Skier type: Expert, prefer off-piste skiing in the steeps
I picked up these skis, in a 188 length, from Scott at Dawgcatching -- they were his skis that he'd used only a few days. I bought them to bring to Gulmarg (in Kashmir) for a big mountain ski trip. I had Scott swap the KTI bindings he had on them for a Tyrolia Adrenaline touring binding as Gulmarg does require skinning to hit a fair number of the lines. This ski is the model that was originally designed by Hugo Harrison.
When these arrived, I doubted the wisdom of my choice. These are big skis and pretty stiff as well. They have a 40 meter turning radius. Now, I like a stiff ski (my other skis are also Kastle's: a MX 78 and a MX 98), but I was concerned whether I would really have the muscle to drive these things. And they weigh a ton. Not really ideal for a touring ski, but my idea was more about the down than the up.
Given that I was going a long ways from anywhere, I thought it would be a good idea to test these puppies out before leaving easy access to decent ski shops. So my buddy and I headed to Copper to practice beacon searches and try out the new gear. Now you may be aware that snow has been scarce in Summit County this year. So I was skiing this ski on hardpack. Let me tell you it is a terrible ski on hardpack. There is no way I would recommend this ski for resort skiing. It's a poor tool for that application, although it would be great on those numerous days of bottomless pow.
I've skied it two days now at Gulmarg. Gulmarg is an interesting resort. It has the highest cable car in the world and you access huge amounts of backcountry from the top. It is steep and has a lot of technical skiing. It hasn't snowed in 12 days, but there still are untracked lines. And the last storm deposited 75 inches of snow. But since it has been a while since the last snow, some crust has developed on the Southern exposures, and in some places the snow is a bit stiff. It is very deep.
These things are fantastic in these conditions. They have excellent floatation, and they reward good technique. They have a pretty wide sweet spot and will let you recover from mistakes, but if you take it too far, you are going to get spanked. They want to be driven. They are very stable.
Skinning with them is not great because they are pigs. But it is manageable, as the skins are only 30 minutes to no more than an hour (and probably could be done more quickly if I was in better shape and the skin wasn't at 14,000 feet).
All in all, a very nice, purpose specific ski. Just don't buy them for resort skiing. If you are going to do a lot of cat or heli skiing, this is a great choice.