By now, you’ve probably seen enough pictures of Las Leñas on BLISTER to get a good sense of the terrain: huge, open lines; steep, technical chutes. We skied groomers, super hard chop, deep untracked, and tracked out lines where the snow was beginning to set up. I skied the PB&Js for four days down in Las Leñas, and it was excellent in all of these conditions.
I didn’t, however, ski the PB&Js on the 19th – the deepest day we had. On that day, I opted to go fatter and skied the 195cm long, 120mm underfoot, Armada AK JJ (you can read my review of the AK JJ here). In deep untracked, the AK JJ was amazing, and couldn’t have been any more fun.
But the next day, I chose not to take out the AK JJ, and went with the PB&J, mainly for two reasons: (1) the PB&J is a much better chop ski than the AK JJ. The long, relatively soft shovels of the AK JJ are great for planing in untracked, but get bucked around in chop. The stiffer shovels of the PB&J don’t. (2) Will and I were planning to hit up some steep, techy lines that we’d been eyeing for more than a week, and I wanted something nimble and good in tight spots.
There was one line I wanted to hit strictly because of its name: Errare Humanum Est, “To err is human.” I try to do my part to keep Latin from becoming a truly dead language, so if there’s a run with a Latin name, I’ll ski it. Fittingly, however, when we dropped into Errare, we proved its point. We came in too far skier’s right of Errare, and found ourselves skiing down a chute that grew increasingly narrow, with a rocky straightline-to-mandatory air exit-to-blind landing. It was a very human error, and I was very glad to be on the PB&Js.
Looking down the straightline, there was one quick move that needed to be made between a couple of rocks before boosting out of the exit. The move could probably have been made on most of the fatter boards we had with us in Las Leñas, but I knew it could be made on the PB&J. I pointed, popped, dropped, and landed, and was grateful that I was skiing neither some noodle nor some tank. It’s a super fun line, especially now that we know what lies below the exit….
The whole concept of the one-ski quiver is to design a ski that is not necessarily the best at any one thing, but that is good to very good at everything, and sucks at nothing. And that’s how I’d describe the PB&J.
I’m not a park guy, and that is my only real question about the PB&J. To me, it is such a good all mountain / freeride ski (and such a good chop ski, too, given its relative stiffness), I’m not sure that it’s the right ski if you’re spending a ton of time in the park. Certainly not the 188cm PB&J, in any case, but you probably already knew that.) In this regard, the PB&J seems similar to ON3P’s Jeronimo, a fairly burly, all mountain ski that you can take into the park, but that you might do better throwing off of backcountry booters or finding straightlines in the resort. (You can now check out Andrew Gregovich’s 2nd Look of the PB&Jin the park.)
The PB&J will carve, pivot and slarve. It’s an easy, intuitive ski that you can play on at slow speeds, but that responds well when you open up the throttle. Beginning skiers will find the PB&J to be a lot to handle, and it will force them to get better. Intermediate skiers will certainly do well on the PB&J, and they aren’t going to outgrow it. And advanced and expert skiers will find a ski that is simply good to go.
(Click to read Will Brown’s 3rd Look of the PB&J.)
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