EmperorMA

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Just like the title says, I’m looking for an all-mountain ski that is good on groomers but that can also take on crud and a bit of heavy Western Cascades snow, which we get an awful lot of.

I’m big, 6’ and 235 lbs, strong legs, advanced-intermediate on groomers and novice-intermediate on everything else. I just want to take it easy now, as I’m old, beat up and largely patched back together with two bad ankles and one bad knee. I just want to cruise groomers at medium speed but I know I’ll have to deal with crud, concrete and powder simply because we get shit-tons of snow where I live.

I think 88mm width is about as low as I can go and 100 is my absolute highest, but I’d rather stay a bit under if possible.

I’m considering Liberty Evolv 90 & 100 and Origin 90 & 96 ( leaning toward Origin for the more forgiving tail in deeper snow), Salomon QST 92 & 99, Fischer Ranger 92 & 98, K2 Mindbender 90 & 99. Which of these sound best, and what else should I be looking at?

I want a forgiving nature in crud, heavy snow and shallow powder with an ability to cruise groomers.

What are the top skis for me, and what length should I ski them? Thanks!!
 
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Ken_R

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I would avoid wider skis given you have bad ankles and a bad knee (yes I know, me saying this, I love phat skis but gotta be realistic, I like narrow skis too)

I would consider the Rustler 9, the Enforcer 93 and the Head Monster 88's. The extra heft of the last 2 will help you plow through inconsistent and heavy snow better and offer enough suspension to smooth out rough conditions. They offer fantastic edgehold but dont feel "edgy" which is great for off piste.
 
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EmperorMA

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I would avoid wider skis given you have bad ankles and a bad knee (yes I know, me saying this, I love phat skis but gotta be realistic, I like narrow skis too)

I would consider the Rustler 9, the Enforcer 93 and the Head Monster 88's. The extra heft of the last 2 will help you plow through inconsistent and heavy snow better and offer enough suspension to smooth out rough conditions. They offer fantastic edgehold but dont feel "edgy" which is great for off piste.
The Nordica Enforcer 93 is definitely on my short list. Thanks!
 

Andy Mink

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The Evolv 100 and 90 are really nice skis. Carve very well but can work in the powder, plus are burly enough to push through heavier stuff. I'm a bit shorter and about 10# lighter than you. I really like the 100 but I must admit after several hours on hard snow my knees get achy. Don't dismiss the DPS Foundation Cassiar 87 or 94. Also very good, easy, all mountain skis.
 

USCskibum

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The Evolv 100 and 90 are really nice skis. Carve very well but can work in the powder, plus are burly enough to push through heavier stuff. I'm a bit shorter and about 10# lighter than you. I really like the 100 but I must admit after several hours on hard snow my knees get achy. Don't dismiss the DPS Foundation Cassiar 87 or 94. Also very good, easy, all mountain skis.
How does the DPS Cassiar 87 compare to the 94? Same ski, just narrower width? I’ve read a few very positive reviews on the DPS Foundation Cassiar 94 and a few on the 87, but seems like the 87 may not be as forgiving/versatile as the 94?
 

Andy Mink

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How does the DPS Cassiar 87 compare to the 94? Same ski, just narrower width? I’ve read a few very positive reviews on the DPS Foundation Cassiar 94 and a few on the 87, but seems like the 87 may not be as forgiving/versatile as the 94?
I think the 94 has a bit more off-piste chops than the 87, at least for a bigger or stronger skier. Honestly, I'd have a hard time choosing if I had to make a choice for a daily driver in the Tahoe area. Two years ago, and maybe at the beginning of last year, I probably would have chosen the 87 as I was still only a year or so back into skiing and tended towards on-piste. Now, probably the 94. I'm 225# so like a bit more float on the edges and trees as I expand my skills.
 

karlo

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I assume Western Cascade can mean possibly Sierra Cement type conditions? Then I’d go with upper end of 88-98 and demo
 

Vinnie

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Finally got out on Mindbender 90Ti this past weekend at the beginning of the storm cycle we are now experiencing on Mt Hood. Conditions were really variable everything from scratchy hard pack, wind-packed to 5 inches of fresh powder. The Mindbender’s carved really well, had nice energy but what really blew me away was how easily the tails released into a drift when I wanted. I am really happy with their overall performance and would recommend them as a narrower all-mountain ski for the PNW.
 

USCskibum

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I think the 94 has a bit more off-piste chops than the 87, at least for a bigger or stronger skier. Honestly, I'd have a hard time choosing if I had to make a choice for a daily driver in the Tahoe area. Two years ago, and maybe at the beginning of last year, I probably would have chosen the 87 as I was still only a year or so back into skiing and tended towards on-piste. Now, probably the 94. I'm 225# so like a bit more float on the edges and trees as I expand my skills.
What’s your current choice for a daily driver?
 

Andy Mink

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What’s your current choice for a daily driver?
I am very fortunate in that I have access to a quiver. The last several hard pack days have been on a DPS Alchemist 79 (the Trainer). On the fluffier days I used the Liberty Evolv 100. The Evolve 100 is totally capable of hard pack but my knees do feel it after a while. If I had only one ski for the Sierra the DPS Cassiar 94 would definitely be in the running. There are just so many fine skis that it is hard to pick.
 

USCskibum

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I am very fortunate in that I have access to a quiver. The last several hard pack days have been on a DPS Alchemist 79 (the Trainer). On the fluffier days I used the Liberty Evolv 100. The Evolve 100 is totally capable of hard pack but my knees do feel it after a while. If I had only one ski for the Sierra the DPS Cassiar 94 would definitely be in the running. There are just so many fine skis that it is hard to pick.
That’s the problem...too many choices and and can only ski one pair at a time! Last question, any thoughts on Renoun 98 vs. DPS Cassiar 94, price excluded? On paper they both sound like amazing, forgiving, easy versatile skis.
 

Andy Mink

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That’s the problem...too many choices and and can only ski one pair at a time! Last question, any thoughts on Renoun 98 vs. DPS Cassiar 94, price excluded? On paper they both sound like amazing, forgiving, easy versatile skis.
I haven't been on the Endurance 98 but the Z90 is fantastic. I also really like the Citadel in the deeper stuff. @Philpug, how would you compare the Cassiar 94 and Endurance?
 

Philpug

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That’s the problem...too many choices and and can only ski one pair at a time! Last question, any thoughts on Renoun 98 vs. DPS Cassiar 94, price excluded? On paper they both sound like amazing, forgiving, easy versatile skis.
I haven't been on the Endurance 98 but the Z90 is fantastic. I also really like the Citadel in the deeper stuff. @Philpug, how would you compare the Cassiar 94 and Endurance?
Both are great skis but different. Plus are we talking the Alchemist 94 or the Foundation construction? The Endurance is a modern 98 with a gradual rise 128mm tip and a bit of rise in the tail. The HDT addresses what you need to tackle hard snow. The DPS is a longer extended tip rise but a mre traditional tail.
 

Dakine

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Find yourself a good used pair of Kastle FX 94's and ride one of the best big mountain, all purpose skis ever built.
Spent the leftover money on faithless women, booze and drugs like Hunter S. Thompson would do.
 
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