Dynafit Huascaran Ski 167cm, A WildSnow Girl Take


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 23, 2013      

Dynafit Huascaran is one of the skis that consistently “floats” to the top of our Ultimate Quiver evaluations. We’ve published previous reviews, but got this female take last winter from Piglet, a well known Aspen Powder Tours Guide and gal-about-town who’s one of the mountain women who makes our valley here in Colorado such a wonderful alpine community.

Dynafit Huascaran backcountry ski  has a good surface and width ratio, rocker.

Dynafit Huascaran backcountry ski has a good surface and width ratio, rocker. They work.

Piglet: I was excited to ski the Huascaran, having heard they are designed as a lightweight but wide ski for backcountry conditions. This past March, I took the planks to Aspen Highlands where we happened to have plenty of natural and semi-natural soft snow. I skied a few runs in Highland Bowl, then headed for Steeplechase, No Name and more. I skied them in a variety of snow conditions: firm refrozen, forgiving slush-corn, spring glop. I also hit a variety of ski lines that demanded some sort of commitment and a firm edge, or a quick turn and fun mogul skiing.

Huascaran has a huge sweet spot. It loves to turn (as I do also) but will hold and carve for a nice long turn. Actually will leave railroad tracks though you need to be patient getting it on edge. Skiing down Highlands G4 was firm in spots and the ski held an edge with ease. I looked for the weirdest snow I could find on the hill and let the skis slice right through seamlessly. If I committed then the ski would perform. Love the tip rocker on the ski. It initiates the new turn flawlessly.

Perhaps the only drawback was that the skis felt a bit planky. In other words, not a finesse ski. But that’s okay so long as the performance/width/weight ratio is there, which it is.

Overall, impressive! Anyone wanting a wider ski that’s suitable for human powered vertical should consider Huascaran.

(WildSnow weight vs Surface score of 81 places Huascaran below average in mass. Weight of our 167 cm testers (width 133/110/122) is 1576 grams, 55.6 oz per ski.

In terms of shopping, we’re surprised not to see better summer prices for Huascaran. Perhaps they’re in short supply. REI has a few, we’ll add other shopping links as they become known.



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Comments

30 Responses to “Dynafit Huascaran Ski 167cm, A WildSnow Girl Take”

  1. Jack June 4th, 2013 3:04 pm

    Awesome review! I love the “PLANKY” bit. I own a pair of Rossignol downhill racing skis from the 80’s and they are *extremely* planky, as in you have to tell your knees to tell your boots to tell the skis to get up on edge now. Once on edge, they are really solid. If I don’t modulate the end of a turn, they fall off edge and onto flat with a slapping sound. (I don’t imagine the Huascaran are quite that extreme).

  2. rangerjake July 24th, 2013 11:44 am

    Not a ton of great deals since it is one of the few Dynafit skis that returns unchanged for 13/14. This hold over inventory saves some ordering overhead. There’s your answer.

  3. dimitri July 24th, 2013 12:50 pm

    snowinn.com (spanish i think) have an OK price on those skis. Also, they seem to be claiming a 8 day lead time on most of the dynafit 13/14 lines. wait for it.. The TLT 6 & Vulcan too..

  4. rangerjake July 25th, 2013 1:05 pm

    Beware of Snowinn Dimitri. A pseudo scam to say the least.

    Enjoy waiting months for your product and then get told it is out of stock. Some sort of Ponzi scheme.

  5. Daniel July 26th, 2013 8:36 am

    I got my 177 13/14 Huascarans at a pretty decent price. Pays out to buy from the local dealer, eventually. Lookong forward to skiing them!

  6. Njord July 28th, 2013 6:42 pm

    I keep a pair of these in Alaska for the days when we are not out flying!

    Njord

  7. Ru August 1st, 2013 9:05 am

    I’ve bought a bunch of things from Snowinn, and been reasonably happy. It helps that I’m based in Europe, mind you.

    Don’t order anything from them which isn’t marked as ‘in stock’; the lead times are fictional. Don’t order anything from them you need in a hurry.

  8. Bobby Parker August 4th, 2013 11:04 pm

    I was thinking of getting a pair for my girl for her bday.

  9. Dane August 8th, 2013 6:09 pm

    Njord?
    I’d be very interested in what you think of them on the days you do fly?
    Obvious not you heli ski. But wonderted why not?

    And curious as to what you use instead.

  10. Kevin February 24th, 2016 5:43 pm

    Hey, I’m looking to buy these skis to fill out the powder niche in my quiver, but I am torn about size. I’m under 5’8″, 135 lbs, and I love my Dynafit Manaslu 169 and BD Verdict 170. Any reason to go up to the 177 length on these? Mostly backcountry ski in Mt Shasta area, more into turns than high speed action. Thanks!!!

