Jackie Paaso and her team including #SCOTTwinterproteam members Erin Smart and Benjamin Ribeyre will spend 25+ days traversing North of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The plan is to link together and ski all of the 2000 meter peaks that exist in Sweden. They also happen to be the only 2000+ meter peaks in Scandinavia that are located in the Arctic region. If successful they could be the first to climb and ski all of these peaks during the winter. This journey will take them over 330+ kilometers of some of the most beautiful, rugged, and untouched terrain in all of Europe. This area crosses some of Sweden’s most breathtaking, yet harshest environment and is considered the last wilderness of Europe.
Pierre Hourticq and Helias Millerioux have two different perspectives on the mountains. But they both want to seek new adventures and the freedom to explore. It is just this chemistry that leads them to attempt extreme routes like the “PIC DU MIDI D’OSSAU”, “Vignemale’s Couloir de GAUBE”, the north face of “TAILLON”, “Couloir SWAN” along with others. A 25 days expedition through one of the most underrated and probably one of the most unexpected ski mountaineering areas in Europe, the Pyrenees which happen to be also Pierre’s home.
⛷️: Pierre Hourticq & Hélias Millerioux – Mountainman
🎥: Ivresse Films
SAUVATGE by Ivresse Films x Scott Sports Riders : Pierre HOURTICQ – Helias MILLERIOUX Directed by Antoine FRIOUX Written by Benjamin HOURTICQ Cinematographers : Antoine Frioux – Nathan BIRRIEN – Thomas GUERIN Color Grading : Vincent RICCI Mix & Sound Design : Thomas ROCHE – Mix & Mouse Photographer : Anthony BONAL
A progressive power titanal layer allows a more direct and responsive performance while our dual-power wood core ensures a smooth ride and makes every turn easy to navigate, no matter whether you’re charging down a north face or floating on fresh pow.
The close collaboration with Jérémie Heitz gave us a good insight into his needs on big mountain terrain but also inspired us with a pure and simple ski design.
My old man came to Alta, Utah in the late 70’s. A transplant from Glencove, New York. Back then Alta was much different. The Salt Lake Valley wasn’t harboring over 1 million people and the snow was just as deep, adding up to more face shots for the diehard hippies skiing Alta back then. Many of these diehard Alta locals grew up and started having families, ushering in the next generation of “Altaholics”.
My mom worked at the Alta Lodge while my pop was out shooting ski photos. For them this meant finding a babysitter that could work long hours and keep up with my ridiculous antics. The ski hill became the perfect babysitter as was the case for most the locals up there. This led to the children of these transplants skiing together. Through the years we became very close and skied together every day as we continued to embody the saying “you are a product of your environment.”
Flash forward twenty years and most of us are still in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Something about having everything at your fingertips has kept me here. The easy access to amazing skiing, the splitter granite rock climbing, the international airport and anything you could ever need lies within 30 minutes of your house. The more I’ve traveled the more I realize how great this place really is.
SKIS FROM THE FUTURE — 2021/22 IS ALL ABOUT THE FREERIDE
Another lap around the sun and another Outdoor Retailer. 2020 was a dynamic year (is that an understatement?*). 2021 is a fresh start and what better/base of a way to move forward than by checking what’s new in the world of ski touring?
Due to limitations around large-scale gatherings (like a packed Denver conference center), OR 2021 went virtual. We’re not quite sure what that means either, but we respect the energy that Outdoor Retailer Winter Online put into the online event. Our correspondence with outdoor brands is on-going, and largely consists of emails and zoom calls.
A product of these E-interactions is that we don’t get to compulsively fondle gear. There will be no arbitrary ski flexing, no rubbing new-age fabrics between our fingers or on our faces, and no tinkering with tools we don’t even have names for. That’s okay. We can still speculate about new gear and tag our first impression on What Hot and What’s Not. So here we go.
General Ski Theme for 2021/22
2021 is the Year of Freeride. Is this a sweeping generalization? Yes. There is innovation in other areas of the ski touring industry, but the overwhelming focus that I’m picking up on is that Freeride is IN. A lot of brands are upgrading current series to tailor more towards the Freeride skier. Maybe I can give a definition of what Freeride is to us here at Wildsnow:
A form of backcountry skiing whose primary focus is the aesthetic of the descent: Kate defines herself as a Freeride skier because she’ll do whatever it takes to draw her unique line down the mountain.
Skiing that blends the accessibility of both on and off piste terrain Jeez Louise, Denise seems to be Freeride skiing much more this season. She’s in the backcountry as much as she’s riding lifts.
