Volkl BMT 94 Backcountry Ski — Quiver Arrow of the Week

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 20, 2014      

In one of the great ironies of the cosmos, carbon is black even though you sometimes want it to be white or some other lighter color — on touring skis, anyway. The idea is to prevent heating by the sun and subsequent ice formation that adds mass like a dripping dog just out of a swim. My question, do skis with predominantly carbon construction have to be black? Or is publishing a black carbon ski just a marketing design gimmick?

Volkl BMT 94 looks so cool I'm willing to haul around some extra ice on top. They ski good, too.

Volkl BMT 94 looks so cool I’m willing to haul around some extra ice on top. They ski good, too. Click images to enlarge.

Consider Volkl BMT. At first glance the black carbon weave topskin makes your mouth water. Then you remember it would be nice if these were lighter colored. Then you notice one tip of the pair of model 94 is indeed lighter colored. Obvious, because the tip section of the BMT has a bright red skin that could perhaps be extended over the remainder of the ski — in any color. Or, is the tip area constructed differently and thus allows the color change? Someday perhaps I’ll cut this pair of pricey planks in half and get the answer. Until then, know that yes they’re black, but at least they have a raised center section that’ll shed snow and glop, instead of the duck pond shape that some other brands and models kindly provide.

Thing is, these planks do look so hot they’ll make me get a haircut and beard trim. Ice and slush to haul around on top? On certain days, who cares? I look GOOD! And someday, our loaners will get worn out and I’ll ask permission to deconstruct. The mystery of the black topskin will then be solved.

BMT94 is constructed with a laminated wood core, combined with the usual resin and wrap build you’ll find in most of the industry. Difference is the BMT profile reduces to nickle thick at the edges (a few other brands do this, but it’s not common.) The thin edge is said to increase edge grip on hard snow while not compromising soft snow performance. Moreover, reduced volume hopefully translates to reduced weight.

In my testing, I easily seconded Volkl’s claim about edge hold. Getting safely down a rain glazed mountain where a death fall was possible provided that modality. What’s impressive here is that even with such ferocious grip, we’re looking at a “full rocker” profile, meaning the tip and tail rocker extend all the way to the binding mount area. That is no-holds-barred swivel-slarve and crust carve rocker that makes the BMT meld a lively feel along with a forgiving ride. Tilt your knees and turn is not just a concept here, it is reality.

Note that Volkl sells pre-cut skins for the BMT ski line. They’re sourced from Kohla, an Austrian company making a “glueless” “vacuum” adhesive skin that might be quite nice. We dislike the Volkl keyhole in the tip attachment method due to the difficulty of freeing the skin tip while removing skins with skis still on feet — but it’s bomber attachment and you can probably get used to it.

Weight of the BMT 94 comes in at 1432 grams each (averaged for the pair). That’s respectable and below average for a 94 mm waisted 176 centimeter plank, coming in on our weight/surface chart between several other skis known to ski well while being noticeably light.

Full rocker goes from tip and tail to the boot platform. It works,.

Full rocker goes from tip and tail to the boot platform. It works,.

The 122/94/112 profile is what I’d call “regular,” not too relaxed nor too aggressive. Combine that sort of profile with mega rocker, and that’s probably why they felt so smooth in breakable crust.

Perhaps the most mind altering aspect of any Volkl BMT touring ski is you’ll notice a warning on the binding mount area “only for Marker Royal/Tour bindings,” meaning the binding mount area reinforcement is sized to match up with those specified bindings and if you mount other bindings beware. Fortunately the technicians at Volkl kindly provide a map of the hardened area. We found that you could be concerned about binding mounts if you skis aggressively with large boots, but most ski tourers should be able to reliably mount any binding provided care is taken with epoxy and tightening torque. More, quite a few tech bindings now come with wider mount patterns that appear to be compatible with the Volkl dimensions. This blog post details the binding mount area issues.

The BMT 94 made it into this year’s Ultimate Quiver, and we reviewed the wider 109 V-werks last winter.

Shop for Volkl BMT here.



97 Responses to “Volkl BMT 94 Backcountry Ski — Quiver Arrow of the Week”

  1. Eric Steig October 20th, 2014 11:00 am

    Mariner Kayaks of Seattle used to seek a white carbon fiber paddle blade. They had Lightning Paddles (of Germany) add a tiny bit of white gelcoat to the resin, so they were more gray. It mad the paddle blades look sort of dirty, but it made them no heavier, and way more visible. Same could be done with skis, for sure. Sadly, wit the great Mariner Kayaks now closed (retired), no one sells paddles like this anymore.

  2. Eric Steig October 20th, 2014 11:01 am

    I mean “used to SELL” of course.

  3. Ted October 20th, 2014 11:18 am

    G3 made the Zen105C3 in white last year. Light and seem to shed snow pretty well from my experience.

  4. Scott October 20th, 2014 2:22 pm

    The G3 Zen Oxide 105 C3 were black last year with red lettering.(at least the pair I bought)

    Although I agree with the white is light argument, these skis are unbelievably good in all conditions, in and out of the resort. So for my side country planks, I don’t mind the black!

  5. David B October 20th, 2014 5:11 pm

    DPS is a pure Prepreg Carbon Fibre ski and they come in a range of colours.

  6. Maciej October 20th, 2014 5:56 pm

    What bindings did you put on Lou? Kingpins?

