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Mid-fat or fat again?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just purchased my airline ticket to head to Snowbird for a week in mid-January. I would like to return to the discussion of can a fat ski 100ish serve as a lone pair for a weeks vacation in Utah Jan - Mar or would one be better served with a mid-fat 90ish?

If the reality was as we all dream, a fresh dumping of snow every couple of days, then I would buy the Gotamas and learn to ski powder and have a blast. But as we all know, there are periods that it does not snow, namely during one's ski vacation, that leads to conditions not encountered during REM.

Defining typical may be pointless but for discussion sakes, let's say it snows 12" overnight, for the next several days there is no more snowfall and the daytime temps stay in the mid-20s. How long before a fat ski starts to become 'not the best choice' for the more popular runs? We'll assume the out of the way runs get bonus days due to less use, is it three days with average mid-week crowds but only two if a weekend? Could you go five days if you hug the trail edges since the center of the runs have been brushed off? Do you get two more days on the back side because fewer venture over there?

I think SierraJim's response on 10/20 where he binned skis into Hard snow and Soft snow models gives me something to work with. I am starting to hear his message that if one could only have one pair that it would be from one of these groups tells me that last years Gotama on sale is probably not a wise choice for a single ski quiver. But my above questioning may be an interesting intellectual debate, or maybe not.

As cautioned the other day, I checked baggage policy of Southwest, United and Frontier for skis. 'One pair of skis and poles in a bag along with boots and bindings in another bag' counts as one piece of checked baggage. Are removable bindings popular? Don't know if a second pair is an issue, maybe last year not but this year it is so that they can charge extra baggage fees. $25 for first bag + $15 for second bag - each way! That's why I'm flying Southwest. Tony
post #2 of 16
1) a ski with a 100mm waist is not "fat".

2) Gotamas are not Super Fat Powder Specific skis. In Utah, Gotamas are All Mountian skis. I see guys on Spats and Pontoons riding lifts days after a storm. You will be able to get by easily on Gotamas in sub 1' conditions.

3) there is no need for a ski with less than a 100mm waist in that area unless a) you are consciously seeking out groomers or b) they are having an absolutely horrible snow year (and even then..).

Get the Gotamas, stop worrying, don't bother lugging an extra pair of carving skis and if it really snows you can always demo a pair of real fat skis. The dream is reality more often than you probably think.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
The dream is reality more often than you probably think.
However, there *is* the possibility of no new snow. It happens sometimes. I was there a couple years ago for a week and a half (didn't have the option of scheduling that trip around weather) and it actually didn't snow once the whole time.

I'm not saying this to advocate a smaller ski. Just trying to keep the OP from being disappointed if his trip isn't epic. When you're only there for a week, bad luck can happen.

My opinion? Just pick a ski and go. You're gonna have fun if you're on 80mm or 105mm skis (disclosure: my everyday ski in the PNW is 94mm). And if it starts puking snow, rent.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post
However, there *is* the possibility of no new snow. It happens sometimes. I was there a couple years ago for a week and a half (didn't have the option of scheduling that trip around weather) and it actually didn't snow once the whole time.
That was during the worst winter in recent memory. Basing an opinion on that is like saying you're just going to bring a bunch of 7m + race sails to the Gorge because you were there once and it was dead calm. I mean - you could conversely argue that because last winter was pretty much an unending Snowpocalypse that you shouldn't bring anything but a pair of Kuros to Utah.
post #5 of 16

lots of skiers use gotamas as an everyday ski in utah

if you are really desperate, you can buy a demo pair of carving skiis at snowbird in perfect shape with demo bindings for $300
post #6 of 16
Agree with Jer - go with the Gots. You may feel like you're skiing on super-fat skis the first couple times you look down, but after that everything else will just seem skinny. While 100ish waist skis may have been powder-specific skis a few years ago, they really are regarded as every-day, one-ski-quiver skis now. I went the Prophet 100 a couple years ago, and I've been pleased with their performance in just about any CO/UT condition.
post #7 of 16
You know, I read this stuff and laugh. Yes, I'm becoming friendly with fatter and fatter skis. In may ways, the fatter midfats are easier for me to ski in any conditions and certainly in junky snow.

That said, there are some damned fine skiers on this web site - such as Bob Barnes and Tog, just to name a few - who like to ski just about everything in what these days don't even make it to midfat. Some of the better skiers in my group at Smugglers' Notch ski everything that happens on thinner skis. I once was skiing in powder up to my arse - on midfats - while some of the skiers on the really, really old skinny shapeless skis were having a ball, with no difficulty.

This is a sport for pleasure. Different people take their pleasure in different ways. Just get something from a fatter midfat to a true fat to Utah and go ski!
post #8 of 16
I think the original advice you were given from SierraJim was to go with a midfat. I think that is still the best advice and would go with something 85-90mm wide. I know that this is heresy here, but based upon your scenario, 12 inches snow one night and then no more, you don't need a fat ski. I spend almost all of my time off piste and will often ski 12 inches or so fresh with my 76mm XLs. Granted that I do this a lot so you might want something a little fatter, like 85-90. The key is to pick a ski that will be good in crud or cut up powder and that you feel comfortable with. I often see a lot of folks trying to ski boot high or less powder with skis that are too fat for the snow and their skills, and it results in sloppy turns and less control. With a 90mm or so ski, you should have a good time, no matter how much it dumps, but also be better prepared for when the slopes get skied out.
post #9 of 16
I'd go with the Zman on this one. The Dynastar Mythic Riders in 88 mm width may become my all purpose skis, and they do handle junky snow as well as anything I've ever experienced. They make me feel that my ability has gone up a few notches in difficult snow.
post #10 of 16
To each their own. If I had to ski one single pair for a season in UT, I'd consider the goats or P100's or P4s as a baseline class of all around ski for that area. But only briefly .

