Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
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Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:36 pm

Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC
20191222_181254.jpg
I am going to be comparing the new updated Gamme 54 BC to the previous model. I have both the new updated Gamme 54 BC and the previous model- both are 210cm. Please read my review thread of the previous model. The balance, geometry and camber-rocker profile is identical between the two skis- the performance is very similar and I may be forgetting something in my review of the current model!
http://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2305
20191222_181243.jpg
The updated Gamme 54 BC ski is dreamy. How do you take a magnificently designed ski and make it better?
Lighter? Yes.
More responsive flex? Yes.

Somehow the updated Gamme 54 BC is noticeably lighter, and feels more snappy and responsive- yet retains the rock-solid stability of the previous model.
The new model feels every bit as stiff and responsive underfoot as the old model.
The new model is just as stable in deep snow.
The new model has more “feel”- it has a more responsive flex- this is particularly noticeable in deep snow and when turning.

Like the previous model- the new updated Gamme 54 BC is a highly versatile distance-oriented backcountry touring/expedition Nordic ski- intended for variable snow and terrain. It has a low-profile, but stiff and resistant double-camber underfoot- designed to offer true kick and glide performance in a wide range of snow conditions. It has enough camber and stiffness to offer decent kick and glide on consolidated snow- yet this ski still performs beautifully in deep soft snow and hilly terrain.

Technically, the Gamme 54 BC is narrow enough to fit in a groomed Classic track- but its stiff 68mm tip- fully-wrapped in steel- is too wide and stiff to efficiently bend around turns in a groomed track. As a comparison- the current E-99 Xtralite- with its slightly narrower and softer tip performs better in a groomed Classic track than the Gamme 54 BC. But- the Gamme 54’s stiffer tip is more stable and supportive in deep snow than the E-99 Xtralite.

The updated Gamme 54’s more responsive flex makes them easier to turn than the previous model. The new model has the exact same geometry as the outgoing model- same sidecut; same slightly rockered and stiff, stable tip; same camber and stiffness underfoot; even the balance point is identical. That being said- when I pressure the new ski into a turn it flexes more and “responds” more…I guess that means it is softer than the outgoing model? I guess it must be- but it sure doesn’t feel softer when I flex this ski by hand!

The new Gamme is noticeably lighter on my feet than the outgoing model- making them even more maneuverable and incredibly easy to pick up and direct in step/jump turns.

This ski is a work of art. Åsnes has truly improved this ski without losing any of the fabulous traits of the previous model. Well done.

I have already racked up an incredible number of kilometres in the hills on this ski this winter. It is my most versatile and most efficient BC-XC ski.

The Specs
• Sidecut profile: 68-54-61mm
• Length: to 210cm
• Weight: 1010g per ski (200cm)
• Tip shape: traditional, broad, raised Nordic touring tip
• Tip profile: Nordic-rockered tip (much less than the Ingstad BC)
• Tip flex: stiff, stable tip
• Camber: low-profile, resistant double-camber underfoot (stiffer underfoot than the Ingstad BC)
• Tail profile and flex: flat, stiff and stable tail
• Overall flex pattern: full-length stiff and stable- yet responsive
• Edges: full-wrap steel edges
• Base: High-quality sintered base
• Kicker skin insert: Skin-Lock/X-Skin

Please note:
Åsnes sent me this new model Gamme 54 BC to test (I bought the previous model). I am not officially sponsored by Åsnes and am under no formal obligation/contract to promote their products in any way.

January, 2020
Gareth Davies
Snow Glade Farm
Stanley, NB
Canada
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:48 pm

We got buried today in 40cm of beautiful cold dry snow- this on top of the solid metre base of hero snow we already had.
..........
I skied my ass off this weekend.
Went on a full-day tour yesterday (before we got today's dumping) in the Upper Nashwaak hills with my Ingstad BC.
Went out several times today in knee-deep powder with a number of different setups:
- Åsnes Storetind + Crispi Lofoten boot (first serious test of the Lofoten boot- loved it with the Storetind!)
- Åsnes Combat Nato + Alfa Guard boot- deep snow XC machine!
- Åsnes Ingstad BC + Alfa Guard boot- wonderous.
- Madshus Annum + Alfa Guard boot- grip-waxed base- best they have ever been in deep, soft cold snow!
- Åsnes Gamme 54 BC (new model)- WOW was I impressed with this ski in deep powder snow. I think that it was as good a XC ski as the Combat Nato(!?!) and it was surprisingly fun to ride open turns in that deep snow!

