There are a lot of good skis on the market these days, be it ski touring or alpine. Thus, skis of “mythic” proportions don’t come along every day — but the new Dynastar Mythic reaches those storied heights.
At first glance, the Mythics seems unremarkable in terms of cutting edge technology. Yet somehow the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. This ski appears to be nothing more than a “carbon” version of a Dynastar Cham 97 High Mountain, but similarities end once the P-Tex meets the snow. Mythic lays down the law, breaks it and makes no apologies.
Dynastar positions Mythic in the freetouring category for those looking to push boundaries and charge. I couldn’t agree more. However, any skier with a solid technical foundation will benefit from its attributes.
While certainly a light ski at 1422 grams per ski (177 cm), this is no one-kilo wonder. That’s as it should be. Clearly the brain trust at Dynastar concluded that this level of performance and the feather type of ski are to some degree mutually exclusive. The Mythic reaches it’s respectable weight range with the now commonplace Paulownia wood core and carbon sandwich construction. Dynastar also claims weight savings through a lighter topsheet, base and edges. I don’t know if that means thinner or different materials for these components, but I didn’t experience any durability issues despite my best efforts. One very noteworthy aspect of the topsheet was by far the least amount of snow build up while ski touring, compared to all the skis I tested this spring. Interestingly enough, they are almost entirely black. Go figure.
Mythic sizes are a bit limited with only 171cm, 177cm and 184cm. This leaves out any petite women unless a smaller size is introduced in the future. The ski has the requisite rockered tip, camber underfoot and a less rockered tail. The dimensions are fairly pronounced at 133-97-113 resulting in a 36 mm, 15m radius sidecut and pintail design. I personally have always preferred a tight turning radius to suit my more-turns-per-square-inch style but I know some people with a more freeride orientation like a bigger turning radius. That said, the Mythic was never hooky in the tip, never over-turny or unstable. Quite the contrary.
My test size was the 177cm, and given my small stature I might be better off on the 171cm ski. Of course, I say “why choose?” and I’ll start next season with one of each and let the winner make itself known. Thing is, the winner might be both (as the longer might be nicer for on/off resort, and shorter for pure ski touring).
Dynastar indicates three different mounting points as options. The primary recommended line is the most forward with two additional hash marks at -1cm and -2cm. I went for the most forward position on the 177cm and was very happy but might consider going back one or two cm on the 171cm to insure better flotation in soft backcountry snow due to the shorter tip.
From the get go I knew I was on a fine ski but I wasn’t sure who was skiing who. I had to up my game by standing taller and driving into the ski with more commitment to the fall line. The more I did this the better the results, yielding great power and precision, superb tracking and unshakable stability. One run this spring I pushed off of a peak with moderate pitch and let the Mythic run free on some barely softened corn snow making an uncharacteristic less-turns-per-square-inch. At the bottom my friend Pete skied up and said, “I’ve never seen you ski that fast.” On the one hand I’m sure it was the superb edge hold, wonderful damp feel and all the above mentioned attributes of the Mythic — but I think it had more to do with the two cute girls standing on top as we took off.
Mythic is a ski that charges through any variable snow. Stand on them, drive them, ride them and they won’t let you down. You feel like an icebreaker busting up the spring pack ice as you blast through anything in your way. But alas, as I discovered the nuances and subtleties of the Mythic, I was able to find all of the finesse I needed to get back to my old ways of not wasting any opportunity to make a turn. Old habits die hard.
I found the 97mm waist to be very versatile and perfect for spring touring in Colorado but despite the superb spring skiing we had this year, the only condition I never experienced on the Mythic was powder. The stars never aligned as I was always testing a different ski whenever it was a powder day. I have always said in the past that I prefer a ski with a waist of 105cm or greater for mid winter touring in CO so that could be the one shortcoming of the Mythic. I am determined to find out just how wrong I might be come next winter.
It seems AT touring skis are always trying to find that perfect balance between weight and performance. More often than not something has got to give one way or another. There is nothing watered down about the Dynastar Mythic; instead of settling for good enough, here is a ski that stands out and says “Go for mythic greatness.”
Mythics seem to always be in short supply. Check out Evo.
Bob Perlmutter and his wife Sue live in Aspen where Bob manages Aspen Mountain Powder Tours, a snowcat skiing operation. Bob has sought adventure skiing over the past thirty years, in the nearby Elk Mountains as well as numerous locales around the world. Presently, he is reeling it in close to home to embark on his biggest adventure yet, fatherhood.