North America - The Altai Ski Company is born. Altai Skis represent a convergence of utility and adventure in backcountry ski design. Altai Skisí first ski, the Hok, is a hybrid of ski and snowshoe. The design is short and wide with a climbing skin integrated into its base. The ski allows for easy climbing and predictable downhill control by the user.
The Hok is incredibly maneuverable and easy to use, a great cross between snowshoes and cross-country skis. The skis is designed for use whenever and wherever there is snow and is the ideal tool for the pocket backcountry found out the back door and in nearby parks and woodlands. The ski is equally well suited for exploring the local hills or mountains.
Founded by Nils Larsen and Francois Sylvain, Altai Skis is focused on design inspired by the true spirit and utility of backcountry skiing.
Larsen and Sylvain are ski industry veterans who have worked extensively together in the past. They believe that the easily accessible, everyday backcountry is generally overlooked by much of the current equipment offered. “We believe that the term ‘backcountry’ can and should include the patch of woods behind your house or the hills just out of town. For many of us, this is the most accessible and affordable terrain we can get to on a regular basis.” says Larsen.
The name Altai Skis was inspired by the ski culture found in the Altai Mountains of northern Asia. Since 2005, Larsen has been documenting the indigenous ski culture in the region that dates back thousands of years. The local culture’s go-everywhere, do-everything skis are the inspiration for Altai Ski