  7. Lou Dawson 2 October 20th, 2014 6:25 pm

    The plan is Kingpins, otherwise the Germans could get mean (grin). We’ve got 25 pair of Dynafits on nearly everything else, so fair is fair. Lou

  8. See October 20th, 2014 7:05 pm

    Most pairs of skis I’ve weighed have been pretty much the same, give or take a few grams, but a few have varied by a lot more. Just curious if you’ve any observations on this subject/opinions on whether it matters.

    Re. whether carbon skis have to be black: maybe I’m no getting the joke, but paint is any color you like and provides uv protection.

  9. Kristian October 20th, 2014 7:55 pm

    To avoid top sheet and binding snow/ice build up, over the years, I have used car wax, spray silicone, and now use Boeshield T-9. It was originally designed to protect aircraft components.


  10. Lou Dawson 2 October 21st, 2014 6:19 am

    Thanks Kristian, in my experience nothing really has much long-term effect on preventing snow and ice buildup on the ski top, but I’ll give that stuff a try.

  11. Rob October 25th, 2014 1:27 pm

    I was planning to buy Nunataq’s but after reading your review about the BMT I am not so sure.
    Could you elaborate about the difference between the two?
    I ski in the Alps and own Volkl Amaruq’s with tech bindings for long tours. Now i look for something for deep powder daytrips.

  12. Eric Beinhocker October 30th, 2014 2:36 am

    Seriously considering BMT 94s for a new touring rig but wondering about binding compatibility. As posts have noted the skis have an H shaped mounting area designed for Marker Royals/Tours and Volkl warns against any screws outside that area. I’d like to put tech bindings on them, either Dynafits or Diamer Vipec 12s. Kingpins sound great (and assume Volkl/Marker would make them compatible) but hard to get and cautious about trying them first season. Anyone know whether/which tech bindings compatible with the BMT 94 mounting area? Thanks!

  13. Lou Dawson 2 October 30th, 2014 5:08 am

    Eric, look what came up on a Google search!


    Any of the tech bindings with wider mount patterns will be fine, ION or Beast for example.

  14. Eric Beinhocker October 30th, 2014 5:30 am

    Thanks Lou, sorry should have posted in that thread! Will post follow-on question re Vipec 12s there…

  15. Brian January 1st, 2015 1:56 pm

    Hey Lou,
    I’ve a keen interest in these skis as my all around skimo ride. The Cho Oyu and Black Crows Camox Freebird haven’t done it for me. Any comparo to those you can offer?
    Also, any issue you see with mounting inserts on these?

  16. Lou Dawson 2 January 1st, 2015 1:58 pm

    We’re still liking these a whole lot. Only issue with inserts is there seem to be some air channels in there which would require care when installing inserts. Lou

  17. Brian January 1st, 2015 2:25 pm

    Thanks for that Lou. I guess I won’t sweat it if I step up for them since screws are going to have the same issue. I’ll just pay attention to the epoxy application in the holes.

  18. Eastcoastdan January 1st, 2015 11:55 pm

    Hey Lou, any word and/or thoughts on the V-Werks Katana? I have the 2010-11 Katana’s and love them. Although I know they are now a very different ski, I am hooked on their solid feel and what has proven to be very stout construction.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 January 2nd, 2015 2:09 am

    East, my main thought is I’m tired of different skis being sold with the same name and confusing us all. We’ve not tested the V-Werks Katana, I’d assume it skis strong but I’d not base one iota of purchase decision on how Katana ver 1 skied, that is unless you just like the name. Lou

  20. Chris January 11th, 2015 5:48 pm

    FYI- I mounted two pairs, BMT 94 and BMT 109, with Vipec’s using properly drilled and tapped holes and slow set epoxy that looked to be in solid wood once through the top sheet. I normally use shoe goo with great success (on dozens of skis) because I like how it seals the screw hole and the binding, eliminates water intrusion which is often the cause of loose screws from freeze/thaw, and is easy to remove and clean up for remounts. As an experiment it tried to remove the heel screws after a few days to check the holding power. It was about the toughest screw removal I’ve ever done requiring some heat and an impact screwdriver. For comparison I removed the toe piece screws as well and they backed out easier but still with ample holding power. For me this put to rest any concern about the heel screw spacing being to narrow because it only overlaps on to the pattern by 2mm (28mm wide screw pattern vs 26mm inside dimension on the ski mount pattern).

  21. Martin January 16th, 2015 4:28 am

    I was riding the bmt 94 for six days now, bct, on/off piste in any snow conditions from powder over ice to mf crust, wind pressed and so on…I never had skis like this. Perfect balanced, easy to control, awesome grip, easy enough for uphill climbing. It’s like Lou said, you can steer them with your knees, I would even say with my big toes.

  22. Lou Dawson 2 January 16th, 2015 10:55 am

    Martin, they really are good skis, thanks for your take. Lou

  23. Brian January 20th, 2015 12:38 am

    Hey Lou,

    Here’s a follow up on the insert mount on my BMT 94s. You were right, of course, that the screw holes did not reveal the channels but as soon as I blew out the holes overdrilling and tapping for the inserts…viola! There they were. Scary, of course. But I persisted and carried on without issue. There is some material on the lateral side for at least the first 2/3 of the hole before the void is encountered. The medial side is solid. I thought about stuffing something in there but wasn’t sure what exactly. So, I didn’t and just made sure all surfaces were coated in epoxy before screwing in the insert.

    We have no snow here in south central AK so I haven’t skied them yet. Anyway else out there have any issues doing the same thing.

