Backcountry-Ski: Fischer E99 Crwon Xtralite

Photo: Fischer Ski
Is there such a thing as perfect equipment? Absolutely. In State of the art, 4-Seasons introduces equipment which sets the benchmarks in its class.

Product facts

Product category: Backcountry ski with crown climbing system (used to be called »fish scale« skis) and a steel edge.

Usage: Ski touring and back country skiing in the open country. Not suitable for prepared trails because of its width.

Status: Polar adventurers put their trust in this ski. Many expeditions made their way to the North Pole and the Antarctica on the E99 Crown this year too. This ski is also the first choice for moderate-class backcountry areas like the Norwegian high plateaus and the Central German Uplands: the ski is robust, long-lasting and one of the lightest in its class.

Manufacturer: Fischer Sports GmbH, Ried im Innkreis, Austria.

Strategy/Idea: Josef Holovicz, Fisher's Development Manager Backcountry-Ski.

Technical Details: Length: 180 – 210 cm. Weight per ski: 1,950 g with 200 cm length. Price: 239.95 €. Binding: Fischer BCX Magnum Black (69.95 €).

History: Josef Fischer senior started making sledges in his shed in 1924. Twelve years later, it turned into a company for alpine skis. 1959, Josef Fischer takes over the company when his father dies.        Fischer introduces the first cross country skis at the Ispo 1971. The E99 has been part of their range since 1977, initially named »Europa 99« (the number does not mean anything). Nowadays, it is built in a factory in Ukraine which was opened by Fischer in 1988. Fisher has always focussed on the improvements to the weight and climbing system. Fischer Sports GmbH is a 100 percent family owned business. The sports clothing brand Löffler is part of the group.

 

Fotostory: Backcountry-Ski: Fischer E99 Crwon Xtralite

 

Pro

Design:

  1. Graphic design surface made of wear-resistant synthetic material.
  2. Strengthening laminate of fibreglass and basalt fibres. Basalt is light, not temperature sensitive and improves the flex of the ski.
  3. Synthetic fabric for better protection and durability.
  4. No cheap foam but wooden channels create the spine of the E99. The arches of the wooden core are made of two types of light wood: poplar and – company secret! The air channels save weight in comparison to a core of solid wood, offer more stability too, and help to distribute the weight of the skier along the length of the ski.
  5. Outer walls and base made of solid wear-resistant beechwood.
  6. Surface (see right).

Sidecut: Preferably low (66 mm at the tip, 54 mm at the waist, 61 mm at the tail) for good directional stability and control of the ski.

Climbing System: A non-slip pattern covers around 40 % of the underside of the ski promoting great grip characteristics for push-off. The »Offtrack Crown« was especially created for Fischer’s backcountry steel-edge ski. The three dimensional profile has a crown-like form of different sharp tail-facing contours. It is flatter towards the end of the grip area and cut deeper at the middle – for an optimal balance of grip and glide. The rugged climbing aid does not need wax and almost no maintenance. (silicone spray helps to maintain a smooth, snow-free surface).

Climbing skin: For steep ascents, climbing skins can be glued on and hooked onto the tail (e.g. Colltex Combi-Extreme Backcountry).

Camber: »Nordic Rocker Camber«, meaning: when weight is put onto the ski, the tip rises around 5 mm. Thus, the shovelled tip allows the ski to »swim« easier and promotes better gliding characteristics in deep snow. And: under more load (weight), the contact point ski to snow moves back 10 cm which makes turning easier. Due to the minimal height (max. 22 mm), the ski is not wobbly.

Surface coating: The ski glides on a sintered polyethylene base which makes the coating resistant and fast. A slightly diagonal cut improves the gliding properties even at mild temperatures: it creates tiny grooves that drain water from underneath the ski thus preventing the vacuum effect on wet snow.

Centre groove: A continuous centre groove in the coating aids directional stability.

Steel edge: A full-length steel edge promotes a constant good grip while going down hill, even on an icy surface.

 

When we developed the E99, we had a well-defined goal: to create the best backcountry ski in the world. Indeed, it turned out to be a successful model.  

Max Buttinger, Product manager at Fischer Sport.

This winter, we’ll introduce a revised and updated version of the E99: lighter – and thanks to the rocker camber – easier to control in deep snow. It is definitely an improvement!

Rocco Ganzert, Ski-specialist at Globetrotter Dresden.