Originally Posted by SierraJim
Then he would be able to better survive the frightening scenarios that Beyond has suggested.
And as we close in on Halloween, come back to VT and we'll show you what real woods, not nicely manicured slopes with a few 100 footers scattered around for photo ops, are like. Cut to shot of trees strangling the unwary skier as he loses his edges on a bit of nice New England granite that looked like it was covered with ice but alas was not.
Seriously, Jim and Phil, this guy doesn't ski Tahoe. Or Vail. And he foregrounds "trees" "mixed" and "sidecountry," not "icy bumps" or "trees alongside the groomers." You're so fixated on not overlapping with what he's got (and apparently reasoning that an 88 mm is not overlap with a 98?) that you're recommending a ski that's not only a bit narrow but too short for what he states he wants to do. On the one hand, he specifically titled this "85-90," but on the other, he's asking a very straightforward question about certain terrain and conditions that probably are not the best fit for a 88. What to say? Who's being more "VOR" here, you proceeding from what the title and what he already owns, or me proceeding from his size, the terrain he's talking about skiing, and some basic physics about float and chop that seem to be recognized by everyone back here.
In eastern woods, which tend not to be all that steep but can be very very dense, not many extended lines, and let's say 4" of settled, partly bumped and chopped, partly smooth, over rocks and refrozen, no one can go fast enough on 173 cm 88 mm wide skis to be on the top of the snow if they weigh 200 lbs before clothing and gear. Don't blame me, blame Newton. And the farmers who kept cutting down trees back here, followed by the the park service forbidding any cutting or clearing, so that most of the forests are secondary or tertiary regrowth with a lot of branches right at face level and a lot of downed stuff mixed in with our famous New England granite ledges. So that leaves more classic style porpoising in an out of the muck and fresh, which I think is great fun, but maybe/maybe not not his cuppa tea, or just ploughing along 3" under and assuming you won't hit anything you can't see anyway. Which you may think is a "frightening scenario," IME, it's just in touch with how skiers leave edges or knees behind in the woods here. Sh*t happens. Our choice of gear has some bearing. Ain't just about having proper distances between ski widths. Keeping up in the snow and handling stiff chop are two reasons that I see some very good skiers back here on skis like S3's, One's, Sickles, Mantras, etc even when it's not the morning after a dump.
OP: If you really want a ski for between storms, lift-served terrain in the east, no interest in sidecountry stashes, no fresh snow in several days, then strongly recommend something more like a 78-82 mm wide carver. That's one alternative I see on good skiers out and about on this terrain. Your title IMO suggests skis that are already compromises for back here, they won't have the maneuverability or bite of a narrower ski, but aren't quite wide enough for softer sidecountry snow and/or crud/settled crap. So I can see wanting an 85-90 if that's my only ski, and I prefer trees and soft snow. I cannot see wanting it if I am planning to use it sidebounds, which presumably you'll want to seek for softer snow, and I cannot see wanting it if I already own two skis that are 10 mm wider. My (obviously alarmist and unrealistic) .02...