WildSnow Girl Quiver Arrow – K2 SideKick

Bookmark and Share
This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
last

Sunset alpenglow, 2:30 in the afternoon near Juneau, Alaska.

My first winter in Alaska thus far has been very wet, yet nonetheless incredible. Epic terrain, gorgeous scenery and lots of rain have proven to be the norm for Juneau. Slightly warmer temperatures than it’s northern cities, Juneau’s climate is more reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. Some locals are thankful we don’t have the snow coverage in town like last year, though I have found it difficult to get motivated to ski in the rain. Just another challenge for this girl brought up in the sunny skies of Colorado.

The past several years I’ve been a “free-heeler” as I’ve earned my turns doing tele-squats down the piste. Motivation to telemark came from a desire to explore the backcountry. This year however, Wildsnow HQ hooked me up with snazzy K2 Sidekicks skis and Marker Tour bindings. I have to admit I’m sold.

skin

Skinning back up from some more powder turns on peaks nearby Eaglecrest

top

Worth the hike, views of lovely Alaska.

With a busy work schedule and less than optimal weather on my days off, my go-to for exercise has been Juneau’s local gem, Eaglecrest. Eaglecrest is a community owned ski area of 640 acres, four double seat chairlifts and 1540’ vertical, but one can access more terrain via gates with some short hikes. The surrounding peaks are spectacular and every direction is a mountain dreamer’s fantasy. Unlike some other ski resorts, Eaglecrest encourages uphill traffic and backcountry access. Because the ski area is city-owned and operated, it closes its lifts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, allowing the perfect opportunity for a burn on un-crowed slopes.

Switch

Switching modes.

The Marker Tour bindings are spoiling me. No more flimsy bindings, cartridges that lose tension, squeaky springs and burning thighs. Although tele-skiing will forever have a place in my heart, these stellar bindings paired with women’s specific K2 SideKick produce more power and stability than I’ve previously experienced.

When it comes to skinning, the ease of operating the bindings and the grip of K2’s precut skins are outstanding. It takes only seconds to go from walk to tour mode (with boot removed), and once you’re going full stride, it’s only a click of the heel extender with your ski pole and away you go up steeper terrain. I literally love this feature about the bindings — so easy to operate up and down. Plus there are two heights depending on the pitch of terrain. With K2′s grippy skins, I feel more confident and less sloppy than I have previously. The SideKicks have a hole in the tips where a hook attached to the skin easily latches into the ski, making a quicker and less sticky transition.

hike

Kicking steps above the ghost trees.

K2 SideKicks are bomber. Wider and longer than I’m used to, they are perfect for the variable conditions Alaska continues to throw my way. The width and length do add weight, which I feel when I shoulder the skis to hike up steep, icy sections, but it’s a price I’ll pay. Whether it’s a perfect powder day (which has only happened twice this season), a slush-fest, or chatter through ice biscuits, these skis can take it. I have never felt so solid before and at the same time had the sensation that I’m floating. Accessing side country with steeper pitches and trees, my new skis react to every movement as if saying, I want more! The agility created by the all-terrain rocker makes my turns seem effortless. Now if only I can try them out heli-skiing… ;)

top

K2 SideKick...starry graphics on dreamy skis.

Specs:
Size Tested: 174 (I am 6 feet tall)
Weight: 1,885 grams at 174
Waist: 108mm waist
Available sizes: 153, 160, 167, 174
Performance: 70% Powder / 30% Variable
Radius: 21m @ 167
Features: Powder tip, progressive sidecut, tip and tail hardware, BioFlex3 core, pre-cut climbing skins available

While they last, 20% off msrp, K2 SideKicks and skins on sale here.

And here’s where you can find the Marker Tour AT binding.

Soaked

Soaked, happy. Ski AK!

WildSnow Girl, Amy Heuer, grew up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When she wasn’t skiing, she was flying small planes with her father. Now she pursues both passions in Juneau, Alaska, where she is an aviation mechanic.

Comments

13 Responses to “WildSnow Girl Quiver Arrow – K2 SideKick”

  1. Helena March 29th, 2013 3:49 pm

    I ski those and luv them too!

  2. Niles March 29th, 2013 4:47 pm

    Beauty! Like those photos of Alaska. Eaglecrest is boss.

