Dynafit Cho Oyu Review
If skiing backcountry powder is your thing, then the Dynafit Cho Oyu is the ski for you. I would like to think I am a 3 part backcountry skier, skimo racing, big peak ski mountaineering, and just plain old backcountry yoyo powder. In the winter of 13-14 I find it very hard to put on the race gear or scratch my way down from a windblown peak when the skiing in the Elks has been this good. After testing a number Cripple Creek BC demo skis, the Cho Oyu has finally been kidnapped and held for ransom in the back of my dirty Honda Element.
I am happy to see Dynafit moving away from the booming business of water skis in the backcountry and back to what they do best, making tools for the mountains. My missions for this year have so far revolved around skiing as much powder as possible with the goal being 10,000 feet of climbing and skiing on my few days off from the shop. The Cho Oyu with speed radical binding weighs less than 3.5 pounds per ski and has plenty of float for going downhill. Although a ski 89mm in the waist seems tiny by modern standards it is 125mm across the widest point. This year Dynafit figured out why all powder skis come with tip rocker and I am able to keep my weight confidently in the front of my boots even on deep days.
Every turn has not been butter this year and as backcountry travel grows I have found myself in the dust on crust situation. With my old Manaslus I felt my skis fleeing from under me as they deflected off old tracks buried under a fine coating of snow. The added carbon stringers as seen through the lettering on the top sheet have clearly stiffened the skis up and they feel solid even over the chop.
There is no question that I have become a bit of weight weeny, but i do feel that with the Cho Oyu I am not sacrificing anything in the backcountry for the freedom of more and more turns that this lightweight ski affords.
- Doug Stenclik