RMU Valhalla Skis
RMU Valhalla Skis: $799 Rocky Mountain Underground is a small company that makes some serious skis. Nestled in Breckenridge, CO, these guys know a thing or two about snow. We had a chance to check out a pair of their women specific skis that have been built with input from female guides, patrollers, and professional skiers; the Valhallas. Needless to say, the stoke was high to get these skis out on a mountain. The Valhallas are a 5 point ski that have a rocker tip and tail and camber underfoot. Basically, with the rocker tip and tail and a 104mm waist, these skis love powder. The camber allows them to handle other conditions and terrain as well but not quite as gracefully as powder. We went to Mount Bachelor last weekend near Bend, OR to test the Valhallas. We headed up to the mountain after they received a massive dumping and 8 inches of fresh, cold snow covered the slopes. We’re pretty sure it never got above 20 degrees the whole day and while we struggled to avoid vertigo for the first half of the day, the sun came out that afternoon. The bottom line is the Valhallas in fresh, untracked powder are like a dream. They float pretty effortlessly and with 17.5m turn radius, require just a quick hop to get them turning through trees. Once things got skied out and choppy, however, all of the sudden I was grateful for all the PNW skiing I grew up doing. These are bit of beast in rough snow, requiring a more advanced skier to reign them in. It took a few runs, but by the afternoon, I learned the rhythm of the Valhallas, when they needed aggressive handling and when I could just let them do their thing. The Valhallas are light skis and get a little knocked around at slower speeds. If you’re trying to make turn after turn in rough snow, you’re going to burn out quickly. But when we let these things rip, even through the crud, they settled in like a fighter jet. It’s a weird paradox to feel stabler at higher speeds than casually making your way down the slope. Here’s the deal- The Valhallas thrive in that cold, deep snow. If you live in or travel frequently to places like Utah, Colorado, or even Bachelor in Central Oregon on a good year, these skis are an absolute blast. But if you mostly ski the northwest where champagne powder is an elusive unicorn and the mash potatoes and cream cheese are in plenty, it’ll be hard experience the full potential of these skis.