I am EXTREMELY impressed with this ski and I am afraid it has made a number of my skis obsolete...
And- it is keeping my Ingstad BC in the shed unless I want to crush miles in deep snow and steep terrain.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.





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Cannatonic
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Re: Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by Cannatonic » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:28 pm

Congrats on getting the skis - it's well-deserved, these reviews are very informative and helpful. I would say you are somewhat sponsored now, I'd be proud of it! :lol: sponsored athlete and journalist. Your reviews are always objective and seem spot-on for the skis I've used.

Some of the insights you get from reading your reviews or LJ or others make a big difference when buying skis, most of us don't have the ability to test all the different ones against each other. knowing which length to buy - I wasn't brave enough to order 210cm NATO's but after reading your comments I definitely want to try them now. It's great for people to hear how these work when trying something new.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)





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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Review: 2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:26 pm

On the Gamme 54 BC over the last few days- trail skiing.
Snow conditions have been great- trail-breaking has been brutal for a couple of weeks.
We had a bit of rain overnight a days ago- followed by freeze- producing breakable crust with over a foot of soft snow underneath- over a frozen base.

Today-
- ~10cm of cold soft fluff- over-
- breakable crust- over-
- a foot of soft snow- over-
- frozen base

Setup:
- Gamme 54 BC with 45mm mohair skin- trimmed to my heel.

The Gamme 54 was fabulous today- even breaking trail-
- totally stable
- broke crust and trail beautifully
- stepped up and planed downhill
- mohair skin was perfect balance of grip and glide
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.





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The GCW
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Location: Summit County Colorado
Ski style: Alpine, Alpine B.C. Nordic B.C.

Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by The GCW » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:06 am

Review:

Teal Man, Gamme 54 with about 16 days on skis.

Consider: Don’t go longer than Asnes’ recomondation when choosing Gamme.

For Me: at 134 lbs. / 60 kg & -with pack, layers, quart of water etc = 150+ lbs / 68 kg.

Asnes recommends 180 cm ski. Trust the chart.

Did the paper test (with 7 pound pack on My back) under the wax pocket and it barely pulled out (weight on both skis). Sales guy suggested longer. I resorted to My laptop and teletalk forum crew for finer details confirming what I already gleaned: don’t go too long. Then gave them the money for the 180.

Now, the effects of the proper length, (for Me) is that when I’m skiing, there must be substantial downward weight transfer in the kick and glide motion to connect the wax pocket to the snow. -I'm getting that but it's not always easy and the wax must be dialed. A longer ski would make it very difficult for Me to get the kicker wax down on the snow. I’d not have the ability unless I exaggerated motions that I may not be able to replicate for miles and miles.

Going uphill is where the effects of the proper length shines: I feel where grip is achieved and where its limit is. Can feel it working when I sort of jog up steeper short bits and get instant glue. (((Jog strides forcing downward pressure, when gliding isn't achievable when terrain steepens to that point where if sustained skins may become optional))) The uphill ability seems dependent on not having too long of a ski, RISKING LOSING ALL THE POTENTIAL wax pocket ability. I sense, I'm at the skis limit... for My weight and can tell that aint happening if the ski is longer...

Maybe a better man with better technique already provides more downward force than Me…

I’ve been reading about these 2 skis here for a few weeks (to a dizzy degree), and I’ve come across a few or more posts that indicate a problem with Gamme, traced to a ski which is too long.

Is it possible that a person picks a ski which is the next size longer because that’s all that’s available?
Is the longer ski sexier? (We know the answer to that)…

For Me, happy I got the proper, recommended length. And I’m saying that coming from a Fischer Crown E99 in a 195cm which I’m now thinking IS too long. The 180 visually initially seems too short, but not any more.

