Gear Review: Dynafit PDG Ski

A special ski for fitness freaks who like to earn their descent, even when inbounds.

[ski fitness/racing/mountaineering]

For skiers who love being fit as much as being fast, there’s a new trend emerging at ski resorts across the country. Everywhere from Colorado’s A-Basin to Wyoming’s Snow King Mountain, resorts are adopting “uphill traffic” policies that allow skiers to climb their slopes—and ski back down—during certain hours. “Ski runners” or “ski fitness” athletes, as they’re known, are the guys and girls you see skinning up groomers before work or climbing beneath lifts while others are riding the chair, often to stay fit for the backcountry. The PDG was made with them in mind. It’s a wisp of an alpine board that’s only slightly wider than some metal-edged cross-country skis, but it can handle the downhills much better because it’s stiffer. At 161 centimeters long (the only length) each ski weighs just 1 pound 9 ounces, but testers praised them in a variety of conditions. “On morning hardpack you can rail it like a slalom ski, yet it’s also sporty in the bumps,” says one tester. “But at such a low weight, it’s also ideal for long mountaineering approaches.” It’s made with carbon and wood in the core for supreme quickness and maneuverability. And its wide, metal-capped tip, built to deflect crud on icy steeps, does just that. Pair it with the Scarpa Alien (page 80) and the Pomoca skin (opposite), and you’ll have one of the lightest setups available. $700; 3 lbs. 2 oz.; 161cm (99/65/80);