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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Sunday, May 19, 2013

La Sportiva GTR and the Dynafit Broad Peak

Skimo or "Edged Alpinism" gear?

For many who enjoy ski mountaineering and are concerned about performance verses weight the Dynafit Broad Peak ski is a known quantity.

Nate covers the high points well here:

Total review at Wild Snow:
"Dynafit’s other new ski, the Broad Peak (112/74/96 in 167 cm), is Stoke’s opposite. Built for edge hold when you encounter conditions such as white ice during ski descents of big peaks, the ski is still said to handle varied conditions, as a board of this sort would have to.  My take is that the Broad Peak is a quiver ski. You’d own it if you want something that’ll help you survive steep icy terrain you might encounter during spring ski descents and that sort of thing — or if you’re heading out for a quick blast up and down Broad Peak before your morning espresso."

Broad Peak Spec sheet:

Dimensions:112 / 74 / 96 mm
Turn Radius:(dual radius) [167cm] 17.7 / 17.1m
Profile:traditional camber
Core:paulownia, beech and bamboo stringers, carbon reinforcement
Base:sintered graphite
weight per pair  
1142g/ 5lb
Weight *per ski* with a Dynafit Low Tech Race (Ti heel spring) 1300g/ 2# 13.5oz
the pair with bindings = 5# 12oz

The La Sportiva GTR Spec sheet:

Size(cm):   168cm
Radius(m):   22
Dimensions:114 / 82 / 104 mm

Camber(mm):        7

Tip Rocker(mm):   192

Weight(g): 1230g per ski (verified)

3lb 1oz per ski with TRAB low tech race binding, (steel heel spring)

Weight *per ski* with a TRAB low tech race (steel heel spring) 1389g/ 3# 1oz
The pair with bindings = 6# 2oz

Dynafi LowTech Race binding comes in at  234g/8.3oz
Trab Race binding comes in at 282g/9.9oz

Dynafit Low Tech Race heel on the Broad Peak ski

Broad Peak ready to ski 5# 12oz
GTR ready to ski 6# 2oz

bindings? 1.6 oz difference for the pair.

Most already know how good the Broad Peak is.   Great ski on hard snow and ice.  Light weight and easy to carry.  I've skied them a lot of places and in every snow condition I can imagine.  It is better on hard snow obviously than in knee deep powder.  But the BP will ski anything you are capable of skiing is my take on it.  The steepest skiing and the longest tours I have done were all on my pair of Broad Peaks. 

But one too many rides over the handle bars on the Broad Peak in deep soft snow made me think that a little more modern and wider ski design, if I could keep the weight down, might be a worthy investment.

*pause for station identification*
I need to pause here for just a moment.  I've been getting lazy and have not kept up on reviews of the gear I am using this winter and spring.  I mentioned this ski to Brian over at :

So he soon had a pair in his capable hands as well. Brian skis more in a week than I likely do in a season.  The only race where I will beat Brian is to this review and the comparison of these two skis.  We are both getting a chance to ski on the newest Dynafit Nanga Parbat and Cho Oyu shortly.  So more to come on technical skis like the two described here.  Be sure to watch Brian's blog in the near future for his reviews of all these ski.    

Back to the comparison/review.

The GTR has a very modern, slightly rockered tip, good camber under foot and I think most importantly a little more width than the Broad Peak.  While it will float a tiny bit better and makes manky snow a little easier to ski, the down side is it is a little softer under foot and not as good on really hard surfaces IMO.  But so far in really poor snow conditions this has be a workman like ski.   Which means I have nothing bad to say about it.  That may not mean a lot but the conditions I have skied to date with the GTR have been dismal.  More side stepping and kick turns than I care to recount.  Nice that the ski will turn once you have he opportunity to get it done.

My custom cut narrow skins used on the GTR weigh in at exactly what my BP skis do.  But the Broad Peak factory Speed Skin is full coverage.  Both climb well.    Edge to the Broad Peak there.

