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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dynafit Cho Oyu ski mini review again

This pretty much sums up my feelings on the Cho Oyu today!

Dynafit never fails to impress me with their skis.
And I don't always use them where and for what they were specifically designed for,

Which makes my impressions even more stunning to me when things go better than expected.

Here is a starter for some numbers and a comparison from an earlier post:

All are one skis weight with a Dynafit Low Tech Race, with steel springs (not Ti, +10g) mounted

167 x 74mm Broad Peak       1320g
171 x 80mm Nanga Parbat    1170g
174 x 89mm Cho Oyu           1210g
182 x 89mm Cho Oyu          1340g
182 x 106mm Grand Teton    1800g

As a reference...460g is a full 16oz. between 182 GT and Cho. So if you like to tour and can deal with a rockered 5 point 89mm ski to replace a 106mm basic trad built ski these days, that is a savings of 2# off your feet.   And 2# is a big deal off your feet.

I've written a couple of things previous on the Cho here:
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/12/it-is-back-in-my-quiver-dynafit-cho-oyu.html

But after skiing the Cho today on lifts at Crystal Mtn WA I had to comment again. Boot top 2 day old freshies, to glare water ice down low on the mtn. these things ski like a decent down hill ski at 89 under foot.  All done with a TLT P and soft green tongue on top of the ski.   Solid performance..really solid! Impressive ski and so darn light they are nothing to carry on a skimo pack and feather weight to ski with for swing weight.    I predict this ski will eventually be a huge hit for Dynafit once word really gets out just how good they really are.  Light is one thing...ski performance another.  The Cho has both in spades.   Good enough edge/torsional rigidity in this one to ski the icecoast and light enough to haul up Rainier for a day shot or a 3 week trip to the South Summit of Denali. Solid enough to rip any chair lift line.  Chair lift line?  What am I thinking :)    Really, really impressive little ski. FWIW I am 190#, 6'1" and been skiing a 182 every where. There is some actual  tip rocker so they do ski a bit short. Everyday ski? ...190 would be fun. Touring mid winter?  182 is dialed.   Gully summer/volcano ski?  ...174 is going to be a feather and will rock your world I suspect.  Other Dynafit skis have for me prior to the Cho.  And dearly I love the pleasant surprises!!

Just wanted to share the love on this one ;-)  But worth note I think.   When I can ski a super light touring ski at a ski area with terrible snow conditions  on what little snow  there is and NEVER, EVER find the ski lacking....my thought is you might have one hell of an impressive back country ski  under you!   I am trying to did convince myself the weight savings for a 174 Cho Oyu would be worth having for the May and June volcano season.  Still rather stupefied the 7cm longer 174cm Cho came in 110g a ski/220g a pair lighter than my trusty Broad Peaks and the additional ski performance of 15mm under foot.  I'll have more to offer on how the Chos ski once we get more snow.

previous comments on the Cho Oyu

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/06/dynafits-cho-oyu-and-nanga-parbat-for.html

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/12/it-is-back-in-my-quiver-dynafit-cho-oyu.html

7 comments:

Mitch R. said...

Thank you for your review! I need to add a new ski to my quiver!

Anonymous said...

Boot top 2 day old freshies at the top of Crystal on the 5th?????????
Really......????? Accuracy in reporting PLEASE!

Dane said...

Had to wonder why your panties were in a bunch over the "boot top freshies". Made no sense to me. And I pride myself on accuracy. What I wrote was "But after skiing the Cho today on lifts at Crystal Mtn WA I had to comment again. Boot top 2 day old freshies, to glare water ice down low on the mtn. these things ski like a decent down hill ski at 89 under foot."

I did in fact have boot top freshies just a few feet OOBs on the Northway side with no effort besides the side hill traverse to get there. A 5 minute hike to the top Northway lift station would have offered even more. Enough my East Coast partner commented, "that was the first powder I have ever skied!" He was actually excited about it. I wouldn't have gone that far but there was pleany of soft, fun snow up high if you knew where to look. Enough turns in it to give me an impression of what teh Cho might be capable of. And that at high NOON mind you! There was pleanty of water ice in places down low all day long. But in general the snow conditions were no new and hard. Better coverage IMO than we have had yet this year. The small Friday dump made a big differnce even by Sunday.

