My Inner Ski
I ought to be ashamed. I live in the Wasatch. And I can count on one hand the number of ski days I have had in the last 10 years. Two of those days happened in the last week. After a childhood of skiing as often as possible, I entered into an adulthood of…not skiing. There are a myriad of reasons for that happening. But they are slightly irrelevant now. Because it only took a couple turns for me to realize how much I missed skiing.
And so, now I need to remedy that.
After a lot of emails and google searches and forum reading, I decided that the ideal ski for me would be an alpine touring model that would be suitable at the resorts, and in the backcountry. After all, there are only so many skin tracks that I can follow on my snowshoes before I realize that those making the tracks are having all the fun. On the way down.
As I researched the skis and boots I started to get that gear-lust taste in my mouth. I know you have been there, and know what I am talking about. You fall asleep with gear specs running through your mind. You spend unhealthy amounts of time on eBay, Steep and Cheap, and google looking for that perfect price on the perfect gear. Your every thought is consumed by the quest, the chase, and the possibilities that the new toy will open up. Whether a bike, skis, shoes or a watch, the feeling is the same. A mix of urgency and child-like impatience.
The Karhu Team 100/Line Prophet has caught my attention. But others have me giddy as well. All this is reminding me about when I got more serious about mountain biking, and I started to understand the differences between bikes and shoes and tires and so forth. Its a great feeling, discovering a new sport.
But it won’t compare to that first powder shot.
The only question is whether or not it will be this year, or next.
Exit Question: Which backcountry ski do you use/recommend?
UtRiderFebruary 13, 2009
I’m a solid intermediate skier and love my Prophet 100’s. I have 4 days on them so far with no complaints. Before buying them I demoed the Soloman Foil, Gun and Bluehouse MR. I loved the Gun and figured the Prophet would be even better and it hasn’t disappointed.
I went with standard bindings but may swap them out next year for something I can tour with, assuming I can develop the skills between now and then to get down the backcountry hills in one piece!
Skiing has made winter extremely enjoyable to the point that I’m not yet ready to start training on the bike. This will have consequences for the spring/early summer races but hopefully I’ll be going ok come late summer/fall as I’d like to try cross this year.
If you ever want to hit Brighton M-TH let me know.
AaronFebruary 13, 2009
I hope it’s sooner than later. We need more Utah Countyans in the backcountry.
Rick SunderlageFebruary 13, 2009
I am loyal to the Black Diamond skis. Light for touring but rock solid in the backcountry and resort. I have the BD verdicts and it’s the ski I use for everything.
If I wear to buy a new ski, it would be the BD MegaWatts.
DaveFebruary 16, 2009
Nows the time to buy, lots of good sales going on. The used gear sections on Telemark Tips and TGR are worth looking at, lots of transient gear whore out there.
I’ll soon be replacing my K2 rando skis with Karhu Guides, skiing ’em with Voile Mountaineers and Alpina pleather boots. More of a low angle exploring rig for untracked forests than big mountains, but I’ve been able to get down blacks at the resort just fine, though it demands a lot from the legs.
For next year I’ll be adding an AT rig. Dynafits for sure, some lightish boots (Scarpa F3 or Spirit 3, or something similar), and a nice light ski somewhere around 90mm underfoot. K2 Mt Baker Superlight, Karhu Spire BC, Dynafit Manaslu.
Of course, I’ve become pretty addicted to the backcountry, and only plan on riding lifts on sick pow days. If I did plan on buying a pass to the ski hill, I probably want something a bit heavier. If I lived down near the Wasatch, I’d definitely get something fat (like you’re looking at).
Don’t forget skins.
Once you get reasonable at skiing, you realize how much snowshoeing sucks.
RussFebruary 23, 2009
Just happened across your blog by accident which is why the comment is a bit late. But to answer your question of ski recommendations, I’ve been blown away by DPS ski’s this year. Specifically you should look into the wailer 105. They are super light, can edge well and still float. Best all around ski for the wasatch backcountry I’ve found, they’re a bit spendy but worth it. Contact these guys to try them or some praxis out. Good guys that are local and friendly
RussFebruary 23, 2009
Forgot to leave the link for the only place that demo’s them