Black Diamond Winter 2013 Backcountry Skiing Preview


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

There is a lot happening over at Black Diamond in Salt Lake these days. From recent acquisitions of POC and Pieps, to a new clothing line and a rumored avalanche airbag pack, they will soon truly encompass an entire offering for any skier.

Featured below are a few selections from Black Diamond’s 13/14 line. Three of 11 new skis in the BD line (note how these new skis are conforming to the seemingly sudden new low mass norm in backcountry ski weights), 2 packs (clamshell freeride and top-loading tech), 2 ski pole updates, 2 gloves from their 25 new in the line, and 2 boots from their touring line.

Expect full details on Black Diamond’s new apparel initiative led by Tim Bantle, former Patagonia outerwear director, in the coming days during Salt Lake City’s Outdoor Retailer Show where the Wildsnow.com team will be live blogging throughout the week.

Black Diamond Current is a new addition for 13/14 dimensions are:-157cm: 115-86-104 5lb 5oz 166cm: 116-86-105 5lb 12oz 175cm: 118-86-106 6lb 184cm: 119-86-107 6lb 10oz

Black Diamond Current is a new addition for 13/14 dimensions are:-157cm: 115-86-104 5lb 5oz 166cm: 116-86-105 5lb 12oz 175cm: 118-86-106 6lb 184cm: 119-86-107 6lb 10oz

Wildsnow.com verified: 1392 grams for the 175 length.

The Black Diamond Revert is a new addition for 13/14 dimensions are 164: 120-95-107 6lb 172: 121-95-109 6lb 6oz 180: 122-95-109 7lb 188: 123-95-111 7lb 4oz

The Black Diamond Revert is a new addition for 13/14 dimensions are 164: 120-95-107 6lb 172: 121-95-109 6lb 6oz 180: 122-95-109 7lb 188: 123-95-111 7lb 4oz

Wildsnow.com verified: 1580 grams for the 180 length.

The very updated Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt for 13/14 has dimensions: 178cm:  145-120-127  7lb 1oz 188cm:  147-120-127  8lb

The very updated Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt for 13/14 has dimensions: 178cm: 145-120-127 7lb 1oz 188cm: 147-120-127 8lb

There are 11 new skis for Fall 2013!  Built in typical Black Diamond form a  state-of-the-art, new ski factory and featuring pre-preg construction with ABS sidewalls across the line.  Aside from the Zealot & Verdict (titanal skis) --- every ski in the line is lighter (and stronger) as a result.

There are 11 new skis for Fall 2013! Built in typical Black Diamond form a state-of-the-art, new ski factory and featuring pre-preg construction with ABS sidewalls across the line. Aside from the Zealot & Verdict (titanal skis) --- every ski in the line is lighter (and stronger) as a result.

The Carbon Megawatt will retail for $999, the Revert will be $749, and the Current for $699 respectively.

Alias technical pack features top-loading access, reACTIV™ suspension and SwingArm™ shoulder straps all wrapped in High tenacity 210d Dyneema. Additional features include a A-frame ski carry, a tuck-away rope strap and ice tool PickPockets™.  Available in two sizes: S/M, M/L. Weight: 1.69 kg, 3 lb 12 oz.

Alias technical pack features top-loading access, reACTIV™ suspension and SwingArm™ shoulder straps all wrapped in High tenacity 210d Dyneema. Additional features include a A-frame ski carry, a tuck-away rope strap and ice tool PickPockets™. Available in two sizes: S/M, M/L. Weight: 1.69 kg, 3 lb 12 oz.

The Alias will be available in an Avalung version as well. They will retail for $169 and $279 for the Avalung version.

Black Diamond Anthem Freeride pack features:  High tenacity 210d Dyneema ripstop side panels, avy tool organizer pocket and hipbelt stash pocket, expandable side ski carry, helmet holder, and clamshell access panel.

Black Diamond Anthem Freeride pack features: High tenacity 210d Dyneema ripstop side panels, avy tool organizer pocket and hipbelt stash pocket, expandable side ski carry, helmet holder, and clamshell access panel.

