Backcountry Setup: Half-Day Hikes
Ski: Black Diamond Zealot — $879
Boot: Garmont Delirium — $775
Binding: Tyrolia Adrenalin 16 — $575
Skin: Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STD
Own the slackcountry with this kit that’s light enough to survive half-day hikes while dominating the descents. At our All- Mountain Ski Test the Black Diamond’s Zealot ski performed well in just about all categories, with 110 mm underfoot, a hybrid-rocker profile and Black Diamond’s 3D Metal Sandwich (Titanal, paulowina-wood core and ABS tapered sidewalls).
According to one tester, the Zealot “has no speed limit,” so we mounted them up with the Tyrolia Adrenalin 16 to guarantee they stayed attached to our feet. The Adrenalin 16 lets you switch from walk to ski mode without stepping out of the binding, offers three climb angles and has an 80-mm mounting plate that provides excellent stability on wider skis.
Connect it all to your feet with Garmont’s new freeride boot, the Delirium, which has a 130 flex, three different angles of forward lean and a wide forefront for bone spur relief. For skins, pick the simple-to-use and durable Ascension Nylon STD from Black Diamond.
Pros: Go downhill as fast as you want
Cons: The binding track can ice up while climbing, making it difficult to lock down
About the author:
Damian Quigley is an Irish-born immigrant who traveled to the US with hopes of one day becoming an editor for Freeskier. Having accomplished his dream, he spends his days testing gear and sipping champagne.