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Frontside, West, Level 6-7 Ski

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

Looking for a Frontside-focus, Western, Level 6-7 Ski ...
 
About me:
- 5'10", 160lbs, 28 year old male
- Second Year skier (skied 10 days 2008/9 season in midwest).
- I skied all the blue and black runs on 160cm Head and Rossignol rental skis (prefered the Heads).  Will look for something 165-170cm.
- Level 6 (make confident parallel turns on intermediate trails but tend to avoid more advance runs - goal for most is to improve and learn to ski more difficult terrain).
- Ski athletic but not overly aggressive at Moderate speeds (I don't bomb runs and will need to be able to slowly cruise greens and blues with my wife as she continues to learn).
- I like Medium to Long turns. 
- Prefer a damped, solid, smooth, stable ride and don't really care for a lot of response or feedback from the ski/snow, more easy going and less aggressive.  I would prefer to blast through broken snow/crud than to get knocked around by it.
- Want a versatile ski that will help me continue to improve technique and carving and take me somewhere from a 90/10 to 70/30 skier.  Something that will carve nicely, but will allow me to start to venture more off-piste a bit.
- I won't go looking for bumps or steeps, but would like to get into the trees.
- I will be relocating to the West, likely CA, NM, or UT and plan to be a season pass holder with a week-long trip planned as well to another big mountain (30-40 days/year).
- Being in the west, I am sure it will only take one season for me to want to add something in the 85-95mm range as a second powder-dedicated ski to make a two-ski quiver, so I would like this first ski recommendation to be more frontside, carver, on-piste oriented, but versatile for multiple western conditions.
- First step is finding a local boot fitter once I relocate.
- I have done hours of reserach on epicski.com (try to read everything SierraJim and Dawgcatching write) and subscribed to expertskier.com, but I am having trouble narrowing down my possible skis to buy. 
- So I guess my question is more philosophical than gear related (i.e. the right first ski of the quiver described above).  I also am a firm believer in buying the right item the first time and something that will last me a few years.
 
I basically have three groups of skis that I need to down-select to one:
 
1.  78-79mm
Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous
Head Monster iM 78
Dynastar Legend 8000
Atomic Nomad Blackeye
Elan Magfire 78 Ti
Fischer Watea 78 (probably too soft for clean front side carving)
 
2.  75-76mm
Dynastar Contact 4x4 (concerned this may be too much ski for me)
Volkl AC 30
Head Monster iM 76
Atomic Nomad Highnoon
 
3. 65-72mm Carver
Fischer RX Fire 8 FTi
Dynastar Contact Groove
Elan Speedwave 12
Head iSupershape Magnum
Fischer Progressor 8+
 
So that is 15 skis, but if I can first select group one, two or three, that will help.  I left out the 74mm waist skis because I figured I might as well go up to a 76 for more versatility.
 
After all my research, I think I need to be patient and demo as well, however, I will be moving in the early winter and would like to hit the ground running.  I am also concerned that the more narrow waisted skis might not be available for demo out west (especially UT).  So if I can pick up a late season special this spring/summer, that would be great (I will find out where I am moving June/July timeframe).
 
Ok, that should give you enough info to make an informed recommendation!  LOL
 
Thanks
post #2 of 28

Nitrous or Legend 8K. Both are more ski than you need as a skier with 10 days in, but neither will spank you too hard when you make a mistake.

 

SJ

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Jim,

 

Thanks for the further clarity in my selection.  After reading most of your recommendations on other threads, I pretty much had those skis in my top two already, but I just wanted a suggested for my specific case.

 

I guess I am trying to balance:

 

1.  Something that will allow me to improve my carving technique, while

2.  being able to handle the varied  conditions of the west for a 30+ day season, while

3.  not beeing too much ski for a intermediate, but

4.  at the same time allowing for growth

 

I was concerned with waist size and carving (especially with the ideal plan of a two-ski quiver, adding something in the 88-100mm range at a later time, when appropriate skill is developed), but it seems that these skis can still carve well.

