Gear Review: Full Tilt Ascendant SC – One Boot to Rule Them All

Steven Agar | | Gear ReviewGear Review
full tilt, Sammy Carlson, ascendant
Credit: SnowBrains

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With no mountain town to call home, my nomadic lifestyle means I don’t have a garage, crawl space, or basement to store my ski gear. I carry everything everywhere I go. Therefore, I need to have minimal gear—one quiver for everything.

I’ve been riding the Full Tilt Ascendant SC as my only ski boot this season. The boot doubles as a technical boot for climbing and a solid downhill boot for a hard-charging Mary Jane mogul skier like myself.

When I heard the announcement that K2 would be bringing an end to the Full Tilt brand, this is its final season, it forced me into replacing my years-old Konflict. I love my Full Tilts; I love the three-buckle arrangement, they’re warm and comfy, and the boots hold up to everything I throw at them. But with recently adding uphill skiing to my life, I needed a Full Tilt boot that could do everything.

Enter the Full Tilt Ascendant SC. The boot offers a fully moldable Intuition Pro Tour Wrap liner, a durable TPU shell, an excellent 60˚ ROM walk mode, pin-tech bindings, and a Grip Walk sole.

full tilt, Sammy Carlson, ascendant
No cable toe strap to sever. Credit: SnowBrains

Other than the color, the most noticeable difference between this boot and my previous Konflict was the upgrade to the three buckles. Full Tilt has done away with its classic cable design replacing it with a simple buckle and ladder system. On my previous pair, over time, I sliced right through the toe cable more than once with the ski edges—that’s not possible with the new design. Once on my foot, it was noticeable how much more roomy the toe box was, almost unnervingly so. Boots are supposed to be tight.

As an ‘all-rounder,’ the boot isn’t super light like dedicated touring boots, and it even weighs a little more than my Konflicts. If I were to do a multiple-day tour or even race, I would be looking for a lighter touring boot. But for my uses, weight wasn’t an issue. Your mileage may vary.

I was able to skin up in or outside the resort with ease. The boot has all the features you’d expect from a dedicated touring boot. The Ascendant SC is also the stiffest boot in Full Tilt’s free tour range, with a flex rating of 120 coming from the tongue. The tongue can be swapped out to increase the touring range of motion from 40º to 60º.

Credit: SnowBrains

Where the boot performed for me was downhill; especially in the moguls and trees. The stiff flex and three-buckle arrangement offered responsiveness that I wasn’t expecting, allowing me to quickly and nimbly steer my skis.

The SC in the name is for Sammy Carlson. Sammy has been crushing the freeskiing scene for the last decade. From numerous X Games medals in slopestyle, big air, and Real Ski, to being voted skier of the year multiple times, to producing consistent mind-blowing solo projects, Sammy really has done it all, and there’s no sign of stopping. If these boots are good enough for him, then they’re more than good enough for me.

The Ascendant is not a touring boot that can handle the downhill. The Ascendant is a traditional Full Tilt beefy, hard-charging freestyle and downhill boot that you can also climb in. And that’s a good thing. It maintains (and even improves) on everything that is good about the Full Tilt brand and has garnered them an almost cult-like following. And by making a couple of tweaks here and there, they’ve made it a more versatile boot.

For those looking for a do-everything boot look no further. This is it.

full tilt, Sammy Carlson, ascendant
Tech pin binding for climbing. Credit: SnowBrains

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