  24. Eric B January 28th, 2015 11:01 am

    Got the BMT 94s for a new set-up this year (w G3 IONs and Volkl skins). Have given them a good workout touring around the Aravis and Chamonix in Dec-Jan. Fantastic ski, really happy with them. Have had them on everything from ice, to crud, to waist deep pow, to tight trees and handled it all beautifully. Comfortable on the up, Volkl glue-less skins worked well, only slight niggle wish the tail clip had a bit more positive lock (popped off a couple of times, though tightening and a bit of plier work seems to have helped). Snow sticking to the black top skin not too bad, the ridges and texture on the ski tops seem to reduce it, though a lighter color would probably be better. But overall a versatile lightweight ski that is super fun on the ride down.

  25. Alf Hartigan April 9th, 2015 7:53 am

    Snaffled a pair of 94’s in the end of season sales after reading the reviews on here. I haven’t toured on em yet, but have had 10 days in a variety of conditions (mostly bad!) in Val Thorens.

    They are the easiest turners I’ve yet to ski, fantastic in pow, yet stable at speed & grippy enough on icier snow. My problems with breakable crust might not have been down to the skis – but they did make it possible at least. I’d say they are GS rather than slalom, & less pingy than Mantras. Overall, an absolute thoroughbred.

    Can’t wait to try them in the Ecrins next week, & by the way they have huge piste cred!

    ps. no problems with mounting dynafits to report.

  26. Lou Dawson 2 April 9th, 2015 8:21 am

    Some of the best skis I’ve ever been on, actually. I use lighter stuff for most of my touring, but sure enjoy it when I do get out on the BMTs. Lou

  27. Eric B April 14th, 2015 9:33 am

    Alf glad you like them, you’ll find they’re great touring as well. I’m laid up with an ACL injury so will jealously await your report on how they do in spring corn in the Ecrins! (I was supposed to be taking my BMTs up the Gran Paradiso last week – sigh – next season…)

  28. Skidoc April 21st, 2015 12:00 pm

    If I can take some advice please? I currently ski 191 Llasa Pows with Beast bindings and Mercury boots. I am early 50s, 6 foot weigh 230lbs. I really want to do more ski touring in Europe over the next 5-10 years and would like your advice on touring skis as a second ski in my quiver. (I would need to re-use the Beast with quiver killer inserts). Thedown is more important than the up for me. I am interested in the DPS Wailer Tour model or the Volkl BMT 94 or the Scott Crusair( notice they have new lines out for 2016). Any thoughts would be welcomed as I dontknow whether to buy now in the sales or wait.

  29. Lou Dawson 2 April 21st, 2015 1:21 pm

    Skidoc, have to say I’m a big fan of the BMTs… Lou

  30. Brian April 21st, 2015 1:50 pm

    I’ve been a shameless consumer of skis these past few years testing models from Dynafit, Sportiva and Black Crows. Couldn’t resist the reviews of the Volkls and got a pair 94s in a 176cm. I mounted them straight away with inserts. I’ve skied the piss out of them in all conditions now and can firmly say I’ve never had a ski that was so predictably fun and easy to turn. I keep waiting for them to suck when things get tricky like in nasty breakable but they continue to shine.

    At 1460 grams for mine, they’re not as light as some but mounted with race bindings like they are, the tradeoff is perfectly acceptable. I love my DPS Carbon Wailers for deep fun but would be very curious how the wider BMTs would be in those conditions. I’d bet they would be a joy.

    Although I’ve never skied the Scott line, several guide friends in Cham had them as Scott seems to support the guides in the valley with skis. Most seemed surprisingly heavy. However, inertia like that is usually an advantage on the down so maybe you don’t care.

    BTW, I’m 6 foot 175 lbs

  31. Skidoc April 21st, 2015 3:11 pm

    Thank you both that is very helpful. Looks like the Volkl then! Do either of you have a strong opinion re length? 176 or 186??

  32. Brian April 21st, 2015 3:23 pm

    You’re a pretty big dude at 230 and I bet you’d appreciate the increased surface area of the 186. That said, for touring, shorter skis are nicer all around navigating skin tracks and booters, etc. You could always stay shorter and go for the slightly wider version (105?) as an option.

  33. Michael April 21st, 2015 8:56 pm

    Skidoc, the BMTs are excellent skis. I’m 5’10” 180 lbs and feel fine on the 176s.

    At your size I’d definitely go 186. No question in my mind.

  34. Martin April 22nd, 2015 12:43 am

    I skied the 94 176 for about 30 days this winter, ski-touring, free-riding and some groomed. I hardly recommend you, Skidoc, the 186, at your weight and size.
    I enjoy skiing with them, especially in bad snow conditions and icy snow, they are really superb for me. In fresh pow, of course, I prever the movement buzz because it is floating much more. But I’m trying a mounting point 3cm behind recommended point the next days (so weather is doing alright at Monte Rosa), and I expect to get more flotation. I will report my experience as soon I’ve made it.

    Has anybody of you experience with the mounting point at the bmt?

  35. Eric B April 22nd, 2015 1:49 am

    Skidoc, see my comments above re BMT, great ski. Have also skied the Scott Crusair. Definitely prefer the BMTs. The Crusair is a fine ski, popular for touring here in the alps, predictable, good in most conditions. For a time it was one of the best in its class. But the BMT in my view has far surpassed it – lighter, much more lively (Crusair always felt a bit dead to me), better float in pow, more stable at speed and crud. Re length definitely 186 for your size. Re bindings, if you’re going to tour any distance I’d recommend something lighter than the Beasts, such a light ski deserves a light binding (I went w G3 ION, see other thread).

    Martin, re mount point I’d stick w Volkl recommended. They float great and w full rocker moving back probably won’t buy more float but will lose some control.

