The more remote, the better.
When your pursuit of untracked lines takes you to mountains far removed from chairlifts and condos, you'll want the Icelantic Vanguard Ski on your feet. This effective backcountry tool features Icelantic's reliable Tri-Axe sandwich construction along with a lightweight Ochroma wood core to keep the ski manageable on the skintrack. An early rise tip allows the ski to get up and over variable snow and powder, while camber underfoot and a powerful flat tail offers a secure and stable feel when you're skiing in no-fall zones or making hop turns down steep chutes. The versatile 107 mm waist will float all but the deepest powder and is manageable when conditions turn variable. Like all Icelantic skis, the Vanguard is handmade in Colorado and features original artwork by Icelantic co-founder, Travis Parr.
- Early rise tip, camber underfoot
- Tri-Axe sandwich construction
- Ochroma wood core
- 107 mm waist width
- Made in Colorado, USA
- Item #ICB000R
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've been a fan of Icelantic for some time now and when I decided to get a dedicated touring setup I chose to go with the Vanguard.
This ski rocks! I have put about 13 days on them in many conditions and I have been surprised by how versatile they are. They slash powder like a dream and initiating turns with ease. They are very nimble and have done very well in the trees. I was surprised by how well they edged on the occasional groomer, though the inside edge actually locks in harder than the outside which is a strange sensation. At 107 under foot they excel in fresh powder and I look forward to many deep days to come!
The one area that left more to be desired was how well they handled the crud. Mind you I am talking about very tracked out and crusty conditions after a killer storm, and even then they were not unmanageable, just not as good as they are in untouched powder.
I went with the 178, the shortest ski in my quiver, because I usually tour with a bunch of split boarders that like tight tree runs. I usually ski tip and tail rocker skis in the 184-192 range, but these only have rocker in the tip so the length has not been an issue for me. I paired these up with some G3 Ion 12 bindings and I am very pleased with how light they are. They are not the lightest option by any means, by I have yet to ski a crazy light ski that I really enjoy.
I have the previous year's model, so the picture has a different top sheet, but there are no other changes to my knowledge.