Once the snow was sufficiently warm, I ventured out of bounds to Sans Nom, a steep, narrow chute with many subtle variations on the Northern side of the resort.
In the entrance, I encountered grippy, windblown chalk, and the Cham 107 navigated it well with solid, direct response to the input I delivered. Lower down on the soft, Northeast facing walls, the Cham was perfect for making slow, short-radius slide turns, and I navigated the narrow, corned flanks with ease.
Staying in the soft snow was tricky; as the sun set on our gully while we were skiing, I was happy to find that the Cham 107 danced through the narrow, corned mini chutes on the northeast side. Halfway down the run while dancing between the corned Northeast facing snow and the firm set up Southwest side of the gully, I realized that this ski was perfect for this type of skiing. I did not have to work any harder than I wanted to at the end of the day for a chute that would have been downright tiring on the Fischer Watea 106, yet the Cham offered enough in terms of predictability and maneuverability to deftly navigate the tasty corn.
Day 3: Casco
On our third day, Jason Hutchins and I decided to return to Cerro Martin to find out if the soft snow we had found earlier in the week was still there. After the 25-minute hike from the Iris poma to the summit, we opted for the Casco chute where the snow had been softest on our last trek up the ridge.
Upon dropping into Casco we found that the wind and cold had affected the snow more than we had expected. Throughout the chute, the snow was firm, and as I tried to ski hard and maintain a moderate speed, the 107 skidded and slid predictably but chattered quite a bit. This chattering left me wishing for a more damp and stable ski for these conditions and terrain.
Below the chute, the snow was soft but densely wind affected. I watched Jason rip through this snow with ease on the Salomon Rocker 2 108. When I attempted to attack the apron with the same speed and turn size, the tips of the Cham 107 started hooking up like crazy and I almost biffed it several times while trying to figure out how to adjust to the way this ski wants to maneuver through the dense snow. This was my only opportunity to shred wind affected, soft snow, and in my short experience, I was not able to find a way to effectively address this snow type on the Cham 107. Based on my experience with how it slides so predictably and precisely at slower speeds in soft corn, I believe that it may also perform better through set up snow when skied at a lower, more deliberate speed.
Some Speculation Based on What I’ve Found So Far
Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to ski the Cham 107 in blower pow, true crud, bumps, or trees. But, based on the way the tail releases while sliding turns in corn, it seems that the Cham 107 will do well at lower speeds in powder, especially while making medium- to shorter-radius turns. But if your thing is to attack powder aggressively, at speed and with larger-radius turns, the Cham 107 in the 184cm length is certainly not the answer.
I am looking forward to skiing the Cham 107 in the 190cm length. I anticipate that the 190 can be pushed harder, and will match up better to the way I prefer to ski. It will also be interesting to see whether the 190 maintains that subtle instability I found on the 184 while railing groomers, and the less damp, chattery feel while maching through variable, heavy snow.
The 184 Cham 107 is a ski that is predictable at lower speeds and responsive to solid, direct input. And while it can stand up to more aggressive shredding, it isn’t a ski that comes to life or shines when being driven at high speeds. So far, its strength is its versatility: it’s a multi-tool that does a lot of things well rather than absolutely stand out in a specific condition or application.
All in all, this seems like the a very good ski for advanced to expert skiers who like to make slower, short-radius, controlled turns across the fall line in powder, groomed and variable snow. This ski will also be a maneuverable tool for intermediate skiers, easy to ski at lower speeds in most conditions (think narrower, flat tailed Rossignol S7).
NEXT PAGE: ROCKER PROFILE PICS
With the camber profile of an all-mountain carver and the 5-dimension shape of a more dedicated powder ski, the Dynastar Cham 107 is a unique hybrid design that aspires to offer the best of both worlds.
A stiffer ski with positive camber through the tails, the Fischer Watea 106 is not super playful or really easy to ski—it's for going hard and fast, period. In other words, bring your A game.
The Atomic Ritual can be easily slashed and skidded, but is still a substantial ski to use as an everyday all-mountain charger.