After the race, I checked out the expo area and demoed some gear that I am interested in. I wish I had more time to demo, but I felt like I was able to hit up the most important stuff. My ski touring has been more focused on training, touring more vertical and more often. Because 90% of the time is spent climbing, and sometimes the descent is not always in hero snow, I think it makes sense to go with a lighter setup that will leave you with more energy at the top of the climb. I am starting to think that early rise tips are also a good idea, not just because they LOOKZ STEEZYZZZ, but because the tips don’t dive in the typical rotted out snowpack we get here early in the season. The windslab snow that was very prevalent would be a good test!
When I started ski touring, I was naïve, but I also wanted something that I could ski or tour at the resort. Now that my quiver has expanded, and I have started climbing more vertical, my current slackcountry setup is less practical. That said, this year, I have been touring almost exclusively (other than my race setup) on alpine trekkers either in my Explosivs, or my Quads. When I ski on this setup, I don’t have to wait for my friends, and I must be reaping the benefits of “weight training”.
There is a new generation of gear that skis as well as stuff that is lbs heavier!
Voile Vector (180cm): First thing I noticed was that the tails seemed really long. Maybe something to do with how the boot centre of my boots lined up in the demo bindings. The windslab that was foiling my beloved Rossignol Quads (and my Atomic TM:11 race skis) was tamed by these skis, and then they proceeded to rip on the groomed. There is a waxless version for next year; according to the rep you can climb some decent hills without skins!
Dynafit Manaslu (178cm): These skis felt a little more natural and I think they fared even better in the windslab. Not as much edge grip as the Voile Vectors, but still a pleasure to ski. These would require new bindings.
Scarpa Maestrale (27.0): MT has these boots, and I have been predicting that they will take over the market as they are light, tour well, ski well, and are relatively inexpensive as far as touring boots go. The unmolded fit was definitely tighter than my Typhoons (The Scarpa reps loved the yellow Scarpa Hurricane tongues that I put in the Typhoons, they could not stop talking about them). The boots were a little difficult to get on, and were a little tight, but skied really well. Would definitely need to mold the liners though…
I ran out of time before I could demo something ridiculous like the new Black Diamond Gigawatt, or the Salomon BBR, or even my Scarpa F1 race boots on a bigger ski.