Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:09 pm
Hi. This is my first post. Tony Crocker is a veteran poster so please read his Mammoth report for a bit more lengthy discussion.
I'm one to rarely dis on snow conditions but this trip was close to the worst conditions I've ever skied at Mammoth as far as snow quality goes. Especially Monday was windy (not unusual) chilly and the snow was just plain punishing. Hard, chalky with the consistency of the surface of a 2 X 4. I especially don't like to ski the top in these conditions but did. Many more rocks both hidden and visible then normal.
Thankfully each day did get better due to more aggressive grooming, bit change in wind direction and a tad warmer/rise in barometric pressure. When the snow is that tight and hard it doesn't take much to make it 'better'.
As Tony mentioned we were there mainly for the WWSrA ski demo, Tuesday and Wednesday. A quick run-down on the 7 skis and 1 helmet I demo'd each day.
1-Fischer RC-ONE 86GT. 175cm. Awesome frontside all around ski. Quick with solid edge hold. I can see why it was on cover of Ski mag.
2-Fischer Ranger 92 Ti 178cm with rocker, excellent ski, I thought maybe next length up but 185 would be to much for me.
3-Blizzard Bonifide 183cm. To long (what happened to the 180cm) skied very heavy. Good for going very fast all the time.
4-Blizzard Brahama 177cm. Xlnt Xlnt ski. Does everything very well, immediately felt at home. Quick, fast, solid edge hold.
5-Armada 82 Declivity 174cm. Light, and very fun due to 15.9 radius sidecut but also stable at speed.
6-Giro visor helmet. Didn't fit my head very well even though right size but boy did it keep me from tearing which I have a major problem with. Not sure if it would be to sealed to prevent fogging in a storm with more humidity but excellent lens.
7-Armada Declivity 92 180cm. Very nice ski. I felt that both Armada's could have been a bit sharper but they are perhaps tilted more to a bit softer snow and lighter for a more fun and less punishing ride.
8-Stockli Stormrider 88. It's a great ski but for me the tips were wandering a bit like they weren't centered but it was late in the day and the snow had deteriorated somewhat.
1-Atomic Vantage 97 Ti 180cm. Very good edge hold, solid ski. I might like next narrower width to add a bit more quickness.
2-Salomon Stance 90 176cm. Very fun, easy, quick with very good edge hold.
3-Volkl Blaze 94 179cm. Great new ski. Bit lighter for a Volkl with some rocker. Xlnt edge grip but also easy to ski. Rocker and sidecut responded very well to forward pressure when skiing more aggressively.
4-Head Core 93 180cm. Very nice ski, great edge hold but not to demanding. Didn't seem quick but, but, I like quick skis.
5-Black Crows Orb 179.1 8.8. Ya, they have to be different. Very nice ski, quick, good edge hold and fun and secure. Would like to ski this one more.
6-Kastle MX98 178cm. Bullet proof strong ski that needs and wants to be pushed. Solid, Solid ski that can handle anything.
7-Kastle MX88 180cm. Great ski, hard to get as they were very popular. Might be more fun in shorter length length but that's a 173. As Tony mentioned some manufacturers are making 9-10 cm jumps in length.
An awesome demo, just wish it was 3-4 days. My favorite 2 skis were the Blizzard Brahamas and Fischer RC ONE 86GT. This could be due to the hard snow but these 2 skis were very fun, quick and held an excellent edge.
So many great skis now. These companies put their heart, soul and resourses ($) into making the best skis but some of the new length jumps seem a bit strange. Since the introduction of new 'shaped skis' ski length has come down. As a result ski shapes have evelved to create skis that years ago would have been 200cm and longer. Now skis are 153cm and longer. Advancements in materials and design dimensions have attracted skiers to stay with skiing (read invention of snow boards). It has re-invented the skiing experience and from all the different genre's has made the sport more popular and fun then ever before.
Also helping this evolution has been the consolidation of ski areas by corporate acquisition and fantastic deals on season passes.