  3. mikep March 31st, 2013 1:31 pm

    your skis are too short for going fast in the heavy snow we have up here. At 6 feet you should switch to the men’s version since they are a stiffer more rewarding ski just move the mount point forward a cm or so for booty compensation and you’ll be good to go.
    Generally the only difference between “women’s” skis is a lighter flex, shorter sizes and a boot center line a little farther forward then the men’s version.

  4. Amy April 3rd, 2013 11:46 pm

    Mike – I’ll keep that in mind for next season when hopefully I’ll be getting more face shots. As for now, I’m satisfied with the length and stiffness. As i mentioned in the article, these are the biggest skis I’ve skied yet, so I think they’re going awesome.

  5. Hannah June 10th, 2013 11:06 pm

    I am debating between the K2 Sidekicks and a few other skis for my single quiver. If I do end up buying the Sidekicks, I will get the 174′s. How are the shorter, precut skins working out? I can’t find a longer length anywhere and I’m not sure if I should just buy regular skins and trim them myself.

  6. Lisa Dawson June 11th, 2013 7:55 pm

    Hi Hannah,
    Before we answer, what do you mean by the shorter skins? Do you mean K2 skins that are cut for a ski shorter than 174?

  7. Daniel June 12th, 2013 2:12 am

    I use skins for a 174 coomback on a 181 backlash. the tail strap is wayyyy long and will bridge the gap. cutting the K2 skins is easy and works well.

  8. Lisa June 12th, 2013 11:17 am

    Daniel, thanks for your input.

    I contacted a K2 rep and they said that the 167 cm K2 precut skin will work on the 174 SideKick.

  9. Daniel August 7th, 2013 4:06 am

    only remotely the right thread, but hey…

    looks like K2 are discontinuing their narrow touring skis, right? No Backup, no Sideshow…Wayback being the “narrow” ski for 2014. Wonder how this will work out for europe. Old folks here tend to like stout, narrow skis. Volkl has plenty, so has Dynafit. There even existed a special edition rockered shuksan, sold by major retailer sport conrad.

    what does everybody think?

  10. Robin Bayly-Jones August 7th, 2013 7:01 am

    I’m with you Daniel. In conversations I have with my friends we like to ski “in” the powder (when we are lucky enough to get some) and of course when you are one of the old crusty types like me you used to ski it on really skinny long straight skis. Don’t get me wrong..I love the shaped skis and feel like I ski better now than when I was 25 but I get to ski really deep powder once in a blue moon. A few years ago I thought I’d better get some fat skis so I got some K2 Coomba’s. They now look skinny to a lot of the skis I see. How wide can they go before they just use a snowboard on each foot?

  11. Lou Dawson August 7th, 2013 9:55 am

    Not an issue, plenty of narrower skis will continue to be available from various makers. Trab, for example. In my view, the pendulum will swing every few years. What’s going to happen is quite a few of the folks who think they need super wide skis for touring are going to realize they can have fun on 100 mm or narrower, and might even have more fun because going uphill is so easy on that platform. So there will be a constant flux and shift, and you’ll keep seeing skis in all different widths.

  12. lederhosen 42 August 7th, 2013 11:58 am

    The pendulum may swing to and fro but i.m.o. fat’s where it’s at…depending on your zone of skiing and season, of course. ;) Up here in northwest b.c., narrow equals dispairow and fat’s where it’s at. I tried, oh how I tried, to stay (relatively) thin and light but the overarching reality is that for MOST of the snow conditions we encounter whether it’s coastal powtato (with an ‘e’, Al Gore?), breakable wind, rain, temperature crust, bottomless imported kootenay low density, rain wetted moisties, or regular old right side up traditional good skiing back country snow, the wide waist wins.

  13. garyfromterrace August 9th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Right you are lederhoser. Fat is in up here, however for touring I’d question anything bigger than 140mm at the waist. On the other hand sure you COULD tour on the 90mm “skinnies” we used to, but why bother what with carbon fibre and the myriad of new composites out there.

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:


If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after we approve it. Once you've had one comment published, your comments will be pre-approved and appear immediately if you're using the same computer and not blocking browser cookies. NOTE however that ALL comments with one or more links in the text will be held for moderation no matter what, again for spam prevention.
Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

Switch to our mobile site