From the top lip of Genevieve, a double black run on the flank of Telluride Ski Resort’s Palmyra Peak, the descent appeared near vertical and dotted with large boulder sized bumps. I pulled my Dynafit DNA race skis off my pack, clicked my TLT 8 boots into the light pin bindings and glanced over my shoulder. The closest racer I spotted was a guy roughly 30 yards behind me, not in my category, but still someone I wanted to beat. I dropped into the run, heart pounding, skis skittering across ice before hitting a chalky soft patch. I flexed into the boots, initiated a few jaunty turns before settling into a rhythm just on the edge of control. The run bottomed out with a luge path into tight trees for more steep turns with higher consequences.
Now wait a minute, you might be thinking. Why would this writer be using Dynafit TLT 8 Expedition CR boots with 65mm race skis? Truth is, I was scared. The Tellurando was my first ski mountaineering race and given the demands of the relatively steep course, I wanted to feel as confident skiing the descents as I felt grinding up the climbs. I’d spent weeks prior to the race hammering training laps on and off piste in both the TLT 8s and a more race oriented boot (La Sportiva Sytrons, reviewed here) and had nailed the fit on the TLTs, so much so I’d made the last minute decision at 6am on race day to opt for better skiability over slightly fewer grams. During those harrowing turns down Palmyra, I was thankful for it.
My day of racing in the TLT 8 Expedition boots speaks to the versatility Dynafit has long cultivated with the TLT series. The boot had not only accompanied me for training, but had also been my go-to touring boot for many snowy days leading up to the race. On long backcountry tours with mid-fat skis, in thigh deep powder, chunky wind crusts, resort groomer laps and spring corn, the boot proved its versatility again and again. Here’s my full run down on Dynafit’s latest TLT iteration, one that I suspect will be considered among the best yet.