The Anthem will retail for $159 and $269 in the AvaLung version.

Gone are the waist belt gizmos of the past. Extremely lightweight swing arm system steps in as reACTIV suspension was designed for packs intended to carry less weight. Swing arm has straps of stainless steel cable that’s relatively friction free. They work really well, allow a lot of freedom of movement. The waist belt on these packs, instead of all the parts, are made to be really flexible. Again, this concept is that they’re comfortable, they move with you rather than trying to stay static while your body is trying to move.

Gone are the waist belt gizmos of the past. Extremely lightweight swing arm system steps in as reACTIV suspension was designed for packs intended to carry less weight. Swing arm has straps of stainless steel cable that’s relatively friction free. They work really well, allow a lot of freedom of movement. The waist belt on these packs, instead of all the parts, are made to be really flexible. Again, this concept is that they’re comfortable, they move with you rather than trying to stay static while your body is trying to move.

The Black Diamond Carbon Compactor pole looks to be the go-to winter pole employing a folding, 3-section, carbon fiber shaft with BD innovative Z-Pole technology. Comes in five sizes: 110, 115, 120, 125 and 130 cm. Weight: 520 g (1 lb 3 oz)

The Black Diamond Carbon Compactor pole looks to be the go-to winter pole employing a folding, 3-section, carbon fiber shaft with BD innovative Z-Pole technology. Comes in five sizes: 110, 115, 120, 125 and 130 cm. Weight: 520 g (1 lb 3 oz)

Includes: grips with fluted interior for weight reduction, strap with lightweight webbing, integrated rubber grip extension, and my favorite feature a 100 mm Compactor Powder Baskets with 2-section pole capture.

Includes: grips with fluted interior for weight reduction, strap with lightweight webbing, integrated rubber grip extension, and my favorite feature a 100 mm Compactor Powder Baskets with 2-section pole capture.

The Black Diamond Carbon Compactor pole will retail for $159.

The Whippet this year features a full stainless tool and the Black Diamond FlickLock system.

The Whippet this year features a full stainless tool and the Black Diamond FlickLock system.

13/14 there are 25 new styles in BD's glove line. Standouts include the Crew (Natural Colored)=Mid-weight Glove $139 Kaija (Blue)=Freeride Glove $99

13/14 there are 25 new styles in BD's glove line. Standouts include the Crew (Natural Colored)=Mid-weight Glove $139 Kaija (Blue)=Freeride Glove $99

13/14 Factor MX130 features a Triax Pro frame that is 100 grams lighter with twice the resistance-free touring range than the previous generation Factor. Offered in a 100 mm V-shaped last, the Factor Mx 130 also offers a 100% thermoformable liner. Available in full Mondo sizes 24.5-30.5.

13/14 Factor MX130 features a Triax Pro frame that is 100 grams lighter with twice the resistance-free touring range than the previous generation Factor. Offered in a 100 mm V-shaped last, the Factor Mx 130 also offers a 100% thermoformable liner. Available in full Mondo sizes 24.5-30.5.

Wildsnow.com verified: 1896 grams for the 285 size with 327mm BSL.

The 13/14 Women's Shiva

The 13/14 Women's Shiva

Both the Shiva Mx 110 and Factor Mx 130 will retail for $769.

BD Touring boots feature new liners too, slightly narrower.  No BOA you probably noticed.  They feel that is better suited for their touring line of boots.

BD Touring boots feature new liners too, slightly narrower. No BOA you probably noticed. They feel that is better suited for their touring line of boots.

 Mx Direct Connect Alpine and AT Sole Blocks (tech binding compatible) included, integrated heel shock absorber, resistance-free walk mode offers 40 degrees of touring freedom, 30% lower profile buckles than previous Factor boots, and a booster strap that could be used double duty as a seat belt.  Beefy!

Mx Direct Connect Alpine and AT Sole Blocks (tech binding compatible) included, integrated heel shock absorber, resistance-free walk mode offers 40 degrees of touring freedom, 30% lower profile buckles than previous Factor boots, and a booster strap that could be used double duty as a seat belt. Beefy!

