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Movement Alp Tracks 100 Review

Choose this ski for all-year, all-purpose human-powered skiing in any region of the world
movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review
Credit: Movement
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $1,295 List | $1,294.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Light for the uphill, balanced downhill performance for all conditions
Cons:  Expensive, generalized downhill performance
Manufacturer:   Movement Skis
By Jediah Porter  ⋅  Nov 1, 2022
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72
SCORE

RANK
#2
of 15
  • Weight - 25% 8.0
  • Firm Snow - 20% 7.0
  • Powder - 20% 8.0
  • Crud and Poor Snow - 20% 7.0
  • Stability at Speed - 15% 5.0

Our Verdict

Our highest honor has long gone to a ski model like the Movement Alp Tracks 100. In terms of dimensions, weight, and pedigree, this ski model joins a long lineage. Every top award winner for almost a decade has had "numbers" much like the Movement. Incremental improvements along the way mean that the latest OutdoorGearLab award selection is the best we've ever recommended. It comes at a price; light, high-performance backcountry skis are both compromised in durability and very expensive. This fits that description. We haven't yet tested to failure, but cannot anticipate extra-long integrity from something so light.

Editor's Note: For the 2023 season, Movement quit making the Alp Tracks 100. The closest available ski is the Alp Tracks 98, which is very similar in design and size, just slightly more narrow underfoot. We suspect that the performance of the 98 is very similar to the 100, and we're now linking to the Alp Track 98 in our review.

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Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $1,295 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$850 List
$849.95 at REI
$750 List
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$795 List
$795.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
72
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Bottom Line Choose this ski for all-year, all-purpose human-powered skiing in any region of the worldThis is our favorite ski for modern, all-around backcountry skiing, bringing traditional reliability, modern dimensions, and performance balanceInexpensive, proven all-around performance that's suitable for a wide variety of backcountry skiers and ski conditionsAmong the most specialized skis in our test, it's optimized for the deepest of days in the deepest of regions
Rating Categories Movement Alp Tracks... Blizzard Zero G 105 K2 Wayback 106 Voile HyperDrifter
Weight (25%)
8.0
5.0
5.0
6.0
Firm Snow (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
1
Powder (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
Crud and Poor Snow (20%)
7.0
8.5
7.0
6.0
Stability at Speed (15%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Movement Alp Tracks... Blizzard Zero G 105 K2 Wayback 106 Voile HyperDrifter
Weight Per Pair 5.6 lbs 6.7 lbs 6.9 lbs 7.0 lbs
Weight Per Ski 1270g, 1272g
average: 1271g
1515g, 1510g
average: 1513g
1518g, 1557g
average: 1537g
1545g, 1585g
average: 1565g
Weight Per Pair 2542g 3025g 3075g 3130g
Weight Per Surface Area Ratio, g/cm^2 0.62 0.72 0.71 0.64
Measured Length 176cm 178cm 179cm 177cm
Manufacturer Length 177cm 180cm 179cm 178cm
Available Lengths (cm) 170, 177, 185 164, 172, 180, 188 172, 179, 186 171, 178, 186
Claimed Dimensions (mm) 132/100/120 133/105/118 136/106/124 155/121/138
Measured Dimensions (mm) 131/100/118 133/104/118 135/107/123 154/121/138
Construction Type Cap Sandwich Sandwich Cap Hybrid Cap
Core Material Paulownia Paulownia Paulownia Paulownia
Waist Width 100mm 105mm 107mm 121mm
Radius 19m 23m 22m 19m
Rocker/Camber Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail rocker Tip rocker, slight camber underfoot Tip rocker, camber underfoot

Our Analysis and Test Results

Movement's Alp Tracks 100 is a modern classic touring ski. Its weight, dimensions, and performance are familiar and tuned for optimum human-powered efficiency and enjoyment. For all-around, all-season ski touring, this award winner is our favorite ski in a while. You will pay for it with dollars and likely with some durability (light gear like this just doesn't last like heavier stuff), but you will experience great uphill and downhill performance.

Performance Comparison


movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - spring snow, early light, and vast vistas. the movement alp tracks...
Spring snow, early light, and vast vistas. The Movement Alp Tracks 100 will get you there and back again, even if the snow is still rock hard.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Weight


We report on the weight of all our tested skis in a variety of fashions. It is common convention now to refer to a ski's weight in terms of mass of one ski, in grams. The tested pair of Alp Tracks 100, on our calibrated scale, weighs 1270g and 1272g, respectively. Just two grams separating them is really, really good. That difference could be much greater for a different selection of the same exact make and model of ski. Manufacturing variations will always leave a range of possible weights for any particular size and type of ski.


The pair of skis weighs 5.6 pounds. Further, we calculated "weight per surface area" using a simple, repeatable formula. We found this Movement product to be .62g per square centimeter. See our How We Test article for elaboration on the weight per surface area calculation. Few other skis on the market offer better weight per surface area.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - the trailhead gear sort for a june ski descent of mount shasta. with...
The trailhead gear sort for a June ski descent of Mount Shasta. With camping gear, high altitude clothing, and all the regular accoutrement, light skis are virtually mandatory. This award winner is definitely light.
Credit: Jediah Porter

No matter how you look at weight, the Alp Tracks 100 is very light. For its function and for its size, this product is an uphill-devouring dream. Equip it with tiny bindings, fast-and-light skins, and pair it with modern, high-mobility touring boots for maximum benefit.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - under 1300 grams is an excellent weight allowance, especially if the...
Under 1300 grams is an excellent weight allowance, especially if the skis are truly all-around performers.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Firm Snow


Hard, icy snow is demanding. Whether on white-out volcano crusts (see below Mount Shasta account) or spring Teton mountaineering, we were able to get a few tens of thousands of feet of ice on the Alp Tracks 100. If we were only going to ski hard snow, we wouldn't pick the Movement. This is an all-around touring ski for all seasons; there are better options for pure firm snow riding.


