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Does a nimble, crud-busting ski exist?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Moving to Washington soon, Baker will become my home resort. I've skied there before, and I don't remember much but deep, heavy crud and dense tree skiing. I'm not a super heavy or powerful skier, so I usually really struggle maneuvering those burly crud busting skis, especially in the tight quarters like ones at baker, and even more so in the sluggish wet snow present at Baker. 

 

Are there any stiff, crud busting skis that are also nimble, or at the very least, can turn with less effort required on my part? Also, ability to float well during the first powder runs of the day would be awesome, before the snow reduces to crud later in the day. 

 

Thanks!  

post #2 of 16

I have kind of the same weird combo: I have some mass (86 kg), but am a lazy skier. I don't like those 'poppy' allmountain or freeride skis that launch my ass on every single snow flake. On the other hand: I link a ski that is damp enough and carries my dead weight down the mountain wthout my teeth rattling out of my mouth and with my knees still attached.

 

I found the Fiscehr Motive 86 to be my ski for the front side (Europe). In the 105mm + category I am still searching.

post #3 of 16

bliz cochise are very easy ski to control, and they can charge and bust crud, not the best float though for a 108 underfoot ski, but I've not skied the latest gen with the carbon tips, overall great resort ski and definitely the one I'm on most of the time

post #4 of 16
Baker is kind of an edgecase for ski selection and quiver construction. I would talk with locals to see what works for them.

As far as skis that are both nimble and bust crud... I am loving my nordica el capo for this.
post #5 of 16

Two skis come to mind.   ON3P Billy Goats 116, and Volkl V-Werks Katana 112.

 

Both are good in crud and float, and both are nimble when wanted, also stable and damp.  Neither is especially burly. 

 

 

ON3P skis are made up there in the Northwest, and made to be good in those conditions as a prerequisite.   The RES (Reverse Elliptical Sidecut) on the Goats makes them very quick (trees, bumps) but also stable at bigger turns too, and good carvers.  A one ski quiver for up there, or here in Colo.

 

The old Katanas were maybe the best crud/variable ski around, to many.   But not quick.  And not floaters.   

The new ones are lightweight, float well, are very nimble (in trees and such), but also stable at longer turns, like the Billy Goat.  Volkl made an effort to keep the New Katanas good at crud, and they succeeded, to me.  The ski hasn't changed except for graphics since it came out, so older ones new are much cheaper.  

 

I've demoed the Billy Goat and own the V Werks Katana, my current favorite ski.   It's just like the BlisterGear review, except for me better.   But I'm a lighter weight skier;  for heavy guys especially, you'd have to demo for yourself, probably.   (The BlisterGear guys are ~185-195 lbs, I gather.)

 

The best skier I see at Copper Mt. (~190, 6'3") is on Billy Goats in almost all conditions, and he can either straightline that ski or turn up a storm in the trees, especially on soft snow days.

 

Both skis are very versatile.   


Edited by ski otter - 7/31/16 at 12:14pm
post #6 of 16

Another vote for the ON3P Billy Goats - I've demo'd the BG's and am planning to buy the 2017 version when they come out in September.  minimal difference between the '16 and '17 version - added some straight sections on the side cut to have a bit more edge grip on hard / icy conditions. I'm up in WA, Baker is not my primary resort - but definitely a great ski for the area.  There will be days when a narrower ski will be better for conditions in the NW, but if you come from a freeride pedegree and not a race pedegree, than you're probably fine with fat skis in any conditions. 

post #7 of 16
I found the Shaman kinda meets that spec though some people find them a bit turny for ever opening up.
post #8 of 16

Baker? I'd have a 110-120, and an 85-88. Done. Then there's a strong argument for a touring set up. Very strong. 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Baker is kind of an edgecase for ski selection and quiver construction. I would talk with locals to see what works for them.

As far as skis that are both nimble and bust crud... I am loving my nordica el capo for this.


I'm not so sure it is that much of an edge case if you ski the Cascades in general. Yeas, a bit more & a bit wetter. But all the Cascade crest areas get a ton of  snow. 

 

I'd personally go fatter than markojp (wait, I am fatter than markojp :D). I prefer something really fat and rockered for the big days in the Cascades. But that's down to preference. For lots of folks,  markup's ranges make sense.

 

Regarding the Billy Goat, there is lots of discussion of the BG vs the Praxis GPO over at TGR. Both are well liked for what is described. I am more than  a bit of a Praxis loyalist and have the GPO for that space. 

 

One thing to consider is to ski there for a bit and see what people skiing what you like, how you like, are using there. Use whatever you have or rent for a bit?

post #10 of 16
Another thumbs up for the Billy Goat. Also the Wrenegade 98 (last year was 102) or 108 (last year was 112).

I was impressed by the Salomon QST 99 and the 106 is another I want to try.

I'd also like to look at the Fischer Ranger 108. Dawgcatching reports they are very stable in variable snow and crud, and still nimble and light.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Will definitely demo the Billy Goats when I get a chance, thanks.

 

Is a skinnier ski actually needed at Baker/PNW? When chatting with friends about the area, they don't shut up about the amount of snow they get up there, or for that matter, the Baker snow record of '99. I assumed I wouldn't need a skinnier ski, due to the reputation the PNW has for frequent powder dumps. Guess It was too good to be true after all.

 

Forgive the naiveness, I ski predominantly around Montana/Wyoming, so the cascades are an exotic world for me. 

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Also, do any of the said skis preform well enough on Groomers? I usually avoid groomers but for excursions with less-skilled friends/family, I'll probably have to stick with them on the frontside. 

post #13 of 16

This is a classic impossible question. Those who use these skis a bunch as all-around planks will say yes. Those who favor piste oriented carvers on groomers will say no. 

 

I say yes. I have no problem treating my Praxis GPOs as a do everything ski. Same with many who like the Billy Goat. That said, some will favor a much narrower ski as a "do everything" ski. 

 

If I were building a quiver focused on  Baker, my first two picks would be the GPO and either a Praxis Protest or Powderboard. Then I'd add something skinnier. There are some here who, quite rationally given their preferences, would argue somewhat narrower. 

 

At some point, you need to know yourself enough and play with a range of skis enough so that you can make that call... 

post #14 of 16

Moving your mount forward will make a ski feel more nimble.

post #15 of 16
Baker doesn't really have "groomers". If you want a narrower ski for days when it hasn't snowed for a while and evereything is tracked out and maybe moguled a bit, maybe a Fisher Motive 95 or something 98-100.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post

Also, do any of the said skis preform well enough on Groomers? I usually avoid groomers but for excursions with less-skilled friends/family, I'll probably have to stick with them on the frontside. 

Compared to a nice 85-98 all mountain ski, wide skis just aren't nearly as precise or responsive in skied out crud, bumps, and even 98-100 aren't as fun on groomers... but as others have said, Baker isn't about groomer skiing. If it hasn't snowed in a few days ( yes, this happens at Baker, too), I'd toss my 88's in the car. This season could shape up to be a 'big ski or bust' sort of season... LaNina and all.
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