Fischer's venerable E99 Crown, now sporting a BCX logo, is better than ever, perfect for off-piste tours that have you venturing into the gentle foothills of big ranges. The E99 has been in Fischer's backcountry lineup since the early 70's.
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The E99 might be the most versatile ski in Fischer's lineup. Thanks to the time-tested Crown waxless base, skiing uphill is a cakewalk. And the full-length steel edges allow you to control your descents, and carve in everything but the most demanding conditions. A double camber and Air Core construction facilitate surprisingly efficient kicking and gliding: these skis excel in rolling terrain. And that's probably where you'll want to keep them, as they are not recommended for deep powder, glare ice or the steeps.
You'll ski the E99 a bit longer than fat backcountry boards; they're not designed to shred as much as they are to cruise. Lengths range between 180 and 210 centimeters, and as you would expect for a touring ski, the widths are middling. With a 68mm shovel and a 55mm waist, they're designed to handle moderate terrain with aplomb.
Early users of the E99--then called the Europa 99--routinely skied them with three-pin, 75mm bindings. But Fischer now advocates their BCX boot-binding combination, a sleeker system that conforms to the ski's waist, rather than overlapping it. The benefit to you is higher performance and lighter weight, equating to a pleasing snap and greater efficiency.