Thanks walt for the length and width spec advice. Baldy gets ice storms that blanket the whole mountain. Mt. High melts in the afternoon and refreezes every night. I have seen blue ice at bear that i could see through (which would probably meet your ice specifications). Lived in Ann Arbor through several sleet/ice storms and have skied on similar surfaces in SoCal. We are at the southern edge in North America of skiable terrain with lots of chemi-snow and daily thaws combined with nightly freezes making for less than ideal conditions - makes Utah, Tahoe and Mammoth all the more special. SoCal skiing is more novelty (outside of a few hidden gems and the rare epic day).
Great information all. Thank you.
A couple of points worth noting:
- It's not ice unless it's clear enough to see a fish through it.
- Recent advances in materials have made edge grip on firm much better than it used to be
- Likewise, the same advances in materials have greatly reduced chatter
- Items 2 and 3 imply that you don't need long skinny skis to hold an edge or reduce chatter, on even to remain stable at high speeds. Short (165 to 175cm) narrow (63 to 75mm) skis perform quite well on the firm.
Your best bet is to go with a race-ish ski, something like the Volkl Racetiger RC (a toned-down version of their race ski with a sidecut between S and GS) or the Tigershark.
Fischer makes some very good frontside skis too - I've long been impressed by the RX series, and I've heard good things about the progressor.
The Dynastar Contact 4x4 might be a good choice too - great edge grip, but the turn radius was a little short for my tastes.