Its that time of year again - the first big autumn snowfalls have hit the Alps, I have already had my first week of ski work, and now its time to dust off the rest of the kit which has been sitting unused all summer. So, I hear you ask, what will I be skiing on this winter?
My main weapons of choice from last winter, the 191 Volkl Gotamas will be back in action again for lift-served offpiste and shorter tours. With double-rocker and a solid 107mm underfoot these skis have really won a place in my heart. Fantastic float in soft snow, they are equally good in chopped up or cruddy snow, and have surprised me no end on hard snow too...no they are not a GS ski, and will never carve or feel like one, but when you tip them over enough, the curve created by the rocker shape gives a great high-speed ride! Currently mounted with Marker Barons, this is not a set-up for big days (though I have done 1000m + on them...), so for days when weight is a little more critical, the go-to ski will be the Volkl Mantra, paired with Dynafit Radical FT bindings. Another legendarily (is that a word?) beefy ski, the Mantra offers a good compromise between float and ease of edging on hardpack, along with a hint of tip rocker to make smearing a short turn easier in those tight spots.
This winter I will also be sporting a pair of Ranger Carbonlites, courtesy of those very nice folks at Whitedot Skis - roughly the same dimensions as the Gotama but with just the tiniest hint of traditional camber... Stay tuned for a review as soon as I can get them mounted and make some turns - it should be interesting to compare and contrast with the Gotamas.
Just waiting for me to decide which bindings will be gracing them: Dynafit or Plum...?
...and finally for the really big days there is still no seeing past the Dynastar Mythic Light - with Dynafit bindings this is the perfect lightweight set-up for me (I don't hang with the balsawood & carbon toothpick brigade much...). Combined with my modified TLT5 boots this feels like having feathers on my feet on the way uphill, and skis pretty damn well on the way down (though I still reckon a 3rd strap/buckle on the TLT5s would be the way to go...).