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A lot of this TR is a repeat of the review I did of the skis I demo'ed from SierraJim. I was waiting for the pictures to get to me from my brother-in-law to do a TR to avoid the usual heckling.

I wanted to contact some of the Tahoe Bears to get together for some turns but we didn't know where we were going to ski and when until the last minute and I had no connectivity at my Brother-in-Law's house.

I arrived in Sacramento on Friday afternoon and we (my brother-in-law is a prof at UC Davis) went to SierraJim's shop to get my B-I-L into a pair of decent boots. His feet were too funky for Jim's late season stock, so he had to rent (OUCH!). I told Jim about my background and put my fate in his capable hands...what ski to demo???? He said the Nordica Afterburner would be pretty sweet for the expected conditions.

We arrived at Squaw at 9am Saturday (4/7) and set about discovering the mountain. Our first run was in Siberia Bowl, a pretty steep open bowl that had been groomed. It was firm, but not icy. We spent 3 runs trying to teach my brother-in-law how to ski with his feet apart (he hasn't skied much in the last 10 years and never on modern skis). He was getting bored with the instruction so we moved on. We skied down to the Headwall Express chair and skied its namesake trail. By now the sun had started to do its magic and the bumps were glorious corn. Headwall is a steep trail, but the Nordis made me feel like a superhero. We dropped down to the KT-22 chair and skied a bunch of named runs off of it. We skied one run in the GS bowl area, but there were some sketchy bits there so we thought we'd try the other side. Getting to the trails skiers right of the chair required taking the skis off and walking over some gravel bits, but the runs near the Olympic Lady chair were sweet.

A short walk over the gravel bits to get to the sweetness that was skiers right of KT22 Chair

This was worth the walk!

We headed over to the Granite Chief area to try to find some more westerly facing exposures and were rewarded with some more great steep moguls in relatively firm spring snow.

We headed back to Sacramento through some heavy rain and stopped in to talk to SierraJim again. I told him I wanted to try a different pair of skis. His question should have made me pause: "What about the Nordica's didn't you like?" he asked. I told him I just wanted to try a different pair of skis to see if they were as good or better. Noting my professed love of Fischers, Jim pointed me to a pair of AMC79's in 176cm. He also made a strong recommendation for heading to Sugar Bowl on Sunday.

We arrived at Sugar Bowl at 8:30 on Sunday, 4/8 and set out exploring the mountain. We headed for Mount Disney first as it's east facing runs were already getting blasted by the glorious sun and we thought there would be some corn to be harvested. It was glop on the East Face run that we tried first. We tried one more run off the Disney summit and ended up in Sugar Bowl (after bypassing Nancy's Culoir due to exposure) seeking a more neutral sun exposure. More glop and another run on which I didn't feel so strong. Must be the snow....We headed up the Mt Lincoln express and did a quick run down Rhalves' Run. The Fischers were much better on the groomed bits and I started liking them better. We headed back up Mt Lincoln and looked for the most sheltered exposure we could find. Our quest led us past the Silver Belt area (58' area). The snow was pretty firm up top and the traverse was a hoot. We headed down and rapidly discovered that the rain we drove through the previous night must have hit Sugar Bowl pretty hard and the area we were in was covered in a 1/4" of ice that was not breakable unless you really stomped on it. It was pretty unskiable and the exposed rocks really caused me to feel pretty cautious. It took too long and too much energy to negotiate the area we had to pass through.

We took a break for lunch to build back my energy and confidence. We skied the Fuller's Folly area extensively after lunch and skied the many gullies and ravines in the Sisters area. I was feeling better, but the skis were feeling worse. I crossed the tips on more than one occasion and they were getting thrown around quite a bit. I dropped more than a couple of F-bombs as I experienced considerable shin bang in moguls that should not have induced it. We finished the day skiing a run on Strawberry Field and although it went well, I just didn't like the way the Fischers were working for me. We finally met up with SierraJim at the end of the day and discussed my issues with the skis...he said the conditions were pretty tough for any ski. I really liked the terrain at Sugar Bowl, but the skis and the snow conditions made it a less than great day (compared to our previous superhero day at Squaw). Sorry, no pics...I sucked too bad on Sunday to record my limitations!