 

I intend to take lessons frequently and really strive to improve technique and I consider myself very athletic, however not overly aggressive, so hopefully these skis aren't too much for me to handle (this is why, after research, I ruled out the 4x4).

 

Maybe something more appropriate would be the (?):

 

Dynastar Legend 4800 Fluid

K2 Apache Raider

Fischer Watea 78

 

Thanks again.


Edited by hilega - 3/21/2009 at 04:54 pm
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

In light of the whole "The "lost" ski waist width: 70-79mm - what's the point?"  debate and my second-year, intermediate status, I am leaning towards more of a ~70mm waist (group three on original post) despite the varied western conditions with big dumps of fresh powder.

 

In reality, I will be 100/0 or 90/10 at most in my first season out west anyway, so with my plan to make at least a 2SQ, I am starting to think a more easy going, learner oriented ski would be more approriate.

 

I thought this thread would generate more discussion, but I guess it is not "epic" enough.  LOL 

 

Oh well, I am bored, ready to move and ready to committ to skiing, so I am just lurking on epic at all hours of the day ...

post #5 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

In light of the whole "The "lost" ski waist width: 70-79mm - what's the point?"  debate and my second-year, intermediate status, I am leaning towards more of a ~70mm waist (group three on original post) despite the varied western conditions with big dumps of fresh powder.

 

In reality, I will be 100/0 or 90/10 at most in my first season out west anyway, so with my plan to make at least a 2SQ, I am starting to think a more easy going, learner oriented ski would be more approriate.

 

I thought this thread would generate more discussion, but I guess it is not "epic" enough.  LOL 

 

Oh well, I am bored, ready to move and ready to committ to skiing, so I am just lurking on epic at all hours of the day ...

Since Epic went to the new format, it seems to me that there are quite a few threads that are not generating the amount of discussion that I would expect. 
 

 

I wish I had skied more of the skis on your list, but based on my experience on JMDs 165 cm Atomic SL 12 PBs the day before I tore my ACL, I agree with your intuition that a narrower carver might be the way for you to go...I hate to disagree with SJ as he has lots of good advice and I am sure that the 8 K would be more versatile than a carving ski, but I think there is something to be said for getting a ski that will allow you to more easily experience what a clean carve feels like. 

 

I am not sure if it is the right ski for you, but I just bought some Contact 11/Ltd/10s after reading a number of reviews about it being a relatively easy and versatile ski for the amount of performance it gives...

 

I understand wanting to get the "right" ski first, and the season end deals for new skis are great but there are lots of deals on used gear...I am not sure what would be considered the easiest/best ski to learn to carve on for someone of your limited experience, but maybe you should look for that type of ski used with the idea that you can keep it for a loaner ski for visiting friends when you move up to a higher performance ski. 

post #6 of 28

 

Quote:

I thought this thread would generate more discussion, but I guess it is not "epic" enough.  LOL 

 

Or, quite possibly, because the answer that SJ gave is one that many people would agree with?  The Nitrous seems to be a better fit with what you describe (as compared to the 8000s - though I have not skied the newer version of the 8000s).  It's more adept at helping develop more modern carving technique, IMO.

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

MEfree30, thanks for a thoughtful contribution!  I often go in circles when researching gear, electronics, cars, etc. and it helps to hear different perspectives.

 

Alberto, thanks for Nitrous "second".  From my months of lurking on epic, I generally take SierraJim's reviews/comments as gospel, but I was hoping for some additional recommendations from others that particularly ski groomers out west.

 

Would the 4800 or Overdrive be more appropriate?  Epic members often state that the intermediate skis of today are far better than the advanced skis of decades ago.  I want to improve rapidly, but I don't' ski fast or aggressively (may change with experience and confidence though).

