Gone are the days of slapping backcountry bindings onto old alpine skis. Whether you’re bootpacking or ski touring deep into the backcountry, your experience will be much more enjoyable with backcountry-specific skis.
Softer and lighter than true alpine skis, backcountry skis are designed to balance the lightweight flexibility needed for uphill slogs with the power need for arcing huge turns on steep faces in the powder. Even so, backcountry skis have been taking a cue from their alpine cousins and are getting bigger and bigger every year.
Alpine VS. Backcountry Skis
Every season, the line defining shapes and sizes between alpine and backcountry skis becomes more blurred. There’s a movement in both ski disciplines toward more power, and we’re really seeing that reflected in the current crop of backcountry skis. Other trends present in the new wave backcountry skis include reverse camber for extra loft in the powder and earlier rise for easier turn initiation.
Alpine Touring VS. Telemark Skis
A line that’s been all but erased is the one between telemark and AT skis. Today’s backcountry skis are designed to be skied with either binding style and perform equally well for both.