  36. Skidoc April 23rd, 2015 3:15 pm

    Thank you very much for your advice. Brian I know you are only being polite when you say I am a ‘pretty big dude’ when you really want to sing’ who ate all the pies…’ But I assure you it is all muscle…
    Seriously though I toured the Haute Route on Dynastar 8800’s in a ridiculously short length of 168 but this inspired confidence when doing kick turns on steep terrain- I am slightly anxious about the thought of this with longer skis.
    And Eric B I take your point about light bindings but the Beasts were expensive and I thought I would get better value reusing them, perhaps not. The thought of my wife finding my stash of a new set of skis and bindings rather fills me with dread

  37. Marco April 24th, 2015 11:08 pm

    Excellent review as always. Just a question/ the H profile you tested with different bindings seems to be the bigger VWerks not the 94mm, isn’t it? Maybe in this model can the dynafit bindings fit in the strong zone? Thank you

  38. Michael April 25th, 2015 5:41 pm

    Marco, if I’m not mistaken the H mounting pattern is identical on all of the Vwerks skis. Katana, BMT 94 etc.

  39. Lou Dawson 2 April 25th, 2015 6:09 pm

    That’s my understanding as well. Lou

  40. Eric B April 26th, 2015 7:16 am

    Skidoc know what you mean re long skis and steep uphill kick turns. The BMT 94 is a reasonably stiff ski so won’t feel like a noodle in 176 at your size but if you ski aggresively on the down or in deep pow you’ll probably wish you had more ski. Other advantage of the 176 is a shorter turning radius (23m vs 27m in 186) so a bit more manoeverable in tight situations. If you were planning to tour mostly in US west or Canada I’d say try the BMT 109 in 176, but for Europe I’d stick with 94. So your length decision seems a trade-off between ease and comfort on the up and how aggresive/fast you ski on the down. One suggestion is try renting any kind of touring rig in 186 and see whether the kick-turns w a longer ski get more confident w practice or whether you’re just more comfortable on the shorter length. Re your wife’s blessing for new skis and bindings, good luck! 🙂

  41. Tom April 30th, 2015 5:37 pm

    Wonder if I could ask some advice? Trying to pick between the BMT 94 and 109 and also 176 or 186! They’ll be a do everything ski for me, based in Europe but a ski for travelling, mostly touring but also a bit of lift served off piste. I’m 5’11” and 180lbs. I’m thinking the 94 in 176 would be a great touring specific lower snow ski and the 109 at 186 a great down orientated soft snow ski so maybe the 94 at 186 or the 109 at 176 would be a good all rounder for me! Advice would be greatly appreciated.

  42. Michael April 30th, 2015 9:51 pm


    I had the same dilemma. I’m 5’10” 180 lbs.

    The 176 Volkls run long. They’re about as long as most brands’ 178.

    I found the 176 BMT 94 to be perfect for corn, ski mountaineering, technical lines, etc.

    I also own the 176 BMT 109. I just thought that the 186 (which I also presume runs long) would be too long for most touring situations – firm snow, tight lines, kick turns, bushwacking etc. At times I wish they were longer in deeper snow, but in general I’m happy with the size in nearly all conditions. They’re excellent skis.

    I also think they ski fairly true to size given the modest taper and flatish tail.

  43. Martin May 1st, 2015 1:06 am

    Hi Tom,

    Additional to my posts above I can tell my first experience of a monut point more backwards, albeit I’ve made just one (long, 1600alti) descent. I felt the 176 94 more floating and I didn’t miss any control.
    I am about same size and weight as you, little bit smaller, and sometimes i also wish the 10 more cm at the ski (With my size I am okay 😉 )

    In my consideration the bmt 94 compared to other skis has a very well balanced bending line, I think this is the main reason for the great reactivity and manoueverability of the skis. So, if you are a good skier, you won’t feel the disadvantages of the 186 in the descent and you will gain some more floating.
    (eg I have the movement buzz 176, less radius, 20m, but I experienced it as much less reactive, so I think the radius tells us less about a ski than it is common told)

    When you think (or try out as Eric recommended) you can manage the kick turns with the 186, I would recommend them. (Mounting point backwards relieves kick turns, the first step needs less distance).
    But when you plan to go up and down often in steep narrow couloirs and you want the easier handling, take the 176.

    I have no experience with the 109, but when you go upwards in steep terrain, where you have to stand on the edge for a long time, wider skis are more difficult and uncomortable to handle. Better chance of getting blisters…

    So, if your goal is clear, the dicission should be easy, for you are getting a very good ski anyway.


  44. Daniel May 1st, 2015 1:45 am

    for an all-around ski I would not recommend going above 100mm waist, since you are based in europe. go for the 94 and decide length by kick turns ease (calculate amount of tail left and compare to your existing rig) and how much float and speed stability you really need. For real touring, I find myself skiing at pretty moderate speeds. I am your weight but more like 6’2 and feel fine on touring skis around 180cms. My recommendation would be 94/176. That rig would float you in fresh but still work for big tours and any skiing in between.

  45. Alf Hartigan May 1st, 2015 2:28 am

    Sorry ’bout ACL Eric, hope it mends soon & well!

    So, the BMT 94s have been tried & tested (186) – The Ecrins – wow! I’m not a mountaineer & have never toured such sustained steep terrain before, so it was more than a fair challenge for the Volkls.

    On balance I would have preferred the shorter length for the hairier kick turns and steep, narrow couloirs. For powder and corn they were supreme, for everything else I hankered after my old K2 Backups, which have a shorter turn radius & more “ping” turn to turn.

