Expert Review: Fischer Hannibal 96 Carbon Skis · 2022Published on 11/10/2022 · 5 min read This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Jake Cortesi
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Fischer Hannibal 96 Carbon Skis are an excellent pair of lightweight backcountry skis that really excel at climbing. While not as stable as resort-specific skis at higher speeds, for their weight they carve and hold an edge exceptionally well and I hardly even notice them as I float up the skin track.
About the skis I own
- Model: 2022 Fischer Hannibal 96
- Size: 176cm
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 140lbs
- Experience: 10 years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 40 days
- Mount position: 0.5cm back from recommended
- Boots: 2021 Salomon MTN Explore
- Boot Size: 25.5
- Bindings: 2021 G3 Ion
- Where I’ve used it: Utah and Colorado
- Terrain: Backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was primarily looking for a lightweight pair of backcountry-specific skis that would maintain stability and control when skiing downhill, but not crush my legs when spending all day climbing.
Why I chose this gear
I had looked at quite a few different backcountry-specific skis, but the Hannibals had a width that I felt was a good middle ground and were exceptionally light when I picked them up for the first time. I had a friend who had great things to say about them, and they felt like they would satisfy my needs pretty well.
What I love about them
- Edge hold: The sandwich sidewall construction gives me plenty of edge to work with. And the cambered shape underfoot ensures that I’m able to hold an edge whenever and wherever I need to.
- Turns: While certainly not a groomer ski, this ski does make quick, tight turns exceptionally well. The Hannibals are light enough to make jump turning pretty effortless when skiing steep narrow couloirs or making tight turns between closely spaced trees.
- Powder: The Hannibal 96 does keep me afloat in deeper snow thanks to its rockered tip and carbon stringers that keep the ski light. Keep in mind that I’m a relatively short and light person, so the 96 offers me flotation in deeper snow. For those larger than me, the Hannibal 106 offers the same ski in just a centimeter-wider width, which definitely offers a little bit more surface area for flotation.
- Trees:_ _Steep trees are where the Hannibals really show off their stuff. The lightweight construction allows me to fluidly link turns around and through tight trees.
- Backcountry: These are true backcountry skis through and through. They have carbon stingers which add torsional rigidity, but without the weight of some other constructions and have special indents in the tips for my skins to attach to. These are backcountry machines. They glide up the skin track and don’t weigh me down with every step. I’m even able to save enough energy for the ski down, which was exactly what I was looking for.
- Durability: I’ve skied these through rocks, logs, and lots of bare terrain, and I’ve definitely had moments where I was certain I got through to the ski base. That being said I’ve always been pleasantly surprised when I finish the run and take a look and can’t seem to tell where I hit the rock.
- Weight: 2640 grams for the pair of 176 skis; they’re not ultralight by some skimo standards, but for a solid pair of backcountry skis they are definitely light.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: For backcountry skis, they do perform relatively well at higher speeds. But by any resort-skier's standard of stability, these will begin to chatter at similar speeds.
- Groomers: This ski isn’t made to ski groomers, but it certainly will if I ask nicely and don’t expect slalom turns.
- Moguls: Just like with groomers, the Hannibals can ski moguls but it won’t perform nearly as well as a dedicated mogul ski.
Favorite moment with this gear
After the snow drought last winter, there was a week where finally all of our prayers were answered and we finally were able to get some fresh snow. Some friends and I made it out the next morning and walked maybe 5,000ft up one of our favorite canyons for touring here in Utah. We saw tons of backcountry skiers enjoying the fresh snow, as we were trying to do as well. After four hours, we made it all the way to the ridgeline and looked over the other side at a gorgeous bowl that had yet to be skied after the new snow. And thanks to the Hannibals, I hardly felt the climb up.
Value for the money vs. other options
I think the Hannibals are an excellent value for the money. I get a high-performing, lightweight, touring-specific ski for less than I could get a lot of high-end skimo skis. The retail is a bit higher when compared to resort skis, but usually carbons skis cost a bit more anyway and these definitely fall at the lower end of the spectrum. I also considered the Salomon MTN Explore 95, which are a similar waist width to the Hannibal 96s but are a bit lighter. Ultimately I figured that I wanted to go with something that would be as easy to skin with and also easily be mounted on a backpack for bootpacking. The Hannibals being the lighter option were what I decided to spend my money on, and I’m certainly glad I made the investment.
The Fischer Hannibal 96 skis are one of the premier touring skis on the market. Many companies make skimo-specific touring skis, which are extremely narrow and short and meant to shave off every gram possible, and comparatively the Hannibal falls into a more recreational category as far as backcountry skiing goes. That being said, the increased downhill performance is certainly noticeable over shorter, narrower skis, but also extremely fluid when traveling and climbing. For a ski of its size and weight, it is remarkably stable and durable through much of the abuse that the Utah and Colorado backcountry has thrown at it. Anyone looking for an excellent, lightweight touring ski should definitely consider the Fischer Hannibal 96.