 

Thread drift/general rant ... my problem with "expertskier.com" is that it is just that, it conducts reviews biased towards the expert.  I would like to see more well rounded reviews of skis at all levels.  It seems like they review intermediate skis as "outgrow-able" or something that you would soon "upgrade the next season"  or more "recreational" and then give higher marks to the expert level skis.  Likewise, some of the toned down skis of the same dimensions with maybe less or no metal are given seemingly negative comments (except maybe the comparison of the Nitrous to the Top Fuel).   For example, no real review is provided for the Atomic Nomad Whiteout, they just state that they "prefer the Blackeye".  This provides no info about the ski.  For as short as the reviews are on that site (paragraph or less), I feel they could do a better job for the $20 price everyone pays, especially with skis usually going unchanged year to year.  The shorthand symbol format to describe appropriate skill level and terrain is a concise and efficient way to capture the skis performance, however I find myself cross-referencing the review on epic to accompany the brief reviews on expertskier to get a better feel and more of a first hand view.

 

All this being said, expertskier.com is a great site and well worth the money to at least give you a ball park idea on what skis you should be looking at, however I will always come back to epic to search old threads and reviews to get more in depth reviews.  Expertskier does provide a relatively all-inclusive look at the majority of skis out there, so that consolidated form really helps reduce your research time (instead of search each manufacturer's site one by one).

 

Ok, random rant over, I am just appreciative of epic and will plan on being a supporter for years to come.   

post #8 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

In light of the whole "The "lost" ski waist width: 70-79mm - what's the point?" 

IMO the 70-79 lost width argument is ridiculous. <70 carvers are too one dimensional especially out West and >80 carvers are not conducive to learn proper caring technique on. For Western groomer oriented skiing 70-80 is exactly what you should be looking for. Contact 10/LTD/11, Legend 8000, Nordi Hot Rod TF/Nitrous, Volkl AC 20/30 are among many that you should consider.

 

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Eric,

 

Thanks for the response ... that was my initial comment on that 70-79 thread as well.  I think I am going to keep my search in that 74-79mm waist range.

 

BTW, if I end up moving to Albuquerque, I will be skiing Sante Fe and Sandia a lot, with some trips up to Taos as well.

post #10 of 28

Have to beg to differ a bit with Eric about 80+ width skis not being conducive to developing carving technique.  The Nordica Afterburner (84mm) allows for the same developmental curve as the Nitrous, IMO. Of course, the design of the ski, as well as the sidecut, contribute to whether or not this is the case.  Hilega, I suggest the Nitrous specifically because of my observation that many intermediate skiers have responded very well to this ski and have progressed as a result.  It turns quite easily and has a wide range of performance and a great deal of forgiveness.  The Volkls in the same width are generally stiffer and have great edge grip but may well be a bit too much ski at your expressed stage.  Just food for thought. 

post #11 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

....

 

In reality, I will be 100/0 or 90/10 at most in my first season out west anyway, so with my plan to make at least a 2SQ, I am starting to think a more easy going, learner oriented ski would be more approriate.

 

...

 

I'm sure you'll quickly re-evaluate this proportion of your skiing once you get out west so make sure you get something capable off-piste whilst still allowing you to develop your technique. I was in your position this time a year ago and opted for the head im 78, 177cm (180 lb, level 5-6 at the time). They kicked my butt a little to begin with but I love them now and always look for off-piste lines when skiing with my wife and when on groomed runs they carve really well and perform well in harder conditions. I haven't skiied any of the others on your first list though so will leave the model recommendation to others. Like you say, I'm now in the process of looking to add something in the 90-100mm width for days like yesterday at Whistler :)

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 

The conversation is picking up ... thanks!

 

I think I am looking more at the Legend 4800 as well.  It seems to have the same relationship with the 8k as the Nitrous does with the TF.

 

Based on my limited rental experience with Head and Rossignol, I preferred the Heads and have really been looking at the Monster 76 and 78.  The reviews indicate that the 78 may be too much ski for me, but I really am looking to find that balance of western conditions, developing skill and retaining a ski that will grow with me in that 5 to 8 skill level performance band.

 

This is where it really comes down to millimeters for me. 

 

The Nordica Hot Rod Overdrive and Atomic Highnoon are in the running too.

 

Alberto and lj269, I do think that I am going to stay out of the 80s and commit to a 2SQ when the time comes and go with something in the 70s and something in the 90s+.

