Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too Much to Handle


Today was seriously amazing.

17,100 vertical feet of pure powder goodness. I was #5 (not counting patrol) on the lift. Untracked lines everywhere I turned.

I don't know where it all came from (the overnight forecast was for less than an inch and this morning Brighton reported 8" in the last 24 hours), but the Milly Express board showed 15" and at the top, due to wind loading, continued snowfall (it dumped the whole time I was there) or by magic, it was much, much deeper. Face shots were in abundance, even for a hack skier like me. Also in abundance were more intimate, up close moments with the snow due to my lack of back seat driving skills since I pretty much had no choice but to be in the back seat in order to keep my tips up. When my tips went down so did I. In fact, I went down on average at least once every run and came out of my bindings more times today than all of my previous days combined. I had my hands full with the conditions but even so loved every minute of it.

However, after my experience today I've all but made up my mind that I need a pair of dedicated powder skis with an aggressive tip/tail rocker and 2-3 more centimeters under foot. K2 Pontoon, K2 Hellbent, Salomon Czar, BD Megawatt or Rossignol S7 - all are under consideration and I'm certainly open to suggestions. Today was amazing, but I'll bet it could have been even better with a bit more float.


Anonymous said...

I think I hate you. And, it's not about the equipment.

Bart G said...

The more I ski the more I learn that it is not the ski that matters.

Big skis only slow down the learning curve.

It's like everyone ripping full suspension bikes right out of the gate. If they started on a rigid hardtail they would learn how to pick a line, use momentum, and ride light.

I have learned more skiing on light boots, 160 skis with a 70mm waist then I ever did on fatties.

Invest in a dedicated touring set up and you can ski that every day!

Andy H. said...

What Bart said. My Karhus are only 80 underfoot and absolutly shred the powder.

Blackdog said...

I agree with everyone to a point. Powder skis do help alot. However you are going to buy new ski's buy something versatile. I am a big fan of the K2 Coomba. You can mount a free heel binding and use them both in and out of bounds. Plus they are not a Powder specific ski. They are more of a "Big Mountain" ski so they will do nicely in crud and even hard pack. Of course they are a very good powder ski. The Pontoon is a very weird ski. The reverse camber freaked me out the whole time I skied on them. Plus they just feel like you are attached to a water ski. The Marker Duke is a nice binding that works well for both. This will be my next ski. I have not skied out of bounds in years but I think next season I am going to buy some skins and steal Erich's beacon.

Ski Bike Junkie said...

"I have learned more skiing on light boots, 160 skis with a 70mm waist then I ever did on fatties."

Because they are harder to ski. Sure you'll learn more, but do you really want to waste your epic powder days learning?

Given that Mark already has a sweet pair of all mountain skis (100 waist), what he's talking about here is a specialty ski for the ridiculously deep days.

If you've ever ridden Kokopelli/UPS/Porcupine Rim on a 7" travel freeride bike, you'll understand the reason for wanting a powder-specific ski. If you insist on riding that trail on a XC bike (still fun, just not the same), you're missing the point.

The best skier I know (sorry Bart, Jared, AM, I'm including you in the comparison) skis megawatts every day. There's no one formula for everyone, but fat skis sure are fun in the right conditions.

(full disclosure: I ski K2 Anti Piste, which is a 102 waist ski with rockered tip. I have never skied really big skis like Mark's considering, but have often envied what my friends can do on their megawatts. If money were no object, I would own Megawatts or similar AND a 7" travel freeride bike.)

drrna said...

100 mm width seems like a ski for "ridiculously deep" days. That only happens once or twice a year. Seek out the killer crud days, and learn how to rip through that, then you'll have the balance to handle the deep days. Mastering the craft is fun, pretending you can ski powder because you have a snowboard on each foot is weak.

UtRider said...

Crud is hard to ski as I learned again today. However, I forced myself to do it as I knew it would be good practice.

I agree with what you all are saying that if you have skills the ski doesn't matter. I'm a gear junkie at heart and can't help but wonder how it would be to try something big and fat.

I bought a singlespeed last year so maybe I'll try the equivalent in skis someday.