The beauty of the backcountry is that, like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. There could be knee deep pow, even though it didn't snow last night, or you might spend the day skittering across hardpack even though it dumped a foot in the last two hours. Being ready for everything is the name of the game, and no boards do it better than the Volkl Nanuq Skis, mid fat and highly versatile skis that are edgy enough to crush hardpack, floaty enough to surf through blower, and light enough to make the ascent seem like a piece of cake. Volkl's been crushing downhills for years, in bounds and out, and the Nanuq stays true to the company's downhill first heritage. The sidecut's pretty traditional, so the Nanuq feels Volkl ish perfectly capable of edging in variable snow and cutting through mank, and the sidewall construction and Tough Box compositefiberglass sheath provide a backbone that lets you charge even when conditions aren't perfect blower. To improve its performance in soft snow, Volkl gave it a moderate amount of tip rocker, and also kept things light under seven pounds per pair so the uphills aren't exercises in unnecessary suffering. Providing the backbone for all this lightweight, hard charging, and pow surfing goodness is the Nanuq's Multi Layer Woodcore Light, which combines straight grained ash and flexible poplar to give you a lively, predictable platform that excels in soft snow. The fiberglass and composite layers stop the Nanuq from twisting under hard edging forces, and the squared off tail and tip, too has Volkl's Skin Pin notch, which makes it easy to clip on skins and trust that they'll stay there throughout the climb.