That being said, the Alp Tracks 100 does well enough. Our test team was comfortable on this ride everywhere that our risk tolerance allows. That is about all anyone can ask of a ski mountaineering ski. Edging is uniform fore and aft, and the edge grip is even and adequate. To say that skis grip "tenaciously" is cliche and inaccurate. We do it sometimes, but we don't like when we do.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - we swear, the matching bindings and ski top sheets was purely...
We swear, the matching bindings and ski top sheets was purely coincidental. What wasn't coincidental was pairing these light skis with light bindings. Do the Movement Alp Tracks justice with race-weight bindings. Here, the Plum R170.
Credit: Jediah Porter

You don't want skis to grab ice at all costs. You want even, predictable edge hold. Nonetheless, this sort of easy and lazy hyperbole pervades ski review text. Other skis will grab more securely and with even greater confidence and efficiency than the Alp Tracks. However, most of those that do better on firm snow than this award winner are much heavier, poorer in soft snow, or both.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - ski mountaineering demands versatility of your skis, at a light...
Ski mountaineering demands versatility of your skis, at a light weight. The Movement Alp Tracks 100 can hang in the rowdiest environments.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Powder


Oh golly! Powder snow is perfect. We have to risk gloating a little bit. Our test team hunkered down through the height of Covid restrictions with amazing Teton spring powder skiing right out the door. We got about 50,000 vertical feet of powder snow on the Alp Tracks 100. They are a blast. There is just enough float for the deepest of days, and their stiff construction belies a floating performance.


We can't call these "surfy" powder skis; the experience is more a carving, slicing sort of powder turn. Sized for efficiency and all-around performance (177cm for our 5'10", 165-pound averaged test team), the Alp Tracks 100 is bouncy and lively. They prefer medium radius turns, but an expert can readily shorten 'em up. Further, as noted above, high-speed enjoyment is possible. With perfect snow, full-throttle skiing gets you as much velocity as you should probably take on without ski patrol nearby.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - daily powder touring, as conducted by the teton ski guides on our...
Daily powder touring, as conducted by the Teton ski guides on our test team, rewards light skis with just a little girth. The Movement Alp Tracks 100 is just right.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Crud/Poor Snow


You are going to face "bad" snow in your backcountry skiing. This is a fact. Some patterns and regions have more than others, but every backcountry skier's day/week/season will involve tough snow of some sort. Generally, when we think of poor snow in the backcountry, we think of breakable crust and/or sloppy, heavy stuff. Every ski and every skier will, at some point, need to revert to "survival" tactics. The Alp Tracks 100 does better than most, especially considering the weight.


We assess poor snow performance while skiing poor snow. Deducing any sort of ski performance from construction and design attributes is problematic, at best. While we had piles of amazing experiences on this award winner, we also got more than our share of tough stuff.

Transitional, spring "powder" skiing involves sloppy snow at the heat of the day and breakable crusts on either side. We did lots of both of these. In breakable crust, we had to apply a fair amount of "energy" to get the Alp Tracks in and out of this trap. When we did so, though, we could continue to make linked turns well past the mid-point of the aforementioned poor snow continuum. In sloppy, warm snow, the Alp Tracks feels suction-y like other relatively large touring skis but is maneuverable and consistent.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - late winter, low to moderate avalanche hazard, ready legs, tuned...
Late winter, low to moderate avalanche hazard, ready legs, tuned gear, and solo high mileage ski touring is a perk of the job. We do this so that we can find, for you, gems like the Movement Alp Tracks 100.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Stability at Speed


The flip side of weight, generally, is stability. Whether in steep and meticulous riding or wide-open fast shredding, you want your skis to offer a predictable and consistent platform. Attributes that lend stability in both speed and steeps are consistent; a ski stable at speed is also stable in steeps. We found, overall, the Alp Tracks 100 to be stable enough for all-around, intermediate to expert backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.


A highlight of our testing season was a week in June on Mount Shasta in California. We had conditions that demanded stability and our lead tester pushed the Alp Tracks. First, wide-open perfect corn slopes allowed us to let 'em run. We liked what we found. We could make predictable, big, fast turns while soaking in the position and letting the gear do its job. Next, on a different day and a separate summit effort, clouds came in and shut down both visibility and softening of the spring corn snow. A few thousand of steep, zero-vis, rock-hard, tracked-and-chunky ski mountaineering taxed the team and the kit. Even solid, narrow, heavy in-bounds skis would have been maxed out in these conditions. We made the entire ski descent in good style and with dynamic (albeit slow) turns, thanks to the stability of this Movement product.

movement alp tracks 100 backcountry skis review - 100mm underfoot is what we've found to be the sweet spot for a...
100mm underfoot is what we've found to be the sweet spot for a "quiver of one" for human powered skiing. It isn't wrong to go even just a little bit narrower. Go wider than 100 and you get either a ton more weight or significantly compromised firm snow performance.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Should You Buy the Movement Alp Tracks 100?


An unqualified "yes". Every skier, if they can afford it, has a place in their quiver for this award winner. It can be your only backcountry ski and serve you for 100-150 days of varied skiing. It can complement your initial, too-heavy ski setup. It can be the ski you buy for that long-coveted Alaska fly-in basecamp ski trip or the Chile early spring volcano hunting safari.

What Other Backcountry Skis Should You Consider?


Nothing we know of on the market perfectly matches the Movement Alp Tracks in overall performance and weight. Our other Editors' Choice winner, the Blizzard Zero G 105 is heavier, bigger, and skis way better. For most days of skiing, that weight is justified by the greater ski ability.

Jediah Porter

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