Ski touring choices are often divided into a binary set choices; up, or down. Yet the observant adventurer cannot help but notice that this division overlooks a vast array of opportunity. Faced with a similarly limiting set of choices in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig introduces the Zen concept of Mu. Often translated as “no thing,” Pirsig offers a handier alternate of “unask the question.”
The fish scale climbing pattern of the Voile UltraVector BC offers a mu response to the “Up or Down?” dilemma of ski touring. It is ski that does not live for the glory of the powder shot, to race against the clock, or to huck cliffs. Rather, it is a ski that encourages “lateral thinking” and to view terrain choices through a broader lens. What it will do is give you a different way to experience skiing, and perhaps cause you to re-evaluate terrain or routes you previously considered too flat or boring.
The climbing pattern base has a long-running niche in the ski industry as an experiment that never really caught on widely, but never went away either. It’s not the sort of thing that lends itself to flashy photo shoots, or trendy marketing, but the staying power of this concept represents a “silent majority” of skiers outside the bounds of bro-dom or fitness freaks.