Some skis are fast, some skis are light, some skis are made for soft snow, and some for hard conditions. Due to a presumable deal with the the ski-touring devil, though, the La Sportiva RST Alpine Touring Ski excels in most snow conditions, on the ascent and descent, and combines light weight with excellent durability for long, serious mountaineering expeditions. Since it's not some wishy-washy new-school powder ski, the RST has full-length traditional camber to provide plenty of bite in firm, sketchy alpine conditions, and gets its floatation from extra-long tips and tails that provide support in soft snow. It's probably obvious that it's light as a feather, but you can't tell just from looking that it has a Karuba paulownia wood core, which is FSC/PEFC environmentally-certified, not to mention lively, poppy, stiff, and made without any toxic adhesives. The RST, which is second only to La Sportiva's RSR in lightweight, speedy performance, also features two laminates to keep it stiff enough to handle rough conditions in serious no-fall zones: a tri-directional fiberglass layer and a bi-directional carbon/fiberglass mat, along with a special fiberglass veil and reinforcement under the binding to prevent pull-outs in places where it could leave you in serious trouble. By using these laminates in place of traditional metals, Sportiva ensured that the RST wouldn't be a chore to bring up the skin track or boot pack. Rubber reinforcements at the tip and tail help eliminate vibration and provide a smooth ride, and the flat shape of the tails themselves make it easy to plunge your skis safely into the snow or isolate columns when you're conducting stability tests. There are also holes that accept pre-cut La Sportiva HiGlide skins (available here), and a tail notch to accommodate skins that you already have, to save you having to pick up any extra gear before your next expedition.
Historic Range: $347.37-$579.00