Blog reader Carl stuffed this under my locked office door, he’s one of those telemarkers that out skis me every time I go with him, so when he speaks I listen. Besides, after our Cloudveil coffee incident (see previous blog post), this continues our Jackson Hole theme:
“Lou, I was encouraged to hear that you just mounted up a pair of Black Diamond Havocs! I too just purchased a pair of Havocs, and my thought process is: “If Lou is skiing them they can’t be bad.” You
and I have skied together on numerous occasions and think we ski similar types of areas and we both are trying out the 173’s. So far so good…I’m in line with your take. The big difference: the saddle on our trusty steeds. You: AT. Me: Telemark. I wanted to let you know how the Black Diamond Havoc was working from a telemark perspective (I know you enjoy it when telemarker skiers attempt to differentiate
themselves from the other glisse masses).
I’ve had my skis for just less than a week and I’ve had the opportunity of skiing on groomers at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort with 6 inches of fresh powder on the top, in knee deep powder on Mt. Taylor on Teton Pass and through sun crust on Mt. Glory. I must say that in every situation these Black Diamond Havocs were, in a word, impressive. Light and fast, I’ve mounted a pair of old guard Rainey Superloop bindings on these 173cm Havocs. The wide bases allowed me to stay atop the crust and resurface with ease in the powder! They weren’t squirrelly on the groomers, rather they held a solid, and carvable edge. The most impressive aspect to me about these skis so far is their predictability. They respond in a way that they should and they do so with consistency. Black Diamond did their homework on this ski. Louie has a right to drool over them, he’s got Padre-Ski-Envy.
Lou, I too have yet to take these Havocs into a terrain park – my frail bones couldn’t take the constant abuse of mislandings on poles, rails, tables and whatnot – but I promise if you come to Jackson Hole you and I will test our 173 Black Diamond Havocs out in the terrain park.
I also wanted to let you know that I also purchased a pair of the pre-cut climbing skins that are specifically cut for the Havocs. I was a skeptic, now I’m a believer. They are wall-to-wall. I know that this takes away from some of the “how-to” skills that we used to practice in our workshops and basements. We seem to be a society of paying a little more and letting someone else deal with it, whatever “it” may be. I’ve mounted my share of skis and cut my share of skins and I know the value doing the mounts and the cuts on my own. I also remember cutting those skins with the Black Diamond instructions that ended up something like this: “take 1.453 cm off of the right side now move the skin .3452 inches to the left and remove 3.24 cm of skin from this side then move it back the left and repeat.” Then I remember sweating, believing I had done it all wrong and I was destined to spend my winter doing a seemingly endless number of herringbones and side-stepping to the top of every summit. I remember making a steep decent and thinking “Oh my, I mounted these skis! What am I doing skiing this slope, these bindings are sure to pop off the mounts at any second!” Having Black Diamond provide me with a pre-cut skin was a real treat.
Anyway I thought that you might want to add this review to comments on your review of the Black Diamond ski – in case there are others seeking information. I’ve included some pictures from Teton Pass as well. Enjoy!