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Skis for deep concrete snow

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I was at Wildcat in NH the other day.  They had about a foot of fresh snow, which is great, but it was absolute wet cement with a tiny bit of crust mixed in.

 

I'm a decent powder skier but I got completely owned skiing on a pair of 174 K2 Hardsides.  The tips would dive, even at speed, and turning was very rough.  The Hardsides are 98 underfoot, with a bit of tip rocker and a flat tail.  They've been serviceable on a typical pow day but I've planned for some time to buy something wider with more rocker.  It's rare that I need it but I sure could have used it on Wednesday. I learned the basics of skiing powder years ago.  The regular tricks didn't work here. 

 

Me: 44 years old, 5'11", 175 lbs.  Advanced, not expert.  I'll ski most marked runs and enjoy ungroomed very much.  Bump technique needs work. I ski the woods with caution.  35 days last year, with a couple of western trips.  That was a weak year for me.

 

Daily driver is a 180 Blizzard Brahma, just purchased and I'm liking those a lot.

 

I tested a 180 Rossi Soul 7 last year and thought it was pretty good.

 

I'm looking for a ski that may have helped me the other day in the cement.  A purposeful deep snow ski.  The Brahmas will be fine almost always out here, but I'd like something for that rare day....

 

Thanks 

post #2 of 26

You probably got the same heavy wet crap we got in VT. Bought down quite a few trees and power lines.

Good stuff for base building. Not too bad for skiing. I had a blast skiing it on my Kendo.

It's very similar to heavy spring crud. Often it's the turn shape and wax that matters most.   

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

You probably got the same heavy wet crap we got in VT. Bought down quite a few trees and power lines.

Good stuff for base building. Not too bad for skiing. I had a blast skiing it on my Kendo.

It's very similar to heavy spring crud. Often it's the turn shape and wax that matters most.   

 

This had zero to do with wax.  I absolutely love blasting through spring crud.  This was an unusual condition.  I wish I had tried the Brahmas as they are longer, with more rocker.  Still, there's a better tool than what I have. 

post #4 of 26
post #5 of 26
Some conditions are just unsuitable. Skis or skills won't change it.

Edited by slider - 12/12/14 at 5:12am
post #6 of 26
I skied the hardsides for a year, and in heavy powder they were horrible, either railed straight or hooked, nothing in between.

Bonafides do well in that stuff.

Katanas even better.
You want a stiffer ski.
post #7 of 26
Stockli SS or XXXL, Elan 666/777, Nordica Enforcer, Volkl Mantra, Kastle MX 98 all come to mind. Metal, stiffish, straighter for heavy snow. Brahmas might work; since you already have them, try those.

Dawgcatching once noted at Squaw on a heavy snow day that many have pow skis in the AM and bring out the crudbusters in the PM. Similar concept might work for you in thinking about a heavy snow ski - think PM ski
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
I should have mentioned the difficulties were in the untracked, of which there was a ton. Interesting day; pretty sure there were very few people on the hill because everyone assumed it was raining.

I was wondering if metal in the skis might help.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_d View Post

I should have mentioned the difficulties were in the untracked, of which there was a ton. Interesting day; pretty sure there were very few people on the hill because everyone assumed it was raining.

I was wondering if metal in the skis might help.


All I can say is my 190 cc Volant Machetes (stainless steel cap) excel in those conditions, but not if you ski tentatively.  I recall old Dynastar GS skis doing well too. 

Stiff metal, long turn radius, heavy. That's what you need to carve it up in those conditions.

post #10 of 26

Untracked cement and busted up crud are two entirely different things. For the untracked you want something wide, rockered, and fairly soft. Wide enough to stay on top of most of it, soft enough to bend against the resistance of the snow which makes it hard to bend even a soft ski let alone a stiff one, and rockered so you don't have to bend it a lot to turn. For crud it makes more sense to have a fairly stiff non or lightly rockered ski that will go through the stuff rather than over it, unless you have very strong, young legs that can absorb the chop riding on top of it. And of course at some point a turns into b. But more than the right ski you need the strength and endurance to turn, absorb the terrain, and protect your knees and excellent technique--getting into the backseat will really hurt you in either condition. The impulse is to ride the tails. Bad idea. And knowing how much to weight each ski, depending on the depth and density of the snow. Each turn may be different. 

