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In a Nutshell
The Fischer Transalp 105 CTI is a lightweight, but approachable option for directional skiers looking for a capable backcountry ski.
Length Skied: 185 cm
Weight: 1630 g
Stated Dimensions: 140-106-125 mm
Stated Sidecut: 23 m
Recommended Mount Point: -10.75 cm
The Transalp 105 CTI is Fischer’s new soft snow touring ski. It replaces the Hannibal 106 Carbon as Fischer’s widest touring ski. I quite enjoy the naming convention swap, from the general’s name (Hannibal) to one of his keynote achievements (crossing the Alps.) But I digress.
The Transalp 105 gets the “Shaped Ti” titanal layer that’s also present in Fischer’s Ranger series. This is a partial laminate, the titanal doesn’t extend all the way across the core, instead it’s only present in key areas, visible in the topsheet.
Fischer is adamant about the Transalp 105’s intentions. They call it “The first choice for deep powder snow days.” So, I skied the Transalp in deep pow, on groomers, and everything in between.
Length and Mount Point
I skied the 185 cm Transalp 105 CTI. I usually choose skis close to this 185 cm length, although I’ll often size down to a 181 for touring skis, or up to a 190 for pow skis. The Transalp 105 CTI comes in four sizes from 165 to 185 cm. That’s a nice broad range, and Fischer’s size breaks should make it easier for folks to find a size that works well for them.
The Transalp 105 CTI has a recommended mount point of -10.75 cm. That’s relatively far back for a modern pow ski, but after skiing the Transalp 105, I’m not eager to mess with the mount point. It feels very in line with the rest of the Transalp’s design.
Where does the Transalp 105 CTI shine?
This is where I must admit to some prejudice. When a ski shows up in the mail with a lot of camber, not too much rocker, a layer of metal, and a really rearward mount point, I have a tendency to wonder how demanding it’s going to be, how much work it’s going to require from me to ski it well. My guess was that the Transalp was going to require a fair bit of work.
And that’s where the Transalp 105 CTI surprised me. It’s not really a demanding ski. Yes, you can ski it hard, making big turns and driving the front of your boots, but it responds much better to mellow, noodling turns in tight terrain and variable snow than I expected. The Transalp 105 is more well-rounded than my initial impressions suggested.
In fresh snow, the Transalp 105 CTI is fun, in a directional way. This is not a ski that wants to slash everything, jibbing and popping down the hill. Instead, it’s best used to make smooth, clean turns, carving more than slarving. It’s not a particularly loose ski, but it is nimble, it’s easy enough to pivot and hop around in tight terrain, and its tips float better than its dimensions might suggest.
Where I enjoyed the Transalp 105 CTI the most though was open terrain in soft, but not deep snow. In these conditions, it’s really fun to ski the 105 fast, making big, smooth turns. When the snow is truly bad, the Transalp’s weight shows. It’s not a particularly damp ski, and firm cut up snow produces some tinny feedback, and plenty of edge wiggle. It’s not necessarily harsh and twangy like some touring skis are, but it transmits more energy back to your boot than skis like the Salomon QST Echo. However, if conditions are halfway decent, the Transalp 105 is happy to crush.
I used the Transalp 105 CTI with Fischer’s precut skins. The skins were excellent, plenty of glide, good grip, and I appreciated the custom tip hardware that fits into a notch on the Transalp’s tip. It’s secure, with little potential for snow ingress. I did find that when ripping skins with my skis on, it was a little more likely to snag and stay stuck to the ski than a traditional tip loop, but this wasn’t a big issue.
Where does the Transalp 105 CTI make some compromises?
This is not a traditionally “playful” ski in any regard. Yes, you can play on it, but it never feels like the Transalp wants that, like it was designed for that. Instead it seems to know what it wants, which is to make traditionally “good” turns in the backcountry. While some touring skis conjure visions of pillow lines, windlip slashes, and other general tomfoolery, the Transalp leaves me with clean simplicity, arcs painted across a slope.
So fully traditional, directional skiers will get along really well with the Transalp 105. But the more you want to slash, jump, and jib your way down the slope, the more I’d recommend you look at other options.
Compared to the Fischer Ranger 108
I unboxed Fischer’s Ranger 108 at the same time as the Transalp, and I was struck by their similarities and differences. They have nearly identical topsheets, and a similar titanal layer. Some brands like to make their touring skis and inbounds skis mirror opposites, the same shape and rocker profile with different weight layups. At first glance you could assume Fischer did the same here. But they didn’t. There’s a bigger conversation to be had here about the philosophy behind touring ski design, that we’ll dive into soon. For now, here’s how they compare.
The Transalp has less rocker, more camber, a bigger radius, and a more rearward mount point than the Ranger. And on snow, you can feel those differences. The Transalp feels more directional, more interested in carving big turns, and less suited to playful, slarvy skiing. The Ranger has more float in fresh snow, and caters to a wider range of skiing styles. You can drive the Ranger with a forward, directional stance just fine, or you can ski it more centered, hopping and jibbing around the mountain.
The Transalp is a very good touring ski for directional skiers. However, I couldn’t help wondering if a straight translation of the Ranger to a touring layup would appeal to a much wider range of skiers. As it is, the Transalp fits a tighter niche than the Ranger, but taking on the Ranger’s shape, and profile would open it up to more skiers who might really enjoy it, but otherwise wouldn’t consider it. Especially since Fischer markets it as a powder-specific weapon, and those tweaks would make it even more fun in fresh snow.
For more comparisons, check out our roundup of the best backcountry skis.
What would a perfect day on the TransAlp 105 CTI look like?
Spring stability has landed, and you’re up early to climb the ridge and ski the east face of a big objective. There’s fresh snow up top, transforming into hot pow near the bottom, and you ski the face in one glorious shot, leaving bold, arcing tracks in your wake.