By: Johannes Griesshammer
Here at Tahoe Mountain Sports, we are passionate about human-powered skiing, be it dawn patrol missions in Sunrise Bowl, storm skiing on Rubicon Peak, or the spring-time corn harvest in the Eastern Sierra. We spend our summers dreaming of skintracks, our falls doing box jumps, and in between, we take the time to put together the finest selection of backcountry equipment in Truckee. Here’s a little preview of some items that we’re excited about for the upcoming winter!
Dynafit has traditionally been known for their uphill chops, but the past few years they have also been proving their downhill capabilities! The Dynafit Radical 97 ski is just that - a lightweight ski that climbs efficiently, and is smooth, stable, and nimble on the way down. A generous tip rocker and shovel allow the ski to float through soft snow with ease, while the reasonable waist width gives solid grip in firmer conditions.
For people who aren’t looking for a featherweight ski, WNDR has revamped the WNDR Vital ski. It now measures 98 mm at the waist and gains some torsional stiffness to make it perform better at higher speeds. A slightly shorter turn radius still allows quick maneuvers in tighter terrain. Above all, the ski retains its buttery smooth reputation that WNDR is famed for.
WNDR has also released a second splitboard in their lineup. The WNDR Shepherd Tour once again comes via the mastermind known as Nick Russell. This time, Nick set out to craft a board with a more nimble nature that would be fun and playful in the powder. The Shepherd does this very nicely with a more traditional shape, but has a heavy directional influence for increased float. We will also have this board available for demo!
The ski boot companies continue to up their game for this winter, and two boots stick out for punching above their weight, literally.
First, the all new Dynafit Tigard 130 and 110 is destined to become the crossover boot that other boots want to be. A true four buckle boot from Dynafit that is worthy of having a GripWalk outsole. I wanted to see if I could push these boots to their limit, and decided to ski them with my Blizzard Firebirds (think recreational race ski). I ended up spending an entire day arcing high speed turns at Alpine Meadows on this setup, because the boots truly skied flawlessly. Not content with only flexing the walk mode on the shop floor, I took my demo pair of boots for a tour as well. The Hoji Walk mechanism on these boots functioned impressively well, and while the stated range of motion of 70 degrees is a bit of a stretch (nor does your ankle have that high an ROM), touring felt comparable to most boots in the “Freeride Touring” segment (ie Maestrale, Zero G). If you’re looking for a boot that can take you anywhere, this is the one to go for!
For those looking for a more uphill focused experience, the new Atomic Backland XTD is the boot for you. This boot is nothing like the ultra-light Backland Carbon slippers. This boot features a 120 flex rating, and coming from Atomic, that is not an exaggeration. The walk mode has a smooth, fluid range of motion that allows for best-in-class uphilling, comparable to something like the Dynafit Radical Pro, only at about 100g lighter in boot. One of the things that has impressed me most whenever I’ve slipped my foot in this boot is the comfort of the liner. Often, boot companies will skimp on liners for decreased weight and increased range of motion. However, Atomic definitely did their homework and created a comfortable liner that still maintains a lightweight boot and incredible flexibility.
After having an early season cancellation last fall, Ortovox has returned with their new fan-based airbag system. The Ortovox Litric Tour 30 and Ortovox Litric Zero 27 packs are based on Ortovox’s excellent design philosophy. The new Litric system is designed to be both lightweight and small - the Zero 27 weighs in at under 2 kg, making it more than 600 g lighter than comparable systems! Just like all battery-operated airbags, this pack will allow for easy airplane travel, multiple deployments on one charge, and no more refilling canisters.
If you’re ready to get your gear dialed in for the upcoming winter, make sure to stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports, as we’ve got new products arriving daily at the moment. For bootfits, we strongly recommend to book an appointment, so we can ensure we have one of our friendly and experienced boot techs ready to help you. We look forward to helping you have the best season in the backcountry this upcoming winter!