Salomon MTN Explore 95 – For the ski mountaineer, by the ski mountaineer
Following in the footsteps of the head over heels success of the Q-BC Lab ski, Salomon has launched itself headfirst into the backcountry game with the expansive “MTN” series. With the input from heavy hitting ski mountaineers such as Greg Hill, the MTN series comprises of the following skis:
- MTN Explore 88
- MTN Explore 95
- MTN Lab (Review by crease HERE)
The MTN Explore 95, which I consider the best tool out of the three for big missions and ski mountaineering, has quickly found its place in my quiver. An overview of the specs and details of the skis can be found below:
- Length: 184cm (also available in 169 & 177)
- Dimensions (184): 131, 95, 117
- Turning Radius: 18.8
- Weight per ski: 1400g (177)
Fancy sounding marketing buzzwords:
- Spaceframe 2.0: This ski will take you to the moon and back.
- CFX SUPERFIBER: Basically a carbon & wood sandwich
- G-Spot: _____insert innuendo here______
- 3D Full Woodcore: You don’t even need 3D glasses to see this ski!
So before BC started getting pounded with storms, we went through a substantial phase of high pressure and these skis were my saving grace. With a strong amount of camber and a decent amount of torsional rigidity, these skis really shined in the variable conditions they were designed for.
I tested these skis out in some quintessential Southwest BC logging road alder. Overall, I found that they did quite well in the conditions.
The Spaceframe 2.0 technology really helped me out in cleaving alders. My only gripe for this ski in terms of bushwackability is that I wish the rocker/splay was more pronounced so that I could glide a bit easier over the bushes. I found that a few times as I was bushwacking, the ski would get caught under some alder.
I think something like this would be much more appropriate:
Due to the fact that this ski gives off a “crisp” feel in its design, I felt that a crisp pale ale would pair best with this ski. Any fruity IPA would work really well with this ski as well. I personally paired the MTN Explore 95 with a Red Racer Pale Ale and found that it fulfilled me physically, mentally, spiritually, and sexually.
On the uphill, this ski was an absolute pleasure to be dragging up. It kicked turned wonderfully, held onto steep melt-freeze South facing slopes like a boss, and had me running up the hill just like Greg Hill does on this same ski.
On the downhill, I found that it performed well enough for the type of ski it is. Obviously this is not your all metal resort hard charging ski. This a quiver ski for someone who is spending long days in the backcountry and would rather sacrifice performance on the downhill for a more blissful experience on the uphill.
I’m the type of skier that hasn’t owned a heavily cambered ski since I stopped skiing park. Considering this, it was a pretty sweet experience to ski a groomer on something that wasn’t a 122mm underfoot reverse camber trenchtown ski.
Overall, if you’re someone that is in the market for a ski that is as light as a feather on the uptrack and to be used in some full on ski mountaineering days yet doesn’t suck on the downhill, this pretty blue ski is one you should consider. I’m excited to try this ski out on some more committing missions in the spring where I am certain this ski will shine!