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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
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Movement Alp Tracks 100 Review
Credit: Movement
Price:  $1,350 List
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Manufacturer:   Movement Skis
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 16, 2023
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 17
  • Weight - 25% 8.0
  • Firm Snow - 20% 7.0
  • Powder - 20% 8.0
  • Crud and Poor Snow - 20% 6.0
  • Stability at Speed - 15% 5.0

Our Verdict

Our top picks have long gone to a ski model like the Movement Alp Tracks 100. In terms of dimensions, weight, and pedigree, this ski joins a long lineage of truly awesome backcountry skis. But praise comes at a price; lightweight, high-performance backcountry skis are both compromised in durability and very expensive. The Alp Tracks 100 fits that description. We haven't yet tested to failure, but cannot anticipate an extended life from something so light. See it ranked against other top products in our article on the best backcountry skis. Other current award winners offer similar performance, slightly greater weight, and seemingly greater durability.
REASONS TO BUY
Light for the uphill
Balanced downhill performance for all conditions
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Generalized downhill performance
Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 14, 2023, to update the status of this previous award winner.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at Backcountry
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$899.95 at Evo
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$750 List
$599.96 at Backcountry
$799.95 at Evo
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$594.96 at Backcountry
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Bottom Line If you have to pick one backcountry ski model for full seasons and all conditions, this is one that we recommend, as it's carefully tuned for all conditionsThis relatively wide all-season ski is one of our favorites and great for all-around human-powered useA high-performance, all-around backcountry ski for all types of wild skiingHeavier skis that offer meaningful performance on the downhill, ideal for newer backcountry skiers or for experts who don't mind trading a bit of efficiency for a bit more funThis affordable pair is great for a wide range of human-powered skiers and mountain conditions, with proven all-season downhill performance
Rating Categories Movement Alp Tracks... Blizzard Zero G 105 Atomic Backland 100 Salomon QST Echo 106 K2 Wayback 106
Weight (25%)
8.0
5.0
7.0
2.0
5.0
Firm Snow (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Powder (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Crud and Poor Snow (20%)
6.0
8.5
7.0
9.0
7.0
Stability at Speed (15%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Movement Alp Tracks... Blizzard Zero G 105 Atomic Backland 100 Salomon QST Echo 106 K2 Wayback 106
Weight Per Pair (lbs) 5.6 6.7 5.9 7.8 6.9
Weight Per Pair (g) 2542 3025 2661 3557 3075
Weight Per Ski (g) 1270, 1272
Average: 1271
1515, 1510
Average: 1513
1338, 1323
Average 1331
1784, 1773
Average 1779
1518, 1557
Average: 1537
Weight Per Surface Area Ratio (g/cm²) 0.62 0.72 0.64 0.8 0.71
Measured Length (cm) 176 178 178 180 179
Manufacturer Claimed Length (cm) 177 180 180 181 179
Available Lengths (cm) 170, 177, 185 164, 172, 180, 188 164, 172, 180, 180 157, 165, 173, 181, 189 172, 179, 186
Measured Dimensions (mm) 131/100/118 133/104/118 129/100/119 140/105/125 135/107/123
Manufacturer Claimed Dimensions (mm) 132/100/120 133/105/118 130/100/120 136/106/123 136/106/124
Construction Type Cap Sandwich Dura Cap Sidewall Sandwich Sandwich Cap Hybrid
Core Material Paulownia Paulownia Poplar and Caruba Poplar and Caruba Paulownia
Waist Width (mm) 100 105 100 105 107
Radius (m) 19 23 19 16 22
Rocker/Camber Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail rocker Tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot Tip rocker, slight camber underfoot

Our Analysis and Test Results

Product Update Note — November 2022


For the 2022/23 season, Movement quit making the Alp Tracks 100 we tested (pictured on the left.) The closest available ski is the Alp Tracks 98 (pictured right). This ski 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.

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 is one of our favorite skis we've tested 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 - 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.

movement alp tracks 100 - 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

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.

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 - 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.

movement alp tracks 100 - 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

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.

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 ski are much heavier, perform poorer in soft snow, or both.

movement alp tracks 100 - 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 - 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 and 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 ski, 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 - 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 Movement ski testing 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 - 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 a ski like the Alp Tracks 100. 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?


Our Editors' Choice winner, the Blizzard Zero G 105 is heavier and bigger, but it skis much better. For most days of skiing, that weight is justified by the greater ski ability. The other current Editors Choice, the Atomic Backland 100, is slightly heavier than the Movement, but in our experience, skis about the same.

Jediah Porter