I have had the good fortune to test two pairs of rockin’ skis over the past few days — both very different and fantastically great at doing what they say they’re gonna do. I know I’ve said that I’m an anti-quiver skier, but I am now officially jonesin’ for a quiver. (And for a sponsor to enable me to expand my quiver.)
Two very different skis; two very different days.
I’m not gonna lie. Today is going to offer up some challenges. We have had crazy warm temperatures lately across the state, with nothing but sun and smiling faces gracing our spring break mountain. The slushy afternoons have been quintessential spring skiing. Today, however, is grey.
Grey means the snow is frozen and is not going to soften up like it has been, with one big exception: lower mountain! It must have stayed warm enough overnight that lower elevations didn’t freeze, and the slushy groomers are skiing great. Thunderhead is an often overlooked lift that’s fast and will keep you turning hot laps on the best conditions on the mountain. See Me , often a test of your weary legs on packed conditions, is awesome.
Knowing that today was going to be a bit of a challenge, I headed to Steamboat Ski and Sport at the base area to demo a pair of good carving skis. Holley G. set me up on a pair of White Doctor FT8 171s. Holy, what a game changer!
They were the perfect tool for today. I am normally a somewhat timid groomer skier. I don’t fully trust my edges when the skiing gets really firm. These skis held their edges through all the conditions on the mountain today. I did have to work harder to initiate the turn as I have gotten very accustomed to the work that rockered skis do for me. But once I was in the turn, those edges held smoothly and consistently for as long as I wanted them to. No slipping or skidding on icy patches, no gripping the hill until I found my next turn. Just carvy, I-actually-know-how-to-ski-groomers skiing. Can I take any credit for that? If not for time constraints and job obligations, I would have skied all day on the grey and firm mountain — definitely not my kind of day.
If you’re flailing through your day up there, try ’em out. They will turn your day around.
But my true new item of desire? The Powder Factory Dolores. I am lucky enough to call the company owner and ski maker Casey Day a friend. Born and raised on Colorado powder, Casey has opened up a ski manufactuing shop in the basement of his home in Silverplume and is making what I dare to say are some of the most fun skis I’ve ever tried.
The Dolores is a woman’s ski built to be an all mountain ski, with an obvious emphasis on powder performance. It is super light but really stiff — a rare combination in skis. I skied on the 173 on Sunday, a bit longer than I am accustomed to. They forced me to get forward on my skis and really drive with my knees and ankles. Once I committed, they treated me so so right. They were playful in the slushy bumps, held an edge at higher speeds on groomers, and gave me a super solid mom wedge when I skied with my toddler later in the day. I can only imagine how they perform in deep conditions, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Casey comes to visit again on a powder day.
While today is definitely not the blue sky we’ve been enjoying all week, there is good skiing to be had, and technique to work on. Work hard on skiing well today and when the sun comes back out, your commitment will pay off!
Now, who wants to sponsor this ski lovin’ mama?
Happy Wednesday skiers and riders!
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier