This is an example of the optimizing for "the worst". [...] Frankly, ripping sketchy conditions at speed really has little place in what I am trying to do in the BC. If conditions really suck like wet slop and runneled mank at the bottom of a line, I won't be ripping at speed. I will be piecing my way down with text book ski mountaineering techniques including skidding parallel turns, stem chrisites and kick turns.
As said before, late-season BC out here is sketchy the first turn or two, then really great corn/powder, then nasty at the bottom. You rip the middle, come out hot, and hang on in the nasty runout. Conditions are hardly the same throughout the entire line (at least out here). For me, optimizing for the best means optimizing so I can ski how I want to ski in the middle (fast, fun, fluid), without caring what the bottom will be like (i.e. can't go fast because it could turn nasty, can't make a turn here, because I'm not sure what the snow will be like at the end of the turn).
You don't need the burliest alpine skis. You just need something that isn't a lightweight flimsy thing. I'm certainly not hauling around my 12lb Head 103s around. But I'm also not hauling around a 7lb pair of skis that will throw me on my ass as they fold up when they hit crud. The skis I use are plenty of fun in the light fluffy snow as well (use 'em on big pow days). I'm just a little bit slower on the way in, accepting the fact that I'm going to have a ton more fun (my way of fun) if things aren't pristine.
Sure, its rough on the way up, but I just see that as more exercise, and having some piece of mind, knowing that I can do whatever I want on the way down (almost!). If I lived in Washington, where long approaches are common, I might change my tune, but in Colorado, access is pretty decent.
This is sort of the same reason that my XC mountain bike is a 6" travel bike with slack geometry and solid parts, rather than a 4" hardtail with steep geometry and carbon/lightweight everything. I like to optimize for the way down, and my way of having fun on the way down may be a bit more aggressive than most, hence a bigger bike.
There are other options out there aside from lightweight lively skis and dynafit bindings, and it's important to analyze all of the possibilities to find the right fit for you. DPS pure skis, and a few others fall into this lightweight lively category. The OP should understand that there are other options that are more versatile, ones that can turn less-than-great conditions into a really fun outing.
Edited by Brian Lindahl - 10/27/11 at 8:20am