THE HEIGHT OF QUEBEC
It’s a sure sign of the rise of backcountry skiing that la belle province is home to another backcountry ski brand. Xalibu is an up-and-coming, randonnée-focused Quebec ski manufacturer and the Torngat is its newest and lightest ski, a long-distance workhorse. Named after the mountain range along the Labrador-Quebec border—home to the highest mountains east of the Rockies—the 95mm-underfoot Torngat is wide enough to float through tricky snow, but light enough (3 kg per pair) to make long tours and big climbs easy. And it’s a great price for what you get. ($675; xalibuskis.com)
$675 * BEST FOR: Long haul for lightweights.
LENGTHS: 160, 168, 175, 183 * RADIUS: 16.5@175 * SIDECUT: 125/95/113 * WEIGHT: 1,500 grams
With a bunch of Ski Canada readers waist-deep in Passo Tonale, Italy, Meg MacMillan found the sweet spot on the Torngat. “The ski was dreamy in the deep,” she reported. “Super easy to turn.” The 95mm waist and a softer feel from tip to tail helped it plane easily. There was enough substance for carving turns in packed snow, but it was just “a bit skittish on the groomers heading back to the cable car,” MacMillan, a lighter and more finesse skier, noted. Bonus: the light build made it effortless on the skin track or shouldering it up bootpacks and across town to après ski. Heavier testers found the ski great in the soft, but a bit forbidding on anything firm or at high speeds. For them, the bigger, wider Hog’sback might be a better choice for minimal weight penalty.