  11. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2016 5:51 pm

    I’d stay with the similar size to your other skis. Lou

  12. See February 24th, 2016 7:36 pm

    I’ve been skiing my new Huascarans a fair bit over the last few weeks. I like them a lot. They are not soft powder boards that don’t hold an edge. No need to go long (imo) but it can be fun.

  13. See February 24th, 2016 8:05 pm

    Kevin, I weigh about 40 pounds more than you and am on the 186’s.

  14. Kevin February 24th, 2016 8:11 pm

    Thanks! I went ahead and ordered the 167s.

  15. VT skier February 25th, 2016 10:51 am

    I have a pair (177) for Eastern backcountry skiing. Haven’t mounted them yet, waiting for G3 Ion LT binders. Not that we have any snow, this year, may take them to Austria in March.
    I climbed Huascaran in the 80’s so I figured I had to buy the skis. Art work on the skis is similar to stone carving at the ruins in Chavin

  16. VT skier February 25th, 2016 11:20 am

    Forgot to ask the important question. Will the ION LT mount within the “mounting plate” area on this Huascaran ski?
    I understand the ION binding footprint is wider than the Dynafit Radicals..
    Thanks

  17. Kevin March 3rd, 2016 10:10 pm

    So, just got my 167’s mounted up with some Speed Radicals, and climbed up to ski some spring snow before the big storms hit this weekend. Skis felt good, maneuverable, and fun, but I did notice when I hit a crusty patch that my tails were catching at the end of turns. Got back to the car and compared the skis with my Manaslus, which are 2cm longer. I lined them up so there was 1cm difference in the front and back, and saw that the Manaslu bindings were about 3 cm farther back! Both were mounted on the center point. When I line up the bindings, there is about 4cm more Manaslu in the tip and 2cm more Huascaran in the tail.

    Why would the mounting point be so much farther forward in the Hu’s? Aside from the width, they seem like pretty similar skis, as far as sidecut, rocker/camber, and construction.

    At this point I’m considering re-mounting 2-3 cm back but I would like some feedback…also would like to ski some powder this weekend and try it out before I do anything drastic. Any advice? Thanks!!! I’ll try to figure out how to link to some images shortly.

  18. Kevin March 3rd, 2016 10:21 pm

    Put my pictures up in the website link of my name.

  19. See March 4th, 2016 6:43 pm

    I don’t know why, but ski mounting points seem to have moved steadily forward over the last 10 years. I like my newer, more forward mounted skis just fine (including Huascarans mounted at the 0 mark). However, I’ve been using the Huascarans as resort boards, so they’re a little on the long side.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 March 4th, 2016 6:49 pm

    See, you are correct, this has definitely been happening. Part of the reason is “new” style of skiing that involves standing in middle of sidecut and carving, but another reason is that folks who do certain forms of “trick” skiing like being more in the center of the ski. The change in offset also has to do with longer tip rise and longer tip rocker, which creates a “sidecut and running surface center” that’s farther forward in relation to the total length of the ski. Best way to evaluate this per pair of skis is to reverse one ski in the pair and place them next to each other, then measure the “binding offset” which is the distance between the mount marks. I’ve found that many many skis these days put me farther forward on the ski than I like both because tails won’t drop in powder, and because making kick turns more difficult. I’ve mounted some skis up to 3 centimeters behind printed mount point and been happy with the results for the most part, though did notice the ski to be less responsive on piste. Lou

  21. Kevin March 4th, 2016 11:01 pm

    Just got some measurements….

    Hu 24.5 = 12.25 behind center of ski
    Manaslu 30.5 = 15.25 behind center of ski, so 3 cm rearward of the Hu’s

    I’m kind of worried about having to ski in the backseat all the time, especially in powder. I like to lean downhill, kind of an aggressive stance I guess, and I felt like that was more difficult/scary on these skis, even on spring corn – like I was just a bit outside of my comfort (i.e. safe) zone. Gonna try them out in this weekend’s big California snowstorm and see how it feels. I suppose I could learn to get used to it, but I’d rather have them set up so I can ski comfortably, the way I’m used to. So I suspect I’ll have them remounted 2cm rearward or so. Thanks for the advice and information – Lou, this site is an incredible resource!

  22. Lou Dawson 2 March 5th, 2016 5:56 am

    Kevin and all, due to the amount of tip and tail rise, and rocker, do not compare one ski model binding mount position with another, very misleading. I know, it’s tempting… If you want to get technical, two things to do. As suggested above, first find the binding offset, which gives you an idea of how much tail you have behind your boot, to compare between skis. Binding offset is a big factor in powder skiing, as how much tail you have behind your boot has a big influence on how the ski feels for your personal style of skiing. BUT, if your ski has a bunch of tip rocker, if you are forward on the ski in powder and are not riding it hard, you can indeed get a feeling of being too far forward as you are essentially riding on a forward area of the ski, since the front rocker is not giving much support.

