I have had the honor to test out the Fischer Hannibal 100s (170 cm) — a very different ski compared to my usual setup.
A little bit about me: I am 5’9”, 140 pounds lady with 8 years of ski experience under my belt, skiing 50+ days a year. I began backcountry skiing 3 years ago when I moved to the Seattle area. I am an aggressive skier who enjoys leaving the ground and making big wide turns. I ski mostly in the backcountry mixed with some resort skiing when it is too dangerous to adventure out. My everyday ski of choice is 110mm waist, early rise tip and tail, camber underfoot — a ski that floats in powder but also handles well in the crud.
I got six ski days in on the Fischer Hannibal 100s. I would have loved to use them for a bit longer, especially into the PNW spring. However, I did ski them in a variety of conditions both in the backcountry and inbounds. The conditions included knee deep powder, wet spring slush, icy breakable crust, spring frozen crust, as well as various groomer conditions.
Specifics on the Hannibals: the ski is made with Paulownia wood core that’s outfitted with carbon fiber stringers and a Titanal metal laminate, equipped with Air Tec milling process, which mills the core into a honeycomb shape. What do all these fancy words mean? To summarize, even though the ski is ridiculously lightweight which could give an impression that it might ski like a noodle — that is not true at all. The Hannibal is stiff, performing well on hard pack, icy snow or a little bit of both.
First day that I took them out was on a spring PNW morning in the backcountry. As I started my trip uphill, I immediately noticed how light the skis felt, even with their heavier demo bindings. It blows my mind how far the ski technology has come — very impressive!
As I got up to the top of the run, I ripped of my skins and dropped. Initially, I didn’t love the ski. The descent was 7-10 inches of somewhat variable light wind blown powder at the top, to breakable crust in the middle with a gloppy, wet 5 inches at the bottom. Welcome to the PNW! The rockered tip worked, making it really easy to keep those tips up in deeper snow but I found that the tails were sinking. That was making it hard to turn or maneuver the ski, especially in the deeper slushy snow conditions. I felt like the skis didn’t do well with staying on top on the mush, but sank right into it. A note here, this may be a matter of preference, as I am used to wider skis and I am not used to a flat tail. With that said, I found it to be a lot of work to get down the deep, grabby snow.
As a next stop, I spent a day skiing around the Whistler/Blackcomb resort. Conditions were sub par, a mix of sun and rain, and icy frozen spring snow and I was dreading skiing. However, Fischers were perfect for the conditions, making the day lots of fun. They ripped big turns at high speed all over the groomers, as well as the firmer off piste terrain. They provided stability and confidence, held the edge, and allowed aggressive wide turns.
In the sub par conditions, this ski is the most fun. Towards the afternoon as the icy crust warmed up a bit, the Hannibals didn’t seem to notice the light layer of slush and proceeded to rip around the same way as in the morning.
One event that I experienced was unexpected face shots. Snow often squirted through the hole in the tip right into my face! At first it was good for laughs but eating snow while skiing down became a little annoying. Duct tape?
Overall, the Fischer Hannibal 100 is an excellent spring touring ski which would be perfect for long day tours and multi-day trips in the March thru August time frame. They are lightweight but still handle well in variable spring conditions — exactly what you need for the PNW volcano season. However, this would not be my all around ski for winter conditions. I would want something more playful, less stiff and more wide for those pow days mid-winter.
Specs for 180cm:
Stated weight: 1500g/180cm
Available lengths: 170, 180, 190
Note: skis used in this review were 170cm in length