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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    50

    AT Ski Comparison: Volkl BMT 186 vs Black Crows Corvus Freebird

    Hey all,

    I'm comparing these two skis for an all-purpose touring ski that I'll use year round and for the occasional ski mountaineering adventure. Having never skied either, I'd appreciate your thoughts or opinions. Seems like the weight difference is about 1.25 lbs (Corvus is heavier).

    Setup 1: Black Crows Corvus Freebird (183) with Marker Kingpin 13 AT Bindings
    Setup 2: Volkl BMT 109 (186) with G3 ION 12 AT Bindings

    Fire away!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Squamish BC.
    Posts
    689

    AT Ski Comparison: Volkl BMT 186 vs Black Crows Corvus Freebird

    I have only skied the BMT 109, but having had skis like the Corvus and knowing it’s review history well I would venture a comparison. Firstly, the BMT is full rocker, relatively subtle though. It feels loose in deep snow, relatively easy to either slarve turns or carve them. It’s pretty good on firmer snow and will hold surprisingly well on ice, but that’s not it’s forte.

    The Corvus has some camber under foot with tip rocker and a bit of low tail rocker closer to flat. It will want to lock into turns more in soft snow and won’t float quite as well as the BMT, but will hold an edge better on firm and be a more composed in crud. The BMT would likely handle crust or hooky snow better. The Corvus could be a 50-50 resort/backcountry ski while the BMT is more Backcountry oriented.

    The Kinpin binding will transfer power better and work better at the resort, while the Ion is more of a backcountry specific binding, lighter, easier to transition etc.

    If you have access to the 2021 Blister gear review, there is a pretty accurate assessment of each ski and comparison of the two.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    926
    FYI I have a pair of 183 Corvus Freebirds (2019) with Rotation 12's and Pomocoa skins that I'm probably going to let go. Like new, 3 short tours. I just didn't click with them - a little too locked in for me, per comments above.

    FWIW, I have not skied the BMT, but I think the Corvus Freebird would be a very solid 50/50 or dedicated BC ski in the intermountain west where the snow is a little drier/lighter, as opposed to Sierras or PNW, where the higher density snow is a little trickier with a more traditional-shaped, cambered ski with a flat tail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by sierraskier View Post
    FYI I have a pair of 183 Corvus Freebirds (2019) with Rotation 12's and Pomocoa skins that I'm probably going to let go. Like new, 3 short tours. I just didn't click with them - a little too locked in for me, per comments above.

    FWIW, I have not skied the BMT, but I think the Corvus Freebird would be a very solid 50/50 or dedicated BC ski in the intermountain west where the snow is a little drier/lighter, as opposed to Sierras or PNW, where the higher density snow is a little trickier with a more traditional-shaped, cambered ski with a flat tail.
    Yeah I am based out of Denver so most of my touring is going to be around here. Your setup sounds awesome, Ill PM you to ask about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kilpisjärvi, Finland
    Posts
    867
    I have corvus fb 183(old model) + atk freerider 14 2.0, just love it for all round touring. Does everything very, very well and has high speed limit. I do like making turns, loading ski and bouncing from turn to turn. Don't like that much full rocker skis.

    I did have couple of hours on new version some weeks ago on wrod. Stiffer tail and less camber. Definately looser feeling and still holding edge just fine. Maybe not so "poppy" as the old version. Could be what you are looking for?

    Lähetetty minun LYA-L29 laitteesta Tapatalkilla

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Ville View Post
    I have corvus fb 183(old model) + atk freerider 14 2.0, just love it for all round touring. Does everything very, very well and has high speed limit. I do like making turns, loading ski and bouncing from turn to turn. Don't like that much full rocker skis.

    I did have couple of hours on new version some weeks ago on wrod. Stiffer tail and less camber. Definately looser feeling and still holding edge just fine. Maybe not so "poppy" as the old version. Could be what you are looking for?

    Lähetetty minun LYA-L29 laitteesta Tapatalkilla
    Thanks for the beta! I like what I read in all the reviews of the BMT 109 biut I'm a little leery about full rocker. My first pair of skis were Volkl Gotamas with frame AT bindings. Never really got along with them that well. Sold those and bought a pair of Moment Wildcats for the resort and feel much more confident on edge with them...I attribute that mostly to the camber.

