Skis An Expert Should Bring On A Ski Adventure
This is a ski or snowboard adventure of a lifetime. I can’t imagine not bringing all the gear you love. At the very least, the most gear you can fit given your constraints. There are differing opinions about what you may actually need. Please see our Pro Vs Amateur debate on How Big Should Your Ski Quiver Be? Also see Gear Guide.
My GNASA took place in 2017, one of the best ski years for anything North of Colorado. My timing was such, that I almost always had fresh snow. Despite a good snow year and lucky weather, I still skied every condition imaginable: ice, hard pack, slush, crud, and powder.
Timing can be everything on a mountain. A warm storm anytime in Lake Tahoe or a late one in the season at low elevation Canadian resorts can bring slush at lower elevations while higher elevations have powder. If it clears after the storm and the sun comes out, you can find hard pack and ice at lower elevations and crud higher up. When you’re new to a resort, the probability of variability increases because you don’t know where the best snow conditions are or the best time to find these conditions. This site attempts to help you solve many of these challenges, but you’ll still find variables that often depend the skis that give you the most confidence.
This is your GNASA! It doesn’t matter what the proper size of your quiver should be, or the debate over the best skis and their applicability to different conditions. There’s only one issue you should be addressing: What makes you feel best? Best about your skiing. Best about your ability to address a variety of terrain.
Bottom line: bring what you want given your trip constraints.
My GNASA involved 21 resorts and three months. I used my Thule (roof cargo storage) for ski storage and would generally have two, sometimes three skis I thought were best for the upcoming day of skiing. Here’s an example of how I used multiple skis at Kicking Horse. I had heard great things about Kicking Horse and wanted to explore the mountain quickly. I brought up my Volkl RTM’s. I spent a couple hours skiing a bunch of groomed areas to explore the layout. Met some locals who shared information about where to find the best conditions and what to avoid. Then I replaced the RTM’s with my Stockli. I was at Kicking Horse in March and the base area is low, 3,900 ft. The snow line was around 5,500. That meant the bottom portion of the mountain was hard pack and the upper portion powder and packed powder.. The next day I learned that Terminator was likely to open and added the S7’s to my mix and ended up using them all day.
Here’s what I brought and when they were used:
All Mountain Front Side Skis
Volkl RTM 84 – 2016
Use: my goto ski for moving quickly around the mountain.
All Mountain Front Side Rock Skis
Volkl RTM 84 – 2015
All Terrain Skis
Stockli Stormrider 95 – 2016
All Terrain Rock Skis
Volkl Mantra 2007 or thereabouts – love this ski.
Rossignol S7 – 2012