 

Believe it or not, this conversation is helping me reduce my list of possibilities.  With the quality of all the product lines out there today, I am sure I "can't miss" with any of the skis recommended.  Also, with my inexperience with various brands and my above average athletic ability, I am sure I can adapt to any ski and probably won't notice the subtle nuances between skis in the same performance echelon.

 

Thanks.

 

post #13 of 28

Ok, so based on your comments about above average athletic ability: ditch the 4800, Overdrive and High Noon.  They will not have the performance range you want.  Initially, they might be tempting, but they are probably less ski than you want, even at this point.   SJ's initial comments are bang on.

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

I shouldn't have question SJ's sixth sense (ski recommendations)!  LOL 

 

At least we had some worthy discussion. 

 

Thanks everyone!

 

post #15 of 28

I disagree with Alberto re: the Legend 4800.  From your description, you're a level 6 skier and you weigh 160 pounds.  I think you'll find the 48K to be an excellent fit if you like Dynastars.  The ski will help you progress and it is excellent in soft snow and bumps.  A caveat:  I haven't skied the current version.  The '05 version, blue with the surf board graphics, was titanium sandwich construction and quite a nice ski.  The current version has a wood core w/o the metal.

post #16 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

MEfree30, thanks for a thoughtful contribution!  I often go in circles when researching gear, electronics, cars, etc. and it helps to hear different perspectives.

 

Alberto, thanks for Nitrous "second".  From my months of lurking on epic, I generally take SierraJim's reviews/comments as gospel, but I was hoping for some additional recommendations from others that particularly ski groomers out west.

 

Would the 4800 or Overdrive be more appropriate?  Epic members often state that the intermediate skis of today are far better than the advanced skis of decades ago.  I want to improve rapidly, but I don't' ski fast or aggressively (may change with experience and confidence though).

 

Thread drift/general rant ... my problem with "expertskier.com" is that it is just that, it conducts reviews biased towards the expert.  I would like to see more well rounded reviews of skis at all levels.  It seems like they review intermediate skis as "outgrow-able" or something that you would soon "upgrade the next season"  or more "recreational" and then give higher marks to the expert level skis.  Likewise, some of the toned down skis of the same dimensions with maybe less or no metal are given seemingly negative comments (except maybe the comparison of the Nitrous to the Top Fuel).   For example, no real review is provided for the Atomic Nomad Whiteout, they just state that they "prefer the Blackeye".  This provides no info about the ski.  For as short as the reviews are on that site (paragraph or less), I feel they could do a better job for the $20 price everyone pays, especially with skis usually going unchanged year to year.  The shorthand symbol format to describe appropriate skill level and terrain is a concise and efficient way to capture the skis performance, however I find myself cross-referencing the review on epic to accompany the brief reviews on expertskier to get a better feel and more of a first hand view.

 

All this being said, expertskier.com is a great site and well worth the money to at least give you a ball park idea on what skis you should be looking at, however I will always come back to epic to search old threads and reviews to get more in depth reviews.  Expertskier does provide a relatively all-inclusive look at the majority of skis out there, so that consolidated form really helps reduce your research time (instead of search each manufacturer's site one by one).

 

Ok, random rant over, I am just appreciative of epic and will plan on being a supporter for years to come.   

 

We definitely get more descriptive reviews here, but the key to the expertskier reviews is uderstanding all the symbols and point scores.

 

The whiteout has the little green skier, the blackeye has the green skier AND a blue one, meaning it is still suitable for a green skier, but is also suitable for a blue skier (I think there must be a lot of slow learners judging by the description of the skiers).  Once you have skied a number of skis that are reviewed on the site, you get a feel for what you would like and what you would find unfullfilling;  I, for example like the skis that have a black skier, even though I don't match their description of a black-level skier. 

 

The Blackeye scores 1 more point in the carving category, one more in the stability and one more in rebound and adds ice symbol without penalty of being too hard to ski for a green-level skier.  Notice the speed range; you get everything the whiteout has and more with the black eye. 