Stay tuned to Wildsnow.com for updates on Black Diamond at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.

Comments

37 Responses to “Black Diamond Winter 2013 Backcountry Skiing Preview”

  1. dan January 19th, 2013 6:18 pm

    I came for the 13 ft skis. Where are they?

  2. Andy January 19th, 2013 8:07 pm

    What’s updated about the carbon megawatt?

  3. wick January 19th, 2013 8:48 pm

    Its all about the down (grin)

  4. Joe Risi January 19th, 2013 11:58 pm

    @Andy This year’s weighs 9lb 5 oz. Next year’s weighs 8 lb. in 188cm. Next year’s version also moves to ABS sidewalls. Pretty remarkable to lose all that weight and still gain 5mm sidewalls.

    Big difference.

  5. Andy January 20th, 2013 8:46 am

    @Joe: thank you, and WOW.

  6. Pete January 20th, 2013 9:14 am

    Does anyone else find it frusterating when ski manufacturers make a 179/180 cm ski and the next length up is a 188 or 190 ? I know there are a lot of variables, but in the mid-fat category, I’ve found the 184-186 cm length to be where its at.

  7. Brian January 20th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Although I realize that guys like Wick and me occupy a small niche in the sport, until BD does something about the proliferation of buckles and other cumbersome features on their boots, there really is nothing to see here. For our ilk, Dynafit, Scarpa and Sportiva are the only mainstream options.

    Obviously, BD is paying attention somewhat since they are now producing light(er), narrower skis but it would be interesting to see them apply their considerable engineering chops to the boot front with speed touring in mind.

  8. Tyler January 20th, 2013 2:07 pm

    @Pete – there’s so much that goes into ski sizing these days.. 5 years ago I was on a 100 waisted ski in the mid 170′s now I’m up to the mid 180′s in the same waist width! The biggest changes have been the less aggressive side cut profiles and the introduction of rocker. How those things are employed make it impossible to make universal statements like “Size X is the size for me.”

  9. John Gloor January 20th, 2013 2:22 pm

    I think that new Factor looks like a nice boot, with the exception of the color scheme perhaps. I am not sure what cumbersome features brian is talking about, possibly swappable soles? Four buckles and a power strap are pretty standard on the bigger boots. I’d buy them if I didn’t finally dial in my earlier Factors.

    I’d like to see BD make some XXL gloves with longer fingers

  10. harpo January 20th, 2013 2:22 pm

    Hi Lou, is the weight you gave of the new Alias pack the Avalung version, or non Avalung version?

  11. Lou Dawson January 20th, 2013 3:38 pm

    Pretty sure it non-Avalung weight.

  12. Lou Dawson January 20th, 2013 3:44 pm

    Brian, it is indeed interesting how BD is making boots for what is actually a _potential_ market, that of sidecountry skiers who want a touring capable boot (apologies to ski mountaineers that want this big a boot, you are the minority). The touring market is large, but not huge. Business folks explained to me that for companies such as Dynafit and Black Diamond to really make the big time in the ski industry, they have to start selling more gear to the alpine skiers who eventually cross over. Thus, we get a proliferation of 4-buckle beef boots and bigger tech bindings. My advice is to just ignore this stuff, and figure with boots such as the Six Shooter and La Sportiva’s offerings, they’ve got us ski touring people nicely covered. Lou

  13. Chad January 21st, 2013 2:45 pm

    Bummer on the liners. I have BD factors with the BOA liners and love ‘em. I work at ski area and spend 40-50 hours a week in the Factors. Sad to see the BOA go away in the liners. After skiing in the Factors for three seasons I bought a pair of Primes for touring. Not the lightest, but they tour and ski very well for what I do. BD seems be hitting the market right on.

  14. Tuck January 22nd, 2013 10:18 am

    So the Verdict will remain the same for next season?

