For the second run of the day, we decided to hike up Cerro Martin to ski a run called Tanga. After 45 minutes, we were standing on top peering down the steep, exposed chute. To enter Tanga you first ski the top rollover of the chute Banana, then head skiers right into a smaller chute that funnels to a tight choke before dumping out to the main face. The entire route is quite steep with no relief until the very bottom; taking a fall was out of the question.
Conditions in the chute were less than optimal, with a fairly stout wind affected layer on top of dense powder. I made my way to the choke with short-radius, controlled turns, which were by no means effortless. Pointing the skis through the choke and onto the main face, I quickly scrubbed speed with a couple of aggressive turns. As I became more comfortable with the snow, the skis, and the exposure, I made my way to the bottom, slowly gaining speed and lengthening out the radius of my turns. The longer the turn radius and higher the speed, the more manageable the skis became in the difficult snow.
Run three of the day turned out to be a repeat of the last one. (It was also a ski pole recovery mission after a tomahawk session by our editor-in-chief, but that’s another story….) I felt a little more comfortable this time around, though at slow speeds I still found the skis to be a bit of a chore. Again, opening it up on the lower half felt great. The Pettitors were very smooth and predictable at speed.
Given that my time on the Pettitor is obviously very limited, I am hesitant to make definitive claims about its characteristics. I still need time to experiment with mount positions and generally get more comfortable with the ski all over the hill. What I can do now is say a few things about the Pettitor in comparison to a few other, similar skis that I am very familiar with.
The Pettitor is not a reincarnation of that original, floppy Hellbent or the slightly stronger Obsethed. My initial impression is that this ski takes a little more effort than either of those skis to do make them do what you want. The upside is, I believe this ski is going to be much more capable around the resort, even when it’s not fresh and deep. I also believe the decrease in tip splay will help the Pettitor carry speed in deeper snow as well, and feel less like a tug boat. (One side note: K2 is still using a soft die-cut base on this ski. If you’re skiing a thin snow pack, load these babies up with wax.)
The Pettitor is also much more big mountain oriented than the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus. While the Opus is one of my favorite skis and is virtually unmatched in terms of playfulness, my impression so far is that the Pettitor may be better suited at resorts like Snowbird and Jackson Hole where lines tend to be longer between airs.
The flex of the Pettitor also makes me believe K2’s claim that it is much better suited for stomping airs. I can’t wait to test that claim. Hopefully the monster wheelies that some people complained about with the Hellbent and Obsethed will be a thing of the past.
There will be a lot more time spent on this ski once the snow starts to fly in North America. Stay tuned for a full, more detailed Update.
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