Skier Profile: 43, advanced level, will ski pretty much anything, not into air expect a cornice drop (10 feet is my comfort level), 6ft, 195 lbs.
Equipment tested at Mammoth
I've been skiing locally (big bear) up until after New Years so never had a chance to use my new equipment I got for this year. I have been using a Nordica Fire Arrow 80ti locally.
Hell Dorado - 193
Rossignol FKs binding
Conditions: Used these after a cold storm came and and dropped 8-10 inches of blower powder. In some of the chutes, the snow was knee and thigh high, light and fluffy stuff. Not Utah light, but plenty light for the Sierras.
Terrain: Avy Chutes, Climax, Dave's
Prior to this I used a 191 Mantra as my everyday Mammoth ski. I also had a Salomon Czar for powder days that I did not like at all. The 193 did not feel long at all. The Helldo performed was beyond expectations. It made short radius turns with ease, tips floated with ease, very stable at high speed GS turns. But that is not what I was impressed by. Given the conditions that day, I think most skis in this class would have felt great. I was impressed with its performance in the chop and crud. Skiing the run outs in the afternoon when everything was chopped up and bumped up. The definition of variable terrain. From hard pack, 2 inches to 12 inches within 3 or 4 turns. The Helldo blasted through all of it. Usually when I ski the run outs (blue runs below the chutes) to get back to the chair, I prefer to ski fast and make GS turns. Mostly to because my legs are burning and to preserve energy for the more challenging terrain. The Helldo skis with confidence through variable snow. I was also impressed by its ability to carve. Granted, the snow was soft, even on the hard pack, but stack up the ski and let it go and it felt like a front side carving machine. I wouldn't take this ski out on a groomer day, but it definitely got he job done. Felt very stable under foot, the more you leaned it over, the more stable it felt. Definitely need some speed though. I give the ski a 10/10.
Rossignol Experience 98 - 186
Marker Duke Bindings
Conditions: A couple of days of winter snow, without any new snow fall and 1 day after a couple of inches fell
Bought this ski to replace my Mantra as an everyday ski for Mammoth.
This ski performed above expectations. It likes to turn a lot for a ski of its width. I skied it in bumps, groomers, chutes and wind buff. It does not leave me with the impression of a very floaty ski. To me it feels more like a front side ski than something you would use for powder. It worked well in the wind buff, didn't get a chance to ski any powder (because I was waiting to use the Helldo). For me, this is the ski I will use on any day less than 6 inches of new falls. I skied the E88 last year and though it made easier short radius fall line turns, I think this ski carves better. I had more confidence in the E98 laying it over making GS turns.
Next up is the Nordica FA 84 EDT that was delivered while I was in Mammoth.