Click on the image above to launch a photo gallery from ski test. Photos by Lee Cohen.
Mountain magazine just wrapped up its annual ski tests at Snowbird, Utah. Here's what's standard about it:
Powder: We typically get a storm around arrival. Twenty-plus inches in the preceding days this year; 50-plus inches during the test the last two seasons. This is why we test fat skis in Utah.
Varied terrain: Pinched chutes, bottomless aprons, loose trees, fluff bumps, buffed groomers—and that's just off the Gadzoom quad. This year, the new high-speed quad at Little Cloud allowed fast laps in powder-choked bowls, too. Next year we hope to make use of a new high-speed quad that's replacing the Gad 2 double to effectively triple our test terrain.
Leg burn: Every major manufacturer is present and we invite a few smaller brands too. That means upwards of 20, 2,000-foot runs a day. And with three of those categories we're skiing almost exclusively off trail.
And here's what's not standard about our test:
Results you can trust: It might be hard to believe in today's media landscape, but we actually run a test instead of a pay to play advertorial schmooze fest. We only review (and therefore endorse) the top performers in each category. Often times that means storied, major ski producers get skunked. No edit love. This happens to advertisers and non-advertisers alike. We're prepared to live with the fall out. Mountain is here to serve you.
Look for the skis we endorse (trust nothing but Swami Certified gear) in the Early Winter issue of Mountain. You'll know it arrived when you hear that familiar thunk on your doorstep. It's either that or a ptarmigan just hit the window. —Marc Peruzzi
For more information on Mountain's ski test—and a closer look at Utah powder skiing—watch the video from ski test 2012 here.