It’s tough to find the perfect touring ski for deep, deep powder.
Or, it was tough about 10 years ago, back when we weren’t spoiled rotten with the best and most varied touring technology ever. Seriously: At the SnowSports Industries Trade show in Denver, the backcountry and alpine touring (AT) sections were nearly twice as big as they were just four or five years ago. That means more gear than ever before from more manufacturers, including big names like K2. (According to SIA, the AT trend might be leveling off. Sales of AT gear reached a peak in December 2014 and have slowly been declining since then.)
Then again, all this can make the search tougher. At 5 years old, Rocky Mountain Underground <http://www.rockymountainunderground.com/> of Breckenridge is a newcomer in the backcountry game, but they came onto the scene just before things exploded. The founders started making skis in a garage and are still pretty small, working with a Canadian factory to press less then 5,000 pair per year. The designers experimented with the best and worst of AT technology to come up with skis that work in the Colorado backcountry, where snow ranges from fluffy in January to mucky in April and skin tracks can be brutally steep. And long.
RMU’s flagship men’s model, the Apostle, got an upgrade this season with tech made for touring: carbon. The 2015-16 Carbon Apostle features the same shape as the regular Apostle (RMU’s five-point shape: 126 nose, 132 mid, 105 waist, 120 mid, 114 tail) with the major addition of carbon inserts in the yellow aspen core. The core is layered between