CT is a freakin gear blog not a Crystal ski report!

wfinley said...

I've been on Manaslus's for 4 seasons now... (And unfortunately I just bought a new pair last spring). I've always loved the light weight and have always justified by saying "they ski great for the weight" ... What's your take on the Cho Oyu in comparison to the Manaslu?

Dane said...

Hi Will. Haven't skied the Manaslu so I hate to make a comparison other than by numbers. 178cm Manaslu weights 1490g. The 182 Cho is 1225g. Or a weight savings of 18.5+/- oz. from the pair. Way more rocker on the Cho than the Man as well so it skis shorter. And is of course chopped off up front and a pin tail in the back. So I'd bet the 182 skis shorter than your 178Mans.

I have skied the 7Summit and Broad peak a bunch. Both great all around ski for the width. But too narrow for all winter ski for me. Both skied hard snow conditions better than the Cho but not a big amount better. Tiny amount better. And I always thought my short 7s skied hard stuff like a salom race ski. Razors. The Cho is a sharp knife for sure. No razor but no butter knife either. Goldilock ski. I was pretty amazed at just how well the Cho skied our local water ice and boiler plate at Crystal this past Sunday. And seriously...I skied them hard. Dang close to how I would ski my 192 RPC or GPO! I never faulted the ski...not once, ever... the entire day. But I was worried about blowing out of my Lowtech race bindings at Mach 1.

I know this isn't any real endorsement for a BC ski but I was skiing hard bumps and intentionally slarving down the bumps splines then cutting across a trough and doing the next one the same way. Ya gotta have good edges to do that. Cho has them in spades.

Soft snow? My bet is the ski will be a riot...super fun!

I like fat skis. My typical ski is 110+ (Hauscaran) unless I want to cover some distance back county. Then the only thing that matters to me is weight. Besides the Broad Peak which I skied every where including rando races and 25 mile big vert days I now have the PDG and the Nanga Parbat. Both lighter and skinnier than the Cho.

Manaslu is 122-95-108 and a 35.4/21 dbl radius. Cho is 125-89-111 and a triple radius side cut @ 18/14/17.

If it were me and I had new skis already I'd be curious to see the newest Dynafit this winter at OR. My bet/guess/prediction is there will be a new 100mm and a new 115mm ski with the same LWT technology as the Cho and Nanga skis with some longer radius, wider side cuts.

Marco said...

Thoughts on the Low Tech Race bindings for release values, retention, and reliability/durability for a person of your size? I'm intrigued by the weight savings, but torn between that binding and the Speed Radicals. I once had the first generation Low Tech Race with 4-hole heel pattern - broke one heel with moderate use and never felt comfortable overall with lateral release. -Thanks!

Dane said...

Hey Marco,

I wrote this back in the Spring of 2011, "The real light weight in the bunch of bindings that I own is the Dynafit is the Low Tech Race Auto. This binding is self locking....so you get something close to a 7 DIN in the heel release and a supposed 17 DIN in the toe. I'd bet it is more like a 11 or 12 from my past alpine experience. But I also keep them on short skis. Mountaineering skis that I always ski in control and in places I'd rather not drop a ski for any reason."

Skied the Chos with abandon off the lifts on hard snow recently. At some point I was actually worried about blowing out of the binding but it never happened. Durabiulity? I am still skiing my first pair 3 years later. But I ma easy on my ski gear and can also ski a low DIN number. Adding steel heel springs makes them more durable long term.

Coming out straight forward on the heel is just short of painful for me. Actually thought it would just tear the binding out of the ski (Broad Peak). But it hasn't happened. I'd rather mount direct with the three screws but recently been adding the adjustment plate. Plate has to be a stronger attachment with more surface area and 4 screws.

I would never encourage anyone to use the Low tech race. Initial cost is high, release values limited/questionable and durability unknown to me for long term hard use. I use them all the time on skis they likely should not be on, like the Cho. And ski lifts in them. Even taught a kid's beginner's class with them last week. Speed Superlight is good as well with a reliable release system and not a big weight gain. I don't see being with out Low techs. But certainly low techs are an acquired taste.