Day 1: Squaw

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This was my first day up on the mountain in over 2 years. I didn’t get a chance to ski during the 2018/2019 ski season, due to graduation in December and taking a 2 week trip to Europe in March. It was also a trip to make sure we had everything for our trip to Utah the next weekend. We drove up to Truckee on Saturday to get my wife’s boots adjusted, and to also buy the equipment that we thought we had but we can’t find anymore.

I got a new helmet, and I’m excited to ski with it the next couple of years. It feels a lot nicer than my previous helmet. We also realized that some of our ski cloths don’t fit anymore. I got a new pair of insulted ski pants, with actual down in the rear and the top of the leg.

Skis

Volkl Mantra M5

SpecificationValue
Length191 cm
Waist96 mm
Radius23.3 m
RockerTip and Tail
Price$699

I’ve been skiing on Mantra’s for the last 8 years. I love the way the Mantra’s feel, but the length I demoed them in was a bit too long for me. I’m used to skiing on 177 skis, and the extra 16 cm really messed me up. I did like the way they felt, and I want to try them again in a shorter length.

I spent the majority of my time with them doing groomed blues, working on getting my ski legs back under me. I was working on proper body position and form, and testing my limits and strength.

After lunch I ventured off by myself to try skiing some of the more difficult stuff at Squaw, and that was a mistake. As I was on the chairlift up to the top of KT-22, the winds picked up, the clouds rolled in, and the light flattened. I’ve only skied Squaw a couple of times, and it was always with people who at least knew the mountain more than I did. I got myself into a run with some fairly large moguls, lots of ice, and a lot of dangerous terrain pretty quickly. The huge turning radius of the Mantras wasn’t what I needed at that time

Head Kore 99

SpecificationValue
Length180 cm
Waist99 mm
Radius17 m
RockerRocker - Camber - Rocker
Price$699

These skis we a blast to ski on, and I am really considering buying a pair at the end of this year. Out of the 3 pairs of skis I skied on, these were my favorite by far. I loved the way they felt underfoot, and I never felt like I was fighting the ski at all. I want to try it in powder.

Dynastar Legend 96

SpecificationValue
Length186 cm
Waist96 mm
Radius18 m
RockerRocker - Camber - Rocker
Price$699

This was a nice ski, but the conditions weren’t the best for it that day. I wasn’t skiing off-piste at all on them, so I couldn’t test them out in anything other than groomers, and for that they were just okay. If I have the opportunity to try these out again later in the season, I will.

Equipment

Scott Vantage MIPS Helmet

SpecificationValue
Airflow Settings9
Price$260

I’ve been skiing with a Smith Holt helmet for the last 10 years, and I have used and abused it. It has saved my head many times from trees branches and tree trunk. I’m excited to retire it and replace it with something that not only is safer, with MIPS technology built in, but also has adjustable air vents that don’t require me to take my helmet off and remove pieces from it.

686 Quantum Thermagraph Pants

SpecificationValue
Pockets5
Price$240

This is my first pair of pants that are moderately insulted. My previous ski pants have been lightly insulated, which has forced me to wear two pairs of long underwear and sweatpants to try to insulate my legs. It was in the 20s the entire day, and I was fine only having long underwear on under the pants. I’m really impressed with the insulation and I love the way they feel.