Updated Slackcountry Review
This weekend I was finally able to give the Slackcountry a "True" test. The Cottonwoods in Salt Lake City got hammered all last week, with about 50 inches of snow... 28 of which came on Friday afternoon/evening.
We headed up to Brighton and parked next to the Millicent lift, the bottom of the chair indicated that the main bowl was closed but when we got to the top the gate for the bowl was open and we were in the group of the first 10 people to drop in on 4 feet of snow that hadn't been touched in a day or so.
My first 100 yards on the board was fighting through choppy/icy avalanche debris from the day before. But it went surprising well just to point it and stay on top of the crud to get over to diagonal chute. The next feeling was absolute euphoria... I pointed the nose down diagonal chute and when the bowl opened up took a huge toe side turn followed by a quick heel to set up for a small 5 foot drop. All of the time floating on the top 6-8 inches of the 4 feet champagne powder.
The feeling under my feet with the highrize rocker was unbelievable. Riding a 161cm board with a 23 inch, centered stance and staying on top of the snow and effortlessly stomping a landing in 4 feet of fresh snow. The nose of the board wanted to stay up, no effort or fighting whatsoever to stay on top and just cruise down the bowl.
We decided to head over to the evergreen side of Milly, this involved hitting a groomed run to get to the access. The first 3 or 4 turns were a little awkward on the groomer, similar to my first few turns on the LE Machete at the beginning of the season. But once I figured out how much to drive my shoulder to initiate the turn and flatten out the nose I was carving through the groomers without a problem to get to the goods on the other side of Milly.
We lapped Evergreen several times and this was the instance that I really got to see how the rocker handled the chopped up snow. The last couple of seasons I've adopted the method of cruising through crud at a decent speed to stay on top of it. I was happy to still be able to do that on the Slackcountry, but really stoked on how it handled going through the crud at slower speeds too. The highrize keeps the nose up enough that you can plow through the crud at slower speeds and not feel like you're going to nose in and eat shit or have to slow down in really moguled out areas because you're unstable.
Last was the trees off of Crest and Great Western, IMO this is what Brighton is really about. There are so many fun tree runs, where the trees are spaced out just enough to cruise through with little drops, banks, hits, etc.. We dropped into Wren Hollow, fun little cut out that I like to spin off of... Effortless 3 with the slack and then a hard right turn into the trees.
Now, not to toot my own horn, but I consider myself a better than average rider and this is my 7th full season in Utah and I know these trees pretty well. I really don't know if it is just natural progression or that the Slackcountry is just that great of a board but I've never taken a run through this particular set of trees like I did on Saturday. There are dozens of lines I like to take through these trees, I typically just look down, left & right to see what is chopped up and what isn't before dropping. I usually will find myself in a section or two that I need to slow down significantly or stop all together or to "Reset".
I blasted down these trees (between 2-3 feet of Fresh and Chopped snow), changing direction effortlessly, popping off small hits, hard slashes down a natural pipe that hadn't been touched and finally a method off of a small hit back on to the trail. The feeling was unreal and I can honestly say I've never had so much fun going down that section in the 10 years I've been riding at Brighton.
We spent 5 1/2 hours riding on Saturday before I was just so exhausted that it was time to stop. My legs were tired at the end of the day, but not like other powder days. Usually riding a tapered or regular camber deck, my rear leg is normally 10 times more sore/dead then my front. But on Saturday my legs were equally as tired.
I hit everything from 4 Feet of Fresh Snow, 2 inches of snow, soft groomers, firm groomers, Ice getting off the lifts, crud/chop, moguls, Avalanche Debris and never had a problem with any of it. I had yet to take it out all season as I was afraid that I really need a foot of snow or more to really enjoy the board... which isn't the case and next time there is 4-6 inches of new snow there is a good chance I'll have the Slack mounted up for it.