My fiance and I first discovered Black Crows at a demo day in Chamonix back in 2016. This was our first exposure to the brand as it wasn’t in North America at the time, but we were immediately captivated by the brand and impressed by their skis. Founded in 2006 by a pair of professional freeskiers, the impetus of this Chamonix-based company was to craft a big mountain ski that could still offer agility and handle high-speed turns. Today, in 2020, Black Crows continues to explode in popularity across Europe and, more recently, North America, thanks to the performance, design, and beauty of its lineup. Every Black Crows ski is the embodiment of the big mountain lifestyle of Chamonix. And the Black Crows Atris Birdie skis are no exception.
As I mentioned both my fiance and I are huge advocates for Black Crows. So much so that we actually both have a pair of the Atris. Corey uses the universal Atris as his everyday resort ski, skiing primarily in Western Canada and Northwestern United States. I use my Atris Birdies primarily as my light backcountry touring ski, but have used them on my fair share of inbounds powder days as well. Let’s dive into what makes the Atris Birdie such a winner.
The one-ski quiver that doesn’t hold you back
The Black Crows Atris Birdie is the perfect solution to that elusive one-ski quiver so many people are looking for these days. Its double-rocker profile combined with medium classic camber gives you exceptional maneuverability, agility, and quick pivoting. Its 108mm waist width gives you the stability and float needed for drool-worthy powder runs. And while its weight isn’t going to help you set any mountaineering speed records, it’s still a very reasonable weight for backcountry ski touring.
Why did I choose the Atris Birdie?
Personally I chose to put a touring binding on this ski because I was looking for a ski that I could use for single day ski tours AND also use inbounds on powder days. The Black Crows Atris Birdie offered me the width and profile of a ski that I wanted for ankle to knee deep pow, while still being a viable weight for a few days a season ski touring with friends. I pair this with a pair of slalom skis that I use for ripping groomers on hardpack days and I’m very happy with my two-ski quiver.
I mounted the G3 Zed 12 binding on my Atris Birdies because I wanted a lightweight, high-performance ski touring binding. I chose to go with a lightweight option because I was prioritizing the ski touring capability over the highspeed performance, knowing that I already had my slalom skis for high-performance groomer skiing. However, if you were truly looking for that one-ski quiver, you could mount something like the Salomon Shift binding on the Atris Birdie to give you high-performance inside and outside the resort, in all conditions.
Atris Birdie: Specs and Profile
At first glance, you’ve probably noticed that the Atris Birdie is an absolutely stunning ski. The classic Black Crows sleek geometric design is on full display, with a gorgeous choice of colors. As with all Black Crows skis, they also feature a fun, random phrase on the sidewall of the ski. The 2020’s say “I feel like we never talk anymore” and the 2021’s say “je parle francais.” Beyond the graphics and fun nature of the brand, here’s a review of the ski’s specs.
The design, profile, and specifications of the Atris Birdie make it a great multi-purpose ski, even a great one-ski quiver. Here are the different ways you could go with the Black Crows Atris Birdie.
Option 1: Mount a regular binding for a do-it-all inbounds ski that provides powerful turns at high speeds, exceptional agility for a ski of this width, and still the float you need for off-piste powder runs.
Option 2: Mount a lightweight ski touring binding like the Zed 12 to give you a ski that you can use inbounds on powder days, as well as on single day backcountry ski tours.
Option 3: Mount a hybrid ski touring binding like the Salomon Shift for the ultimate one-ski quiver that allows you to ski both hardpack and powder inbounds, while still giving you the option to go out for a couple of ski touring days per season.
Overall, I’ve been extremely impressed with my Atris Birdie skis and highly recommend them for any of the above options. I ski the 2020 model; the 2021 Atris Birdies are identical except for a graphics change, and I LOVE the new color!
What other gear do you need to get started with backcountry ski touring?
Check out our list of backcountry skiing essentials.