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Fischer Cold Heat RF SP (2009) , 176cm, 123-82-109

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Just came away from 4 days of about as varied conditions as could be found out here in California - 1 day at SoCal area - Mtn High; followed by 3 successive days at Mammoth, 1st day - was 12" to 14" of what would be consider dry pow in the Sierras (and continued snowing all day), 2nd day same stuff, just more tracked up except for the opening of the upper mtn, with some further opportunity to ski short sections of untracked steeps, 3rd day - Blubird day or mostly 3rd and 4th buckle deep tracked runs, soft bumps, tracked and bumped steeps, and very rare (but found) tree sections of untracked.
Fischer Cold Heat RF SP - 2009
since a ski review has no worth without some indication of all the parts...

me - Skiing since 1965, racing (high level) in late sixties to early Mid-70's. Ski Industry associated until 1995. Stopped skiing in 1999, re-entry six weeks ago. 60 yrs old, 5' 11" (on a good day) and shrinking, 165 lbs, fit, ski any part of any mtn I've ever been on.
Still/again skiin most anything, with a preference for the steep and narrow (my eastern roots...), speed is still a good thing, linked turns are way more fun than traversing a 30 yd wide slope. groomed pooltable flat runs are my last choice.
Making a full bore re-entry into the modern shape-ski world... and luvin it!
Skis skied this season before these Fischers - oldtime straights- 205s , 6-9 yr old shapers (which I truly enjoy and luv) Atomic Betas 190, 68mm waist - Volkl Motion Vertigo 184, 70 mm waist - K2 Axis Pro2 188, 70 mm waist.and a bunch of others which didn't find a place in my garage.
Boots -  Fischer Heat Fire 105 (identical boot, different color to this yr's Fischer Soma X100) - absolutely perfect boot for my feet and skiing style.

Qualifier to my comments
These Fischers are the shortest and widest skis I've EVER skied for more than a run or 2. Tried to find something good about short skis, back in the 70s, but never could find one good thing about any of them.

Why these Fischers? Fischer straights were never the easiest ski to punch thru bumps, but when it got gnarly, icy, cruddy, steep and narrow, death cookies, icebergs in blown conditions, I could always count on my Fischers and their edges to plow through the worst of it.
In a word, most any ski would do when the conditions were nice. But when things were unpredictable and maybe tough, I went to my RC4s (or Elans).

1st day - Mtn High, 4 days after the dump of late Jan - conditions were mostly HARD pack with some crusted snow where trails were not groomed. Mtn High is heavily worked to accommodate boarders. A few trails are left untouched for skiers (I guess).
Mostly you get, tabletop groomers, with some nice sun shaded run sections of soft snow, lightly moguled or sunny steeps with crust which you need to let warm a bit if skiing them was any option.
Started that day, as usual, on my Elan 205 Comprex, for the familiarity. 2nd run switched to the Atomic 190 Betas, a great ski for hard snow conditions. Most of the steeper runs quickly deteriorated into a very hard, fast surface - EASTERN HARDPACK style and stayed that way for the day. A few ungroomed runs were lightly moguled, 2"-4" inch nice snow, lightly trafficked by a few skiers. I skied the Atomics until an early lunch and then switched to the Fischer Cold Heats.
These short skis really held nicely on very hard conditions, just a tiny bit less than the Betas, which in my estimate were about as good any hard condition straight ski I can remember.
So modern short skis (at least these Fischers) could be some great fun carving up the hard stuff.
2nd REVELATION. These Fischers could plow thru some serious heavy crud and icebergs! It wasn't real pretty, but I actually had FUN punching thru 3 day old refrozen, partially tracked out steeps. Went back and did those runs a bunch of times. With confidence gained from the 1st run, the further ventures onto anything refrozen or tracked out became speed runs to see if I would wuss out before the skis became un manageable. I hate to admit it, I slowed down long before the Cold Heats gave any indication of not being able to handle the iceberg fest.
I was now very STOKED for the upcoming 3 days at Mammoth especially, since Mammoth had just gotten 5 ft of dumpage from these huge storm system.
fast forward to Feb 6...
14"to 18" inches of Fresh had fallen the 2 days before, it was still snowing, and the upper Mtn was closed due to winds, visibility and uncertainty of the snow packs and avalanche danger.
Needless to say, having the upper Mtn open woulda been a bonus, But considering Mammoth and the conditions that day, it wasn't needed at all.
The lower levels were AWESOME, the trees and glades were INCREDIBLE, even the groomers had large layers on nice broken pow along the sides.
I lucked out to be the first past the ropes on the backside of chair 5 when that was opened and had 2 runs with only 2 or 3 patrol tracks in front of me. These Fischers just FLOATED thru the shin-deep like nothing I'd ever skied before! AT 82 mm wide, they were just the perfect call for me to really be in 3D. The Trees were more of the same, and helped with visibilty issues. Lincoln Mtn face, especially the trees was an absolute playground.
What was more incredible about these Cold Heats was that they transitioned fron untracked trees to totally cut up open runs without hesitation. These skis just punched thru sections of heavy tracks back into untracked, like it was all the same!

Did I mentioned was an Olde Pharte, re-entry, retro-grouche, "these new fangled skis ain't for me!" unbeliever?
Once again proven the high level of IDIOT I can be... by these Fischer Cold Heats.
A 176 cm ski after all, can't be THIS GOOD, or ski all this stuff with such impunity!

