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The Backcountry Ski Test 2015

  • Nick Truitt finds midwinter in April off The Ridge at Loveland, CO.

  • Editor Marc Peruzzi skins up the Ridge at Loveland, CO.

  • After earning his turns, Peruzzi drops in.

  • Editor Olivia Dwyer gets hands on with Pomoca Climb Pro Skins and the La Sportiva Vapor Nano skis.

  • Rob Hudson checks into the white room.

  • An inside look at ski test paperwork.

  • Binding adjustments ahead of another test lap.

Ski Test Director: Marc Peruzzi | Camera Sherpa: Dave Cox

Here’s a novel idea. We actually tested this year’s crop of backcountry skis going both up and down hill. For phase one of our testing, our Colorado test crew of eight headed to nearby Loveland Basin ski area in April. Last winter didn’t quit until May, and we found pure midwinter conditions on the inbounds backcountry terrain off the 13,010-foot Ridge. Eight inches of windbuffed to wind-buttered snow (with a few pockets of windboard to keep us honest) made for ideal conditions to tour and then run the following 95mm to 120mm skis through their natural habitat. Then we packed up the gear and sent it north to Montana and the Bell Lake Yurt (see “It Tolls For Thee“) for the next round of up and down skiing. Here’s what we found.

Ultimate Setup: Backcountry Essentials

Backcountry Ski Reviews 2015
Best in Test | K2 Coomback 104
Atomic Backland DrifterFischer Hannibal 100La Sportiva Vapor NanoG3 Synapse 109Salomon Q-BC LabArmada DeclivityDynafit DenaliBlack Diamond Carbon MegawattVölkl V-Werks BMT 94Voile V8Dynastar Cham HM 97Rossignol Soul 7

AT Bindings

Quick feedback on the new AT offerings: G3 IonDynafit TLT Speed Turn • Fritschi Diamir Vipec 12Dynafit Beast 14

Climbing Skins

The skinny on, well… Pomoca Climb Pro GlideAtomic Multifit Powder Rocker SkinsG3 Alpinist High TractionBlack Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix STS

AT Ski Boots

Shiny new kicks and time-tested boots for the up and the down: Scarpa F1 EvoDynafit TLT 6 MountainDynafit NeoLa Sportiva Spectre • System: SkiTrab TR2 & Scarpa Spirit RS


No Sherpa? No problem. Gear haulers for winter tours: Gregory Packs Targhee 26Patagonia Ascensionist 35Deuter Cruise 30CiloGear 30ZOrtovox Tour 32+7 ABS

From the Early Winter 2014 issue, also available on iTunes. Special thanks to ski testers Jeff Burke, Dave Cox, Olivia Dwyer, Sydney Fox, Steve Gilson, Rich Halle, Rob Hudson, Eric Janssen, Ryan Krueger, Marc Peruzzi, Drew Pogge, Eric Sorenson, Nick Truitt.

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