A few weeks ago, Fischer press trip in Jackson, Wyoming. Unfortunately for us Mother Nature came in strong with the spring vibes, leaving us with 10k+ freezing levels, 45F+ temps and slight rain. Based on the exceptionally glue-like snow conditions we discovered on our prior day of touring, it was decided that skiing inside the resort would be a fun change of pace.
From a previous report, we knew that the mountain was likely to ski like a giant icicle in the morning, so we went got breakfast at the local bakery, Picnic. Truly delicious. After all of us got set up with our alpine gear, we headed to the hill. I opted to ski the Ranger 108 TI in 182 length, as I was curious how well the ski would hold up on slushy bumps and steeps at high speeds.
It was an awesome surprise to see the sun shining as we pulled into the parking lot. We felt optimistic about skiing some fun spring slush. After splitting into two groups, we met up with local skier Jeff Annetts and got on the tram. Magnificent views opened before us – Jackson is truly a beautiful place! The little speech that is given right at the top before the tram releases you finishes with “if you don’t know, don’t go” referring to heading out into the backcountry – with 50% of people on the tram repeating it loudly. I really appreciated that and do hope that it encourages folks to think twice before heading out of the resort gates.
Our original plan was to exit via a backcountry gate to head towards Cody Mountain in hopes of finding fresh slushy turns. But, as we arrived at the top we saw quite a few clouds rolling in. We decided to do a warm up run and come back up to the top to check back on conditions.
As we descended, we peeked down Corbet’s Couloir, a famous Jackson Hole line with a spicy entrance. Since all the melting events, the view below was gnarly. Even though we opted to not ski it, it was exhilarating to be able to stand at the top of such an infamous line.
Once back at the top for our second run, we deemed Cody a “no-go.” With the top of the tram socked in, we opted to check out the resort. Jeff did a great job showing us around the mountain and introduced us to the concept of the “wiggle.” The wiggle is a Jackson Hole tradition that gets shaped by its skiers – with a few spots reserved for wiggles and appearing in the same spots year over year. It reminded me of step turns inside a skier cross course, and the more people ski it – the bigger the wall and the steeper the turn. We met back up with the rest of a crew for a few wiggle sessions.
I found that it was hard for me to control the Ranger 108 TI on tighter turns. The ski definitely has a fairly big turning radius, which is great for wide-open areas, allowing to make steady, big turns at high speeds. I also noticed that the ski skied a bit shorter than I expected. Overall, the 108 felt solid on about any kind of spring slush we could find, allowing to edge well and keep control. Excellent all around ski, no doubt about it! Slightly on the heavier side, but it would be worthwhile to carry the extra weight to get that performance in a wider ski. I think they have great potential to float well through pow as well, even though some might find it stiffer than most pow skis. I can’t comment on that since we didn’t have any pow to test.
We finished of the day just before the mountain got put on lighting hold. We truly got to ski in all kinds of conditions all in one day: sun, snow, graupel, rain, white out and even a sunny downpour. The best part: everyone in the group came off the mountain with smiles on their faces stoked on a fun day. I think we might even have convinced the Fisher guys to make a wiggle-specific ski model – coming to Jackson Hole in 2019!
Fischer Ranger 108 TI, company specs:
Available lengths: 174, 182, 188
Rocker length & height: vo. 450/3 hi. 330
MSRP: $849.99 US
Available: January 2017