Here’s a late update on the Dynastar Powertrac 89. It should be noted that I reference an article titled “Revenge of the Crazy 88’s” that I uhhhhh…… sorta haven’t published yet....... but will when a few final things are wrapped up.
Wednesday March 26, was a notable day in that I happened to be off work this day and my apartment at the base of the Northstar access road was staggering under a major dump of at least 2.75” of new snow. I grabbed the Powertracs from the corner by the door and struggled and fought my way through the massive drifts to get to the hill. Once there, I realized that this was going to be a special day. Many of the folks in the gondola line were sporting wide and rockered skis as they fiddled with their powder cords and agonized over the fact that they didn’t have their K2 Pontoons or Rossi S7s handy.
Out of the gondola and onto the lift and up the hill we all went. At the top, I pushed off and immediately headed for a couple of the frontside pitches that are steep and hadn’t been groomed since the snow started last night. On the first pitch, I immediately noticed that the snow, while wintery, was not super light. Rolling into medium radius/medium angle turns, I could tell that by the number of ankle shots I was getting that this was to be an incredible powder day. I cut off the beaten path into tree areas that had been hacked up and crusty prior to the massive snowfall. In those areas, I was being careful to not choke on the snow or breathe in too deeply as the snow billowed and boiled past my boot tops. The woods and glades echoed with shouts of “yeah!…….whooooo!……..awesome duuude!” from my fellow skiers. I ducked back toward the trail as the pitch flattened out and headed back to the lift. On the flatter and more packed out slopes, I found myself slashing past most of the folks on the bigger skis as they patted one another on the back and exchanged high fives.
Throughout this morning, the PT 89 showed just how good it is and also how well a “crazy 88” can handle these conditions. The Powertrac is notable in that much of the innovative stuff that Dyanastar has done with it revolves around the shape. This ski is a narrow 5-point design with a fairly short but relatively sharp tip rocker and a shallow kick tail that personally I wouldn’t call rocker. In addition, the tip and tail have pretty generous amounts of taper for this width of ski. Finally, the flex is pretty stiff and the mount point is very far forward from most skis in this width range. This may sound like an unusual combination and for sure it is……..but it works…….really well.
When I first wrote the review on the PT-89 in the “Crazy 88s” thread, I had skied it on quite a variety of firm and wind packed snow but hadn’t had it in anything with any depth. After skiing it in these soft, boot top conditions interspersed with the fimer snow in the groomed areas, I can report that this is the kind of 88mm ski that can truly be called “all mountain” One really notable thing about the Powertrac is that the firm flexing tip with its sharp rocker and taper does not deflect the way a more conventional rockered tip would. This tip slashes through this chopped up soft snow without knocking you around and the firm but tapered tail is solid and easy to release but mainly unnoticeable either on firm chalky snow or in today’s mashup of depths. I don’t think much about ‘flotation’ in this width of ski b/c I don’t think it matters much. An ~~ 88mm ski should handle boot top crud and even untracked of that depth but that just doesn’t take much flotation. Rather, stability while skiing on the bottom and maneuverability while turning in is more important than float. The Powertrac does all this in spades and can rail groomers at high angles with the best of ‘em. Today’s conditions sort of defined what the soft snow end of the performance envelope of this width of ski should be.
Right now……it’s hard to visualize a “Crazy 88” that does all this better.