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).
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?
Dennis, All a matter of preference. If you are a Skimo racer, a 76mm may be 'fat' for you. If you tour on a 100+mm ski, this will sound too skinny. Personally I would lean for something wider. If you would like to delve deeper, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Dennis, in my opinion this ski was made for those conditions! It's very solid in the steeps, ice and super fun in corn. Less so in isothermic snow, but that's an odd condition to optimize for. I think you'd have fun on it.
I’m looking at the Helio 76 and wondering about length. I’m 5’10” 175lbs skiing a F1 or Travers carbon. I want this ski to be my fitness touring, maybe a few races per year, and spring mountaineering ski. I’ve never skied anything as short as 161, but like the idea of weight saving. But I want to have this ski “normal” to me outside of racing. What length would you recommend? Also, thoughts on mounting with the Helio 180 vs 200?
Hi Josh, I think you'd be happier with the 171 at your size. In fact it would be a sweet spot for you lengthwise for mountaineering. Good enough for a race or two. The Helio 200 has some release adjustability, so if that's important to you, go that route. Otherwise you can shave a bit of weight.