Shredding Like a Youngster with K2 Pinnacle Skis

Advanced skiers won’t find a better age-busting ski than the K2 Pinnacle 105.

By age-busting, I mean this ski makes everything easier — and it made me feel about 20 years younger.

I tested the Pinnacle 105s in wildly different conditions: during a huge powder dump at Crystal Mountain and on a crispy-firm groomer day at Stevens Pass. The skis crushed everything they came up against.

I took them everywhere — on steeps, chutes, bumps, at high speed, in funky avalanche debris — even a nasty rain crust. They offer a level of control I’ve never experienced on any other ski, and at the same time they felt lively, quick and fun.

pinnacle105
Pinnacle 105 profile: 137-105-121.

Stats on the ski

The Pinnacle 105 (MSRP: $900) is part of K2’s freeride line for men. The profile for the ski is 137-105-121 with a pronounced rocker tip, and K2 promises this is your “go anywhere, do everything ski.” I’m 5 foot 11 inches, 150 pounds and skied the 177 centimeter length.

Even though they are much wider than my previous all-mountain ski, the Volkl AC50, they weigh much less. K2 keeps the weight down with what it calls Konic Technology. Without getting too ski-nerdy, this involves reducing the weight of the ski where you don’t need it to be strong (the middle and extremities) and reinforcing the areas where you do need strength (the edges). The overall effect is to reduce what’s called “swing weight” from edge-to-edge.

I’ll admit I was dubious. I figured they would be great in powder, but I’d give up power and stability on firm snow. How wrong I was.

powdayskis
At Crystal Mountain on a big powder day.

In powder

I hit perhaps the best day of the year at Crystal Mountain. Overnight, 12 inches had fallen on top of 40 inches the previous two days.

Talk about epic.

My first turns were amazing. The wide profile gave the ski incredible float and control. No need to stay back — I found myself charging all the time with ease, subtly controlling speed with simple edging and weight shifts.

On steeps, it was truly eye-opening. I could fly when I wanted, slow down to negotiate a chute or a drop, then turn on the gas and start flying again.

As slopes became skied out, broken snow was easily blasted away by these powder monsters. It was all too fun and easy.

steep-and-firm
On the Double Diamond Chair at Stevens Pass.

Firm and fast

During a second day of testing at Stevens Pass, things couldn’t have been different. Rain had fallen several days previous, then frozen into a crust. On top of the rain crust, a little new snow had fallen and been skied off.

It was a groomer day for most skiers, but I took the Pinnacles off-piste into bumps and steeps. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous on my first turn over a crusty bump on a double-black diamond drop, but the Pinnacles dug in with surprising power.

But it wasn’t all about the power — they could also be incredibly quick edge-to-edge. Whether I was carving wide-radius or fast, snappy turns, the overall feeling was of incredible control.

Next, I went for speed. Most of the freeride skis I’ve tried don’t track when you turn up the speed, but the Pinnacles were nothing short of amazing. Arcing at high-speed, or making short radius turns felt equally stable.

Bottom line: Who will love this ski? The Pinnacle 105 excels for advanced skiers who spend most of their time off-piste. For all-mountain skiing, also consider the 105’s cousin, the K2 Pinnacle 95.

skizerturn
SkiZer at speed at Stevens Pass.

Day 27: Crystal Mountain

  • Vertical: 31,000
  • Vertical for the year: 410,000

Day 29: Stevens Pass

  • Vertical: 29,000
  • Vertical for the year: 439,000