With that definition in mind, let’s look at some of the skis coming out Fall 2021:
SCOTT PURE SKI
The Scott Pure is a big mountain purebred ski designed in collaboration with freeride phenom Jeremie Heitz. The Pure Ski features a similar construction to the existing Scott Superguide series: paulownia core with beech stringers and a carbon/aramid lattice wrapped over the top. The Pure however has an added layer of titanal for further dampening and edge hold at higher speeds. Scott is another great example of the moving focus towards freeride skiing right now. Last year, they introduced the Superguide Freetour (at 105 mm underfoot) as the biggest touring ski in their lineup. 2021 is bigger and burlier with the Pure Ski being 109 mm underfoot and weighing in at 2000 grams. That’s a lot of weight for the uphill, but it’s what one needs for big freeride style skiing.
Compared to other freeride skis that we’re mentioning (QST BLANK or BD Impulse), the Scott Pure has a more directional shape. There is tip and tail rise to the ski, but much more traditional camber underfoot and a long turning radius. This will make the ski hold an edge through variable snow and facilitate big sweeping La Liste style turns. So for those who arch traditional GS-style turns and cringe at the word slarve, the Pure looks to be more more up your alley.
I’ve come up with a patent pending method to test the skiability of a boot. Step 1. Check the weather and ignore all but the most optimistic forecast then plan accordingly for a two-foot dump! Step 2. Drive to the trailhead with skis that are 124 underfoot and 184 long. Step 3. Realize that it only snowed 3-6 inches and it’s sitting on top of frozen crud. Step 4. See if the boot in question can still drive a massively oversized ski in horrendous conditions!
During the winter months you can find me solely in the backcountry earning my turns. Unlike some new arrivals drawn to the ski touring for uphill fitness, I’ve always been and still am primarily in it for the down. For me the best way to get the best turns is to earn them. I believe in this philosophy so much that in 2016, I spent the year skinning and skiing 2.5 million vertical feet and setting a new record and did so wearing Vulcans on skis 95-124 underfoot! So with that as my background and continuing to ski 300-400 thousand vertical feet each year, I not only need a boot that is going to be the most fun on the down, but also one that’s going to tour like a dream.
Released in 2020, the Scott Freeguide Carbon is Scott’s offering for a freeride touring boot. It is the heaviest and stiffest boot in their touring line at an advertised 1455g (26.5) and 130 flex. The Superguide Carbon and the Cosmos III boots fill out their touring lineup, both a step lighter, softer, and less costly. The Freeguide is made with “Grilamid® mix + carbon fiber” which, best I can tell, is standard Grilamid plastic impregnated with carbon for added stiffness.
The Freeguide is intended to be the “new standard in freetouring” according to the Scott product description. It is a burly boot built to charge on the down but at a low weight for its class. The liner has an integrated boa system and the walkability is achieved with a two-part tongue and an advertised 60° cuff rotation (we will get into that more later).
Before I talk about fit, a little about my feet. I have a relatively standard arch height and foot width along with a very high instep (thick foot). There are a couple small bone spurs and problem spots, but nothing crazy. I also have very narrow calves. I wear a size 8.5 shoe (26 mondo) but almost always size down for ski boots to a 25.5.
I usually need to get a bit of work done on shells, however the Freeguide fit my foot pretty well right out of the box. I think this is due in large part to the plush liner, which I’m not accustomed to. The toe box was a bit narrow and my pinky toe was constantly being pushed into the rest of my toes. If this were to become my daily driver I would probably need to do some work on the toe box, but never got around to it this season. Otherwise this boot was a generalist when it came to fit, not particularly wide or narrow, and the plush liner allows it to fit a range of feet snuggly.
Designed by professional big mountain skier Jérémie Heitz, the 2021-’22 Scott Pure is designed to be the only ski in his garage.
The Scott Pure was tested at the 2021 SKI Test in Solitude, Utah in the men’s all-mountain wide category.
Building on the success of the Scott SuperGuide Freetour ski, which was awarded Gear of the Year for 2021 by SKI Magazine, Scott Wintersports recently announced that it is planning to release a bigger, badder version of that ski next season called the Scott Pure.
Designed by Switzerland’s Jérémie Heitz, the Scott Pure features a very similar core construction as the SuperGuide Freetour—a lightweight paulownia and beech wood core with carbon fiber and aramid elements—but steps up the downhill performance for high-intensity skiing with a layer of Titanal that has been pre-shaped specifically for the Pure’s design. Add in a sandwich-sidewall construction, and this ski is built to charge like an angry bull.
