Sooo…while surfing the inter-webz both in the past and more recently, I’ve read some chatter about how fat skis might contribute to more avalanches, since they produce less skier compaction of the snow. At first I was skeptical, but after thinking about it more, I guess I can see how it might be true. Many ski resorts and backcountry areas rely actual skiers to make the slopes less dangerous, but ultra-wide fat skis might not be be able to keep up with the epic dumps the west has been receiving lately.
I do think a big part of this theory relies on how fat, “fat” is and how much snow is being compacted. I think skis in the 100mm range still offer a good amount of snow compaction, where as skis 110mm and wider seem to really get the skier up and out of the snow more. And in relation to snow depth, obviously if your skis are into the snow about 6”…and there is only 6” of snow, then there is plenty of compaction going on. And who really cares about avalanches with only 6” of snow anyway.
So what do you think? Let’s say two 100′ wide, 40° slopes with similar aspects and HIGH avalanche danger, get pounded by 12 inches of snow for 3 straight days, On each day, 10 skiers ski each slope. On one slope, none of the skiers has skis wider than 90mm, on the other…all greater than 110mm. Up walks a jonny-redcoat and throws a charge on each slope. Do you think they will react differently? I do!