The Werewolf CLT weighs about 1360 grams per ski, and that’s really all you need to know about uphill travel. This ski (mounted with Atomic Backland Tour bindings, and used with Fischer Travers Carbon boots), reminded me how ridiculous and awesome touring on a truly light setup is. You probably don’t want to be breaking trail on a powder days with these (they’re only 92 mm underfoot, after all), but otherwise, I’d be hard pressed to find a ski that I’d rather have underneath me (or on my back) during the “up” portion of a big day.
At Blister we tend to be skeptical about the performance claims of super light skis (mostly thanks to our unrelenting editor in chief), but we’ll occasionally get on a ski that punches above its weight. Jonathan felt this way about the Blizzard Zero G 95, and we all felt this way about the Salomon MTN Explore 95. So when Majesty said this ski was designed for skiers who aren’t ready to make the performance sacrifices associated with a true ultralight race ski, and that the Werewolf CLT was a little more freeride-oriented than much of the competition, I was excited to ski it.
My biggest day on the Werewolf CLT took place in Idaho’s Lost River Range on a 5000 foot line called Super Gully. It was chilly at the top and t-shirt weather at the car, so we got a full range of temperatures and conditions.
Up top, the snow was firm (almost icy) and steep, with a lot of exposure. Here, I really appreciated the Werewolf’s long effective edge when hop turning. It didn’t feel exactly locked in like a damper ski — this is still a very light ski, and I typically find that lighter skis are a little more skittish and harder to set an edge on firm snow. But with that said, I can’t think of many touring skis in this weight class that would have given me more edging power in this situation. While hop-turning, I did notice how light the Werewolf CLT is — it pivots easily in the air.
While hopping down the chute, I also noticed the Werewolf’s more rearward mount point. While the vast majority of lightweight mountaineering skis have more traditional mount points (generally in the -9 to -13 cm range), in the future, I’d personally mount them closer to center. When touring for backcountry objectives where I’m going to be encountering tight couloirs / lines and varying degrees of exposure below, I’m a big fan of a more centered mount. I find that it makes hop turns feel more balanced, and I feel more comfortable while side-slipping. For reference, I often ski skis with mounts in the -3 to -6 cm range, and I’d probably mount the Werewolf CLT at either -5 cm or -6 cm.
Lower down the line, conditions transitioned to great, chalky skiing — firm and edgeable. Here, I had a blast on the Werewolf, making quick, skidded, powerful turns. I did notice the Werewolf CLT’s llonger sidecut here though. The 184 cm version I tested has a sidecut radius of 26.2 meters, while the 175 cm and 166 cm versions have 23.3 m and 20.4 m radii, respectively. Given just how light this ski is, I felt like the ski wanted to make bigger, faster, more aggressive turns than I did. Granted, weight and flex pattern are also important factors here, but the 184 cm Werewolf CLT felt like it wanted to run a bit more than skis like the Zero G 95 (22 meters @ 185 cm) or MTN Explore 95 (18.8 meters @ 184 cm) — both of those skis felt easier to drive in a variety of turn shapes than the Werewolf CLT, which is nice when you’re skiing lines where you really don’t want to fall, and you really don’t want to notice the ski, much less feel like you’re fighting it into a shorter turn.
Similarly, I didn’t find the Werewolf CLT’s tails to be as easy to break loose as the MTN Explore 95’s — the Werewolf CLT felt more locked in through turns. Since both skis have very little tail splay and have similar tail shapes, this could be due to the tune on the Werewolf CLT, so we’ll play around with that and update this review. I think a lot of skiers may appreciate this more locked in feeling though — in firm, consistent snow, the Werewolf CLT definitely punches above its weight in terms of stability. It wants to go fast and take chances more than any similar ski I’ve been on, which is fun if you’re prepared to drive the ski, or if you tend to tour in more open areas that are conducive to opening things up and letting your skis run.
In grabby, inconsistent snow, the Werewolf CLT still felt like it wanted to haul ass, but I was quickly reminded how light this ski is, as it got knocked around by every inconsistency in the snow. I felt like it It didn’t have the damping and stability to go with its larger sidecut, and it takes a much more poised and cat-like skier than me to make a ski like this work with bigger, faster turns in inconsistent snow.
When skiing warm, inconsistent snow, I really found myself wishing I was on the (heavier) MTN Explore 95. That ski feels a lot looser, and is a lot easier to handle when “survival skiing” in bad snow (i.e., just trying to make it down in one piece without any regard for style or technique).
I’m sure this is obvious by now, but in my experience, the Werewolf CLT’s strong preference for longer turns makes it less and easy to ski. That said, if you’re mostly interested in making hop turns and / or longer radius turns (in good, consistent conditions), then the Werewolf CLT will do just fine.
I didn’t get to ski the Werewolf CLT in any corn, but based on my time on the ski, big, open lines with good corn is where I think this ski is going to be a blast. The more consistent the snow is, the more comfortable this ski feels at speed.
Who’s It For?
This is an interesting question, especially since the space the Werewolf CLT occupies isn’t heavily populated. Here’s what Majesty says about the Werewolf CLT: “Ultra-lightweight Werewolf CLT can charge in a variety of snow conditions. Ultimate, multi-purpose ski designed for advanced ski-mountaineering and touring.”
That’s an interesting assessment. I’d argue that it’s pretty near impossible for a 1350 gram ski to “charge in a variety of snow conditions,” though the Werewolf CLT does come closer to that than any other ski of this weight we’ve seen given its eagerness to make big turns. But then — like most ultralight touring skis — it doesn’t offer the damp ride to really complement that.
So, yes. The Werewolf CLT likes to go fast and make big turns. If that’s what you’re into and are looking for a super light ski to do it on, this is the ski for you. The Werewolf CLT is also a great ski if you want a lot of effective edge to land on when hop turning. But if you’re looking for something more versatile on the way down and are willing to accept a ~200 gram-per-ski weight penalty, the Salomon MTN Explore 95 is significantly damper and easier to make a variety of turn shapes.
Majesty’s Werewolf CLT brings something a little different to the ultralight touring ski category. It’s a bit more inclined to go fast and make big turns than most of the competition, while weighing in at a very low weight. It’s not the easiest or most accessible ski in this category, but if you’re looking for a lightweight weapon for making big, fast turns in forgiving, consistent snow or hop turning down steep lines, the Werewolf CLT could be a great choice.
We’re going to be getting other reviewers on the Werewolf CLT this spring and will update this review when we’ve got more time on it.
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