Can you handle these big powder boards?
Aspen, CO Colorado
Having never skied powder skis, much less mounted tele-bindings on a waist of nearly 100 mm, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I first climbed on board K2’s Anti Piste.
At 174 cm, the skis are smaller than what I’m normally on, so I notched the tip behind my front leg for a few turns during the early days of this ski season. I also found the skis a bit noodly on groomers.
I had a few semi-euphoric moments when the patrol first dropped the rope on Bell Mountain and at Highlands on opening day. But I couldn’t quite handle the skis; the arc didn’t seem right on the crud or groomers, and the length kept feeling wrong.
All that changed last weekend on Highland Bowl. I went up for my first bowl run of the year and took the K2s.
After a few turns at the top, I picked up the pace and relaxed into a higher speed. With big, wide-open turns and a steep pitch on tracked powder, they handled the speed and rode the crud like champs.
As I got more aggressive, the skis performed better and better. On powder and crud all I really needed to do was get into a deep turn and lean back. It just took awhile to figure them out.
I got the skis at the end of last year, so they sat in the garage for a summer before I took them out. Every time I went to play pingpong or get my bike, I had to walk by my brand-new skis.
That was fine because I like the old-school design with the wood core showing through. Still, I have to say that this year’s design is better, made to look like ’90s rock posters from Seattle, and the wood core still shows through.
It’s OK, because these skis rock. If you need a pow ski, try ’em. Just make sure to attack.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.