Some girls have a gown for every red carpet gala. Lucky WildSnow Girls have a ski for every condition. Let us introduce our ultimate quiver divas for 2013/2014.
La Sportiva GTS
Length tested 157 cm
Weight 1210 grams
At 1210 grams, 157 cm La Sportiva GTS’s take much of the pain away from those first few backcountry outings. Do a few stretches by the car and start the uphill ski season with these light planks — you’ll get in condition without risk of muscle pulls. And later on it’s fun to yo-yo skin on these for a good cardio workout.
157 cm is short but I’ve experienced good edge grip on hard packed snow in narrow runs, where it’s handy to have a small but solid ski. The flat notched tails slip easily onto my pack when booting. The minimalist precut La Sportiva skin, glidey and light, attaches to holes in the top and tail.
Stiff but snappy, La Sportiva GTS carve beautifully on resort groom or backcountry corn. Perhaps because they’re short, I found it harder to find their sweet spot in wind affected snow, and they aren’t as surfy in powder as my wider skis. As Lou says, every quiver should have a skinny ski and trim gals are my “sub 90” ski of choice.
Karuba wood core with reinforcement plates under bindings.
Available and on sale now, La Sportiva women’s specific GTS backcountry ski.
Length tested 167 cm
Weight 1690 grams
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.
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 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.
Available now, Dynafit Huascaran and skins.
Rossignal Soul Seven
Length tested 172
Weight 1774 grams
Like a buxom gal in a Hofbrauhaus dirndl, Rossi Soul 7 is voluptuous… the heaviest in our quiver… but she’s a fantastic ride. On days when I don’t mind a harder workout, I lug these up the hill. Every time I’m rewarded and often will turn uphill again for another lusty lap down. In every condition these skis rock and they’re speedy. My fastest, most surfy runs have been on the Soul 7. Solid and fun, these gals are worth their weight. Rocker tip and tail quickly initiates turns and excels at plowing through backcountry snow of any type. Honeycomb air tip technology in the top and tail makes these skis float on powder and crud, and cuts down on unnecessary heftiness.
The Soul 7 lacks skin tail notches. Our remedy was to insert a screw for the rat tail mod, rather an inelegant scar. Rossignol Savory 7 is the “women specific” version — same dimensions, different topskin.
Available here, Rossignol Soul 7.
Length tested 174 cm (tester is a 6′ gal)
Weight 1885 grams
Sister to Gotback, the women specific K2 SideKick comes into our spotlight. She’s the ski quiver pick of choice for Alaskan, Amy Heuer.
Amy: K2 SideKicks are bomber. Wider and longer than I’m used to, they are perfect for the variable conditions Alaska throws 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, a slush-fest, or chatter through ice biscuits, these skis 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, the SideKicks react to every movement as if saying, I want more! The agility created by the all-terrain rocker makes turns easy.
The SideKick will not be in stores as a production ski for this season but can be found on sale. The new K2 Annex 108 has the same sidecut (139/108/127), but there are a number of significant differences between the two skis (weight, flex and core materials). Annex 108 comes in sizes ranging from 170 to 191, too long and heavy for the average women backcountry skier. The K2 SuperBright 102 (sidecut 135/102/121, in sizes 146, 153, 160, 167, 174), the new version of the K2 GotBack (one of our 2012/2013 Ultimate Quiver skis, is our recommended substitute.
DPS Yvette Pure3 Carbon Nano
Length tested 168 cm
Weight 1530 grams
And who’s the gal in the hot little dress, who can accessorize down or up and be ready for any occasion? She has to be Yvette, DPS’s carbon nano queen. Wide, yet light and nimble with perky rocker tip and tail, she goes anywhere and skis it fluidly. If you like to float, she’s the one that makes you feel like your cruising down the clouds. The bummer about Yvette Pure3 is that she’s priced like Chanel gown. But as Coco said, “There are people with money and people who are rich.” Hot pink Yvette will make you feel rich.
Find a DPS dealer here. here.