    Would I recommend? A big yes for day tours & one-ski quiver, probably yes in a shorter length for full on touring, if only they made them in 180cm.

    As an afterthought, I’d hold fire on getting the Volkl vacuum skins until they have been in the market a bit longer, I had problems with them & with hindsight would have felt more secure on glued skins.

  46. Tom May 1st, 2015 2:43 am

    Thanks for the feedback. Michael, how do you find the 109’s compare to the 94’s? Although I’m based in Europe I still seek out deep snow when available and would be willing to skew the choice that way a bit so long as the compromise in other conditions isn’t too great

  47. Daniel May 1st, 2015 12:07 pm

    Interesting to see that people arecomparing the BMT94 against the Scott Crusair. I have two Seasons on my Crusairs now, mostly touring in all types of snow. They are pretty light, and perform very predictably in most any conditions. pretty much a no brainer. Rocker is minimal so they will clearly be outfloated by any full rockered competition. Never been an Issue though. I must say the BMT Line looks very tempting, combining ample float, good grip and a straightish sidecut for secure uphilling. If I was shopping for skis at this point, they’d by on the list. “Sadly” I am not, Crusairs plus Wailer112s get the skiing done all to well.

  48. Michael May 1st, 2015 12:12 pm


    I think the 109 is a great all-around ski. I prefer a wider ski in most conditions as it has superior float and better performance in difficult snow. I try to get wider skis that aren’t disasters on hard pack, like the BMT 109. It’s one of the best performing ‘touring’ skis I’ve ever been on. The performance:weight ratio is outstanding. It’s not a superlight 1 kilo ski but it performs better than any superlight I’ve been on.

    The 94 is quicker edge to edge and better for ski mountaineering type terrain. Better on piste as well.

    But the 109 is perfectly capable in all terrain, including firm snow. I used it in a 45 degree firm couloir this winter and wasn’t wishing I had another ski. I prefer the width in fresh snow or mank. So I don’t think it’s too much of a compromise in other conditions. It really performs admirably in variable snow for a ski of this weight.

  49. Daniel May 2nd, 2015 10:59 am

    On the down I agree for the most part. On the up, narrower is almost always preferable in europe. It really comes down to preference, mine would be 94 if touring is the main objective and the ski shall be capable of classic hut to hut and (hard snow ascent) spring tours. 90 is the new 70.

  50. Michael May 2nd, 2015 11:22 am

    Understood. I haven’t skied in Europe. My opinions based on skiing in North America, where I’d choose the 109 for a 1 ski quiver.

    109 is quite capable on firm snow for its weight/width.

  51. Tom May 2nd, 2015 11:28 am

    To be honest what I probably want is the 94 in 176 for proper alpine touring and the 109 in 186 for winter touring when it’s all about the down and lift served side country, unfortunately the wallet won’t stretch that far! When I started looking for skis I was thinking 100 underfoot and 182ish for length but the feedback about the BMTs has swayed me to them so just trying to work out which will serve me best. I’m thinking maybe the 109 at 176…

  52. Martin May 2nd, 2015 12:14 pm

    Well, to be honest, though i really love the bmt 94, there are tons of other very good skis out there. And a lot of them are around 100. I’d love to see the bmt in 100 180 as well, think this would be perfect for european touring.

    Some of my friends skied the new K2 Wayback 96, they increased their skiing level and fun level astonishing. EG it seems to be a very good choice as well.

    Anohter got the Scott surfair – same effect. Compared to their about 2010 material this is a really great progress.

    The problem 20 years ago was, in Europe, there were no skis available for deep snow conditions. Snowboarders showed the skiers, that it can be much fun surfing through the powder, without heavy body-work.

    Today the problem is, you have to choice between thousands of skis which are right for deep snow – and they are light as well.

    A luxury problem – of course….Me, I am really happy about this problem…

  53. swissiphic May 2nd, 2015 3:51 pm

    Lou and all: re: black topsheets. A good ski buddy of mine spray painted all his skis silver…intention was for anti theft at major ski resorts back in the day. If i recall they stayed silver for the life of the skis. Doubters, experiment on some junkers. Go white, might add a few grams but save a few grams if you know what i mean.

  54. Daniel May 3rd, 2015 4:50 am

    how light do you need it? Dynastar Cham HM97 seems a super popular choice here, too.

    looking back at the more severe and challenging tours I have done, all of which I did on 90ish mm skis (backlash, crusair)I would do them again on similar skis or maybe even 80ish, but I would hate the idea of doing it on a 109 or something. Whatever the construction is.

    you want to look at the type of touring you do. 109 can be a great driver in the alps for sure, but imho not for steep&hard spring mornings and the like, generally high altitude touring from mid march.

  55. Lenka K. May 3rd, 2015 8:19 am

    I’d second Daniel’s opinion: a quiver-of-one @109 isn’t the best choice for Europe, unless you plan to put your skis away at the end of March and abstain from any hut-to-hut, high alpine trips.

    I ski a 109mm/177cm ski (Whitedot Ranger) most of the season and would never go back to a narrower ski for soft snow, but for spring conditions and multi-day trips I have a shorter (167cm) and narrower (88mm) K2 WayBack. Why? Lighter if you need to carry the skis, easier kick-turns in sketchy conditions (both the shorter length and the narrower width come into play here), better edge-hold in steep, hard conditions, better for short turns on firm snow despite identical radius (due to the length, width and lower weight).

    In conclusion: I’d say, forget the one-ski quiver, get the 109 in the fall for powder skiing and add the 94 later in the season for spring skiing :). BTW, lots of discounted skis around in February/March…

    Lenka K.

