That is a tough one. I skied with all kind. Today skis are getting more complex in the cut and everything else that it is tough to have an idea of what would work for a particular situation. Its confusing. I get used to all skis I think. However the construction is a major concern for safety and technical terrain such as chamonix. More durable. As a general rule I would say that most skis build in Europe have been way more durable and better skis than the others. Whilst skiing in the eastern sierra, i was pretty happy with my K2 big kahuna or sethpistols. Once in cham , the sethpistols didn’t last too long. Those were also too soft for the chamonix terrain imao and the twin tips unpractical for the alpines. I then switched to dynastar, a more classic cut and sturdy. The orange prorider dynastar is the best steep ski i owned, they don’t make it anymore (the one on the headerpict of my website) . since then i was able to score skis from people for free. Luckily , most were made in europe. my best powder skis ever were the Head carlos, i lost those in AK. I loved those.
If you want a 100% earth friendly , eco friendly, fair trade made in chamonix ski you should look at idris ski Link. I never tried them but tom is been working on it for a long time and got it all dialed up. He gave me a pair once to try but since he is making them himself , i didnt want to trash hours of work in just one run…
2016: I skied the black crows anima. I love that ski for everything , it is a little heavy for big tours but works great.
2016: i am still using those K2 and i love them.
I think after 10 years in cham skiing all kind of skis, i finally found a good “all around” ski. Seth Morrison came to cham frequently the past years and maybe understand better the meaning of “all around” . One run here will take you through steeps, hard, deep, icy moguls. flat icy. spring snow, rooster crap and fucked up stuff like that and all the shit in between for thousands and thousands of feet. Make a ski to have fun on the mallory, a deep cosmique or the south west face of les droites is pretty hard. I think the next year K2 annex may be it. Very playful , stable, fast and easy to ski in any conditions. i will see for durability…And they are ALL black. which is a definite ++++ (i scored that pair from Seth himself. ah! )
The nocta are a sick ski in deep powder and on endless field of smoke. In couloirs you feel like a pro: they turn so smoothly its awesome. The 189 is pretty heavy especially with marker dukes bindings. I thought i would maybe hike with those but it is very heavy. As soon as the snow gets hard and moguly they are like a tank, you better be in shape! The smaller size is probably a better all around ski.
Last year i was able to go on a ski test with blizzard, i tried a bunch and i was surprised on how smaller in size skis could ski big. They were very stable , fast and those turns felt great. Another euro construction; sturdy, durable. well made. This year i scored 2 from David Rosenbarger. I will use them for touring and steep skiing. i don’t know the name but one is 108 under foot (too many holes ..couldnt use it), the other one is 98. The 98 is a good ski but too small for mid winter all around touring. Especially following people with bigger skis and better skilled. The 108 is probably good but there was too many holes, i couldnt make new ones. So im stuck with those small ones. Oh well.
I scored those from David Rosenbarger who got them from Glen Plake. Talking about euro construction and durability. They were pretty beatup when i got them but still used them for 3 seasons. The 10/10 for touring and steeps and the other one for powder. I loved them a lot. they skied great. the fat ones were a little scary, very fast and didn’t want to turn that easy. All amazingly stable and safe. And the turns felt great. I used those until it was too sketchy!
Last year after i lost my head carlos in AK, i didn’t have powder skis. So my friend Brett Lotz gave me a pair of shiro. I liked them but i think the 1.82 is too small for me. I only used them in the eugster/mallory and cosmique/rond. 4 times. i will try them more this year.