Day 2 - Mammoth

Did a lot of the same areas, a little worse visibility as fog rolled down from the upper mtn during much of the day. I wasn;t worried, these skis just let me handle anything which came along. almost no untracked left by Mid-Morning, so it was time to ski the soft bumps. Blow em up headon, Double them up with some air time, or snake thru, it didn't matter what line you took nor what speed you went thru. these skis just 'worked it', whatever you wanted.
Upper Mtn opened after lunch, and by the time I got up there, most of the faces had been seriously tracked over. But no matter, the steep was awesome and spent the rest of the day on Chr 23 and the gondola, working my way along all the faces available. 4 PM I was toast, but totally in luv with the Fischer Cold Heats!

Day 3 - A Bluebird day. Got on the hill a little late, 9:30, feeling just a little sore from the previous 2 days, so I did a bunch of social runs with others on the Club Ski trip. Some easy cruisin, some times at speed sometimes slower, easy down the bumps, and mostly stayed with those I was skiing with.
What can;t these skis do well? ! They were just a pleasure again to just let roll on wide arcs and pick an easy line thru bumps. Want slow, tight turns? "NO Problem" says Fischer Cold Heats. Long sweeping Arcs at GS speeds - "Let's GO" says Fischer Cold Heats.
Then went back to chr 23 and roll down the 3 droputs again, Climax, Cornice, and went looking for my auger hole off the far side of Dave's.
My Butt was Toast after these 3 days.
Fischer Cold Heat - core cross section
I'm not quite sure what these skis can't do ???
Ok, maybe terrain park stuff - I'm not about to find out about that... I am an Olde Pharte.
But on these skis I feel 15 yrs younger!  I lUV THESE SKIS!
They are TOTAL CHEATERS!  Skiing should not be this easy.
And with my remembrances of past adventures, back East, these would not be a bad choice for the steep and narrow back there. On real ice, edge length still rulez, so don't expect 205 grip from a 176 cm. But for 176 cm, the edging feels more like 190...

Oh, Tryolia RailFlex 12 bindings. Never been a huge Tyrolia Fan. Never was my 1st choice. BUT THESE WORKED! Never a problem, easy to get back in, even in real deep snow after I auger'd into some deep stuff off the far far right side of Dave's.
These are pretty dam good Ski Binders!

What can I say... When I die, you'll have to pry my frozen dead fingers away from these Fischer Cold Heats (what a crappy name for such a great ski)  .
I wanna be buried with them, just like King Tut.

EDIT - Forgot the 'dry' stuff...
boot sole center to ski center mark, never changed that position.
they felt and skied most predictably from a 'centered' postion, but work just like a long ski when the tip were pushed. Want some 'Boing' from the tails, no problem, get in the seat, if you dare.
Run em like a long straight if you so desire, start forward and end with tail pressure - they really fly through those turns! Ride em with weight on both skis or heavy weight to the downhill ski, either way they respond well.
Very fast edge to edge, considering they are 82 mm waist. The width did feel a little 'funny' at first, but by the 3 and 4th runs that was all sorted out. There was never a time when I felt the ski was 'slow' in getting from one edge to the other. Can't say I noticed any issues with Binding/Boot ramp angle or need for cant. So that remains unchanged and just fine for me.
They came thru very flat base 'off-the-rack', so very little pre-ski prep work other than a quick run of the file check and very thin hot base prep wax covered with some 'Blue' for Mtn High and then again for Mammoth.
No tip guard, so the tips do show some 'rub-bage' from use. But not a big deal.
Flat cut std tail, not a twintip or FAUX tip. I did do a few fun 360 sliders on some groomers and that was easy enough. Like I said, prolly not the best choice for terrain park.
They are not Light, and feel about as heavy as my longer, older shapers. But that weight was not noticed at all while skiing, unless it accounts in any way for their incredible stability at speed.
As much as I'd like to entertain the idea that I'd like the 182s better (cause I'm still a retro-straightski-grouch) I'm realizin that the 176 cm in this ski might just be the perfect ski for me - 5' 11", 165 lbs, 50/50 finnese-pile driver technique. There was never a time, in these 4 days, when I felt I had reached the limit of that ski or its size. So, I guess 176 is it for me.

Life is good, Sking is livin!
Edited by moreoutdoor - 2/10/10 at 2:00pm
post #2 of 3
 WONDERFUL review!  Entertaining and informative!  I too love the Fischers and have found them just the ticket for my aging knees.  I guess one can't knock Atomic and Fischer for incredibly well performing skis...one only has to look at the podium to find out what the racers use.  And yes I know I'm not a racer (too old) but they clearly have the technology down pat.

And the Austrians have been skiing for w-a-y longer than other places.  And if you know Austrians, they would never tolerate a ski that wasn't fine.  Ya just gotta know how to ski WELL!!
post #3 of 3
I've been on the '07-'08 Cold Heats (with Flowflex binding, which they replaced with the Railflex the next year (when they also changed the graphics)) since picking them up for a steal from O2 Gearshop in early '08 and have loved them for all of the reasons you state in your very well written review.  I'm just north of 50 and these have just been awesome skis for me (and my knees) in virtually all conditions.  Sadly, Fischer discontinued the Cold Heat after the '08-'09 model year, presumably to eliminate the partial overlap in the "midfat" department between the more backside-oriented Watea 78/84 and the Cold (and Cool) Heat.  There seem to be a few places where you can still find them online, and the prices are generally ridiculously low (or should be able to be negotiated to low), so I would highly recommend this ski to anyone looking for something in the "stiffer" mid-fat category who would like a lower-priced alternative to the more ubiquitous AC50s and Xplorers et al. that are out there.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Fischer Cold Heat RF SP (2009) , 176cm, 123-82-109