February 21, 2012 Salomon Enduro XT 800 Gear

Salomon Enduro XT 800

Salomon’s Enduro XT800 is another one of those carving-oriented All-Mountain skis that finds itself reclassified by today’s standards as strictly a frontside carver. Yes, the ski employs some tricks to improve floatation and soft snow performance, but a 79mm waist may as well be a needle these days, so let’s just call the Enduro XT (more...)...

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February 20, 2012 Atomic Smoke Ti Gear

Atomic Smoke Ti

Atomic’s Smoke Ti is a frontside carver that makes shop owners and skiers happy alikeā€”it sells well, and it delivers a lot of ski for the money. Probably Atomic wouldn’t exactly push this as an economy-class ski, but you can’t help noticing that the Smoke Ti trades at a noticeable discount compared to everything else (more...)...

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February 15, 2012 Volkl RTM-84 Gear

Volkl RTM-84

Volkl’s RTM 84 has been highly regarded in print reviews, topping many a frontside-carver list. Oddly enough, however, during my own on-snow testing at Winter Park, the RTM 84 proved to be one of my least favorite hard-snow skis. The RTM (“Ride the Mountain”) is what we might call a ‘modern’ frontside ski: extra girth (more...)...

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February 12, 2012 GoPro HD Hero2 -- First Look Gear

GoPro HD Hero2 — First Look

Here’s some HD Hero2 test footage, shot today. Right away I like the GoPro’s color rendition, and the cam seems remarkably free of rolling shutter distortion. Sharpness for a helmet cam is quite good. Definitely one of the strengths of the GoPro is the broad array of mount options, and the picture’s wide angle of (more...)...

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February 10, 2012 Head i.Supershape Titan Gear

Head i.Supershape Titan

The spirit of Frontside carving is alive and well in Head’s i.Supershape ski line. If you’re looking with disdain at fat-waisted All Mountain skis and wondering where your race-roots carvers are, take a look at Head’s offerings. The i.Supershape Titan falls into exactly the same category as Dynastar’s excellent Speed Course Ti. The ski is (more...)...

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February 9, 2012 Volkl Nunataq Gear

Volkl Nunataq

My take on Volkl’s Nunataq is that it’s exactly the ski it’s supposed to be. Billed as the touring version of the Gotama (or so Volkl told me), the Nunataq does indeed deliver a Gotama-reminiscent ride at a tour-worthy weight. The Nunataq is aimed squarely at the jugular of today’s North American backcountry market: take (more...)...

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February 2, 2012 SIA Preview: Salomon Guardian 16 Gear

SIA Preview: Salomon Guardian 16

Yes, it’s a new A/T binding from Salomon: the Sidecountry/Freeride-oriented Guardian 16. The Guardian isn’t just a shot across the Marker Duke’s bow; it’s ramming speed with all guns blazing. No published weight is available yet for the Guardian, but the Salomon people told me it will be within a few ounces (lighter?) of the (more...)...

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January 31, 2012 Gear

SIA Winter Park: A Great Time

Just wrapping up the second day of SIA’s on-snow demo at Winter Park Resort, and thought I’d give a few quick hits on the skis I tried. Some or all of these will blossom into full reviews, complete with my witty and occasionally risque first-impressions video clips, but for now, this will have to do. (more...)...

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January 28, 2012 Gear

Marker Duke, Tour Updates

I’m here in Denver for the annual SIA Snowshow, wandering the convention floor and browsing the battery of ski gear booths to see if I can find anything interesting. Yesterday I got a little information about Marker’s Duke and Tour bindings which may qualify (more...)...

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January 9, 2012 Dahlgren Sno Comp Gear

Dahlgren Sno Comp

Alpaca is the secret ingredient in Dahlgren’s new sock lineup, including the Sno Comp, a sheer, cushionless ski sock that uses a fairly complicated Merino/Alpaca/Synthetic blend. For the curious, Alpacas are those not-quite Llamas found in South America. Alpaca wool is said to be lanolin-free, less irritating than regular wool, and thus (perhaps) a better (more...)...

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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