Body length Weight (kg) Ski length
150-160 cm - 60 170
160-170 60-75 180
170-180 70-85 190
180-190 80-95 200
190+ 95+ 210

Better telemark forumers may help put better words in My mouth, but that's the truth. Full disclosure: I don't know how to telemark, in case that helps shape anyones description of My description in regards to size choice.

Hopefully helpful.





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fisheater
Posts: 1263
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Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by fisheater » Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:21 am

Hello GCW, congratulations on making the right length decision for you. However for me at 190 lbs / 86 kg, Åsnes places me in the middle of the 200 cm range, and I am on the 210 cm. I really only ended up on the correct length for me, because there were other skiers on this site, that were a bit lighter than me, and on 210 cm skis that encouraged me to go longer.
So as far as the recommended weight size chart, I don’t think of it as a Bible. It’s more of a reasonable place to start.
I enjoyed reading about you finding your “kick”. I am not a trained XC skier, I came to this from resort Telemark. So I remember finding my “kick” well. I don’t live in an area with a thriving Nordic tradition, and I guess it wouldn’t matter if there was because it would probably be race centric and I am a back country guy. The best advice I can give is have fun, and you will develop a natural kick. Now I’ve been at this for a while, and always had fun, but somewhere along the line things just come together. The kick motion becomes easy, not effort. That doesn’t mean that more focus isn’t required in certain snow conditions, but focus isn’t effort. What I mean by focus, is when I have excellent grip and glide I find myself launching off the ball of my foot. When I slip, I need to FOCUS on launching off a flat foot to not slip.
I also think all my kick and glide skiing improved when I started skiing on my Gamme. However for me, I had been kicking and gliding for more than a few years. The power of the camber of the Gamme in release and positive grip allowed my to become a much faster skier. To be able to kick and gain speed while going down a grade at speed already! Although there definitely is a speed limit to that sort of thing. However, I now ski single cambered XCD skis faster, solely because what I learned from skiing Gamme.
So when I say just have fun and ski. It’s because I know you will think intellectually about your technique. I think it’s natural. However what I’ve learned since I began, and the improvement to my kick and glide that became part of my skiing from skiing the Gamme, that now I have on all my skis. It’s all muscle memory!
The one thing I find myself intellectually reminding myself is the first thing I learned alpine skiing. That is flex the knees! Since I’m not a trained track skier, I have no idea if that is counter to established technique. However when skiing in the backcountry, the old adage, flex the knees makes all the difference in the world.





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The GCW
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Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by The GCW » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:23 pm

Fisheater,

I've got a good grip (intended pun) on kick and glide. Been on Fischer E99 Crown's since 2006. Since I don't know how to tele, K&G is an ever-present honed focus. Pure fun. Hardly think during the different minute change ups between constant quick changes in conditions, terrain, dry powder snow, sometimes next to slick track, bumps humps, different levels of waxing success and how they work better or not as good on all those different dynamics etc.

When the wax is good - perfect, it's still sometimes not as good for short particular instances with those ever changing dynamics.
When wax is not as good but still ok, sometimes it is perfect here and there when going around a corner, etc.

Along with flexing the knees, be sure to also flex the back. Imagine playing soccer: (while) standing up and suddenly moving. In the ready set position with knees bent and back also bent toward the objective, motion is quicker and more efficient. And then there's the arms. It's the whole body.

It is: "It’s all muscle memory!"

What's new for Me is wax.

That is working very well for Me, however, primarily with the help of this forum.

Another poster pointed out how perhaps the Gamme isn't a good beginner ski, I think for kick and glide but also regarding wax.

Forum topics ranging from lilcliffy and Pinnah's along with many other posts including the newbie wax post from Breck...
Wax is good.

Better kick and better glide that My E-99's. When things are not dialed their as good as the Fischer's.

With all the help, here, I haven't had a wax failure: only wax adjustments.





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The GCW
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Ski style: Alpine, Alpine B.C. Nordic B.C.

Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by The GCW » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:43 pm

Fisheater,

I just re-read Your last post, and I can relate to what I believe You're describing.

