One of the sleeper skis of last season was G3′s District. It wasn’t that it didn’t get good reviews – Backcountry Magazine considered it one of their Editor’s Choice picks. Outside of that the ski didn’t garner much attention because it wasn’t one of the ultra-light carbon-fiber enhanced backcountry skis. Rather, it was a more traditionally constructed ski, with as much attention paid to reducing weight as possible, without breaking the bank or using carbon.
The result is a ski that has the solid reliability of a wood core with enough mass to withstand the retaliatory forces of Cascade Crud or Sierra Cement. With a 100mm waist it has plenty of float in whatever density snow you happen to be romping in. The rocker in the tip is a nice shape with a moderate rise that yields a smooth, even levitation whether making fresh tracks on the up or down without robbing useable edge power when you need a firm grip on an icy slope. As a result, you won’t be whining when it’s your turn to break trail because you won’t be trenching.
At the other end, there’s a moderate amount of rocker in the tail. It’s a short upturn, but enough that simple exercises like a fallen-leaf maneuver in a tight couloir are practically instinctual, but jamming your tail on a switchback is not. By and large the rocker is perfect for releasing out of a turn in deep snow without having to unweight much, and isn’t so long that you can’t hold an edge when running out a sweeping carve on hardpack.
While the District isn’t considered a lightweight ski by current standards, it is hardly a tank either. Paired with a 2-pin binding, it still qualifies as a lightweight AT rig, just not ultra-light. When you consider how smooth and damp the response of the District is on chattery junk that carbon-bones skis simply cannot handle, an extra pound by comparison might be considered a valuable asset, not superfluous weight.
If the goal is uphill speed at any cost, there are better options. However, if the goal is to maximize skiing pleasure where you’re earning your turns, you can hardly go wrong on the G3 District.