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What skis for heli-trip to Alaska?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, dear guys!
New to these forums so sorry if I don't know something.
I'm planning a heli trip to Alaska (Valdez heli camps) this March. I don't want to use the rent skis because I alwas prefer to be on my own and I hope this won't be the last trip so I can try and afford a pair of my own dedicated boards.
Currently I'm torn between 189 Pontoons and Armada ARG's.
Which do you think is better? And if you have your own suggestions then feel free to add.
Thanks in advance for your answers and all the best.
post #2 of 9
Call or E-mail your guide service and ask them. They see folks in their specific conditions literally every day and will have a feel for what works. It also might not be a bad idea to just buy your own pair of whatever their rental ski happens to be. They probably chose it because it is a good general fit for their paying customers. You probably won't want to be on what the guides themselves ski on.

SJ
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Good input Jim! But the only problem is that the guys literally encourage their guests to bring their own skis.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GNOJ View Post
Good input Jim! But the only problem is that the guys literally encourage their guests to bring their own skis.
That may be true, but that doesn't mean they wont have an opinion as to what works best in that area.
post #5 of 9
When I skiied the Chugach range during March conditions varied from epic pow to rotten crust and mank. Today I'd bring two pairs with a 100 and 115-120 waist each if the bag is big enough. Else bring the Armadas if in doubt.
post #6 of 9
Take a ski with tip rocker and a fat waist - 105mm or bigger. Something along the lines of the Line Mothership or Prophet 130, K2 obSethed, Bluehouse Shoots or Mavens, Salomon Rocker or Czar, DPS Lotus 120, Rossi S7 Caballero - there are obviously more but any of these would work real well there in the multi conditions that you will encounter. If you have never skied a full reverse camber/sidecut type pow ski I'd stay with a more traditional shape like the skis above (with tip rocker) and as mentioned above - check with your guides and see what may be available to rent or demo.
post #7 of 9
Depending on your style & bias & input from the operator regarding likely snow mix, I'd add to my consideration list:

Volkl Kuros (which I'd personally favor a bit over Pontoons)
Praxis Powder Boards
Praxis Protest/Hybrid
Armada JJ
Rossi S7
Line EP Pro
K2 Hell Bent
Salomon Czar
Huge Trouble
Katana

The above list ranges from full reverse to rockered to pretty flat to hybrid w/ tip rocker. Pontoons are great, but as I noted I think the Kuros play better in a broader range of conditions. The ARG has a great reputation. Probably a few others I missed...

Some of these are probably pretty demo-able this year. If you ski in the right places, there's plenty of time before March to get on something with full rocker or reverse camber - and on some of the more conventional skis w/ rocker. That way you'll have a better idea of what sings to you.

FWIW - The full reverse or full rocker thing seems to sing to people or not. The first day I skied a Pontoon I was sold. The more time I've spent on fully rockered skis, the more I am convinced they are the future. I spent something like 90% of my days on rockered or full reverse skis last year and 100% so far this year... You really, really feel the difference in deep slabby or layered snow... And at my level of mediocrity, I appreciate the extra margin they give me under those conditions.
post #8 of 9
bring the ski that YOU feel best on skiing that type of terrain.

Some people like a stiffer or softer ski. some like 100mm some like 130mm, some like rocker, some don't.

If you like billy goating you will want a shorter ski, if you like huge speed/hucks then go longer.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks a lot guys I'll try to test as much as possible.
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