'nough said.

 

 

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ghost,

 

Points well taken on expertkier.  Those ratings are critical indicators of the reviews provided and that is why I have done a Ctrl-Prnt Scrn and pasted the review in Paint to then place in a PowerPoint presentation (for myself) to more closely compare their reviews and keep notes from the reviews I read here on epic.  Likewise, I have made spreadsheets in Excel to compare the skis on a statistical/performance basis (i.e. sidecut, radius, speed range, skill level, and all the numbered performance metrics used on expertskier).

 

I believe the Whiteout case is an extreme one to use for shortfalls on expertskier, but figured Atomic made that ski for some piece of the market, but they, as well as expertskier fail to really detail who the ski is intended for (ok someone that is a level 6 and doesn't ski fast).  That said, it is clear that the Blackeye is the better ski.

post #18 of 28

Someone who wants to spend less money and will never demand much of their skis

post #19 of 28

Head im78 will suit you perfectly I think.  It's exactly as you describer your preferred ski to be.  It is a very forgiving ski, especially with Ralflex bindings to give you some leverage while carving.  I am your size, level 7, based in Cali, and it is the perfect frontside focused 70/30 ski and could easily be a 90/10 ski.  There's a lot of competition in its class, but the Monster stands out to me, especially for frontside focused, b/c of the variety of turn shapes and sizes it is comfortable making, and the balance of hard vs. soft snow performance.  I know there are some reviews that make it sounds a little demanding, but from how you've described yourself, I don't think it will be for you, and certainly within your first season on them out west, they won't be for long.  Skip the im76...especially if you see yourself improving.  The im78 will grow with you even to level 8.  I would go 171cm at your size...Tyrolia/Head railflex bindings for sure on this one.

 

If you decide to go slightly skinnier, the 08/09 Dynastar Contact 10 would be my pick in a 172cm.

 

If you're on a tight budget, take a look at the Fischer Red Heat too...165 or 170cm.

 

Personally I'd stick to 78mm+, even for 90/10 west coast.

post #20 of 28

Just like monologuist, the description of your preferred ski had the iM 78 jumping into my head. It is forgiving, damp, and easily carvable, yet really shines as the speeds pick up or the snow gets cruddy.

post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

OK, so it looks like (in approximate order of easiest going to most demanding):

 

A. Dynastar Legend 4800   120/79/103 19m    (165 or 172)

B. Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous 124/78/108 15.5m (170)

C. Dynastar Legend 8000   120/79/103 19m     (165 or 172)

D. Head Monster iM 78       124/78/110 14.6m  (165 or 171)

 

To recap:  I am 5'10", 160lbs, level 6 skier, medium turns, moderate speed, no bumps, maybe trees in future, west coast (more detailed description in original post).

 

So what sizes in those skis do you recommend?

 

post #22 of 28

Hilega,

 

I am 5' 9" 185 and I ski a Volkl AC30 170 cm (these skis are perfect for my type of skiing - East Coast 90/10 - they rock!!!).  However in retrospect I wished I bought the 177's

 

I have also skied the IM78 and was very impressed - this is a great ski.  Based on your stats, I would probably recommend at least a 172.  If you are a Level 6 skier, you will have no problems with the 172 and will have some room to grow into. 

 

Good luck in your decision!!!

post #23 of 28

Hilega,

 

Demo mang! But if you want my opinion here she is.

 

Think about your skills. Where do you want to be in 100 ski days? What ski will take you there? 


If you just want to go out and ski arround and explore I would look at either the Legend 8000 or the nitrous. 


The Legend 8000 is really not demanding at all.  I think this ski has the more "upside" compared to the nitrous, but its not a ski that is going to be the best technical learning tool right away. It will probabbly work fine for you now and when you look forward 2 years you will still be relying on where as other skis you would probably be looking to trade in or upgrade.

 

I would think that Nitrous would work better right away simply since it has a tighter radius and will be a bit better at carving a variety of turn shapes and that will help gaining technical skills. Its a good ski, but struck me as a bit of a archetypal vanilla midfat. Many people like them, just my opinion of that ski that day, you may love or hate.