Heitz, a Red Bull athlete who’s big mountain charging became famous thanks to films such as “La Liste” and “Félicité,” wanted to design a ski that would be his only tool for powder skiing, big mountain charging, and high-altitude ski mountaineering.
“The future of skiing is having only one pair [of skis] in my garage,” says Heitz in a promo film about the Scott Pure ski. “What’s important for me in a ski would be that I could use this ski for everyday. It has to be super stable, playful, and also light to hike [for] hours with.”
In addition to the beefy construction, the Scott Pure also features a progressive sidecut that Heitz designed specifically for freeride. With a longer turn radius underfoot but a shorter one in the tip and tail, the ski is designed to be more maneuverable when navigating steep terrain, but can still make wide, sweeping turns when pointed down the fall line.
With a 109mm waist and only two lengths planned for this autumn, the Scott Pure is definitely going to be on many freeride skiers’ short lists for skis to check out this autumn. SKI will have a full review based on this ski’s results from the annual SKI Test in September.
Breeze uphill and rail down with these featherweight beasts
Flex: 130 Last: 101.5 Weight: 1430g Price: $900
The Scott Freeguide Carbon has a progressive flex, which, combined with a solid forward lean and, and heel hold results in an extremely skiable touring boot. It’s comfortable and its wide last will fit a good range of skiers. The boot is lightweight at 1430g, given it’s designed as a touring boot, the Freeguide Carbon has a great balance of weight and power for a higher-end ski boot.
SCOTT’s new boot has a unique design, called cabrio hybrid construction, which combines typical overlap construction with a three-piece cabrio and tongue. I appreciated the intelligently-placed toe and instep buckle locations. The BOA feature on the liner allows for a snug fit, though skiers with lower-volume feet may find they have to over-tighten a bit.
The Freeguide Pro is a touring boot for intermediate skiers looking for something with medium stiffness. Don’t be deterred by the stated 130 flex. For advanced skiers, it can handle most conditions—it just needs to be finessed and perhaps updated with some aftermarket adjustments. —Erme Catino
For more of Powder’s picks check out the full list HERE.
An exploration of the powder filled wonder of North America with the help and thrill of a throttle. I used to ride in the Truckee Rodeo and I always dreamt of being a rodeo queen. I wasn’t allowed to throw my hat in the ring because I didn’t own my own horse. I happily settled for the beer flag carrier between events atop a borrowed but trusty horse. Where do my skier and rodeo queen dreams meet? The moment I handed a country boy a stack of cash in rural Wyoming and got myself a snow pony… The trill of the ride, buck and wild, all to land atop untouched perfect snow, without a soul around.
I am always looking for ways to take things, especially my skiing, to the next level. Launching into snowmobiling for me is all about access. A way to a get to terrain to push and progress my skiing. The caveat? I had to learn something totally new first. Luckily, I have patient, funny friends that are willing to join me for the ride. Snow Pony follows myself and my friends as we sled and ski around the mountains of western North America, from Wyoming, to Revelstoke, to home in Tahoe. It’s an adventure, and I am a novice, but the snow, the skiing and the smiles are plenty! Let’s giv’er a whirl!
For over a decade, BACKPACKER has sent a team of expert gear testers to a far-flung wintery zone for an intense week of ski touring, camping, and debate to bring you the season’s best products with our annual Editors’ Choice Awards.
“It’s always challenging,” said Gear editor Eli Bernstein. “Winter camping is rarely easy, but this year threw us another curveball: the inability to safely undertake a group backcountry trip.”
To meet the challenge, BACKPACKER adapted by leaning on its team of more than 100 testers and category managers who hiked, climbed, and skied through whiteouts and over muddy trails while editors in the Boulder, Colorado, home office in vetted their picks on individual trips around the state.
Bernstein and the rest of the crew determined six deserving winners of the coveted awards.
“These products represent the best the industry has to offer in terms of keeping outdoorspeople warm, safe, and confident on cold-weather adventures,” said Bernstein.
“We’ve never doled out awards in pre-designated categories, nor do we aim to fill a quota for number of awards,” said editorial director Shannon Davis. “BACKPACKER awards an Editors’ Choice based solely on that special, intangible quality where innovation, ergonomics, weight, price, design, utility, and plain old cool factor come together in just the perfect way.”
Fall 2020 Editors’ Choice Award Winner – SCOTT Superguide Freetour
SCOTT Superguide Freetour
No matter what type of terrain you’re in, this ski will keep you confident and in control.
You must be logged in to post a comment.