  56. Tom May 6th, 2015 2:18 pm

    Think I’m going to go for the BMT 109 as I can use my current skis as a spring ski (84 underfoot but pretty old) and it sounds like the 109 will still perform pretty well on hard snow whilst excelling elsewhere. Shame they don’t do it in 181i but 176 should be ok. Thanks for all the feedback

  57. Willie December 11th, 2015 11:31 pm

    Just got some BMT 94, 176cm skies.
    First thing I did was weighting them.
    The one with red tip weights 1476 grams (52.1 once) and the other one 1428 grams (50.4 once).
    Is this weight difference not strange, I mean it is almost 50 grams (1.7 once). A big weight difference for such light weight skies.
    Gonna mount these with this years Diamir Vipec 12 bindings.

  58. Willie December 11th, 2015 11:34 pm

    I mean ounce

  59. Lou 2 December 21st, 2015 3:49 pm


    While BMT 94 is a winner on hardpack and supportive powder, in deep pow they’re powerful but I’ve been wondering if the factory mount position was too far forward. On factory mount, I found myself working to keep the tips up and the tail didn’t feel like it was dropping at all, making for a less fluid ride in my style. I re-mounted 2 cm back from factory position and wow, powder skis. If your primary purpose with these skis is natural soft snow, I’d recommend trying 2 cm rearward mount, or try to get out on a demo with a binding that adjusts boot position. Lou

  60. Martin December 23rd, 2015 1:04 am

    Hi Lou,

    interesting, I’ve made the same experience. I’ve mounted back as well, even 3cm. But I didn’t have the chance yet to try in more than one descent end of last season. Snowconditions are very poor in the Alps currently, mainly some artificial snowpistes in green landscape. You have to go very high to catch some natural snow, and offpiste stones are changing the sound of skiing 🙁
    I’ll write again when conditions here will change.

  61. See December 23rd, 2015 8:52 am

    Which leads me to wonder what (if any) downside there is to mounting back a couple of centimeters. I know this is supposed to make a ski feel longer, but I have always pretty much gone with the manufacturers recommended mounting point (which seems to have drifted way forward over the last 5-10 years).

  62. Lou Dawson 2 December 23rd, 2015 9:27 am

    See, sometimes if a ski is mounted back it feels dead on piste. That’s my take, anyway. I experience that less now that the most important thing for my knees and back is how easily a ski rides, but back in my day I was very sensitive to being mounted too far back. Lou

  63. swissiphic December 23rd, 2015 10:36 am

    Another call for the tech binding universal carbon fiber like weight, light, cheap, stiff universal mounting plate with low stack height and +/- 5cms of fore/aft adjustment that can be quick released and re attached to mutliple pairs of skis which have permanently mounted rails or tracks of some sort. The various pairs of mis matched old dynafit heels/toes and worn out screws on the quiver from continual mounting/remounting are ready for the dust bin… anyone? anyone?

  64. MarkB December 23rd, 2015 11:20 pm

    In your mind, what’s the ideal light touring binding for the 94, Lou?The lighter G3 tech binding? Thinking about a spring firm snow touring tool that also rides the lifts about 20% of the time.

  65. Lou Dawson 2 December 24th, 2015 8:30 am

    Hi Mark, the ION LT or perhaps an ION with brake are no brainer solutions. They have the wider mount pattern, and are durable. Brake retraction and retention of brake in retracted position are a bit finicky but you get used to it (you have to keep ice from building up). I tend to ski all my skis/bindings without brakes these days. If you’re going for 20% resort I’d say brakes are mandatory. Lou

  66. dan January 2nd, 2016 2:06 pm

    can anyone compare the bmt 94 with the VTA88?

  67. Lou Dawson 2 January 2nd, 2016 2:13 pm

    BMT 94 is in my opinion the perfect ski (other than a bit of extra weight), VTA 88 is entirely different, a somewhat euro-width touring ski that is definitely not as powerful but very light. It’s apples to oranges. I found the 88 to be more demanding on the down than my BMT 94s, but I don’t like hauling the 94s uphill (grin)!


    What is your intended use, weight height, intended binding, etc?

  68. dan January 2nd, 2016 3:31 pm

    lou, thanks for the answer and

    I’m just getting into touring after skiing alpine for years; Im 45, I ski since I was a kid, getting better at adult age and carving around resorts for years now, but I just started to find that not so interesting anymore… I am just starting to realize that I’m one of milions of people who were made good skiers by the shaped skis and I feel the need to challenge myself more and learn more, I want to get out of resort bounds and learn to ski different kinds of snow. I also want to go uphill, both for fitness and for the tour itself… you know all these reasons 😉

    I just came back from my skiing holiday when during 11 days in the austrian alps (resort) I tried as many different skis as I could, mostly stuff that’s different than the usual resort carving planks I used since they came up years ago. I have to say I’m amazed how nice the rockered, fat skis are compared to the heavy and stiff screaming carvers I was used to.
    I tried the Rossignol Soul 7 and mostly loved it, except on any kind of hard snow where it almost doesn’t hold any edge at all… then I tried a Fischer Transalp88 that didn’t do anything for me, I did get down the mountain on it, but found it totally unexciting.

