Gear Review: Dynafit Baltoro Ski
An outstanding touring ski you'll never want to take off.
If you can’t think of anything better than touring to a backcountry yurt, parking yourself for a week, and exploring every face, glade, and gully in a 10-mile radius, the Baltoro is the ski for you. We know, because we pushed it into all of these places on a five-day hut trip in the Tetons. Critiquing its performance on the 5.5-mile, 2,200-vertical-foot tour in, one tester called it “lightweight, nimble, and sure—a perfect platform for hauling a 60-pound pack.” But the real test came during multiple days of downhill testing, in conditions that ranged from iced-over faces to creamy, low-moisture powder. “I knew from earlier testing that they’re responsive at high speeds in cruddy snow,” says one female tester, who regularly rips groomers at 20 mph. “But in the Tetons, they floated over ice and cut through the top layer of crust, allowing me to find a good, equally weighted position no matter how fast I was going.” Speed not so important? Other testers loved the Baltoro’s insta-turn initiation (a result of an extralight wood core); its dual radius sidecut (facilitating maneuverability, for when you need to stop fast); and a ski-touring-specific “scoop rocker,” which provides lift just in the ski tip (as opposed to farther back, like other skis), easing turn initiation without sacrificing all-important metal edges. $600; 6 lbs. 4 oz. (176cm); 167 (115/84/103), 176 (116/84/103), 183 (119/98/106); dynafit.com