Dave Ollila, serial entrepreneur, adrenaline junkie, inventor of the original helmet cam and Marquette, Mich. native has blessed the quiver of snow addicts everywhere with the Marquette Backcountry Ski.
It's short. Fat. Stiff. Sorta ugly, and so much fun I don't know how I lived without it.
Bottom line is, it's a short, wide, affordable ski with big scales on the bottom for climbing. Paired with a three-pin binding and a pair of modern telemark boots it's a useful tool for scrambling around the rolling wooded hills in places like the Upper Peninsula, Northern Minnesota, Ontario, and tons of other places where there's snow and a will to descend it.
Ollila markets it as 70 percent ski, 30 percent snowshoe and 100 percent fun. There's all kinds of argument in the--let's just admit it--snobby ski world, but Dave O is dead-on about the fun part. They are fun, and that's what it's all about, right?
Here's what some other folks have to say about it:
I'll be profiling Ollila in an upcoming issue of Traverse magazine. Stay tuned.