Bot­tom­less Fan­tasy

A wish list for your next pow­der-choked romp.

SKI - - CONTENTS - By Jon Jay

On ev­ery skier’s bucket list (and on a few for­tu­nate skiers’ sched­ules this sea­son) is a dream trip: cat ski­ing in Bri­tish Columbia, heli ski­ing in Alaska, bot­tom­less pow­der in Ja­pan… But once you pull the trig­ger and book the ticket, what about your gear? You need the right skis to stay afloat, the per­fect lens to see where you’re go­ing, and the seam­less out­er­wear to keep you dry and warm.

Many com­pa­nies have been work­ing with rocker shape for the past decade, but no ski has been quite as game-chang­ing as the DPS Al­chemist Lo­tus 124 Spoon. Its edges are turned up­wards at the shovel to mimic the shape of a surf­board and to max­i­mize the floaty feel­ing one gets on top of bot­tom­less pow­der. The flex of the ski is re­vised for the ’17-’18 sea­son

to add damp­ness for the days it’s not-quite-bot­tom­less, and the girthy 124mm of ski un­der­foot will keep you on top of all con­di­tions.

On the ladies-spe­cific side, pro skier Lynsey Dyer has not only mas­tered heli ski­ing on mul­ti­ple con­ti­nents, but she has also mas­tered a ski de­sign that takes her from the steeps of the Chugach to the deeps of Hokkaido with ease. The Sego UP AK, on which Dyer col­lab­o­rated, has zero cam­ber un­der­foot—it’s flat as a pan­cake from heel to toe— with gen­er­ous rocker under the shovel and a swal­low tail to stay afloat.

The funny thing about he­li­copters and snow­cats is that they’ll make you sweat. There is hardly any­thing more nerve-wrack­ing, in­tense, and loud than the load­ing, fly­ing, and un­load­ing process. But when the whirly bird flies away, it quickly be­comes cold, windy, and quiet. The sweat stream­ing down your back while the guide un­loads the gear bas­ket is not go­ing to help the in­ter­nal ther­mome­ter sit­u­a­tion, but hav­ing the right ap­parel will.

Cha­monix-based com­pany Black Crows makes a line of out­er­wear that keeps your temp di­aled and looks fly, too. The Cor­pus line, built with Gore-Tex in­serts, fea­tures three-layer con­struc­tion and a stylish cut that’s at home in the Alps and be­yond. The jacket has plenty of pockets to keep snacks handy if the heli is on hold, and the bib pants are sealed to keep snow out while a stout boot cuff keeps things dry down low.

It’s the lit­tle things, how­ever, that re­ally make a dif­fer­ence on a dream trip. Hav­ing a func­tional face­mask that doesn’t get soaked and freeze right away is a must. The Avalon7 Powslayer sys­tem of­fers an in­te­grated mesh face-cover that works in uni­son with a warm bal­a­clava to keep heat in but doesn’t freeze when the temps drop. Some­times clouds move in faster than you can change lenses, so one lens that works in all light is cru­cial. The SILS lens tech­nol­ogy on the Salomon Four Seven Red gog­gle pro­vides clear vi­sion no mat­ter the con­di­tions.

Just be­cause it’s a dream trip doesn’t mean you should wait un­til you get there to try out all this rad gear. Take it to your lo­cal hill a few times to get ac­quainted with it, any on-the-snow ex­pe­ri­ence will help guar­an­tee that drop­ping into a wide-open, pow­der-filled cirque will be ev­ery­thing you’ve al­ways dreamed about.

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