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Alpine Boots with AT bindings for hiking up?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 



I wanted to get some snowshoes and a backpack for carrying both ski boots and skis so I can go skiing before ski resorts open for the season (hiking up). I dropped that idea after reading how much more efficient skinning is.  Now I think about getting some AT bindings and used skins which I would put on a pair of my old skis. At this stage I don’t want to spend too much money and I’m hoping I can use my regular alpine ski boots (older Salomon X Wave 10 with Intuition wrap liners, also have ZipFits liners) for hiking up.


Will it work?

post #2 of 7

It will work, just be careful where & when you're going.  Stay safe, prepare for the unexpected, keep researching, & keep asking questions.  The ski turns are just frosting on the cake.


post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks 4ster.

I'm an east coast skier - planning to stay inbounds at first - it seems to be easier and safe way to start - am I right?


I think I get Marker Baron bindings (read some reviews, kind of expensive) to go with CMH Tele Daddies and my alpine boots.

If I like it I'll try to buy or rent older AT boots and use them with my ZipFit liners to see if it makes any differance for me.

Do I need any special ski poles?

Also, I know nothing about hiking skins.


Thanks again.



post #4 of 7

Skins will cost ya around $100 give or take.  Start by looking on Backcountry.com. Bob Lee has a wiki on here about skin use, also do a search on here for skins.  I have a pair of Marker Barons on one set of skis.  I don't use them much for Backcountry, but they work for short climbs & are as good as most alpine bindings for the downhill part.  It is not a bad place to start.  AT boots are a lot more comfy for the hiking/skinning part, but do not offer nearly the performance of regular alpine boots.  You won't need special poles starting out, but adjustable poles are nice for big tours.


As far as safety, I don't know much about eastern snowpack so I won't endorse anything over the internet.  It would be wise to get some snow safety background before venturing onto or under any slopes with much pitch.  Again, a search will lead you to some good resources.  You will find that true backcountry skiing requires a whole lot more equipment & experience with its use.


Good luck,


post #5 of 7

Oh, powder baskets on the poles can help alot.

post #6 of 7

Alpine boots are fine for the up hill skin, as you don't need the rearward motion when climbing.   It is on the traverses that the hinge mechanism of AT boots really makes a difference.  Flats are not fun in alpine boots.  Soooooo.....just skin up, not across. ;-)


As for early season skiing, just bear in mind there are more terrain issues when skiing early snow.  Because there is no real snowpack to cover minor terrain changes, rocks, twigs, roots, vines, etc, it is much easier to get snagged on something hiding just below the snow.  It is not uncommon for experienced backcountry skiers to end a season in November thanks to a root or branch hiding just below the surface.  Stick to trails early season, where you are less likely to encounter deadfall or other obstacles, as the trails are cleared more regularly.  Go with people, preferably more experienced than you, and always carry appropriate gear to let you survive the night if you got stuck (some basics are a space blanket or contractor bag, long-burn candle, fire-starting supplies, ample water and some light food, and a headlamp or flashlight).


Learn by doing with experienced people.  No amount of internet forum wisdom can substitute for that.

post #7 of 7

One more thing about skins, they will work best when trimmed to the shape of your ski.


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