Last Sunday saw Espace Montagne’s second touring ski test day. In fact it was not just a chance to test the latests offerings from Dynafit, Trabb, Dynastar, Atomic and Hagan but also the bindings from trick Tourlite Techs to Diamir to Naxos in the form of the rebadged Dynastar Early Tram. Way to go.
Espace Montagne is a large ski, ski touring and mountaineering boutique in the St Martin d’Heres suburb of Grenoble; the self dubbed “capital of the Alps”. You can find it just off the by-pass and it is well worth a visit if you are passing. The idea of a day to test touring skis is really to give their clients an opportunity to try out a range of equipment, for free, on a single day. It is something unique in France.
The conditions could have been better, we were pretty much restricted to the ski area of the Col de Porte but when you think that a week before there was no skiable snow that was not too bad. The conditions were mixed, exactly what you might find on a day’s ski touring. Hard ice early in the morning, cut up snow softening towards midday in temperatures that were way above freezing. We skied a range of skis from the Dynafit ST 7.0, Mustagh Ata, Trabb Stelvio and ultra lightweight Duo Sint, Dynastar 8800 and the Atomic Limit.
We loved the rootsie look of the Stelvio. Equipped with very solid Diamir Freeride Bindings it climbed pretty well and coped with all conditions. Maybe it was a weight thing but we had a slight preferene for the Dynafit Mustagh Ata, but the snow had softened. We saw some testers having fun in the park with these with some 360s and jumps. Backcountry Freestyle anyone?
The Trave Duo Sint weighs a shade under 2kg a pair, lets say 2.5kg with a pair of Dynafit bindings but still skied pretty well. We would have loved to have tried them in some powder. The most striking point are the double spatulas which give a much wider shovel for off-piste floatation.
The heaviest skis were the Dynastar Legend 8800 equipped with their rebadge Naxo bindings - the Early Tram. These feel very stable in choppy snow and would reward powerful skiers. Climbing would be another thing. They are really for acessing some off-piste from the top of the ski lifts. The Naxo bindings are stable and the plastic parts feel solid.
Anyway watch the video and find out more. For English subtitles click on the CC button on the bottom right of the display.