    I didn’t have a chance to try the BMT94 but I had the VTA88 (regulars, not LITE) for a few days and I liked them a lot, they float nicely on any kind of snow that’s not packed but still hold an excellent edge (for my kind of speeds, anyway) on pack or even ice; didn’t have a chance to get them on deeper snow though. Didn’t find the ski demanding at all, actually I find it easier to ski than the typical traditional camber carvers.

    reading about the BMT 94 makes me think I will like these even more than the VTA88, being wider underfoot but still holding great edge on anything, from what I’m reading (I’ve read your reviews of both skis and many others, in fact, great resources, thanks!).

    So I’m trying to make up my mind on which one to get, which is hard without skiing both, but I’m trying to gather as much info as I can; unfortunately info on VTA88 is sparse online, but I did get to ski them…

    intended use for now is some light touring, from going uphill for fitness in, or near resorts, maybe 1-2 hours every other day up to some day touring out of bounds but in easy terrain. I am aware that for longer tours I’ll need something different, I’m not thinking about that kind of use for now. So, low weight is not the most important thing.

    Bindings – I skied the VTA’s with Kingpins, no complaints, so probably I would use them on my pair, but I’m also considering some bar/frame binding from Marker, just so I can ski them with my alpine boots as well on days when I don’t feel like climbing. I just bought the La Sportiva Sideral boots, very happy with them (got them fitted), very light and ski rather well, but I have to say that I have skied for years in poorly fitting (too large) boots, so I am quite used to compensate for lack of boot stifness, at leas on groomers. The Sideral is quite stiff for how light it is, but it’s not comparable with a heavy alpine boot of course.

    I’m 175cm and 95kilos… and I think my mind is made up toward the BMT… I’m just not sure about the length, since they come in 166 or 176 (no way I’m getting the 186). I skied the VTA88 in 170… but I’m tempted to get the BMT in 166 – any thoughts on that? My reasoning is that the shorter length would be easier to ski in deep snow, which I totally such at right now. And I don’t need a longer ski to go faster, I am happy to cruise in any conditions when one can go fast.

  69. Lou Dawson 2 January 2nd, 2016 4:21 pm

    For on piste and off, get the BMT… same for binders, if on/off use Kingpin. Don’t ski BMT too short, it’s fully rockered. Just match it approximately to your height for a touring/resort ski. Lou

  70. See January 2nd, 2016 6:29 pm

    Wow. “The perfect ski.” So is camber history, Lou? Somewhere Shane McConkey is smiling.

  71. Lou Dawson 2 January 2nd, 2016 8:09 pm

    See, I can’t slip one by! Just a term of art, lots of excellent skis out there, and BMT is one of them.

  72. See January 2nd, 2016 9:01 pm

    Huh? I’m just regretting not buying Katanas last spring.

  73. GeorgeT January 2nd, 2016 9:03 pm

    Lou–Try my Salomon Mtn 95 in comparo to the Volkl. I am interested in your thoughts. I really like the Mtn 95, but don’t have a good comparison ski. The weights are very similar.

  74. Lucas February 11th, 2016 11:41 pm

    I am looking for a more versatile ski than my G3 Tonics, with a 110 waist they feel harder to get up on edge on the groomers and hardpack on the lift access days. I have never skied a full rocker before but as an intermediate skier who is improving pretty quickly after a few excellent tips from a ski guru, and who likes the trees and quick turns in pretty steep terrain with usually decent snow conditions (Whitewater in BC is my local hill), I wonder if this ski would be the other half of my quiver, with the Tonics as the big powder day ski’s, and these as the hill and not so big powder day touring ski. One big question is will my G3 Onyx base plates work with the H pattern on the 94’s, I’m 5’10” 140 lbs, not aggressive, so it might be moot, but wondering if there is a H pattern chart for the 94’s somewhere out there.

  75. trollanski April 9th, 2016 7:35 am

    Regarding the question of icing top sheets on Black carbon skis, the V-Werks Katana has a mostly WHITE top sheet this season. Pretty exciting stuff for skiers who like a light ‘n large ski that can handle some aggressive lines. If the stats are correct, the 184’s weigh LESS than my Nunataq 186’s. Maybe some VTA’s (also white) for corn….

  76. Travis May 26th, 2016 10:04 pm

    Has anyone had an issue with the edges curling up? My friend works at a ski shop and he told me he was tuning a pair of BMTs or Katanas and the edges had curved up in such a way that you could not get an even belt grind. Has anyone else had this issue? I was pretty excited about them until I heard this.

  77. Marc October 14th, 2016 11:33 am

    Hi Lou, I’ve got a pair of BMT 94’s and looking to mount a pair of Radical 2.0 because of the rotating toe piece. The beast might be a bit to heavy for touring but I’m concerned about the mounting. Any insight regarding trade-offs would be welcome. The rotating toes is necessary due to past blown knees. The other concern is the brake width for a 94. Thanks, Marc

  78. Christian October 24th, 2016 11:29 pm

    Hi Lou, what is your lenght recommendation for the bmt 94 as an allround touringski? Body length or shorter? I’m 1,76 m 73 kg and not sure wether to go for the 166 or the 176. Thanks, Christian

  79. Al March 13th, 2017 10:38 am

    Hi- I’m considering dipping my toe further into more modern ski design. I need an all arounder and the 176 bmt 94 looks like a good a candidate. I’m 5’10” 170, oldguy. The volkl vacuum skins that match the skis get bad reviews from what I’ve read ( although I really like the dynafit matching skin set up). Has anybody had good luck with a specific skin on these skis? Anything to avoid? Thanks, Al

  80. Christian January 8th, 2018 10:25 pm

    So I find that on hardpack/refrozen snow, these have been really unaccepting of anything but carving all the way through to the next turn. In soft snow it seems you can slarve, pivot, arc or whatever you want, but on hardpack they are such a different animal. Amazing edge grip, but I’d like to tone them down a little. Has anyone played around with detuning or different edge angles? Any idea what the factory edge angles are?