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Untracked cement and busted up crud are two entirely different things. For the untracked you want something wide, rockered, and fairly soft. Wide enough to stay on top of most of it, soft enough to bend against the resistance of the snow which makes it hard to bend even a soft ski let alone a stiff one, and rockered so you don't have to bend it a lot to turn. For crud it makes more sense to have a fairly stiff non or lightly rockered ski that will go through the stuff rather than over it, unless you have very strong, young legs that can absorb the chop riding on top of it. And of course at some point a turns into b. But more than the right ski you need the strength and endurance to turn, absorb the terrain, and protect your knees and excellent technique--getting into the backseat will really hurt you in either condition. The impulse is to ride the tails. Bad idea. And knowing how much to weight each ski, depending on the depth and density of the snow. Each turn may be different. 

Sounds like the oldgoat can get it done.Thumbs Up

post #12 of 26
Is it ok to disagree? I think a stiff ski works well in both cases.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Is it ok to disagree? I think a stiff ski works well in both cases.


If you have the skill.  The wide rockered soft ski makes the one case easier, regardless of skill.

post #14 of 26

I'll vote for something wider than a Soul 7, since width=crud-busting; you want to really ride over cement and crust, not sink down into it. Or try to blast through it with a stiff ski, and get intimate with rocks and roots and bushes and downed logs that this early are not well covered even by the recent dump. Unless the crud is refrozen, and the crust thick enough that if you break it, you'll bog down until February. In which case you should be in the bar, telling stories, not out in that crap. The Patron, Supernatural, Automatic all come to mind.  

post #15 of 26
Governor, Belafonte, Billy Goat, Katana, Cochise, Wrenegade, Bonafide, BMX 108

there are quite a few great crud buster skis! Depends on what exactly you want them to be best at

if untracked you go BG or governor...

all/big mountain crud busting cochise, belafonte, bmx

not so wide side bonafide, mx98, wrenegade 102

the katana (the old one, not vwerks) and wrenegade 112 might be good do it all!
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely inclined to want to float on that type of untracked snow.  I'll explore the floatier suggestions. 
Thanks guys.
Edited by ed_d - 12/13/14 at 3:20am
post #17 of 26

I also struggled on the untracked HEAVY snow at Killington on Wednesday morning.  But by afternoon once things were busted up a bit it was fine.  And Thursday with 8-10 inches of lighter stuff on top it was a very different story.  No issues anywhere.  The boarders were doing much better on Wednesday compared to the skiers.  I suspect wide soft fully rockered skis were the answer.  Not sure its worth buying for the few times we get such conditions here in the east.  Just rent some on the rare day we do. 

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
 

I also struggled on the untracked HEAVY snow at Killington on Wednesday morning.  But by afternoon once things were busted up a bit it was fine.  And Thursday with 8-10 inches of lighter stuff on top it was a very different story.  No issues anywhere.  The boarders were doing much better on Wednesday compared to the skiers.  I suspect wide soft fully rockered skis were the answer.  Not sure its worth buying for the few times we get such conditions here in the east.  Just rent some on the rare day we do. 


I find that same Wednesday at Killington one of the most enjoyable days skiing.  Skis I used not outrageously wide only 100 with some rocker and relatively stiff

post #19 of 26
Mfa81, do you think the vwerks katana will not do well in heavy snow?

I ski ther metal one, best ski I ever had, and I just bought the carbon for backcountry.
post #20 of 26

You already have decent skis for these conditions; next time, try your Brahma...

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Mfa81, do you think the vwerks katana will not do well in heavy snow?

I ski ther metal one, best ski I ever had, and I just bought the carbon for backcountry.

only skied the old ones last year, never the vwerks! based on what I've read the vwerks is not far behind the original but the op seems to ski inbounds only and never mentioned hiking or anything that would suggest the need for a light weight ski, in this case I'd go with the discontinued version
post #22 of 26

So there was 15-25 inches of snow in parts of New England that had 3 inches of moisture content. For the groomed and packed down snow any reasonable stiff wide allmountain/carver like a Kendo/Brahma would be great. For the untracked snow those skis would have been complete and utter arse. For that stuff Reverse/reverse skis are the best or skis that are close to them, think long and big as well. At your size a 195 Praxis Powder Board would have been ideal for the untracked.

post #23 of 26
I'm confused. 3 inches of moisture content? 3% moisture content.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

I'm confused. 3 inches of moisture content? 3% moisture content.

I suspect what was meant was 3" melted equivalent. I.e. it would have been 3" of rain.
post #25 of 26

How bad can snow get?--a year or two ago there was a day where the easiest snow to ski was the avy debris.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

How bad can snow get?--a year or two ago there was a day where the easiest snow to ski was the avy debris.

I'd  say there might be no snow at all :(

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