 

If you feel like you are really focused on learning how to ski better, building skills, takein frequent private lessons and clinics then you want a short turn carver. Look at the Rx8, Contact 10 (old 11), progressor 8, SS magnum.

 

post #24 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by lj269 View Post

 

I'm sure you'll quickly re-evaluate this proportion of your skiing once you get out west so make sure you get something capable off-piste whilst still allowing you to develop your technique.

 

hilega, listen to lj269.

 

A year ago I relocated from one part of CA (LA) to another (SF) that put me within daytrip distance of Lake Tahoe.  From what I understand, Lake Tahoe is more representative of what Western skiing is, at least relative to what was typical in the small mountain resorts to the east of LA (Big Bear).  In fact, for Big Bear I found more relevance in what the Eastern skiers had to say.  In LA, I had built up a quiver of two (155cm x 66mm slalom (11m!) carvers and 174cm x 85mm short-skiing Twips) that I thought worked well.  In fact, I enjoyed the short carvers quite a bit.

 

Today, in more "typical" Western mountains and conditions, I am in the midst of completely revamping my quiver.  I found that even on groomer days I would prefer the longer and wider Twips.  The conditions are typically softer, which 1) reduces the need for a narrow carver capable of handing icy conditions, and 2) are more prone to forming into bumps, which increases the need for longer and more substantial skis.  And I don't think we really need to discuss the merits of more substantial skis for the dump days that now happen fairly often (yes!)

 

I already re-filled the "wide ski" slot that the 85mm Twips had filled, with 176cm x 105mm Twips.  (They came in quite handy past Sunday for the 30"+ of fresh Sierra Cement that got dumped onto Sierra-at-Tahoe.)  I will be soon getting the 172cm Dynastar Legend 8000's (SierraJim's rec to you; thanks for the rec, Jim!) to replace the tiny carvers.

 

My point is, here in the West you will likely find that you will begin to gravitate toward bigger, more substantial skis than you would have envisioned otherwise.  You will likely venture into the ungroomed and off-piste.  All of this will likely happen much earlier than you might have imagined.

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

tromano,

 

Thanks for the comments on the 8k and Nitrous.  I am really leaning towards the Nitrous at this time as an easy going (relative) ski to help me progress and be flexible in multiple snow conditions.  I do want to learn to ski better and more efficiently, and plan to take lessons and and clinics, however I don't plan to race and I don't see myself as an overly aggressive skier.  It is good to know that someone from UT recommends those more narrow waisted skis.

 

On UT, if I end up at Hill, I would probably live downtown SLC and commute.  I think I have my season pass selection narrowed down to (in no particular order) Brighton, Park City, Snowbasin, Alta, Solitude (not sure what Solitudes Military discount is though, the others have great mil-discounts).  I would be looking for something with nice blue goomers and easy blacks to improve on (the Park City "signature" runs look cool, but the crowds don't).  All the prices end up pretty close, so it will come down to terrain, snow and distance from home.

 

DtEW,

 

Thanks for the info on CA.  If I end up at Edwards, I would be living in Lancaster/Palmdale area, so I would be skiing east LA (Mt High, Baldy, Snow Summit, etc. - which do you recommend a season pass?) with a trip up to Mammoth once a month or maybe just one long week.

 

In SoCal I would still stick with something in the 76-78mm range skiing the local hills with planned trips up to Mammoth.  Thoughts (go more narrow)?

 

Thanks.


Edited by hilega - 3/25/2009 at 01:48 pm
post #26 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

DtEW,

 

Thanks for the info on CA.  If I end up at Edwards, I would be living in Lancaster/Palmdale area, so I would be skiing east LA (Mt High, Baldy, Snow Summit, etc. - which do you recommend a season pass?) with a trip up to Mammoth once a month or maybe just one long week.

 

In SoCal I would still stick with something in the 76-78mm range skiing the local hills with planned trips up to Mammoth.  Thoughts (go more narrow)?

