Jonathan Ellsworth (see Bio)
I. What’s your 2-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?
I ski a lot in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, and as I discussed in my 3-Ski Quiver selections, previously, I would have chosen without hesitation the combo of the 180 cm Blizzard Bonafide and the 190 Moment Blister Pro. And since I want more time on the new Bonafide (in more terrain and conditions), for skiing around the Rocky Mountains, I’m going to stick with the 180 cm J Skis Masterblaster.
And yes, on a lot of occasions (particularly off-piste steeps) I would probably prefer the 186 cm Masterblaster, but for really beat conditions and really firm moguls, I’ll opt for the quickness of the 180, and I might just be quicker to break out the 190 Blister Pros than I would be if my other ski was the 186 cm Masterblaster.
And since I just answered that question assuming we were talking about two inbounds skis, I now don’t have a touring ski. (Sigh. This is why people need at least 3 pairs of skis.) So the other way I could answer this would be:
Ski #1 – Masterblaster 180 cm, with alpine binding (a fun, heavier ski that works well in firm conditions)
Ski #2 – Moment Bibby Tour or Atomic Backland FR 109 or Faction Candide 3.0 with an AT binding (Fritschi Tecton 12 or Marker Kingpin). And damn, I just won the award for wishy-washiest answer here. But the point is, I’d opt for (1) a wider ski for deeper snow, and (2) a lighter ski that I still wouldn’t mind touring on. Which means that the G3 SENDr 112, current Folsom Primary, and 190 cm Line Sick Day 114 are all skis that could also fit the bill here for various reasons.
II. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location?
Since the idea here is that I’m picking a ski that needs to hold up over lots of days for at least three years, then that pushes me a bit more toward going heavier on my 2nd ski, especially since my backcountry tours don’t tend to involve hours and hours of skinning. So I’ll stick with the 180 cm Masterblaster, and I’m going to place my wager on the durability of the Folsom Primary (which, aside from its very nice build quality, is also the heaviest ski I’ve listed other than the 190 cm Bibby) for my 2nd ski.
III. What ski was most difficult to leave off your list?
IV. What ski do you imagine has the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski it, or get to ski it more?
Again, I’m a cheater, so I already mentioned two of them: the 189 cm Atomic Backland FR 109 and the 190 cm Bibby Tour. And honestly, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if, after spending more time on it, the 188 cm Salomon QST 106 jumped up to win my 2nd ski selection. But Paul Forward and Brian Lindahl and Cy Whitling have all skied it more than I have. Finally, we just got our hands on the Scott Scrapper 115, and let me just say for now that I’m definitely intrigued.
V. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 2-ski quiver, which company would you pick?
Since I’ve cheated my whole way through these quiver selections, why stop now?
3rd Place: Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (alpine binding) + Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (AT binding)
Granted, I’d prefer to use the Sick Day 104 as either a dedicated touring ski or an inbounds soft-snow ski. And I’d actually rather have an alpine binding on the 190 cm Sick Day 114 … but what are you going to do?
I haven’t skied the 191 cm Katana, and if I did, I might go with the 191 over the 184 (especially for inbounds use on deep and / or chopped-up days) — but I can’t say that for sure. But this is a pretty versatile quiver that manages to cover firm conditions and deep conditions quite well, and I’d be pretty happy touring on the 184 cm Katana.
NEXT: Cy Whitling’s 2-Ski Quiver Selections