Re the backcountry stuff:
The guy who's arranging our trip just told me that any "backcountry" skiing I might do is more akin to sidecountry skiing here at JH where you either traverse, sidestep, or boot in places. He's telling me I don't need skins.
This bit of information comes after last night I came to what I thought was a brilliant solution to my dilemma. I didn't want to bring downhill skis, downhill boots, alpine touring skis and alpine touring boots all on this trip. My main AT skis are Head Monster 95's with Dynafit bindings. That would mean that if I wanted to ski on those skis, I would HAVE to take my AT boots (Scarpa Spirit 4). The thought of lugging all that junk made me go "ARRRRR".
Then last night I had this flash of brilliance. I have an old pair of AT skis with Fritschis. They're 1998-era Rossi Bandit II's and I haven't skied them for years, but I figured I could set up the Fritschis for my downhill boots and then I could tour that way - thus saving the effort of bringing a second pair of boots.
So, last night I succeeded in getting the downhill skis, the AT skis, my wife's skis, and our poles all into the ski bag which subsequently weighed in at 49.5 pounds, or just under the airline baggage limit. Then comes this email a few minutes ago saying I don't need to skin at Portillo - I can boot or traverse/sidestep.
Now I'm asking those of you with experience down there. Should I leave the AT skis home now? I'm still taking pack/beacon/shovel/probe.