The pandemic may have slowed down the amount of model turnover across all categories, but the popularity of the All-Mountain East genre assured that this pivotal genre would see new entrants come hell or high water. Atomic was still able to usher its new Maven 93 C and Maven 86 C into the world, and Rossi created a whole new sub-genre, All-Resort, to describe an emerging skier type who will cotton to the headliner of its overhauled Experience series, the EXP 86 Basalt W. 

Three 21/22 models we classify as new are upgrades of existing issues. The Head Kore 91 W and Kore 85 W are part of an across-the-board amelioration of every Kore model, earning high praise from the ladies lucky enough to ski them. Liberty’s evolv 90w grew a new rib in its Vertical Metal Technology make-up, granting it more grip on hard snow and better crud-busting power off-trail.

As noted above, there’s more than one price point in the All-Mountain East genre, and filling one of the lower slots is the new Völkl Blaze 86 W, which makes the backcountry (as well as the resort) more accessible to newcomers with its $499 retail.

Women gravitate to the All-Mountain East genre because it promises a measure of proficiency off-trail without giving up the security of carving on groomers. But groomed slopes aren’t really what they’re made for. Out of 26 models we counted in the category, all but three were the slimmer members of an off-trail family.  Only the Head Total Joy, Kästle DX85 and Rossignol’s new EXP 86 Basalt are extensions of Frontside families.

If you’d like to be introduced to the ladies who contributed to these reviews, please visit our Women’s Test Roster.