Featured Image: Drew Clark
The idea for the M-Tour was simple—to avoid the twitchy, nervous feel that plagues so many backcountry-focused skis and create something more akin to its alpine-specific counterparts. Utilizing its factory on the backside of Mont Blanc, Dynastar tested and developed the M-Tour 99 in the big-mountain mecca of Chamonix and around the greater French Alps, resulting in a mid-sized ski with a surprisingly low weight penalty. While its shape is akin to the popular tapered and versatile Mythic, the construction is totally new, keeping the ski’s weight low while adding dampness and stability.
For a brand known for its heavier, hard-charging builds, creating a versatile touring ski was no small feat. “We have spent over two years finalizing the M-Tour 99 using feedback from Compagnie Des Guides in Chamonix and our athletes; mostly Vivian Bruchez,” says Laurent Richard, Dynastar’s global brand director. “They were looking for a light freetouring product that had a longer turn radius for fast and steep run outs, and that could pivot quickly in tight couloirs. We experimented with various combinations of materials in order to reduce vibrations as much as possible, especially in the tip of the ski, to deliver better snow contact in all the different snow conditions encountered on the mountains and glaciers.”
In designing the M-Tour 99, Dynastar wanted to give skiers the ability to power up the ski, drive and accelerate through the turn, whether it was navigating spring corn or mid-winter conditions. Dynastar engineered this ski to put you in the captain’s seat with its Hybrid Core, a proprietary mix of paulownia wood and polyurethane.
In the core of the M-Tour 99, the wood gives the ski its power, energy and pop and the molded polyurethane delivers predictability in the feel of the ski from tip to tail, quieting it and absorbing vibrations while maintaining responsiveness. In order to meet the downhill demands of its top athletes, Dynastar also reinforced the ski with a lightweight basalt fiber weave. This ski offers everything you’d expect out of a mid-sized, all-mountain ripper: sufficient float and the ability to nimbly juggle a variety of conditions from chop and chunder to ice while not weighing down the skier on long climbs and big days.
We’ve all witnessed the dramatic increase in sidecountry and backcountry skiing, necessitating lighter-weight equipment to travel farther and faster without sacrificing stability and confidence on the downhill. This isn’t a unique problem for Dynastar–solving this inverse relationship and meeting the demands of the modern freeride athlete is the biggest challenge for any high-end backcountry ski maker. No small feat indeed.