I’ve been a Garmont man for a long time and have enjoyed the beef of four different models (Adrenaline orange, Adrenaline red, Endorphin and tech-compatible Axon). I had hopes that the Cosmos was the worthy heir apparent and friend Mike told me they ski well (but what doesn’t on his feet). When Lou offered a pair of 27.5 Scott Cosmos boots to try, I jumped at the chance.
While I love touring and uphilling, it is a means to an end. For me, it’s really about the downhill. I’ll gladly trade 10 or 15 minutes hauling a bit more weight up for better more precise turns on the descent. And I think that precision is needed on steeper slopes.
Also, I’m not a winter backcountry skier because I don’t have the time to immerse myself in the intricacies of our Colorado snowpack’s avalanche hazards. So during winter, I’ll do lots of in-bounds uphilling in the early morning to harvest the fresh cord (and powder at times). Then in the spring I get out to tour and ski backcountry corn as much as life will permit.
Ski: Atomic Drifter 173cm, 95mm underfoot. Binding: Dynafit: FT-12. Height: 5.9. Weight 165.
Adjusting the Cosmos buckles was easy (although the spring-loaded retainer I found to be in the way), but deciding on the liner was not. I opted for my Intuition as my Comformable (by www.sidassport.com), although better for skiing, often produces blisters. Stock liners were not available due to Lou working on them for his fit, as well as uncertainty about whether he really has the retail liner. No problem, as I commonly use after-market liners.
The left boot walk/ski mode mechanism was initially dysfunctional. I needed to loosen the hex nuts on the posterior cuff spine to get it to work. I put a piece of duct tape over the screws so if they self-loosened, they wouldn’t be lost. The right boot did not have this problem. Word is that current retail versions have this fixed. Mainly, be warned and if you experience any problems with your lean-lock return the boots immediately on warranty.
The little red arrows on the toe ledge made stepping into the Dynafit binding easier — nice little amenity. On the flats the Cosmos cuff articulation lengthened my stride about six inches, which was pleasant. The only buckles engaged while walking were the two over the forefoot. My uphill skinning route at Snowmass Resort is about 3,200 vertical feet of climbing, including a few short flats mixed in with long sustained blue-square climbs. My time was not much different than with the Axon uphill.
The first few turns were lousy but they got progressively better as I gained a feel for the boot. The snow was firm cord with some wind skiff. Through two little powder shots (won’t tell you where), the boot was a dream (but it’s powder). With Intuition liner, I gave the Cosmos a “B.”
Round two: I put the Comformable liner in and went to ride the Snowmass lifts for 2+ hours. Now, I’m not one to ride lifts with my AT boot, but this was testing and with the different liner, the tests were passed with flying colors. I skied cord, crud, old powder, boiler-plate, mank and bumps; I skied fast and I skied slow; through it all, Cosmos performed beautifully. This second test earned the Cosmos a solid “A.”
Round three: I went for a lap in Highland Bowl. The walk up was a piece-of-cake — plenty of Vibram grip, articulation afforded a long stride and little weight on the feet. Once on top, locked and loaded, skied G6 in cut-up up soft, soft snow. The Cosmos skied very well–not as well as my Full Tilt, but well enough to tell me that the Cosmos is the AT boot for me. After the Bowl, the Cosmos was raced down Steeplechase (bumps) and the P Chutes (glades with wind skiff on firm crunch). It skied nearly as well as my FTs which reaffirmed that this boot, with the right liner, is what I was hoping it would be.
Put a pair of these on the list for me, although a stiffer tongue would be ideal. I felt they could be driven hard to edge the ski at any speed. I felt I could ski them very much like my alpine boot and get very similar performance. I’d have no qualms about skiing these boots anywhere in the backcountry.
The top two buckles have this troublesome spring-loaded red retainer that interferes with engaging and disengaging the buckles. These I’d remove on my pair of Cosmos boots. Clamped down, they are comfortable. The power strap is solid. They’re comfy to walk around in, it’s easy to drive the car with them and they look cool.
I bought a pair of Scott Cosmos boots online last night!
(WildSnow guest blogger Pete Anzalone lives in Snowmass Village, Colorado, with his wife Angeles and son Paul. When not skiing uphill, downhill or sideways, Pete can be found running PubWorks, a software firm specializing in Work Order and Asset Management products for city and county government.)