Joined: 07 Dec 2004 Posts: 511 Location: Bellingham, WA
Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 3:18 am Post subject: Madshus Glittertind
The Madshus Glittertind is the favorite of the many waxless touring skis I have tried (Fischer Boundless and Outtabound, Karhu Pyxis (very good as well) and Dorado, Atomic Rainier, and Madshus Pellestova). Since I got a pair at the end of January ‘04 they have been, by far, my most used ski.
The Glittertind is a lot like the Pellestova; a little bit fatter and a little bit shapelier, 68-55-62 vs 62-52-55 ( both ridiculously skinny by today’s standard). More importantly, it has a softer flex overall. These changes mean that going downhill, it is more responsive; taking less motion to flatten the ski out and bend it into reverse camber. That makes it easy to ski parallel, and powerful in many difficult conditions . Its flex is so smooth that when it is reversed and tipped on edge the ski makes a clean, round turn through just about any kind of soft snow you try. It still is narrow, enough, and has enough camber and a half to tour nearly as well as a Pellestova. Both skis make you want to run on them, given a fast spring surface, snomo track, or ski track. No heavier, wider ski comes close. The Pellestova will fit in a prepared Nordic track, the Glittertind won’t - this is more signifigant in Norway than here. The Madshus waxless base is quite good - nearly as good as the Karhu and faster and less noisy than the Fischer.
Where is it good? It’s very good in powder. This may sound strange on a site where people frequently agonize over the need to buy new skis with 85mm or wider waists in order to ski powder but ... waist width may determine how high the ski flies in the snowpack but flex determines how it turns, and the Glittertinds uniform tip and tail make the skis turn easily, smoothly, and predictably. It’s a pleasure to ski them in powder either telemark or parallel. They wouldn’t be my first choice if the snow is really deep (a fatter ski will go faster in low angle snow) but will do fine. They are very good also in more difficult soft snow situations - again, the smooth curve you press them into will turn smoothly even through refreezing wet snow, stiff. old snow, and even many breakable crusts. It’s remarkable how well the skis cut through these tough conditions. Of course Glittertinds are great in corn and sun softened surfaces. Then it’s like the skis are on rails. Just beautiful!
What doesn’t the Glittertind do well? I can’t (or don’t) ski them nearly so fast as I do heavier skis at the ski area. That doesn’t seem so important for backcountry use. On hard snow they don’t make slashing, carved turns like my Atomics. There, uniform flex alone isn’t enough. Real sidecut is needed to make the edge stay continuously in touch with the snow in a carved turn. They are adequate and not dangerous, but not nearly so nice as bigger, shapelier skis. Worse is rough surfaced hard snow, such as frozen suncups. That can be tough if it’s steep. Wider skis sideslip better in such conditions. Hard snow is a very small part of my backcountry experience and I expect that is true for most western US tourers. Give the skis even a little bit of soft surface and they returns to their remarkable ways.
These skis should be valualble additions to anyone’s quiver for spring skiing. And, in the Cascades, Sierra, Adirondacks, Greens, Whites, etc. they will often be useful in winter as well. No, they are not for Yellowstone in February. Nor for the North Face of Mt. Shuksan. Their strengths and weaknesses complement AT or heavy tele outfits and there is no reason for them not to coexist usefully.
Where to find them? I got mine from Steve Soistman in Homer, AK (firstname.lastname@example.org). Marmot in Bellevue, WA also carries them. There must be others as well around the US and in Canada..
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 3803 Location: The Death Star
Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:21 am Post subject:
Spent my first weekend on the Glittertind. Day one using Rossi BCX-9 boots and Day 2 with Garmont Excursions.
The snow was fairly soft -- in the shaded areas slightly wind effected powder. In sun exposed area either light crust or crust turning to mush.
The Glittertind flexed nicely and made decent turns -- A little wider radius than I was expecting -- but I think my technique has become used to skis like the Jak, so I just think I need to practice a bit more with the Glittertind -- since I found that when I weighted the ski hard it would come around pretty quick.
Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:09 am Post subject: Åsnes
Concerning mountain skis I would recommend Åsnes skis (Especially the models “Rago” or “Combi Combat Cap [CCC]”). The Rago (67-57-62) ski is a good general mountain ski, while the CCC has a better downhill trunability (84-62-74 ). Both skis are light weight and have good pockets for wax holding.
I prefer Madshus touring and racing skis, but Åsnes makes better mountain and children skis. Åsnes is a Norwegian ski producer specialising in the latter. Their skis have been used on several expeditions in artic regions.
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