Succeeding on the GAMME makes a skier improve.

And other post's regarding the Gamme:
-It's a sports car.
-It's not for a beginner waxer.
* I can relate to them too.

I don't mind stopping to adjust wax (many times), figure it out and learn... (love learning) -addicted to learning.

Wide, wide range of terrain changes, temperature changes. -Today going from packed frozen trail to untracked with some sign of where skiers were before last snow; going from overnight low of 11°F to 21°F starting out to 33° to 35° when gettin back, with areas of sun, clouds etc. It's a beautiful game.

Experiencing how Gamme grabs better on every minute convex piece of snow, how it behaves different just off the sides of packed trail, quick decision making is rewarded. A great wax job isn't great everywhere: where You are standing has more then one option where to place the ski in order to gain traction. Sometimes, dealing with a short term, short comings, so that up ahead, where You know, it will be shaded, things will get better.

The Oh's and the Ah's,

Any and all waxing achievements I've experienced are due directly to this website.

And I get to ski again tomorrow.





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Stephen
Posts: 328
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Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
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Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by Stephen » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:32 pm

EDIT:
Thanks to all those who offered opinions / thoughts / suggestions / points of view / ... towards my original question “Do I want a Nansen or Gamme?” All were helpful, and appreciated.


Turns out, I wanted a Gamme (but maybe I still want a Nansen, who knows).
The real deciding factors were:
1. No Nansens in my size to be had, and;
2. The Gammes sounded good.

Think I might have got the last pair of 210s in the US (Neptune).
Me:
6’3” / 167 out of the shower / about 185-190 geared up for the day.
Medium ok skier (I think I’m a hack, but maybe I’m 1/2 way competent).

I’ve been out on them four times in extremely different conditions:
- 1st time, after heavy snowfall, fairly dense powder on top of a partially consolidated base (12”), 6 miles, 760 feet;
- 2nd time, snow machine track with settling powder, 11 miles, 1,800 feet;
- 3rd time, overnight camping trip, 40# pack, 6.5 miles, 500 feet, 8” of new snow overnight;
- 4th time was 10 miles, 2,000 feet, mostly snowmobile trails, but also anything from solid sun crust, to breakable crust, to mashed potatoes, to five day old “powder” on NE faces, after warm weather.

There will be Pluses and Minuses here, but that’s the nature of most choices we make — most choices are a compromise.
So far, I find no real faults with these skis.

I really like these skis. They remind me of my 220 Asnes Tur Langrenn woodies of long ago. They are bit wider than those were, but have the feel. Light, springy, fast.

They are undeterred by crap — rutted snow machine tracks, crust, ruble. They just like to peacefully continue in the direction they are going. So, this can be a plus or a minus.
The Mountain Race 48 wax (with flexible tips and tail) I skied a few times seemed to snake along the path of least resistance. Sort of a plus on twisty turny bobsled runs with no exit options.
So, the Gamme takes more work to keep it on those twisty turny paths. More active steering or step turns.
But, that solidness feels so reassuring when traversing crust, or intending to ski up and out of a trail that takes a turn.

I debated (agonized) whether to get the 200cm (recommended length) or 210cm. In the end I finally had to realize that I was just going to have to decide which compromise I wanted to make: speed or grip.
I went for speed. I feel like I have quite adequate grip. I imagine I would have had more grip and a bit less speed with the 200cm, but don’t have 200cm for a side-by-side comparison.

As a side note, I am super happy, almost all the time, with the 35mm Mohair X-skins on these skis. Good grip AND glide (and, I have not even bothered to cut off the 2” of skin that is behind the heel). With a Gamme 200cm, I might be less impressed with the glide, due to more skin contact with the snow. Sometimes, the glide seems almost as good as wax, and the climb is much more dependable.
It does take a bit of care in ski placement when climbing and there are undulations in the snow surface. Less likely to get grip if grip zone is placed over any sort of depression. But this is alway more or less true.

If I contrast the Gammes with my Ingstads, there are of course many differences. One difference that is front of mind for me is that these feel much more predictable and solid traversing firm snow. Maybe it’s a stiffer ski. Maybe it’s just because it’s a narrower ski and easier to leverage on edge. Not sure, but I like it.

