Black Diamond’s roots in alpinism have finally made it to their ski line, and the Helio 76 is a winner. The designers set out to make a mountaineering ski that made no compromises on the descent. Utilizing the same DNA found in the rest of the Helio series skis (prepreg carbon layup, ultralight balsa flax wood core, sidewall construction, mellow but noticeable tip and tail rocker), Black Diamond took a proven construction and implemented it to achieve their goal. While the Helio 76 isn’t the lightest ski in its category, its ability to carve, hold an edge, and manage the toughest snow conditions make this ski a top contender. The still-light-yet-beefy skis is perfect for sketchy descents, long ski traverses in the wild, and working your ski fitness on firm snow or icy groomers. Not surprising that, in our opinion, the 76 is the best Helio yet!
- Tip notch enables fast and easy transitions, even on techy ridgelines and summits.
- ABS sidewalls and tail protector prevents damage when using the ski as alpinism tool.
- Subtle tip/tail rocker and balanced flex help to smooth-out challenging snow surfaces.
- Further smoothing the ride is the rubber layer integrated above the entire edge-length.
- Titanal sheets in the binding area means you can worry about other objective hazards.
- Just like the other Helio skis, only smaller and lighter (read: better).
Compare otherLow-fat Skis
|Lengths (cm)||161, 171|
|Weight (pair)||2290g 
|Turn Radius||18m 
|Skin Fix||Tip notch, flat notched tail|
|Profile||Rocker tip, camber, semi-rocker tail|
|Shape||Round tip, medium radius, squared off tail|
|Construction||Pre-preg carbon layup with ABS sidewall|
|Core||Balsa/Flax wood core|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Ski mountaineering, endurance touring|
|Notes||Freeride tech in a mountaineering ski|
Questions & Reviews
I'm 6', 180 LBS, skiing in the Eastern Sierras. I'm looking for a spring skiing tool, to be used ideally for 50% corn runs, 50% mountaineering and steep couloirs, with maybe a few long trips also. Corn, slush, sastrugi, windboard, and ice are all in the picture. Is this ski in the 171 length a good choice? Should I go for something a little fatter?
Thanks for your wisdom!
Any suggestions for what skins would fit these best, with minimal trimming?
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