My quiver has been considerably downsized since last year’s weigh in. In fact, I have essentially scraped my entire 2011-2012 quiver (or at least relegated those skis to extreme thin cover only) and started a new quiver from scratch.
After four incredible years, my Fischer Atuas are nearing end of life. The camber is fading fast and when pressed together, the tips resemble a rocker-rocker ski despite originally having full camber and no rocker. One ski has a noticeably different profile.
My 2007 Atuas were demo skis that I purchased on the cheap. They extend the tape measure 186cm with a 129-96-119 sidecut and a 22m radius. Construction includes a full sandwich sidewall and a wood core without metal. They are my current natural snow and powder skis for the lifts. And I love them dearly, though I despise the non-turntable Look PX12 binding.
A suitable replacement would also be a non-metal wood core ski featuring similar sidecut and radius. A little fatter would be acceptable, a little skinnier would not. I wanted to give rocker a try but I was skeptical. Full tip to tail rocker is out of the question as skiing hard pack in between tree runs is a daily necessity. Thus, camber was also important. My first selection was Fischer’s Watea series but the son of the Atua was entirely different in design, style, and function with ski lengths inappropriate for my needs.
Enter the Atomic Theory in 186cm. Continue reading
The most important aspect of earning turns is temperature regulation. The best touring gear in the world is not going to make your up or your down enjoyable if you are miserable due to being wet, cold, or hot. Which is why the Marmot DriClime Catalyst is my most important and versatile piece of gear.
After years of constant adjustments, I finally found a pair of jackets that get me through all conditions. I paired the Catalyst windshirt with a Marmot Exum hardshell and the results this past winter were excellent. The Catalyst can be used as a mid-layer or outer layer depending upon temperature, weather, and exertion level. Even on the coldest days this past season, I was comfortable on all the ups and the downs. The windshirt is super light weight and packs down tightly.
The Catalyst is a suburb skinning jacket down into the teens with appropriate base layering. Generous venting dumps excessive heat without being too drafty. Thin DriClime lining can almost be too hot for skinning at times but unzipping the jacket can help regulate overheating.
Almost one year later, I am finally rolling out the 2010-2011 Season Gear Reviews beginning with the Samsung TL-350. This higher end Point & Shoot (along with the slightly better spec’d TL-500) was Samsung’s attempt to dethrone reigning Point & Shoot champs: the Canon S95 and the Panasonic LX5. Most reviewers have responded favorably to the TL-350. But most reviewers are not focused on ski photography in challenging light.
The completed quiver for TheSnowWay.com’s 2010-2011 season is all about the right tool for the job. An ultra-fat rocker is the only missing component to the package. From left to right are the Fischer Atua, Dynastar Legend 8000, and Volkl Supersport Six Stars for lift serviced and the Dynastar Legend 8000 and Fischer Watea 94 for earned turns.
On the disabled list is the Dynastar Inspired Big due to a partially broken Fritschi Freeride binding. Partially retired is half a pair of Dynastar Legend 8000s due to a blown edge, nearly blown sidewall, core shots, and a significant amount of missing base material. Fully retired is the Volkl P50 Motion (178cm and up for sale, name your price or trade) which did not serve long and had groomer duty only, replaced by the Six Stars.
The weigh in was conducted on a bathroom scale using the highly scientific “weigh yourself with and without the item” method. After a series of measurements were taken, I decided to use either the mean or the mode depending upon which seemed more valid. I give this method a margin of error of about 1.5 pounds. The results were striking:
Legend (Alpine) 14lbs
Volkl Six Stars 16lbs
Legend (AT) 12lbs
How about them Dynafits!? My second fattest skis are the lightest pair in my quiver. And the heaviest is tied between a carving ski (175cm) and a burly twin tip powder board (186cm). Pounds per square inch, the Volkl Six Star stands alone due to its integrated binding system and metal core construction. Add in Salomon X-Waves at 15lbs and Garmont Radiums at 10lbs (both 345 BSL) and things get even more interesting. My heaviest rig tips the scales at approximately 31 pounds and my lightest rig about a third less at 21 pounds. Incidentally, 21 pounds is about how much weight I lost this summer due to road biking.
Any one want to go touring this weekend?