To be honest I had thought my entire package of either ski and skin was closer than the 6oz on the scale shows.  6 oz means so little on a full day tour.  It is less than a full cup of water. 

Half dozen of one  6 of the other.

The question remains..."which ski do you think is better?"

The first comment I think needs addressing is, I don't think either of these skis is a quiver skis.  Bare with me for a moment on my reasoning here.

Skimo or "Edged Alpinism" gear?

I do have a quiver of skis.  I also have a "quiver" of ice tools.  But in actuality I don't have as big of quiver of either as one might first think.

For technical tools these days I have Nomics.  One technical tool that serves many different types of terrain.  Of course I have other axes/tools.  But one technical tool that I use.

Same with skis pretty much.  I have one ski that I consider a really technical tool.  That is the Broad Peak.  And now the recent purchase of the GTR make it two.

Either ski could easily replace the other IMO.   But *THE* technical ski is one I will not easily be without.  If you practice "Edged Alpinism" I'd suspect you have a ski that is similar to one of these two TOOLS.  Two is not much of a quiver. 

A few of the best SkiMo or "Edged Alpinism" web sites?  At some point it isn't "just" skiing any more.

If I  dared ski some of the stuff shown on these web sites, I would pull out a technical tool.  That would be one or another ski of this type that I own at the moment.  Both of these skis are good tools.  But I don't look at them as ski as much as I look at them as just another piece of alpine climbing kit.  Just as I view an axe or crampon or a harness, these are simply tools.

I think part of this selection of gear is matching boots to skis.  Obviously I am using the lightest binding I can get to save weight.  I and others trust these lwt bindings every where in and out of the "no fall zone".  They are a given now for  "edged alpinism".

I use both the TLT5 Performance and the Mtn version of the same boot.  But there are other, lighter, high performance boots in several versions including those from Scarpa.   You can save a tiny bit of weight by ditching the tongue and power strap on the TLT and even more by using a lighter, full on (exensive)  race boot with little loss of performance on these technical skis.    The original Palau liner of the Performance or the  Intuition Pro Tour Liner will save some weight as well in the TLT.

I really like the more progressive flex of the TLT Mountain compared to the carbon cuffed TLT Performance.  Something to thing about if you are looking for new LWT boots.

My point is you don't need mondo ski and boots for this kind of stuff.  And a poor selection of heavy gear and the wrong clothing choices will drastically cut your likelihood of success on many projects.

It is easy to say, "boots" are your most important piece of gear."  And they might well be.  But it is the system of technical ski, lwt boot and race bindings that really make this system so efficient and a joy to use in the mountains.  Doesn't matter if you are doing "edged alpinism" of skiing some super fun, summer snow field with your dog.

As an example of a "heavier" but very similar system my 177cm Huascaran (113mm @ the boot) and a slightly heavier "race" Dynafirt Speed Superlight binding weights in at 8# 12oz for the pair and another 5oz for their skis.   A full three more pounds of the pair of ski, binding  and skins.  That is a lot of extra weight on a skin track.

These light technical skis are both stellar skis to get it done on.  At the moment I am swayed by the slightly wider GTR for my fun.  And the tiny bit more lift and ease on the turns that the width and rocker brings.   But I have the BP in the back of my mind every time I have to ski or side slip through a nasty patch of ice and wonder if the BP might have well allowed me a little more security there.

TRAB,  Atomic, Elan, Hagan and a host of other rando and rando race skis brands are out there.  Check out the other blogs if this kind of ski interests you.  See if you can mate up your own system for best effect.   I have little interest in true rando race skis.  But one or two steps up from the 65mm under foot race ski does interst me.

snowing and spitting rain here yesterday @ 6000'


Anonymous said...

can you explain that ski carry system you have rigged? looks slick!

Jesse Morehouse said...

I really appreciate your perspective on these two skis. I have been trying to push the envelope with skimo race skis but they just don't quite make variable conditions enjoyable! Skiable but not enjoyable. I've got the cash for one pair of skis and have been trying to figure out if the BPs are the best choice. It seems from what you say here that they might be better on hard snow but the GTRs may be better on soft snow? Does that make the BP a better spring ski?

