For my ski trip to South America I used a new ski setup. I wanted an all-around performer which was light on the uptrack. That's how I ended up with one of Dynafit's new skis for this year, the Cho Oyu. They definitely fit my criteria of fast and light, weighing in at 1180gr per ski, and with an early rise tip and 88mm underfoot they could definitely do a little bit of everything. As a Skimo athlete, I appreciate the benefits of a short ski for skinning: short skis make kick turns much easier. With that and weight in mind, I went with the 174cm length, the shortest ski in the Cho Oyu line.
When it came to bindings, they also had to be really light, but I was willing take a bit of a weight penalty so that they could be adjusted. I wanted to be able to ski the Cho Oyus with different pairs of boots, each with different boot sole lengths, depending on my objective and the conditions. Specifically I planned on using both the Dynafit TLT 5 Performance and Scarpa Alien 1.0 boots. I ended up mounting my Cho Oyus with a set of Plum 185 race bindings. They are (you guessed it) 185 grams and have an adjustable base plate.
The Cho Oyu/Plum 185 setup weighs in at 1734 grams per ski. After 13 days touring on them in South America in everything from powder, to corn, to ice, I am very happy with this setup. The skis' light weight makes skinning and boot packing easy. They also ski great considering their weight, but light weight also means they are on the soft side and will not bust through crud like a heavier ski. I was particularly happy with how the Cho Oyus skied in powder; the rockered tip really helped to keep them floating. If you are looking for a fun and really light backcountry ski, check out the Cho Oyu!
See what Trevor Hunt had to say about the Cho Oyu.