    Too geeky? Whatever…

    Next and just as important, find the narrowest part of the sidecut and see how that relates to the recommended boot position as well as total length of ski. Using all that data, develop your own theory (grin), as there is no “Universal Theory” of where a boot should sit on a ski!

    My own Personal Universal Theory of Ski Mounting is I generally like the boot position a bit rearward, but not always. We test skis using recommended position, then if I have a pair of personal skis I do experiment sometimes, and find myself often mounting a centimeter or more to the rear of the manufacturer mark. Totally because I ski a pretty relaxed style.

    More, if I’m forced to offset a binding because of pre-existing holes or ski demo binding length changes, I try to always go to the rear with the boot position and we are rarely disappointed with that, for setting up ski touring skis. Which is interesting.

    Where the boot is placed on a ski is a big issue. Sometimes the manufacturers even figure after a season of consumer “testing” that they need to change it. That happened a few years ago with the Volkl Nunataq, for example.

    Real world notes from yesterday, for example, I was on Volkl VTA 88 Lite 180 (2016/2017) and found that the factory mount position was just perfect for hardpack, soft bumps, and slushy powder in low altitude aspen forests. This is a 1,132 gram ski by the way, and is quite impressive on the downhill. Binding ramp is set to the classic Dynafit TLT ramp, and I was using Dynafit TLT6 boots without the add-in tongues. Conclusion is I’ll ski these at manufacturer boot position.

    Lou

  23. XXX_er March 5th, 2016 9:17 am

    the shop around here was mounting the shinny topped carbon wailer 112’s at the +2 mark

    I had alpine demo bindings so I could easily change boot center and do back to back test runs from +6 to -2

    At -2 the ski felt like a boat that wouldn’t plane, my preference seemed to be +5, I think its hard to tell the difference unless you test back to back

  24. Lou Dawson 2 March 5th, 2016 9:56 am

    The problem is that skiing hardpack is in many ways entirely different than powder…

  25. See March 5th, 2016 10:25 am

    “At -2 the ski felt like a boat that wouldn’t plane.” Sounds like powder to me.

  26. XXX_er March 5th, 2016 11:02 am

    ya it happened to be a really good pow year one of the better seasons so it was all pow testing at the hill where I ride, at +6 the 112 still worked good in pow, the tips staying up but I felt unbalanced landing sideways off a rise so I settled at +5

    Of course every ski will be different, I don’t do that all the time my 120’s & my dynafit skis are all at mfger rec’

    2 cm i definatley feel but 1 cm I don’t usually feel so if I have a hole conflict on a remount I just move the BC 1 cm either way and don’t sweat it becuz how how will I know anyhow?

  27. swissiphic March 5th, 2016 7:39 pm

    so many…(too many?) variables for finding that absolutely perfect balance point on skis… binding mount point, binding ramp, boot forward lean, bootboard ramp angle, etc…. I’m a seeker of perfection.

    If I had my druthers?
    tech binding mounting plate with easy, quick, solid in field fore/aft adjustability.
    binding ramp angle in field tweakability
    touring boot with in field adjustable ramp
    continuously variable dial a forward lean rather than indexed notches
    inflatable air/gas chambers for in field modification of inner boot fit tension

    My k2 darksides didn’t feel right on the line with old school dynafit tourlite tech binders/garmont delirium boots…on the line, just not right…went forward, no love, went back, no love, changed boot forward lean..still no there but more upright more betta… bent more rocker into the tip of skis…better but not perfect….changed bindings; dyanfit vertical st heel/tourlite tech toe…on the line, different ski, perfect balance….mostly…next mod? adding 5cms to the tail, just a hair tippy on rear of ski, thinkin juuuust a hair more surface area will balance the front, which is now dialed….

  28. See March 5th, 2016 7:47 pm

    “(S)kiing hardback is in many ways entirely different than powder.” Sorry if my comment distracted from this important point.

    I have an embarrassing number of skis, but I’ve been coming around to the opinion that a crazy fat ski for deep powder and a medium fat but stiffer ski for everything else may be all I want. Adjusting technique for an extensive quiver is feeling like more trouble than it’s worth.

    (And I’m all for that adjustable forward lean.)

  29. See March 5th, 2016 8:04 pm

    Make that “hardpack,” and I guess my point is that I’d rather keep the ski more or less constant and adjust technique to suit conditions.

  30. Kevin March 9th, 2016 1:19 pm

    Well, I spent the better part of Monday skiing up to 18″ of fresh, which over the course of the day ranged from light and fluffy to tracked up and sun-affected. It did not take much time to get my bearings on the skis. Perhaps all that hand-wringing was for naught as I had a great time, only rarely feeling like I was too far forward. I did feel like my balance was a little different than on my Manaslus, but it was not uncomfortable. Even on the groomers, carving was a lot of fun. I took a side-country hike and skiied some steeper lines and fully enjoyed every minute. At this point I’m just going to keep enjoying the skis how they are currently set up as it was very easy to get used to them.

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

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