Fischer has made the Hannibal model for a few years now. It’s touted as a lightweight well-crafted touring ski. I haven’t skied on the 2019 or earlier model so I can’t comment personally. But I got my hands of a pair of the 2020 model in 185 cm last winter and had a good chance to put them through their paces.
What convinced me to give them a try was the weight when paired with the Gara Titan binding they are incredibly light: under 1700 g per ski (with the rental plate — I need to have the rental plate so I can fit them onto my guests’ boots when needed).
Well that and the persuasiveness of the folks at SkiUphill. But I’ll be honest, I was a bit leery of these skis at first . I’ve been skiing on 105+ cm skis for 10 years and I’m used to it. In 2018 I brought a pair of “rock” skis to Svalbard afraid I’d do damage to my nice winter touring skis. They were 90 cm in the waist. I really didn’t like them. Everyone with wider skis looked like they were having a lot more fun than me. There’s a reason, I concluded sagely, that we ski on wide skis in the backcountry!
So I held off giving the Hannibals a fair try and carried them around as backups. But one day my G3 Zed bindings (on a pair of G3 skis) died on me and I reached for the Hannibals out of necessity.
The Hannibals were fantastic… but the snow was perfect. In any case, a promising start. A few weeks later I was in Northern BC shredding some coastal chunder and again, they were awesome. Beautiful in pow, carving machines on hard pack and crusts, and stable in the chunder.
Is the Hannibal the perfect ski touring ski? That’s a bit much to ask. There is no perfect ski. Every style of skiing and every snow surface benefits from different nuances in a ski. I would say that, like the Fischer Travers, the Hannibal fits a specific niche in the ski touring world, and does it very well.
If you are a good skier technically then you will be really happy with this ski. It’s got an early rise tip, which makes it an easy turning ski in challenging conditions, but it still performs. Skiers with racing backgrounds who tried my Hannibals this past winter loved them. It’s not ideal for very deep, heavy snow but it will get the job done. It seems built for the Alps or the Canadian Rockies where floatation isn’t the main priority.
It’s a light ski but it’s not ULTRA light. If you’re looking for a fast and light mission where weight is of utmost importance, then there are other skis that will serve you better. But, if you’re looking for a lightweight ski that is built to take the punishment of hard use and skis like a dream then the Hannibal is a solid choice.
Tom Wolfe, tearing hide off a pair of Hannibals just before dropping over the north side of Mount Tom George at Burnie Glacier Chalet. Photo: LeeLau.net