  15. Blah January 23rd, 2013 3:03 pm

    Easily the worst liners I’ve ever used — and I’ve owned many boot brands. Two fingers behind the heel and yet toes were crushed by the liners. I threw them into the forest post-haste and got myself Intuitions. Eight-million times better.

    Here’s hoping these are an improvement.

  16. Peter Wadsworth January 24th, 2013 6:57 am

    Lou,

    You mention that these skis are made with pre-preg composites. If this is true, this is a major advancement in snow-ski construction, imho. Can someone at OR follow up on this and get some more info from a BD rep?
    I was a mech.eng. for a major custom composites company for many years. It’s always bothered me how snow skis are still made with wet layup and crude presses. If the industry is finally moving to pre-preg, vacuum bags and/or autoclaves, I think we all stand to enjoy some much better products in the near future!

    Peter

  17. Lou Dawson January 24th, 2013 7:41 am

    Peter, pre-preg is around, I didn’t think it was that big a news item. G3 is using it as well. Result is much lighter skis and a much more controlled manufacturing process. Indeed, much better products in the future due to the pre-preg! Lou

  18. Peter Wadsworth January 24th, 2013 7:50 am

    Really? I’d be surprised. Goode and DPS are the only companies I know that are using pre-preg composites….I’ve heard that Dynafit may be using some, but don’t know for sure. None of those are very “mainstream”…or cheap! certainly don’t have the distribution reach of BD.

    here’s an article from December that says G3 is still using wet layup:
    http://skiingbusiness.com/15996/features/are-carbon-fiber-skis-worth-the-price/

    would love to hear more.

  19. Lou Dawson January 24th, 2013 8:50 am

    Peter, G3 is using prepreg for their new 100% carbon skis, I was talking about it just yesterday with them. Same with Black Diamond, who’s ski line is TOTALLY new and totally prepreg. There are probably others, I think it’ll end up being like cap construction was, a big deal but then the common way… Lou

  20. Peter Wadsworth January 24th, 2013 8:58 am

    Thanks Lou!
    This composites-geek is stoked.

  21. Lou Dawson January 24th, 2013 8:15 pm

    Peter, apologies, I stopped by G3 to verify and their new carbon skis are NOT prepreg. BD’s are… Thank Louie for calling me on this (grin).

  22. Willis Richardson January 27th, 2013 11:25 am

    I have a problem with the continued emphasis on rocker which leads to having to ski longer skis. I am skiing a 192 length but wish there were more choices with the 88 width underfoot and a more traditional flex. I have tried several models with tip and tail rocker which requires a longer ski. I am 6’2″ at 190 lbs and carry a 25 lb pack. I tried the 181 to 186 range and thought I was on ice skates. I think there is a lot of room for traditional camber in these backcountry models. It is a bit of slog to ski wider skis and tour all day. A slight tip rise and slight turned up tail makes for a nice combination in backcountry powder. I have seen several models moving in this direction, and I hope it continues.

  23. Willis Richardson January 27th, 2013 11:30 am

    Lou,
    I used to have BD pants and jacket. I was wondering if the new jacket and pants from BD will have pit zips on the jacket and side zips on the pants? I have found there is not substitute for these components for clothing in spite of what manufactures say about how breathable the fabric. It is simply not true especially if you spend your day hiking in the backcountry.

  24. Lou Dawson January 27th, 2013 12:56 pm

    Willis, check out all the Ski Trab offerings. While I’m supposedly biased towards a certain brand that’s not Trab, I’ll break my type cast and bring them to attention!

  25. Willis Richardson January 27th, 2013 2:00 pm

    Thanks Lou. I have looked at their skis in the past along with Logic X series from Movement. I would like it brought back as part of the mainstream for BC skiing with more development for this type of ski. I am going to try the BD Current and see how it plays out.

  26. Lou Dawson January 27th, 2013 5:24 pm

    Another thing to look at is the Scott ski line as it develops. Herve (see recent post) was adamant about not having too much rocker, and designing skis for security on steep terrain that are tested on the steeps of Cham… or at least that’s the PR story till we get to test the skis.