 

Thanks.


Edited by hilega - 3/25/2009 at 01:48 pm

 

All AFAIK, IMHO:

 

Mt. High: primary redeeming value is that it's the easiest drive from the greater LA area.  It's a small resort that depends on an extensive snowmaking system.  VERY crowded, but sometimes the only game in town during drought years.  Features a completely lit mountain for night skiing.  Really craptacular food, and no resort town.

 

Snow Summit/Bear Mountain: (Usually your season pass is for both resorts.)  IMO, the only decent all-around choice in LA.  A pair of small-medium sized resorts that hints at a resort/resort town experience.  There may exist sidecountry (this gathered from the news of the death of a few sidecountry skiers/boarders a year or so ago).  Still crowded.  Big Bear lake is scenic, and the town is nice, someplace one might consider buying a second home if one lived in LA.  Hwy. 18 (front way) is the more direct and heavily-trafficked of the two ways up, and Hwy. 38 is the longer but generally more enjoyable driving experience.

 

Mt. Baldy: (Never skied there) I hear that Mt. Baldy is the preferred mountain by expert skiers/boarders.  In addition, backcountry and and ski mountaineers seem to go there.  The roads to reach Baldy, however, borders on treacherous in the winter.  I run my sport sedan on those mountain roads during the summer.

 

To tell you the truth, my emphasis for greater LA wouldn't be narrower, but I rather skis with noted faculty on hardpack and ice.  In fact, I would look into a Twip, as you will find that a good portion of the mountains down there are devoted to terrain parks.  I also found that trail difficulty ratings are inflated by about a half grade.

 

Mammoth is going to resemble what we consider more typical Western conditions.

post #27 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

 

tromano,

 

Thanks for the comments on the 8k and Nitrous.  I am really leaning towards the Nitrous at this time as an easy going (relative) ski to help me progress and be flexible in multiple snow conditions.  I do want to learn to ski better and more efficiently, and plan to take lessons and and clinics, however I don't plan to race and I don't see myself as an overly aggressive skier.  It is good to know that someone from UT recommends those more narrow waisted skis.

 

On UT, if I end up at Hill, I would probably live downtown SLC and commute.  I think I have my season pass selection narrowed down to (in no particular order) Brighton, Park City, Snowbasin, Alta, Solitude (not sure what Solitudes Military discount is though, the others have great mil-discounts).  I would be looking for something with nice blue goomers and easy blacks to improve on (the Park City "signature" runs look cool, but the crowds don't).  All the prices end up pretty close, so it will come down to terrain, snow and distance from home.

 

I use a 108mm wide ski just about every day and that work great for me. But, just becuase there is 1000s of acres of off piste terrain at most of the resorts you mention doesn't mean you will necessarily be skiing there.  When I do go out to dial in technique I stick to the groomers for the most part and am on a 165cm SL ski. I sometime endup skiing those off piste in soft snow. It is not optimal (in fact its less optimal than most of the skis on your list would be)... but its doable.

 

I would say you sound like you would love solitude, Alta, or snowbasin. If you had to buy a pass tomorrow buy an alta pass. But Obviously you have time to decide.

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Update ...

Well, after many delays I finally got my assignment ... Vandenberg AFB north of Santa Barbara, CA.  I researched the drives to Tahoe and Mammoth and it looks to be about seven hours from Santa Maria, CA.  After more research I found out the Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar (Sat & Sun only) offer FREE skiing to active duty military!

So, with the fall soon approaching, I decided to pull the trigger on some skis.  I found a pretty good deal for some brand new 2008 K2 Apache Raider skis w/Marker M2 11.0 TC bindings in a 167cm length at 119-78-105.  I have lost some weight and my stats are now 5'10" 155lbs and I will turn 29 in January.  I went back and forth on the length, but again, this will be my second year skiing (after only 10 non-consecutive days my first year) and I skied 160cm when I was renting in Ohio.  I think these skis should fit the bill.  My goal is to ski over 20 days this year.

Thanks for recommendations and discussion! 
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