Fischer invited Louie and I to join a press trip at Jackson Hole the last week of March. We flew in on a Monday night — first time in Jackson in the winter for both of us. The Jackson Hole airport is the coolest I’ve ever been too, surrounded with 360 degree mountain views. We got there just early enough to see the grand panorama on our drive to town.
Once at the hotel, we met the rest of the crew — journalists from all over the US, everyone hungry and thirsty. After a beer and tasty dinner, we chatted about the plan for the next day: a tour with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. In the morning we would get test gear. The ski of the day would be the Hannibal 96.
The Hannibal 96 has arrived to replace Hannibal 100 and Hannibal 94. (we reviewed the Hannibal 100 last year). The new Hannibal 96 is shaped with slightly more tip and tail rocker. The tip is rounded, as opposed to the angular shape seen on the previous Hannibals. These changes overall make the Hannibal 96 a more progressive ski. Brownie points on the graphic and the colors for the top sheet, I am a big fan!
After carefully reviewing conditions on Tuesday morning, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides set Twenty Five Short in Grand Teton National Park as our objective for the day. We divided into twoi groups and began the climb. A few clouds wandered around high peaks but we were still greeted by gorgeous mountain views. Snow conditions weren’t exceptionally great, with a curious snow to water content ratio (even for a PNW girl), making us wonder if pond skimming would be the theme of the day. Freezing levels in Jackson had stayed well above 10k in the past few days but we made the best of it with jokes and laughs on the way up.
Once at the top after about 3500k gain, we took in the views, had a quick snack and headed down hoping to find some nice spring corn.
No corn was in sight, skiing down ended up being quite adventurous and very strenuous due to manky and warm snow. Nonetheless, the group did awesome! I can’t say that after the descent given the conditions I’d be able to give the Hannibal 96 a proper review or even first look as far as downhill performance goes. But I can certainly say that the ski was nimble on the uphill. Super light and low effort despite being paired with heavy demo bindings. Put a light binding on it, and you will be flying up the hill!
Fischer Profoil scale skins held well, it was nice to have skins that couldn’t get wet since it sure was warm out there! I was also impressed by Hannibal’s downhill performance in the heavy wet snow.
The ski excelled in conditions that you’d compare more to water skiing on a half melted ice cream cone. On every turn I felt like I was leaning back so hard my knees could snap in half, but watching everyone else struggle the same made me feel much better about my ski abilities. Thus, is this a trip report or a ski review? You decide, we’ll categorize it as both.
We finished out the tour with some beers in the parking lot as the sun came out. At least the warm weather makes cold brews taste better. Spring is here!
WildSnow Girl, Julia Dubinina, is a weekend warrior chasing snow in winter and sun in summer. A lover of long tours and steep skin tracks, she explores the Pacific Northwest and beyond. When she is not out adventuring, she is working away at her corporate desk job for a software company to make her next adventure happen.