So I bought some patterned base touring skis...
After recommendations from a bunch of OG tourers at Rhythm, I decided to pull the pin and get an ultralight set of Voile Hypervector BC Skis to complement my slightly heavier AT skis. I mounted them up with Alpinists and leashes to keep the weight low. After packing up my bag for two nights out I started walking from Guthega to give them a run through the wringer.
Setting out from the carpark I think I put my quickest run of the season so far in getting to Illawong bridge. They were awesome for their glide on the downhills and they gripped perfectly on the cruisy uphills of the Illawong track. Heading up to Twynam I took a bit of a different route than I normally do to put them through their paces and got onto some pretty steep sections up higher where I ended up whacking on a set of skins because the patterned bases weren't gripping well enough. I gunned it down to near the sentinel from the top of Twynam and ended up pitching a tent on a little spur overlooking it because the forecast was looking windless and beautiful. I saw this light walking through a saddle next to me late at night and was impressed by their intrepidness (more on that later).
Skining up to Twynam
Camp with Carruthers on the left and the Sentinel on the right
I woke up at sunrise and had a pretty cruisy start to the day cooking brekky and melting snow. I chucked the skis on (no skins) and cruised along the tops of the ranges over Carruthers and Lee aiming for Townsend. I skied down to Northcote pass then got some amazing turns in on some fresh snow. These skis rip on fresh stuff. Amazing amounts of float and they like laying down hard turns when you lay them over. It was a steep skin up from there to Townsend where I had lunch. As I was opening up my tuna sachet I saw someone cresting up onto the top to meet me. It was my friend Brady (the man with the mysterious late night light). We skied down from Townsend to Albina getting another awesome line of skiing in. After that we went over to Carruthers where we parted ways and I got some beautiful skiing in little Austria where I felt like I got to really put them through their paces.
"Amazing amounts of float and they like laying down hard turns when you lay them over.
Overall these skis were awesome, their ability to cruise through rolling terrain with speed without needing to transition cut out heaps of wasted time in my days. They skied very well and kept heaps of speed on the steep stuff."
I went back to camp, spent another beautiful night under the stars and then went back to Guthega the next morning with some ripper blisters on my heels from the big day before.
Top of townsend
Some fresh turns in Little Austria
Overall these skis were awesome, after this trip and a few more wandery days I've been really impressed. Their ability to cruise through rolling terrain with speed without needing to transition cut out heaps of wasted time in my days. They skied very well and kept heaps of speed on the steep stuff. They don't deal quite as well with low angle skiing as the bases do add a little bit of drag but I didn't find it to be an issue. Colour me impressed.
I don't think these skis are for everyone one, but if you fall into the category of just wanting to go on big wandering tours where you cover lots of distance but you still want something that will go hard on the downhills, these are definitely worth looking at.
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN, AND WORDS WRITTEN BY FLYNN ARMSTRONG