Ode to My Quiver

Spring seems like an odd time to write a blog about a ski quiver, but it is also the time when I really start to use a variety of skis. This time of year can be deep powder, corn, ice, or long days on light gear so I seem to use a bigger variety of skis in the spring than in the winter where most every day is a powder day.

When I moved to Utah in 2002, I quickly became a tele skier. From 2002 until spring of 2010, I only owned tele gear. Over the last 2 seasons, my focus has been fast and light AT gear. As Evan said a couple weeks ago, I have sort of become a weight weenie in my quest to do longer days with increased enjoyment (or maybe less tiredness).


Ski Quiver in Our Gear Room (I usually store them with skins attached to ensure we either don’t forget skins or grab the wrong ones)


Tools of the Trade: (left to right): Atomic Tacora, Rossignal T4, Voile Insane, Voile Drifter, Voile Charger, Voile Vector, Ski Trab Free Rando Lite, Hagan X-Race

Hagan X-Race: Starting from the lightest. I purchased the Hagan X-Race ski in February 2012 for skimo racing. This ski with the Ski Trab TR binding is 883 g/ski. For a short, skinny, and light ski, this skis very well. I have spent more time touring on this ski than I ever imagined including deep powder days. This ski has seen lots of skimo racing, big days in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, and lots of vert in Europe this winter over the World Skimo Championships. The downfall of many race skis is that they are fragile. On my first race I compressed and edge which Eric Bunch was able to meticulously fix. I have also exposed the wood core in several places and have had to reseal it with epoxy.


Hagan X-Race – 883g

Ski Trab Free Rando Lite: I purchased the Ski Trab Free Rando Lite skis in December 2011 as in intro ski for skimo racing. At 1439 g/ski it quickly became apparent that this ski was too heavy to race on. I now use this ski for long days that I want t solid ski for good skiing, spring corn, hard pack, and other conditions. This ski breaks trail and skis all snow conditions great. The only downfall of this ski is that at 79mm under foot and no rocker or early rise, if you are skiing deep powder, I find myself having to get in the backseat to keep the ski tips up.


Ski Trab Free Rando Lite – 1439g

Voile Vector: The newest addition to my quiver that I am extremely excited about is the Voile Vector. I have wanted to get out on this ski for 2 years as for a while, it was the only Voile ski I wasn’t skiing on and I felt it was a great all around ski balancing great dimensions (96mm under foot) and tip rocker with light weight. Locally made in Salt Lake City, Voile skis have been my ski of choice for 7+ years. I put a Plum 165 binding on this ski to make it a very light (1765g/ski) everyday touring ski. With 3 seasons on my Charger’s and only a little life left, these are going to be my go-to skis for touring and powder skiing.


The newest family member, the Voile Vector – 1765g

Voile Charger: My last pair of AT skis is a Voile Charger. I have skied this ski for 3 seasons and absolutely love it. It rips big lines, skis deep powder, tours well, and handles the resort decently. These have had a lot of hard use and have little edge left. For the 2013-2014 season, I think these will become rock skis.

What’s left for my ski quiver? I am excited to get a pair of Voile WSP (Wasatch Speed Project) race skis. At only a few grams heavier than my X-Races, but with an early rise tip, these will ski and race much better than the X-Race. They are also built a little stronger so hopefully will get less edge damage. I also am excited to get pair of these because the WSP name was the name I suggested


Voile WSP

I still have 4 pair of tele skis as well. I did not get out on tele gear much this winter mostly due to some knee pain left over from running last summer. I did get a half dozen days in.

Atomic Tacora: I purchased these on a blow-out sale from Sierra Trading Post probably 6 or 7 years ago. I have only skied them 12-15 times, but they are a great resort tele ski for non-powder days. With the very active Hammer Head binding with the super stiff spring, you can absolutely rail these skis. These ski fast and fun!

Rossignal T4: This ski is a relic. I purchased it around 2004 and have skied it hard for many seasons. It has been rock ski for 5 or 6 years. The ski is completely noodled and the bases are shot. There is really no reason for this ski to still be in my quiver as it hasn’t seen snow for 2 seasons and probably won’t. I tried to feel the O1 binding from this ski last season as a way to retire it and will need to try it again next year. In the meantime, it brings back happy memories each time I look at it sitting lonely in my quiver.

Voile Insane: This was my first Voile ski. Originally mounted with a G3 Targa T9, then drastically upgraded to the Voile Switchback, and finally upgraded to the Voile Switchback X2. This is a great all mountain tele ski and when I do tele, this is typically what I will ski on. The X2 is a super active binding that is a lot of fun. This ski tours well and skis the resort well.

Voile Drifter: This is the second pair of drifters I have had. I had a prototype pair during the early Voile testing, then this production model. I call the Drifter the Giggle Sticks. On deep powder days, it doesn’t get any more fun than skiing this ski. I am torn whether to keep this as a fun powder tele ski or mount AT bindings on it. I think the Free Rando Lite, Vector, and Drifter could make the ultimate 3-ski AT quiver.

