Pros: Fun, crud busting ability, powder float, tail drive, short radius
Cons: A little heavy for earning turns but manageable; top sheet material scratches easily;
Just returned from a 3 resort trip to Japan where I skied for 17 days on my new 178cm Cham 97s ). Snow varied from bottomless powder (50 inches in 36 hrs in one snow event!) to icey groomers. We had fresh snow (from 6 inches to waay more) on 12 of the 17 days so soft snow and powder performance was well and truly tested. Japan is legendary for its deep powder and uncrowded resorts so fresh tracks in-bounds after lunch were an almost daily occurrence. (the majority of Japanese skiers love slalom skis, groomers and bumps!)
I have fallen completely in love! These skis are a fantastic one ski quiver for those like me who can't travel with both a pow-specific and groomer-specific ski. My previous ski was a Scott Mission (great in the pow but lacking on the groomers) and this ski is helping me be a better alround skier.
The Cham 97 is a really fun ski that loves to rail fast turns on the groomers and hold its own in the powder. The flat tail provides real energy out of short and large radius turns and when you point 'em straight downhill they are rock solid at any sane speed (albeit with a little visible tip flap but without any undue wandering).
On the few times we did some short hikes they were a little heavy but not unbearably so. (there's a lighter High Mountain version for those that like to climb without the metal sheet).
One word to sum these up is 'FUN!' For those that like to rail on the groomers and float in the trees I recommend you try some this season.