I returned to skiing 3 years ago after a 20 year hiatus to wait for my knees to get better from the crazy mogul skiing I did as a kid/young adult with 230cm skis. ;-)
Upon my return I demoed a lot of skis and completely fell in love with the Nordica Helldiver at 178cm. These skis put me back on the slope as an instantly better skier than I was was when I quit 20 years ago - which really kind of shocked me. The past 3 years I have gone skiing 30+ times each year, and have a new love for deep powder, and no love at all for moguls. I am an advanced/expert skier. Nothing really scares me, but I do tend to stay on single blacks that have a nice consistent steep slope.
Recently I have been thinking it might be time to upgrade my ski's for deep powder days and/or days when there is a heavy windblown crust. I ski exclusively at Loveland ski area in Colorado, and I'm a bit of a ridge rat. Either deep powder or windblown can be present, or both, usually both with very little transition between one and the other. This is where the Helldivers fail me a bit - going from powder to windblown, breaking through, and getting into trouble.
So I have been demo'ing skis and so far I am having a difficult time finding one that I like. Skis I have demo'd in the order that I liked them:
1). Nordica Patron (177) (143,113,132) - these really transitioned between condtions well, but I found them a bit hard to turn
3). Albritton Tomichi (177) (144,119,136) - crazy easy to turn, good on transitions, but really hard on my knees(!)
4). Icelantic Nomad RKR (181) (140,105,130) - There was not much at all that I liked about these skis. hard to turn, unstable at high speed (45MPH), terrible on windpacked snow - worse than the helldivers.
The Helldiver is 132,90,118.
I'm thinking of going with the patron - but based on the above - are there other skis I should be considering?
Thanks for any pointers you might give.