    What region are you touring in? Also, how maneuverable and confident is the Corvus FB in steep, techy terrain?

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Squamish BC.
    Posts
    689
    I know what everyone thinks when they hear “full rocker,” deep snow only, sucks on hard pack etc. The BMT’s do surprisingly well on firmer snow as do the Katana V Werks which I also own.

    My fist run ever on a BMT 109 was a spring demo day at Whistler. I headed over to a nice groomer first to feel them out. It was early in the day and the snow had melted the previous day and refrozen into a sheet of ice. To my great surprise they held an edge quite well, not race ski grip or anything, but not terrible like one would except from reverse camber. That was a worst case scenario and a ringing endorsement. Of course in the deeper off piste snow they are designed for, especially powder, they are great.

    I also own a pair of the BMT 94’s which are also reverse cambered, though slightly less. I took them to Norway and skied everything from knee deep spring powder to rock hard bullet proof ice and they handled it all.

    Don’t be scared of reverse camber. If designed well, like the Volkl’s are, they can be very versatile and the full rocker lets you ski looser if you want, but doesn’t commit you to that if you want to carve. I really like my 109’s as an all around back country ski.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    7B Idaho
    Posts
    461
    If this is only for touring I would recommend the G3 bindings and not the Kingpins. I can adjust to skis on the down, but lugging more weight up hill is never fun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    10,113
    Quote Originally Posted by skis_the_trees View Post
    If this is only for touring I would recommend the G3 bindings and not the Kingpins. I can adjust to skis on the down, but lugging more weight up hill is never fun.
    Or better yet, Vipecs.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    190

    AT Ski Comparison: Volkl BMT 186 vs Black Crows Corvus Freebird


    2021 Corvus Freebird 186 and BMT 122 186, they make a great 2 ski AT quiver. Corvus if you don’t know what kind of snow you will find BMT when you know POW is on the menu.
    The BMT will surprise you on your way back to the lift, it will hold an edge and carve a turn. BMT makes skiing POW so easy and handles variable wind effected snow with ease the full rocker does all the hard work. I do.
    The Corvus holds a great edge and I am able to full medium radius turns with the tip and tail hooked up. No opportunity to ski POW on them yet.


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    Last edited by blur; 12-22-2020 at 05:06 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winthrop, WA. Methow valley
    Posts
    1,019
    FWIW, I've owned BMT 122's (Japan trip) and still have BMT 109's and 94's. Like everyone is saying the 109's remind me a lot of skinnier 122's. Pretty loose and smearable in deep, float better than they should, and handle funky shit as well as any. Perfect all-around touring ski for me. What they aren't is a hammer, at least for a guy my size (220lb). If you want to rip around killing stuff, or hitting lot's of wind scoured places, the CFB might be a better choice, as would a few other more traditional style skis. Was talking to Bird Shaffer a while back and the Corvus Freebird is his favorite ski.

    I haven't had the 109's in anything hard yet but have been very pleasantly surprised by how well the 94's hold up. A while back I compared my 94's to some vwerks katanas and there was a striking similarity in rocker profile and hand flex.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thomas View Post
    FWIW, I've owned BMT 122's (Japan trip) and still have BMT 109's and 94's. Like everyone is saying the 109's remind me a lot of skinnier 122's. Pretty loose and smearable in deep, float better than they should, and handle funky shit as well as any. Perfect all-around touring ski for me. What they aren't is a hammer, at least for a guy my size (220lb). If you want to rip around killing stuff, or hitting lot's of wind scoured places, the CFB might be a better choice, as would a few other more traditional style skis. Was talking to Bird Shaffer a while back and the Corvus Freebird is his favorite ski.

    I haven't had the 109's in anything hard yet but have been very pleasantly surprised by how well the 94's hold up. A while back I compared my 94's to some vwerks katanas and there was a striking similarity in rocker profile and hand flex.
    Thank you for the beta. The bmts look like a great ski... Hoping to snag a pair soon. I like the sound of the corvus FB and I like the looks... But I'm not sure it's as versatile or that I want to pay the weight penalty.

    Also, noticed you're in the Methow Valley... Beautiful area! I lived in Spokane for the past 10 years. Never made it out there as much as I would have liked but it's one of my favorite places in the state.

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