In late January, high up in the sunny Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City, I put a pair of new skis to an ultimate alpine test of sorts called the Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour.
This day-long guided trip covers 25 miles and more than 15,000 vertical feet while sampling the slopes at a half-dozen ski areas that occupy adjacent canyons, including Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, Brighton, Solitude Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
Indeed, in one day you ski all six places, taking chairlifts and trams in bounds, and hiking or traversing through the backcountry to connect everything up, never once stepping into a car — or a helicopter, for that matter — the whole day long.
My ski of choice, the Atomic Snoop Daddy, were top-shelf fatties made to float and turn through any type of terrain. Skiing all day on the Interconnect, which included groomers, bump runs, bowls, trees, and chutes out of bounds, begged for such an all-mountain setup.
And I was not disappointed.
Atomic (www.atomicsnow.com) built the Snoop Daddy to handle everything a typical ski hill can come up with, from powder to glare ice. On the Interconnect Tour, I could not find a single icy medium incompatible with the skis.
And I am a picky man with skis.
The Snoop Daddy’s hourglass dimensions — a 125mm tip, an 88mm underfoot cut, and a 111mm tail — give them enough surface area to float in powder or ride out chunky crud. But the skis’ cut is fairly quick-turning, too, letting me slice down double-diamond bumps at Park City Mountain Resort and turn through the trees off a high lift in Brighton.
Any gripes? At $855 the price tag seems sky high to me. But search around online and that figure drops quickly with retailers like Backcountry.com, where the Snoop Daddy sells for a more sane $689 per pair.
I am an advanced skier, verging on expert most days, and for me the Snoop Daddys felt solid and powerful underfoot, especially off the trail. Timid intermediate skiers might think twice with this type of ski, however, as they will not turn as quick and easy as may be required for bumps and tight trees.
But as all-mountain crushers for the advanced and expert set, the Snoop Daddys will not easily disappoint.