2022 Powder Buyer’s Guide

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2022 Powder Buyer’s Guide

photo: STEVE OGLE * Valhalla Mountain Touring, BC

Big air, steep lines, deep snow and untracked slopes have always been the aspirational aspects of skiing. They looked like fun in the movies and magazine pictures, but always seemed out of the skill level or reality for most of us—until recently.

We still need the skills to manage and safely navigate it all, but advances in skis, boots and bindings are making the wild and remote a little less so. Whether at the resort, from a helicopter or deep in the backcountry, it’s all more accessible to more skiers.

The pandemic only accelerated a trend that’s been building for years. Between August 2020 and March 2021, continent-wide sales of alpine touring gear increased by 115 per cent compared to the same period the year before, according to Snowsports Industries America. Even telemark gear sales were up 50 per cent.

Powder skis, freeride boots and backcountry accessories are all booming because of this increasing interest. Whether you live to skin for hours or rely on the lift to do most of the uphill work, this is good news. Growth brings investment, and with it lighter, better-performing gear that helps make us all better skiers. You’ll find plenty of evidence of this in Ski Canada’s 2022 Powder Buyer’s Guide.

We spent the tail end of last season testing out a dozen powder, freeride and backcountry-oriented skis at Ski Canada’s Test Centre, Mount Washington Alpine Resort, and in the backcountry. Along with the skis, we also tested boots, touring jackets, backpacks, avalanche accessories and all kinds of apparel. It’s all designed to help you get more out of your days and move a little farther from the crowds.

Now, play safe, have fun, be respectful and remember we’re all out there for the same reason—to ski like a movie star.

part one – Mons Royale Yotei Tech LS * Arc’teryx Shaska Stretch * Marker Ultra-Flex goggle * Dalbello Quantum Free * Line Vision 118

part two – Backcountry helmets: G3 AT * BCA Air helmet Touring hats: Buff Pack baseball cap * Outdoor Research Woolie

part three – Puffy Protection: Helly Hansen LifaLoft Air Insulator * Rab Xenair Alpine * Patagonia Micro Puff Storm * Marmot JM Pro * Dissent Labs

part four – Alpine Touring Boots: Tecnica Cochise * Lange XT3

part five – Nordic: Atomic Redster S9 Gen S * Rossignol R-Skin Delta Comp * Madshus Nordic 50 * Fischer OTX Adventure * Racer Alpin * Odlo Natural + Kinship

part six – Powder skis: Kye Shapes Numinous * Nordica Enforcer 104 Free * K2 Reckoner * Line Vision 118 * Icelandic Saba * Dynafit Blacklight 105

part seven – Outerwear: Mons Royale * Helly Hansen * Fine Track * Norrona * 120 Zip * Arc’teryx * Mammut * Klattermusen *

part eight – Gear & Gadgets: Auclair * GoPro * GripWalk * Hestra * Leki * Ortovox * Osprey * Ovuki * Stoko Design

from Fall 2021 issue

Ryan Stuart
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