Have I said they’re fast? I think it’s easy to think of fast as in power, like a fast car. This is almost the inverse: they are fast because there is so little resistance to sliding on snow — it’s a joy!

Trip #1:
Just getting used to the skis. It got late, but was able to try a few turns in deeper, new snow and was really happy with turns in those conditions.

I notice one negative the 1st time out (#1 above). The tails sank into the snow more than the tips, and so there was the effect of walking uphill on the flats, or walking up a steeper hill on the hills. I would not equate that to the “pool cover effect” that has been mentioned. It was not like the middle of the ski was not supporting me, just that the tails sank. This could almost be a result of the stiffness of the ski. The foot is behind the balance point of the ski. The tip is wider than the tail. Logically, it does not seem surprising that the tail would sink more than the tip. Also, on each step forward, the tail is being place into a partially depressed track created by the ski of that foot, from the previous step, whereas, the tips are being supported by uncompressed snow.
I found this fairly annoying, but have not seen it again, and think it may result from a combination of snow conditions and the thought process outlined above. That’s enough words on that one!

Trip #2:
Was a joy. Fairly long distance (for me), fast progress on snow machine trail, fast ride out on the 1,800’ of vertical.

Trip #3:
I was a little concerned about the 45# pack (out and 40# back) on the narrower ski. Everything seemed to go well. Found a few hills to practice a few turns on days old powder. Woke up to 8” of fresh the next day, and skied out. Didn’t have too much time to fool around.

Trip #4:
Yesterday, just a fairly long push up 2,000. Switched to the 35mm X-Skins for most of it. Great glide on the warm snow, although they did get wet and then ice up in the shade (even though I have waxed them).
The ride down required use of the “rear brake” way more than I would have liked. First the trail was narrow, and once my max speed was exceeded, there was no way I could control speed (except with the rear brake). The sides were fast crust, the trail too narrow to snowplow. Then, out onto the North / South ridge. One side mush (W), the other side mostly breakable crust (E). I don’t have the skill for either. On the mush, I can make BIG turns, but those are no good for controlling speed. I never did figure out breakable crust. So the parts with a “reasonable” slope angle were great — big smile. The rest of it was a “learning experience.”

To wrap up, I really like the ski. I will be interested to try it in other conditions, especially powder and soft predictable corn. Here I’m mostly thinking turns, and this is not a turny ski, but it will turn.
.
3E90CBC2-F7BB-4212-A593-B1C15E863337.jpeg
3CB3482C-2438-449A-ACB7-CE7F599628BB.jpeg
Trip #1 — Trying to show how tails sink in this snow.
06C1BBA1-9A4E-4A46-808E-44C4BD83EBEC.jpeg
Trip #1 — Turns in some fairly dense new snow.
E80A01ED-3103-4E13-9596-AEB5FE61E100.jpeg
Trip #3 Day 1
B3D98A19-D4B3-4FE9-8D77-F9703AD8D086.jpeg
Trip #3 Day 2
C74DE44E-447A-46D1-B998-84F09DBCB75A.jpeg
Trip #3, Day 1 — Older powder
98D8879B-96A4-4D1A-9F83-19D03A2E9E83.jpeg
Trip #3, Day 2 — 8” of new snow overnight
C97B8756-EFAD-4120-B706-11C0C1296329.jpeg
Trip #4 — Beautiful day.
87351E27-7149-4C0F-8E64-E26BC8D32023.jpeg
Trip #4 — Big turns in mashed potatoes.
54949B68-C947-4868-A6E3-A6C8AD84C6B0.jpeg
Last edited by Stephen on Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.





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fisheater
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Ski Review: 2018-2019 Åsnes Gamme 54 BC

Post by fisheater » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:53 pm

Stephen, I think the turns look pretty good! Looks like a nice camp. What tent are you using? Just curious I am thinking more about some winter overnighters.

Oh, by the way,”Did I say they are fast?”
I feel the same!

I ‘m glad you’re happy with them. I really enjoyed your write up.





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