Why I purchased the Salomon Q90 skis. In the past I have just gone with the flow and hired my skis, but now I’m at a skill level to know what I want ‘performance wise’ from a set of skis! At first the shear amount of choice was overwhelming but after reading reviews and watching videos I chose the Q90 2014 model; mainly for its all mountain performance and being aimed at intermediate to advanced level riders. I class myself at an intermediate level, consequently, these skis will be suitable as my skills progress.
Key Ski Facts:
Full wood core
Semi sandwich construction
Hook free taper
Gentle rise tail (partial twin tip)
Total edge reinforcement
169cm (130mm tip + 88mm waist + 116mm tail)
Turn radius 15.5m
Awards (skiing magazine official selection)
1510g (per ski)
Intermediate – Advanced
After picking the Q90 skis I wanted a binding suited to a mix of riding styles. The best one available at the time was the Marker Griffon 13, which is geared towards the ‘freeride’ market! This binding not only looks amazing but has the performance to match. My recent trip to Les Arc 1800 was the first time I tested these bindings and all I can say is amazing, they didn’t ejected when riding hard and no matter how much snow built up on my boots or skis these always engaged correctly unlike previous bindings I’ve used.
Next seasons Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings recently achieved the ISPO Segment Award for its compatibility with not just alpine but touring boots too which just shows the quality and advancement Marker has made in the past few years! So what is ISPO you ask?
Now back to the skis! The Salomon Q90 is a fantastic all mountain ski its full wood core made it extremely responsive on piste and helped to reduce chatter at high speeds giving me the confidence to push myself further.
Due to the wide design of this ski I thought the skis would struggle on piste when it came to carving, but no, it handled short and long carve turns extremely well; probably due to the integrated ‘carve zones’ which increases power and edge grip along the traditional cambered section. Unfortunately most of the off Piste was tracked and therefore only got to ride powder in a few places where it floated effortlessly due to the wide tip and tail.
Overall this whole set up is perfect for those wanting to explore new terrain giving the option for a mix of both on and off piste when the conditions are there. I give both the Q90 and Marker Griffon 13 five stars!
So what is ISPO you might be asking yourself. Basically it’s an international exhibition displaying some of the world’s most exclusive and innovative sporting goods.
It all started way back in 1970 with the first exhibition of its type opening its doors on March 8th with 816 exhibitors from 25 countries covering a huge 45,000 square meter space. Over the three day event 10,777 industry professionals visited catching the attention of both the events management and world media.
The event grew year on year and 2010 saw the 70th event and ISPO’s 40th birthday which had a record breaking 175,000 square meters of exhibition space fully booked! So if you’re interested in reading about the most innovative products for next season, click here.
Finally remember to save the date February 5-8 2017 for the next ISPO exhibition!
The Les Arc 1800 resort is located on the outer edge of the Vanoise National Park which forms part of the Italian border around 10-12 hours drive from Calais or a 3 hour transfer from Geneva Airport. The resort is linked with La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry creating one of the largest skiing areas in the world called ‘Paradiski’ and boasts 425km of pistes; ranging from easy relaxing blues to challenging blacks.
Les Arc itself is made up of four smaller resorts Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 with its claim to fame being the first resort of its type to open in Europe. I stayed in Arc 1800 picked for its location close to the Vanoise Express which is a huge 200 person cable car connecting Les Arc and La Plagne, in fact it’s one of the longest and fastest cable cars in the world!
Les Arc 1800
Built back in 1975 Arc 1800 is not only the largest resort but also the liveliest with lots of bars and restaurants, my favourite being ‘Barking Mad’ with its comfy outdoor seating and views out over the mountains with a pint of beer costing €5, the perfect location for a spot of après ski.
We stayed at L’Alliet in a self catered apartment located in the Charmettoger region of the town. This apartment is a little gem recently renovated in 2015 in true alpine style, what we loved was the flexibility of either cooking some homely food or dining out at the various restaurants found a short 5-10 minute walk away.
In all there are five lifts out of Arc 1800 but by the best and easiest is the Transarc 1 which connects to the Transarc 2 at the mid station. Once at the top you have excellent access to a huge variety of newly groomed runs (if like us you got the first lifts up). The snow conditions were good throughout the week although some started to become icy leading back down to town at the end of the day, all in all the conditions were good despite the slow start to the season. And best of all we had blue bird days most of the time we were there, what more could you ask for!
One of my favourite runs would have to be the Grands Melezes which starts at the top of the Vagere chairlift, the run is both long and wide with the conditions being perfect allowing me to perform some large sweeping carving turns.
An adult lift pass to the whole Paradiski area is €291 (about £222) or the Les Arc local area is €250 (about £190).
Overall this resort and ski area is one of my favourite with its mix of glacial high altitude runs and the option to ski through the trees lower down during poor snowy conditions.