Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Alpine Meadows
Number of Runs: 2-3 per ski
Snow Conditions: firm, softening as day warmed, some skiable off-piste in the afternoon.
Demo or Own: Demo
Name: Greyson, Start Haus web editor
Height/Weight: 6'3" 165 lbs
Ski Days/Season: lots?
Years Skiing: 22
Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest): Aggressive(Driver)
Current Quiver: K2 Obsethed, K2 Backlash with Dynafits, Nordica Unleashed Hell with Marker Tour F12.
Home Area: Sugar Bowl, but I've spent a lot of time at Alpine Meadows too.
Preferred Terrain groomers, off-piste, trees, backcountry
I focused on the 100-somethings today despite conditions with the rest of the crew looking at skinnier skis. I'm firmly in the 100-something camp for an all mountain ski, as discussed by SierraJim in the Gear section here. This is just one skier's opinion, not the whole Start Haus crew.
Blizzard Scout: (108 mm underfoot) Barely gives up anything on the Cochise, powerful and likes to run. Definitely on the stable side of the stable-playful spectrum. Coming down Alpine Bowl, it liked big radius turns and it took me a couple to transition from skidding to carving, but once I got the hang of it, the edges would bite. This one was early in the morning before the crud softened to acceptable levels, so didn't get to try it there.
Rossignol Soul 7: (106 mm underfoot) This ski surprised me, it felt very stable, preferring long(er) turns than I expected, and more damp than I expected. I went in thinking it would be a flick-able, playful ski, but it came in second to the Scout on the stable side of the equation for me. I only got one run on these, also earlier in the morning, but it definitely seemed like a well put together ski.
Nordica Vagabond: (107 mm underfoot) Maybe my favorite of the day - stable, yet lively, easy to initiate quick turns or slash sideways playfully, but also very capable of digging in and arcing a turn. I also got to try this ski a few weeks ago after a storm in the powder at Sugar Bowl and loved it in those conditions too. A great all-around ski, something I could really enjoy in bounds and in the backcountry.
K2 Annex 108: (108 mm underfoot) This was similar to the Vagabond, if a little livelier, and, accordingly, also a little more prone to chatter. It had a good amount of pop that had me boosting off of little lips and skier-pushed piles of snow, but definitely not a damp cruiser for those who like a super-smooth ride.
Blizzard Peacemaker: (104 mm underfoot) Probably the most playful of the group, and also the one with the most definite speed limit, at least for my ability. Chasing Doug down Alpine Bowl it got a little nervous, but once we got into the little whoop-de-do course it was a ton of fun. On the lower angle groomers I was surprised at how well it carved too - it really sank an edge in and railed, I'd really like to get this ski in soft snow.
Dynastar Cham 107 High Mountain: (107 mm underfoot) Last ski of the day in some fun sun-softened snow. I ventured farther off-piste and the ski was stable but still easy to swing around in a hurry. It carved well on the groomers, and was overall a dependable ski in all conditions, falling towards the powerful side of the group, but more willing to turn quickly than some of the others. I've also skied and enjoyed the Cham 97 HM in variable conditions.
Edited by Start Haus - 2/13/13 at 4:19pm