In a push to enhance winter warfare capabilities, the Marine Corps in on the hunt for a new lightweight ski system. After decades of desert combat, the Marines are looking to branch out operations into a wider range of climates.
After having trouble acquiring the NATO ski system, the Marine Corps started looking for a ski and binding system that would work with a new, multifunctional ski/combat boot. The idea was abandoned after feedback from the troops and likely some input from ski industry insiders. The new intention is a ski and universal binding that will function with their existing Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boots and Intermediate Cold Weather Boots. That’s probably a better idea. Even with all the the advancements in touring boots lately, a boot that could ski, go to battle, and not destroy your feet sounds like a total unicorn.
With lightweight skis being all the rage these days, I doubt they’ll have much trouble finding what they’re looking for. Specifically, that would be a ski that weights 4-6 pounds, can support 250 pounds, is easy for new skiers to use, and of course comes with sick snow-camo graphics. The initial order would be about 1500 skis, and over 5 years the Corps has $12.75 million bucks budgeted to round out the quiver. Thats about what I spend on skis too…
Ideally, the Marine’s would have all their new gear by the fall of 2019 for use in training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. Hopefully California gets some snow!