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Review: Marquette Backcountry Ski
Words: Erme Catino | STE Managing Editor
Photos by Erme Catino and courtesy of Marquette Backcountry Ski
I’ll be honest. At 140cm in length, I had my concerns. However, when I was asked to test the Marquette Backcountry Ski and write a review, friend and STE contributor Brian Mohr began to rave about them – this helped a bit, but 140cm that’s short…
The Marquette Backcountry Ski is the creation of David Olilla and is designed and manufactured in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the hills range from 600-2,000ft and can receive up to 300 inches of snow (sounds a bit like New England). The ski was constructed to be half snowshoe, half ski, at low cost, and can virtually go anywhere given its small maneuverable length. It also is 100% recyclable, made out of polypropylene, glass, silicone, and brass.
The ski features an early rise tip, zero camber, wax-less and scaled base for climbing, and a tiny bit of side-cut with dimensions at: 150/130/140mm. The early rise in addition to the short size make the ski so easy to maneuver - 140cm is short, but damn it’s quick. And while the side-cut is minimal, it is impressive how well these things hook up. As long as you ski the Marquette in pow, corn, or slush, they will carve a variety of turn shapes. Just a word to the wise, they have plastic edges, so hold on and pray if you roll these things over on ice.
Chubby and short, but ready for anything.
STE contributor Brian Mohr has been skiing the Marquette for two seasons now, using them on a variety of conditions, anything from early season grass skiing, to tight stream beds. I took mine out for mostly spring corn after our March meltdown, and they were perfect for linking obscure patches of snow and walking/gliding from path to patch - it was also nice to hike up and not take any skins off either. Ideally this ski is perfect for quick wooded shots that you wouldn’t normally bring a full AT setup, areas that have hilly offshoots from cross country trails (the Bolton-Trapps comes to mind). They work best with a three pin tele-binding, but you can make alpine turns on them like I do.
Snow and grass schralpage.
At $189 retail, I expect to see more of these floating throughout Vermont in the future. They’re cheap, fun and easy to ski, and so convenient for those who live in the snowy hills of Northern New England. Here’s a short video produced by Brian Mohr featuring the Marquette Backcountry Skis in their element.