  27. Tim February 16th, 2013 5:29 pm

    Lou,
    Wondering if you had any input on a good AT touring ski for exclusive East Coast use? I can only afford to have one touring ski (for now…), so I need as close to a jack of all trades as possible. So want to stay around 87-95mm waist, good sidecut, flat tails and beefy enough to handle Eastern “variable” terrain. Ski will see no, or very little, resort use.

    The K2 Backlash was probably my ideal ski…but it’s out of production and the Sideshow is meaningfully heavier. Weight is not a major issue for me but I’d like to stay under 7(ish) pounds.

    Specifically considering the Atomic Drifter and the Dynastar Cham High Mountain 87 right now. Also have looked at the BD Aspect…but I’ve heard they are bad on hard stuff. Just looking for any input/suggestions!

  28. Willis Richardson February 17th, 2013 7:28 am

    Tim,
    Get in touch with the Fey Brothers at Telemarkdown. They have a web site and are great do to business with for ski gear. I have bought equipment from them almost each year. They will be able to help you with skis at a very good price. Take a look at their web site. I am sure they will be able to make suggestions. They are located in NH and CT.

  29. Willis Richardson February 17th, 2013 2:27 pm

    Tim,
    BD has their new ski the Current and the Revert both in their line THIS YEAR. You also might want to contact Keith at Praxis Skis and look at the Yeti and the Backcountry model. The Yeti has a 120-94-110. You can have the ski made to order with your choice of top sheet and flex. I have the Yeti this year and think it is great. I have a coupon 20 % feel free to use it.. It is ngfDAg. The Yeti currently is selling for $749 and the Backcountry is also 749. There may be some season specials which Keith puts out. I have purchased Praxis skis for several years and quality and craftsmanship superb.

  30. Tim February 21st, 2013 8:12 am

    Thanks for the input Willis! I’ll definitely look into those more. I like the Yeti a lot although typically only go for flat tails.

  31. Chrissie Paris April 8th, 2013 5:03 pm

    Hello fellow skiers!

    I am currently writing my final dissertation on Backcountry skis, as a Product Design student (in England) on the cusp of graduating.

    I’ve been a skier now for almost 20 years, and I was hoping to call upon the ski community for a little help- I have a 5 minute questionnaire designed to collect market research on your favourite skis.

    It would be so so helpful if you could spare 5 minutes of your time, and simply tell me what gear you’re using at the moment- the more answers I get, the better I can represent the current market:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NBSBW78

    And please, if you know anyone else who has a passion for backcountry skiing, please pass it on!

    Thanks so much!

  32. Chris Joseph November 23rd, 2013 11:44 am

    Hi, I’m trying to find out the difference between the Avalung 1 and the Avalung 2. Can anyone please let me know?

    thanks

  33. Lou November 23rd, 2013 2:27 pm

    Chris, i’m not remembering much but I think it’s mostly the mouthpiece, which is much better on the version 2? What does BD customer service say? Lou

  34. Chris Joseph November 25th, 2013 11:53 am

    Lou, I hadn’t yet contacted BD but did chat with them this AM. Joe at BD indicated that there has ever only been one version of the Avalung sling (and that the Avalung 1 was the vest version).

    cheers

    chris

  35. Lou Dawson November 25th, 2013 12:05 pm

    Wrong. Not sure about the naming, but the original version was different than current. The current definitely has a different mouthpiece than the original. Sounds like a question of terminology. What’s the purpose of your quest? If need be, just compare. Lou

  36. Chris Joseph November 25th, 2013 12:28 pm

    Hmm, interesting Lou (and thanks for your thoughts).

    The purpose of my quest is to determine whether to buy a used 2008 Avalung sling or a new one.

    I’m not buying an airbag this season, but have for years thought it would be good to have an avalung for potential treewell accidents and to (with low cost) bump up the avy safety a bit.

    cheers

  37. Lou Dawson November 25th, 2013 1:01 pm

    They’re actually not intended to be resold on the used market. Lung bacteria and viruses are virulent. Just buy a new one, it’s a safety device and worth sacrificing something else for. Lou

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