Personally, of the skis I've used, I'd go with a Hell Bent. I'd also consider taking a flyer on EP Pros, JJs, S7s, Lhasa Pows, or similar. Maybe Katanas or perhaps something like Huge Troubles. You get the idea. Of course I'd miss having something like a Praxis, Kuro or Pontoon for those perfect days...

FWIW, the Hell Bent and similar skis are just fine for anything other than super-firm hardpack, ice or refrozen crusty crap -- and those sure are not the conditions I'd optimize for anyway!

Unless, of course, you plan to stick exclusively to groomers. Then maybe I'd go sub-100.

just my .02
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassinmax View Post
I just purchased my airline ticket to head to Snowbird for a week in mid-January. I would like to return to the discussion of can a fat ski 100ish serve as a lone pair for a weeks vacation in Utah Jan - Mar or would one be better served with a mid-fat 90ish?

If the reality was as we all dream, a fresh dumping of snow every couple of days, then I would buy the Gotamas and learn to ski powder and have a blast. But as we all know, there are periods that it does not snow, namely during one's ski vacation, that leads to conditions not encountered during REM.

Defining typical may be pointless but for discussion sakes, let's say it snows 12" overnight, for the next several days there is no more snowfall and the daytime temps stay in the mid-20s. How long before a fat ski starts to become 'not the best choice' for the more popular runs? We'll assume the out of the way runs get bonus days due to less use, is it three days with average mid-week crowds but only two if a weekend? Could you go five days if you hug the trail edges since the center of the runs have been brushed off? Do you get two more days on the back side because fewer venture over there?
As an east coast skier, I have no business in this discussion on width, but as to how long powder lasts, it depends on where you ski. how far you venture into the trees and off-piste, will determine how long it lasts. If you stay on piste, it may only last hours.
I think this should play into the width discussion as well. Since you seem like an on-piste skier, I would think recommendations should be a little narrower than what would be recommended for a more adventurous skier.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post
I'm not saying this to advocate a smaller ski. Just trying to keep the OP from being disappointed if his trip isn't epic. When you're only there for a week, bad luck can happen.
Jer, I think you forgot to read this part of my post. I think your suggestion of the goats is a good choice. Just reminding the OP that weather is fickle, and bad luck can happen anywhere, even Utah.
post #13 of 16
As others said a ski like a Gotama is a midfat by today's standards.
post #14 of 16
Having owned different iterations of both the Gotamas and Mantras I would go with the Mantra for a one ski quiver in Utah. The Mantra wil ski everything and it's a damn fun ski, it absolutely rips up the softpack and groomers and still skis the pow nice. If it snows everyday it would be better to have something wider, but chances are you will have days of snow, days of clearing and a lot of tracked out snow and variable conditions which the Mantra is great for. You can always demo something fatter if you get some big storms, but if you hit it when the storms aren't rolling through the Mantra will be much better. There are other good skis that would work in the 95-100 range, but you really don't need anything skinnier than that in Utah.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your input. I particularly appreciate the supporting arguments/experiences/reasons that go along with your opinions.

The first priority for this year was to get a helmet and that is done. Second priority was to get new boots. I am sitting here in my new boots that I got last night working on the 15 hours of pre-packout. I should probably put my helmet on to get into full character. Anticipating that some of you will ask, I got last years 28.5, they match my ski pants for any of you to whom that is important. Having the best does not do much for my ego, unless I got a good deal on it, so I'm willing to make compromises, if I can save some money, that will buy something else. While my old boots were extremely comfortable and easy to get on/off, they're rear entry, they don't exactly make my foot one with the ski. Skiing should be a new experience this season.

While trying out the new boots in the shop last night, I was looking at, with Jer's correction, what I now refer to as 'approaching fat' Gotamas. Following is a recount of the salemans: "Dude, you're going to Utah!?! This Gotama is your ski, etc, etc. His eyes glazed over with violent shaking, he's in REM and it's always snowing in Utah. Hum, I've seen this before. Zman hears my concern, sometimes it does not snow on vacation. Now, I have not written off the Gotamas, they're still of high interest. Now that I have save a little on the boots, I'll shop around the area to see if others have any of last years skis that would be suitable for my Utah one-ski quiver.

Once I post this, I'll research bindings here on the fourm. For an 'approaching fat' ski, the salesman showed me the Marker Griffons. Sure, the setup made sense with the wider screw points. Some of my reading on the fourm, at the expence of flaming some Marker fans, suggest that Markers have some pre-release issues. I will post a new thread on bindings after some research. Tony
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
As others said a ski like a Gotama is a midfat by today's standards.
That may be, but they're a damsite fatter than folks used ten years ago to ski that very same powder. We're getting into the weeds here. A ski 88 mm to 100 mm under foot will be fun, even though some great skiers never go fatter than 75 mm under foot.

There's "need" and then there's "fun" and then there's "easier" and then there's a "good deal on last year's skis".

Whatever you end up getting from 88 mm to 100 mm all will be fun, and having skied in Utah over many seasons, there have been all kinds of conditons on and off piste. At the last EpicSki gathering, it was truly epic wherever you skied, almost - a banner Gathering if there ever was one. That said, I've skied at Alta where the groomed is like porcelein and the natural is like styrofoam.

The boots are a bigger deal, so you're on the right track. No bindings today are "bad", and the Market Dukes and Griffons are all the rage these days, so don't lose any sleep over pre-release. Settle on some skis you can afford and have a great time! Having brought two pairs to Utah in the past, though, I won't do it again. From 88 mm to 100 mm, and the 88 is a good choice.
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