Mar 04 2013

Review: Madshus Annum


Rigged with a step-in 3-pin (TeleBulldog) binding the Madshus Annum is ready to go just about anywhere.

One of the benefits of living in snow country is the ability to embrace skiing in all its forms. Whether alpine, nordic, steep, deep or flat – just gliding on skis is a thrill. However, to enjoy skiing in all its forms you need to have quite a few different skis. Few of us are in a position to just ski all the time, and even if we could, rarely does the money to support such a life exist.

Nonetheless even frugal skiers know it is important to have a quiver of skis, for each has a place. When the quiver is small, the versatility of a ski is paramount. One can hardly go wrong by including the Madshus Annum, especially if you like to dabble in the freedom of Nordic with the power of Alpine.

You may recall the Karhu Guide? It lead the charge back in the 0 years to provide a ski with downhill prowess thanks to a waist width that could support turns with a pack and metal edges to hold on when the snow was hard. In the Nordic mobility department it offered up a waxless pattern. It quickly became the ski I used the most – mostly for taking Pepper on a walk down the bluff, across a meadow, and back.

The Karhu Guide was made by Madshus. Their version is called the Annum. In the turn department is works really well for a skinny alpine ski. It has a medium flex, allowing it to hold an edge, but not while maching in bounds at a resort. The pattern can slow you down during a turn, but it’s only noticeable on wet snow that is slow already.

The positive pattern is an absolute delight for being able to get out and get moving without having to put skins on, and of course it has much better glide. If you’re heading up for any sustained pitch it is certainly worth adding skins, but for short pitches you can easily hold a 12° pitch, more when the snow is warmer, less when cold. As long as you know how to contour the land you can cover a lot of vertical in a short amount of time on a low angle fish-scale track (an excellent way to train yourself in the nuances of a low-angle skin track).

In the backcountry the Annum is great for spring corn snow, where the scales are reliable, and you want to cover a lot of ground. A few years back three of us did a circuitous route along the Sierra Crest, sort of midway between Squaw and Sugar Bowl resorts. We were all on waxless metal edged skis, with the Guide/Annum the fattest ski in the bunch. It was no surprise that it delivered the best, most reliable turns of the day in some pretty manky muck.

After heading up to Bradley Hut we dropped in to Deep Creek, climbed up to Tinker’s Knob along the crest, strode across the crest to Anderson Peak, dropped the steep north side to the Benson Hut (buried to the top of the roof that year), cruised Anderson Ridge ’til a bowl beckoned for more turns in overripe corn to Diamond Ridge, down the south face in butter corn, around to Lost Trail Lodge which tempted us with much needed rest and hydration, then out Cold Stream road. By the end my heavier weight system (T2/Switchback/Annum) put me at the back of the pack but I gained it all on the final run down to Donner State Park. For tours like that, with a mix of everything, the Annum is perfect.

MSRP: $400
Dimensions: 109-78-95
Lengths avail.: 165cm – 195cm (every 10 cm)

© 2013

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2NICZG5FZ742BP5DE26MXD6UQE Kevin

    how do you think these would compare to the Rossignol BC 125 skis. I was thinking of getting something like this and then using some of those carbon fiber cuffed skate ski boots to drive them, as the cuffs on the usual BC boots really don’t provide that much support to drive/control skis and I don’t want/need the weight/burliness of a 75mm boot to do low angle meadow skipping.

  • http://ern.reeders.net.au/blog/ Ern Reeders

    Yeah I like the Annum too as an all-rounder.  Nearest competitor is the Fischer S-bound 112 which has a more aggressive pattern but snappier turn initiation.

  • Forrest McCarthy

    Madshus also found the perfect amount of camber to go with this well made wood core ski. Truly a delight to ski. I do prefer a lighter boot/binding.

  • Dostie

    Without having actually skied them, my guess is the Rossi BC 125s are too wide for the boots you are thinking of using. The Annum or Fischer S-Bound 112 would be a better match. For the Rossi BC125 my money would be on a 75mm plastic boots (Garmont excursion or Scarpa T3) with a Switchback or 3-pins -OR- Dynafit TLT5 boots with Dynafiddle binders. Unless you’re taking a loooong tour the 75mm rigs I’m referencing don’t slow you down on a short tour with their weight, and that weight is great for making turns.

  • http://ern.reeders.net.au/blog/ Ern Reeders

    Skate boots are narrow and designed for skating; ie. most of the time all your weight is over a narrow ski first gliding on it and then driving it outwards in one line.  The bindings reflect this.  They’re not designed for twisting forces or for skis that bow downwards beyond flat.

  • Eric Steig

    I saw someone the other day with a Madshus Epoch (which is skinnier than the Annum and I think has a bit more camber), Dynafit TLT 5′s, and ultralight Dynafit race bindings.   She said she could ski “absolutely anything” in them.  Very cool.

  • rhcastorh3@gmail.com

    I agree that BC125′s will ski great with at least a lite plastic or old fashioned double buckle heavy leather 3-pin boot. Mine are 165cm’s mounted (pin line, sz. 10/28 boot) @ 34-1/2″ from tail and ski about as well as my Vector BC’s mounted @ about 34″ from tail (maybe 1/2″ ahead of boot ctr.) on these excellant rockered BC skis from Voile’USA. (sz. 160cm)

  • rhcastorh3@gmail.com

    I enjoy my Karhu Guides tho not as responsive as BC125′s nor Voile VectorBC’s but better for firmer conditions. They ski well for me with lite cable bindings (Voile’ standard (spring) cable bindings) with wedge, mtd. pin line @ 34-3/4″ from tail, (sz. 10/28 boot, sz. 165cm ski).

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