The best women’s alpine skis of 2016.
The best women’s alpine skis of 2016. (Inga Hendrickson)

The Best Women’s Backcountry Skis, Bindings, and Boots of 2016

The two best alpine-touring setups of the year.

Lucy Higgins

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From skinning up in the morning to shredding down icy chutes, our two favorite alpine-touring setups can handle it all. 

(Genuine Guide Gear)

G3 Synapse 101 W skis 

A ski this light and uphill oriented tends to get skittish on the downs. Not so the Synapse 101W, which let testers rip in everything from day-old mank to eight inches of fresh. The superb mix of stiffness and playfulness comes from the carbon-wrapped poplar and paulownia core and the early-rise tip and tail. 130/101/118; 5.8 lbs

Price $900
(Black Diamond Equipment)

Fritschi Diamir Vipec 12 bindings 

Last year the Vipec 12 made our list of finalists because of its alpine-binding-like toe release and pole-adjustable heel riser. The new version is even better, a result of subtle improvements like boot-toe guides for easy entry. 2.4 lbs

Price $600

Atomic Century 109 skis 

Mount alpine bindings on the Century 109 and you’ll be happy charging the resort all season. But the lightweight, carbon-reinforced wood core also makes this a fantastic big-mountain touring ski. With an early-rise tip and slight tail rocker, it’s ideal for deep days. 132/109/122; 7.5 lbs

Price $725

Tyrolia Carbon Ambition 12 bindings

The Ambition 12 is one of the lightest frame bindings on the market, with a stiff carbon tube running between toe and heel. Compatible with downhill and AT boots, it’s only a little less capable on fast descents than a true alpine model. Best for those who spend equal time on both sides of the rope. 3.6 lbs

Price $1,150

Tecnica Cochise Pro Light W boots 

Meet the AT boot that thinks it’s an alpine rig. An updated metal-on-metal walk system gives you more flex and a locked-in ride on the descent. The burly power strap adds even more forward and lateral stiffness. The only downside: it’s heavy. 8.5 lbs

Price $660
(Scott Sports)

Scott Sports Celeste II boots 

The Celeste II had no problem taming wide planks, with a relatively tall cuff, four burly buckles, and a stiff shell. But it was the walk mode, with 60 degrees of flex, that impressed us most. “It would tear up the dance floor as effectively as the slopes,” one tester said. 5.3 lbs

Price $800
From Winter 2016 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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