I am getting into alpine touring this season, with the intent to focus on touring Sierras, and trying to pick a more or less all-around setup. Currently I am using Voile HyperVector skis, which are great for climbing, and do a good job both on groomers and on reasonable snow in the backcountry, although I have not pushed them in chopped snow yet.
The thing is that I perhaps picked a size which is too short for me (177 cm, and I am 185 lb, 6' tall and haven't skied on anything shorter than 185 cm on resorts), so chances are I will upgrade for the next season. One possibility is getting 184 cm UltraVectors, which are nearly 500 gram heavier than UltraVectors for the same length and identical profile, but reportedly more damp. Hence I have a couple of questions,
Has anybody had a chance to compare these models back-to-back? Having 500 gr/pair lighter skis is great, however, are there any potential issues with stability under variable conditions and spring skiing?
Are there any other recommendations, specifically for a "average" Sierra conditions (corn, Sierra concrete, refrozen chopped snow, occasional powder etc)?
I am using Scarpa Maestrale RS boots, which are pretty powerful, and, having missed a few seasons due to injury, fall into upper-intermediate ski level at the moment.
Re: All-around choice for the AT skis for Sierras?
Hi @Dmitry, Thanks for the great question! I haven't skied those models back to back, but for the variable conditions you're sure to find through the season, I'd say that the UltraVector will be a great option. The width and profile look good for all-mountain/one ski quiver, and although you may feel the difference between the heavier Aspen in the UltraVector and the lighter Paulownia wood in the HyperVector on the uphill, it will definitely pay off on the downhill when you are moving through chop or breakable crust.
In terms of ski length, I'd say the 500g is a small price to pay for a much stronger ski that can push through heavy variable snow. Unless you're really attached to skiing tight trees or really narrow gullies, I'd pick the longer size that matches your height and weight.
If you're looking for other skis to compare and contrast:
The DPS Wailer Alchemist 106C2 is a 106mm, 19m radius, 4200g/pr option that is a great shape for the snow and mountains out here- definitely heavier, but a blast to turn and a brute through variable conditions.
The Blizzard ZeroG 95, 95mm, 23m radius, 2500g/pr is a much lighter, yet sturdy and damp option that loves long turns and high speed. It's lighter, so you'll still have some gas in the tank for the way down. These skis prefer long turn shapes, but the tails are light, making quick turns in trees and tight spaces easier.
Hope this helps! If you have any other questions please feel free to reach out, or stop into your local REI Co-op to talk with one of our experts!
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