I made it to Heavenly two weeks back for a few days. Just missed the big (6' over a week) storm, but the aftermath was still great as the temps and wind had both stayed down, so the snow was hanging around in fine condition, and though not untracked, plenty of nice, soft stuff could be found in the open glades, bump runs, sides of groomers, and other off-piste areas.
First couple days out I skied my 2010 Line Prophet 100 179's, and as usual in softish conditions where I can edge them if/when I want they were fantastic - they smooth things out, yet still feel very responsive/snappy. I got reacquainted and dialed into them pretty quickly and had a great time all over the CA and NV sides. I don't ski the Canyons (yet), but Powderbowl and Aries Woods, Milky Way and North Bowl, Little Dipper bumps - stuff like that. A lot of people slag Heavenly, but for me at my level it has plenty to offer and I love it.
The third day no new snow and things had firmed up slightly, so I decided to take the Intuitiv's out. 109-71-100, 20 meter TR, flat tail, and at 188cm they are longer than what I usually ski, so I was really curious how they would feel. First few turns working up the mountain from the Gunbarrel lift with loose boots they felt markedly different than the Prophets, (no surprise), but not bad/weird/long/etc. Then top of next lift I snugged the boots up and thus began a day of some of the most pleasurable skiing I've ever had. I've been focusing on skiing from the waist down, initiating and controlling turns with relaxed foot and leg movements and a quiet upper body, trying different combinations of tipping/edging, steering and fore/aft pressure, and one and two-legged skiing, and it was just a joy how well they responded to everything. I felt like I could get them to turn quickly and they felt great in bumps, no problems in crud, and totally stable when I let em out a bit on groomers. I never felt they were too long, and the only time I had any trouble really was when I got a little tired and got back. I had to stay centered or work the front, otherwise they would really run away with me. (Having some fun playing with that - getting on the tails - at the end of turns.)
I do love and appreciate a fatter ski like the Prophets, but I feel more that I ride it, whereas with a skinnier waist ski I really feel like I can drive it, and to me that sense of being tightly connected is absolutely delicious. I'm still progressing and don't have a lifetime of skiing, so these are still new and exciting feelings - not something I'm bored with so looking for other sensations and challenges. It is good and a lot of fun for me to experiment with different length/width/age skis, and heartening to find that I can ski comfortably ( even if not well ;-) on them.
Along that line I recently finished reading through the entire HS thread, and that not only provided much historical perspective and entertainment, but also quite a bit of good advice about how to improve one's skiing. Also Bob Peters' suggestion about spending some time on a shorter, turnier, race carver type of ski to feel and work on turn technique. Well, over the weekend I happened to catch someone just posting on CL for a pair of 2011 172cm Dynastar Contact 4x4's with NX 12 bindings. I got on it quick and was able to pick them up for $100 - barely used, excellent condition. An excellent Luddite find! Now I'm looking forward to some snow time with them, to continue my education! ;-)
Hope everyone's season is off to a good start, and that the snow Gods smile down upon us for the next few months!