  81. Christian January 8th, 2018 10:29 pm

    Al, I’ve got BD glidelite mix that seems to work just fine, but they’re the older style with a more square cut at the front, I’ve head the bikini cuts tend to trap snow at the front. I’m sure some Pomoca Climb Pro S-Glides would be just great.

  82. Daniel March 12th, 2018 5:29 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m a happy (and impressed) owner of a Katana V-Werks 184cm. Since 2014 this was my one and only touring ski and I really love it! I am using ATK Raider 12 tech bindings to save weight which just works fine for my kind of riding.
    Now I bought a BMT 94 176cm for two reasons: First I would like a lighter, narrower setup for really long tours and high alpine stuff with lots of additional gear and second I feel like it is a good idea to challenge me some more on the down. With the Katana a 1 hour hike up means just about 1 min of riding 🙂

    Measuring the mounting points on both skis I found:
    – BMT 94 176cm: 78cm from the rear
    – Katana V-Werks 184cm: 77cm from the rear

    I really do not want a longer tail in switchbacks and I really would like to have a long enough tip in front of me – especially on a ski shorter than my body length (I am 6′ or 183cm)

    To get the same mounting position on both skis, it is required to mount the bindings back on the BMT 94 by at least 3cm – which seems a lot.

    Reading comments here and there (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/289128-Volkl-BMT-94-how-good-is-it) I find that quite some people mounted back a couple of centimeters.

    Now here are my questions:
    – What are your experiences with your mount location on the BMT 94?
    – Are you still happy with mount location?
    – Whoever did mount back: Did you stick to your rearward mount location?
    – Is there anybody around who dares to make a suggestion where I should mount my bindings?

    Thanks to all!


  83. Al March 12th, 2018 6:21 pm

    Hi- I mounted my bmt 176 94s at the line on the ski and boot. Climbs well, skis pow, wind pack v well and this wknd some pretty punchy junk ok. I climbed the resort last week for my one run of hard park of the year and that was ok too. I don’t think at this point I’d change the mounting point.

  84. Daniel March 12th, 2018 7:11 pm

    Hey Al,

    thanks a lot for your response. May I ask – how tall are you?


  85. Al March 12th, 2018 7:23 pm

    180 cm, 175#, tlt 6 size 27.5 boots, st 2.0 binders. Really liking the skis so far. Paired w pomoca skins

  86. Christian March 16th, 2018 11:14 am

    176 cm on the line with G3 Ions and Vulcans. Very happy with the setup so far, but sometimes I feel like they do come around pretty quick with a bit of tail to push around but that’s probably Lou’s power of suggestion of going -2 (wink) My next set of boots might be a little longer and I might end up -0.5 to -1.0, so I’m not messing with it. Very happy all said. I did end up getting a shop edge and de-tuning of the tip/tail, and they’re much less demanding of precision on hardpack/ice. Best b/c skis I’ve had so far in variable windbuff/sastrugi and very capable in a wide variety of conditions.

  87. Daniel March 16th, 2018 11:34 am

    Christian, thanks for your thoughts! How tall are you by the way?

  88. Christian March 16th, 2018 12:32 pm

    5’8”, 160lbs, I also ski the Katana in a 184.

  89. Al March 16th, 2018 7:28 pm

    I wish the 94s were a little longer as 176 seems like an odd size and 180 or so is a good medium size ski for lots of guys, but I just got home from 3000′ of our third big storm in 3 weeks and they handled wind scoured, wind pack and creamy dreamy in the trees with no problem, so it’s probably just my prejudice showing. They just keep impressing with their ease of turning and an ability to take on most conditions without any surprises. I’m sure there is a downside to these things, but I haven’t seen it yet.

  90. Al March 16th, 2018 7:30 pm

    Ok, I lied. The black top skin is stupid and the snow build up is a pita, but I keep a small scraper handy so it’s not a deal breaker.

  91. Lou Dawson 2 March 17th, 2018 6:55 am

    They’re still one of the best skis you can get, that seems to be a consensus. Lou

  92. Daniel March 17th, 2018 7:18 am

    Lou, are you still on your -2 mount position? How tall are you by the way?

    Thanks a lot!

  93. Lou Dawson 2 March 17th, 2018 7:32 am

    I’m not using these skis presently, Louie is however. I’m 5 foot 10 inches, around 155 pounds. I do recall that mount position wasn’t critical, I know a guy who’s skiing them at factory position and loving it. If you’re concerned, just mount the heel unit so it’ll work with using two sets of toe unit holes, and try both. Lou

  94. Daniel March 17th, 2018 12:37 pm

    Hi Lou, thanks for the hinter – I will do that for sure!

    So Lou2 reporting a “BIG UPDATE” about mounting on -2 further up in this discussion isn’t you?

    It’s because my BMT 94 is short for size why I’m fuzzing around…

  95. Lou Dawson 2 March 17th, 2018 12:56 pm

    This was a long time ago, I’m always playing around with mounting positions. I don’t have time to go through all my old comments, if you mount so you can try positions, that’ll take care of the question. In case you like what you pick first, drill just one set of holes to start, just play with heel unit position so it’ll work at other toe unit position. Lou

  96. Daniel March 17th, 2018 1:08 pm

    I will do so and hopefully check it out next weekend. I’ll report back…

  97. Lou Dawson 2 March 17th, 2018 2:43 pm

    Super, will appreciate hearing how it goes. Lou

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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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