New for this season, Dynafit’s Dhaulagiri, is a lightweight, touring ski with an all arounder 99mm underfoot width, and ~3 lb. per ski weight. Similar to the Denali, the Dhaulagiri is a little heavier (1,400g vs. 1,190g), a little less expensive, and supposedly, a softer and more forgiving ski. I picked up a pair this season, looking forward to updating my touring setup. I mounted with Speed Radical bindings, and use a La Sportiva Spectre boot. This seems to be a pretty good combination so far. It’s not an ultralight setup, but it’s light, with some power too.
The ski sports a camber underfoot, early rise design, with a flat pin tail. It’s built with Dynafit’s Flex Tip, to soften impacts and produce a responsive, smooth ski in variable snow. The wide, long rising shovel stays on top of powder, and returns to the surface quickly if submerged. 33mm of difference between shovel and waist produces a ski that likes to turn. The Poplar/Pauwlonia Core ski is thinner at tip and tail, with carbon at the tip to reduce swing weight.
First Day Out – Teton Pass – Fresh Powder
Edelweiss laps in amazing snow. Temps were around -2, and a little breezy. The skis performed well, though the snow was forgiving. I skied the 183cm length, and I was surprised at how well it floated for me. I usually ski a ~190cm ski (I’m 6’4″, 190-ish), and find some shorter skis dive for me if I don’t lean back in powder. The skis floated well, and tips stayed up, the tails sinking down some. This seemed to allow plenty of float for me, and allowed the tail to wash out when desired.
At the lower part of Edelweiss, I skied down the gully, which is a bit steeper. The snow here was cut up from traffic, and the skis cut through piles of snow, slowing some, and bouncing at times. They’re light though, so after the first lap, I decided to take another. Second lap was just as good. The bowl was more cut up at the bottom, and I plowed into pillows of snow. The skis felt pretty good when hitting these, a little bounce back, but not much. Again down the lower gully, I went a bit faster, leaning more forward, and was able to make quick, tight turns.
Touring with the Dhaulagiri is enjoyable. It’s light, and it’s moderate width allows one to hold an edge while side-hilling and scribing. The tip flexes somewhat when touring, but it tracks well. It’s light weight, and for me, relatively short length allows easy uphill switchback turns. The flat tail keeps plenty of skin on the snow for steeper skin tracks.
Second Day Out – Snow King – Cold, Hard, Frozen
One Snow King lap for the second day out. Temp was -15 degrees. Easy on the uphill again. After a few minutes of skiing uphill, I warmed up. The snow stayed cold; which doesn’t make for a lot of glide with skins on. I hurried up, stashed my skins, locked down my boots and started skiing down. Steeper, bumpy hard pack went well enough. I’m used to skiing heaver alpine skis in this type of snow, but the Dhaulagiri held on. I favor shorter turns and lower speeds in this type of snow, as patches of hard ice lurk just out of sight. I made it down the upper part, feeling good about their performance so far. Lower down, I took the cat track, which was hard, frozen corduroy. They handled this well too, beyond some frozen chunks making for a few rough turns. At the bottom was more cut-up snow from other skiers, in this they handled very well. No slipping on hard patches, but rather with good bite to the edges and positive turns.
Looking forward to more laps in these skis. I’ll be taking them to the resort for a day soon, to really try them in a range of conditions.
– Andy Edwards
Sidecut top – middle – bottom
169: 129 – 98 – 113
177: 130 – 99 – 114
183: 132 – 99 – 116
Turning Radius 19 – 17
Turning Radius 21 – 19
Turning Radius 22 – 21
Poplar Paulownia Core