Dane said...

Hi Jesse.

Tough question and I really don't have a pat answer for you. Sorry. I've skied the BP "every where. In all sorts of snow, hard and soft. And never been dissappointed. Even when chucked over the handle bars. The ski never failed. My technique did a few times though. Where an easier, less technical ski would have saved me the embarrassment.

If pressed to answer I'd take the BP simply because I have skied it much more than the GTR.

Every time I have had the GTR on any snow condition I thought reasonable, I've been impressed. Just not had it in the hair ball situations (by my definition) I put the BP in yet. Just a lot of really terrible soft snow conditions, most of it I couldn't ski on anything short of a full 115mm under foot. If I had full rando race ski..I'd go GTR as a 2nd pair. If I had a choice of only one ski to BC and race on I'd likely go to the BP. It is that close for me. Tough decision either way.

Send Brain Harder an email and see what he thinks and let us know. Brian has a lot of time on the BP in *real^ hair ball situations. And more time than I do on a slightly longer GTR. I may not agree but I trust his observations.

Dane said...

Anon? The ski carry system is a simple loop and hook that the rando race gear uses. My favorites are here:

Nick said...

Hi Dane,

Curious as to where your GTR was mounted and how you feel about it? (Pschyed - I've got a pair to be mounted this Friday!)

Dane said...

Nick what size boots and what size skis? Glad you asked.

Nick said...

Size 168 skis and 28 TLT5s are the specs. Thanks!

Dane said...

Brain and I both mounted our GTRs on the suggested line. Since then after a bunch of skiing and long discussion Brian went +4 on his 178s and 28 TLTS. I'd suggest 2.5cm on the 168 and a 28 boot. Just to be clear. I'm suggesting moving the boot center forward +2.5cm on the 168s with your 28 boot. YMMV

Nick said...

Great to hear, Dane. As always, this info is invaluable. I'll go with the 2.5cm forward suggestion and let you know how they slide.

Dane said...

From Brian..28s on 178cm ski. "Skis were way better. They didn't shoot out from under me as I finished turns. Much more forgiving if I got in the back seat. 4cm worked fine."

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane,

Thanks for the reviews of such a variety of skis - makes me jealous that you get your hands on so many!

I'm weighing up between the Broad Peak and Cho Oyu. I want a tool for steep ski mountaineering descents, both in the Aus/NZ region and a bit further afield (Japan, Canada...maybe the Himalaya one day). Is there a significant difference between these two skis, or will I be pretty solid in choosing either (my other skis are Voile Vectors and Huascarans (and thanks for that recommendation too!))


Dane said...

Hi Dan,

I have not skied the new 2.0 Broad Peak. But the last generation of more traditional construction was exceptional for what you are intending I think. The Cho and the Denali as very good skis. The advantage I was looking for over the original Broad Peak was width. Steepest stuff I have skied (and in terrible conditions) was on the Cho. But I have the new 7ummit and Manaslu sitting in the shop just for that kind of mission. Little more weight but a stout wood core which I think will make them a better steep ski than the super light Broad Peak. And a less radical and more traditional side cut which I like. Worth taking a look at them anyway. I still use the Cho or Denali most of the time. But both are a little hooky I think. More than they need to be for sure. The BP wasn't but just too narrow for anything but Spring conditions for me. FWIW I have ended up on the Denali in more places than I ever expected. From South America to heli skiing and summer volcanos the Denali has become my go to every day ski. Very lwt for it's width. Cho is a little less friendly but prior to the Denali it was my everyday go to ski. I suspect but have yet to ski the 7ummit and Manaslu might even be better the only penalty is a tiny bit of weight. But have to wonder if that won't add some durability. Let me know what you end up on and what you think?!

Anonymous said...

Do you think the broad peak will be too aggressive when paired with race boots?

Dane said...

Should be a great combo. I use a Nanga Parbat and race boot combo and it works well.