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New Test. New Venue.

After ten winters in Utah, the annual Mountain Magazine test traveled to Colorado’s Steamboat Ski Resort this past February. (You might have heard that Steamboat had good snowfall—let’s just say we didn’t hit any rocks.) A tricked-out test venue and lots of high speed lifts helped us put a few hundred pair of skis for winter 2019/20 through the paces over three days of shredding. Want specifics? Staging out of the Thunderhead zone, our 18-person (50/50 male to female) test team had to burn through 264 pairs in three days. That worked out to roughly 35,000 vertical feet per tester per day. The goal? Find the best all mountain skis of the upcoming season to make your shopping easier. The unisex and women’s categories included All Mountain Frontside skis (perfect for everyday use back East or if you just like ripping turns on groomed snow), true All Mountain designed to be skied 50 percent of the time on trail and 50 percent of the time off trail, and All Mountain Powder skis built for the western big mountain skier that skis in soft snow on or off trail about 70 percent of the time. Naturally, To get the best feel for the fatter skis we need powder. Steamboat obliged and delivered six inches of new snow the night before the final test day. It wasn’t the resort’s trademark Champagne Blowah—a storm the following weekend brought that—but it was deep enough for us to test the floatation of the big skis. And for that, we’re forever grateful.

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