Here is a comparison of length and weights of the skis in my quiver

Ski Weights
Ski Length Binding Weight/Ski (g) Weight/Ski (lbs)
Hagan X-Race 160 Ski Trab TR Race 883 1.95
Ski Trab Free Rando lite 171 Dynafit Low Tech Lite 1439 3.17
Voile Vector 180 Plum 165 1765 3.89
Voile Charger 181 Dynafit TLT 2608 5.75
Atomic Tacora 181 Hammer Head 2608 5.75
Rossignal T4 185 Black Diamond O1 3062 6.75
Voile Insane 183 Voile Switchback X2 2750 6.06
Voile Drifter 182 Voile Switchback 2750 6.06

No ski quiver is complete without a good boot selection.


Boot selection to go withmy ski quiver (left to right): Scarpa Alien 1.0, Dynafit TLT5 Performance, Scarpa Spirit, Scarpa T1, Scarpa T3

When I started AT skiing, I purchased a pair of Scarpa Spirit boots. These boots fit great and ski great. When I started getting more serious about racing I knew I needed to get off the T3 boots and light tele race setup. In December 2011, I bought a pair of Dynafit TLT Performance boots. At 1226g, I thought these were the greatest things ever. They quickly became the only boots I toured in due to the light weight and amazing walk mode. I have only used the removable tongue’s a couple of times and have no problem driving the Voile Charger in steep or deep terrain without the tongue. There are 2 downfalls of this boot:

1) The overstep buckle bends easily and after 2 months the buckle was pretty much trashed. I have since drilled out the rivet holding the bucked, drilled the hole in the shell larger, and screwed it on with a Scarpa T screw. The larger screw head has kept the buckle from bending as much, but it is still sprung and doesn’t stay buckled very well.

2) The boots are very cold. This year I broke down and bought a pair of Boot Gloves. They make you look like a ‘gaper’ when touring, but at least I quit frost biting my toes on moderate temperature tours.

My go-to everyday touring boot – Dynafit TLT5 Performance – 1226g

In December of 2012, feeling like I needed to buy something, I splurged for a pair of Scarpa Alien 1.0 boots. At 830g and what seems like twice the flex as the TLT5, these boots made an amazing difference racing. I have used these boots with all of my AT skis and have been very happy with how the are able to drive the Voile Charger. Overall, I find the Alien 1.0 an amazing boot that has really revolutionized the ability to walk, run, tour, and ski in the boot. The boot is lighter and has more flex than my old all leather Montrail hiking boots! Like all boots, these have a couple of downfalls

1) The 1.0 does not come with the gaiter that the regular Alien comes with. This means that after a day of skiing powder, you have packed the boot pretty full of snow and turned it into an ice shell around the liner. Believe it or not, even with the ice shell, this boot is warmer than the TLT5.

2) The boot kills my feet. The Boa tightener should be flatter instead of angling down (see photo). With the able of the Boa, the hard plastic digs into the bone on the top of my feet. I have high arches and boney feet, so this bone is quite prominent on my foot and even hurts in some running shoes.


Scarpa Alien 1.0 – 830g

As mentioned, the Scarpa T3 was only used for skimo races when I was on tele gear. I paid next to nothing for this boot and have never used it for anything other than racing. With true race gear now, this boot won’t see snow again (at least by me). That leave me with only the Scarpa T1 boots. These were my second tele boots (after breaking a pair of Garmont boots in half at the bellows). My T1 boots are definitely a performance fit being anywhere from 1-1.5 sizes smaller than most of my other boots. With the added Booster Strap, these boots will drive any ski in any terrain. They have 6 years on them and have holes worn in the bellows. For the small amount I tele ski now, I am hoping to get a few more years out of them.

The weight comparison of the boots is interesting as well with a close to 3x factor between the Alien’s and Spirits.

Boot Weights
Boot Size Weight (g) Weight (lbs)
Scarpa Alien 1.0 28 830 1.83
Dynafit TLT Performance 27.5 1226 2.70
Scarpa Spirit 27.5 1926 4.25
Scarpa T1 with Booster Strap 26.5 1897 4.18
Scarpa T3 27 1379 3.04

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what some of the combined weights were of the ski/boot combos that I commonly ski is. It is quite amazing to see the variation of 1700g to 4600g.

Combos I Ski
Ski Boot Total Weight (g) Total Weight (lbs)
Hagan X-Race Scarpa Alien 1.0 1713 3.78
Hagan X-Race Dynafit TLT Performance 2109 4.65
Ski Trab Free Rando lite Scarpa Alien 1.0 2269 5.00
Ski Trab Free Rando lite Dynafit TLT Performance 2665 5.88
Voile Vector Scarpa Alien 1.0 2595 5.72
Voile Vector Dynafit TLT Performance 2991 6.59
Voile Charger Dynafit TLT Performance 3834 8.45
Voile Charger Scarpa Spirit 4534 10.00
Atomic Tacora Scarpa T1 4505 9.93
Voile Insane Scarpa T1 4647 10.24
Voile Drifter Scarpa T1 4647 10.24