We traveled to the annual ski industry show to check out the latest backcountry ski gear and backcountry offerings continue to grow. Last year, avalanche airbag packs were all the buzz, while this year the focus was more on staple gear like skis, boots bindings and base layers. Also notable was the presence of companies like Salomon, Atomic and Fischer unveiling some impressive new backcountry ski gear.
Light-is-right skiers will be psyched to see the new Vapor Svelte ski from La Sportiva. Measuring in at 96mm underfoot, the Svelte features the same lightweight carbon/wood construction as this year’s well-received Vapor Nano (Off-Piste Mag Editors’ Choice 2015). Maybe it was the hard snow at the demo, but we tried numerous mid-90-waisted skis that we liked including the Salomon MTN 95, the Scott Cascade 95 and the new DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1.
Speaking of DPS, they launched a new lightweight construction called Tour 1 in three of their most popular shapes, the Wailer 112, Wailer 99 and the Cassiar 95 (Off-Piste Mag Editors’ Choice 2015) . These skis continue DPS’ tradition of carbon/wood lay-up but move to cap construction to help reduce weight. The result is impressive. The new Wailer 112RP2 Tour 1 weighs in at 6 lb 3 oz/pair, over a pound lighter/pair than the already respectable Pure 3 model. It also costs $250 less!
Dynafit launched two beefy freeride ski models that buck the go-light trend in favor of damp, downhill power. The new Chugach (108mm) and Hokkaido (118mm) models both feature the same core, shape and burly feel but in two width categories 108mm and 118mm. Dynafit also looks to have finalized the Radical 2.0 binding. It builds on the popular Radical ST and adds some significant changes including a spring-tensioned heel unit for constant forward pressure, rotating toe plate and new brake locking mechanism. It also adds $$ and ounces, but definitely addresses what many skiers see as weaknesses in the standard Radical design.
Next post – Fischer crown pattern climbing skins, G3 climbing skins and no-wax ski, Marker Kingpin, Voile twin tips and more . . .