor recreation economy. And following his passions has made him a bit of a legend.

Drummond, owner of , a ski, bike and running shop in Jackson, is known for pushing limits and sharing his experiences and knowledge of the wilderness with others. Last fall he ascended Mount Washington 100 times in 100 consecutive days, posting photos of his treks online and inviting others to join him.

And when he’s not bounding over boulders or traversing ravines in the mountains, Drummond can be found at his shop helping customers choose the right gear for their backcountry skiing, mountain biking, running and hiking adventures.

“I think of business as being a sort of bridge between people in the community,” he says. “And part of that is being a resource because you’re doing more than just selling something. It’s important for people to be able to communicate with specialists that are right here up in the mountains almost every day.”

Drummond, who grew up ski racing in North Conway, testified in Washington D.C. at a congressional hearing in front of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee last November. During the hearing, he praised SBA 504, the federal loan program, which allowed White Mountain Ski Co., originally named Ski the Whites, to open its doors in 2016. He also addressed the effects of climate change on recreational businesses at the hearing.

While he has always been drawn to the great outdoors, business ownership was not his original career path. After graduating college, Drummond moved to San Diego and went to work as a protected species officer on seismic exploration boats looking for oil reserves. “That was a great job and a really fun part of my life.”

During that time, Drummond took up surfing to slake his thirst for outdoor adventure, but in 2011, his brother introduced him to backcountry skiing while visiting him in Alaska. Drummond was hooked. “I knew that was how I was going to spend the rest of my winters, if not my life,” he says.

In 2014, Drummond and his girlfriend finally headed back east to the White Mountains. “I grew up skiing and hiking here, but I still knew nothing about the backcountry,” he says. “I started from scratch. I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time in the mountains.”

Drummond was able to open a shop in 2016 at Black Mountain Ski area in Jackson renting gear. “And things snowballed from there,” he says, explaining he would host events to introduce people to backcountry skiing. He also became a founding board member of a nonprofit called Granite Backcountry Alliance that helped create skiable terrain in backcountry zones.

Just before the pandemic, Drummond received a small business loan to expand his shop and to purchase a coffee roaster. Over the next six months that year Drummond’s business partner built a coffee bar using timber from his friend’s yard. “Selling the coffee has become a good way to diversify,” he says, adding that the expansion also allowed him to better showcase his stock. 

White Mountain Ski Co. sells and rents a range of gear including alpine touring gear and mountain bikes, and Drummond recently secured a contract with Hoka, a popular running and hiking shoe brand.

“The running and hiking side of things is what I really specialize in,” he says. “It took me about three years to get Hoka shoes to open an account with me, but I kept at it and as the company grew, everything just flipped. Now, suddenly, brands are asking to be in the shop.” For more information, visit

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