or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › BC Touring setup and the benefits of learning the tele turn?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

BC Touring setup and the benefits of learning the tele turn?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I started XC skiing on waxable classic skis last winter and have figured out how to do it and have fun with it. Its a nice family activity for sure. The setup work well in groomed tracks and are OK in single track. This winter I will be skiing with a 20lb baby in a backpack. Something tells me that my XC skis will not be enough to give myself and my daughter a safe and secure ride on single track.

 

I have been doing alpine touring (once a week or so) for about 2 years. I really like the tourability of dynafits and the scarpa maestrale boots (6.5lbs a pair) when the focus is on climbing a mountain and skiing down.

 

I am intrigued by the idea of getting a setup that is in between the nordic XC and the AT setups that I have. Something that is geared for for the tour but can make turns meadow skipping and will provide lots of support and stability on single track hiking trails with the family. Basically a waxless touring setup.

 

The standard for this type of setup seems to be a 3pin tele binding. I am concerned that the maestrales may not be as tour-able as I would like for some single track skiing. Also changing modes on dynafit is an issue in rolling trails. I spent some time looking at 3 pin boots to see whats out there. I see that the Scarpa T4 (for example of a light weight plastic 3 pin boot) is actually the same weight as the maestrale. And given that most 3 pin binding do not freely pivot, I can't imagine these tour better than the dynafit option.

 

I am looking on some perspectives for Dynafit vs. 3pin vs. Nordic system for someone who wants to get into the BC, do some touring some turns, and has predominately alpine skiing skills.

 

  1. I am thinking I would I need to go to a system or light weight 3 pin boot to get something significantly more tour-able than what I already have. Correct?
  2. Do system or light 3 pin boots have enough power for making turns in powder on mellow terrain and skiing with a heavy pack on single track hiking trails?
  3. Is the Madshus Annum (used to be Karhu Guide) the right type of ski for this setup? Or should I go wiht something more like the Epoch / 10th mountain?
  4. If I go 3pin should I even bother trying to learn the tele turn?
  5. Realistically how long does that take to get to an intermediate level skiing 1 day a week on tele?  I am guessing at least a season...

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by tromano - 10/10/11 at 4:46pm
post #2 of 18

Why not use your Dynafit set up on some pattern based skis (with inserts) like the wide Rossis that came out last year or the Karhus?

 

I'd go cable before 3-pins for touring and tele turns. The BC NNN system is great for touring and for carrying a kid (I did it for years) but lousy for tele turns unless you are a solid turner.

 

On my 'rugged touring rig'. I'll swap out tele bindings with Silvrettas and use either my old T4's or T3 (the T3's weigh less but taller). Still semi light, not as light as the BC NNN set up, but highly versatile for touring, stability and turns and  similar to a Dynafit set up in weight.

post #3 of 18

These kind of questions/nuances are ones I am facing as I try to decide what I need/want for my own needs.... 

but enough about me. 

 

I might suggest you look at a NNN-BC or 3-pin set up with solid, ankle-supporting boots like the Alpina 2050 and wide, metal-edged patterned skis like the Fischer Rebound or Outtabounds (you may need to update actual boot/ski models; I'm referencing equipment from a year or so ago).   My point would be that, if you are primarily looking for a travelling ski, you probably don't want a tele ski set-up.  You want what is known as beefy backcountry skis.  If you're primarily interested in going downhill, well then tele boots/skis are the way to go. 

The issue is that no tele set-up will glide or move like a BC set-up -- weight & stiffness will compromise it.  Good boots and wide skis will give you lots of stability for carrying loads. 

But....no BC set-up will really go downhill like a tele set-up.   But you already have AT equipment for going downhill, yes?

post #4 of 18
Quote:

 

  1. I am thinking I would I need to go to a system or light weight 3 pin boot to get something significantly more tour-able than what I already have. Correct?
  2. Do system or light 3 pin boots have enough power for making turns in powder on mellow terrain and skiing with a heavy pack on single track hiking trails?
  3. Is the Madshus Annum (used to be Karhu Guide) the right type of ski for this setup? Or should I go wiht something more like the Epoch / 10th mountain?
  4. If I go 3pin should I even bother trying to learn the tele turn?
  5. Realistically how long does that take to get to an intermediate level skiing 1 day a week on tele?  I am guessing at least a season...

 

Thanks in advance.


If I understand your question, you're asking what's the better way to go with a baby on your back. The answer is with caution and in a way that is well within your capabilities regarding your skill and terrain choices.  Both of the dad's in these pictures had plenty of ability before packing precious cargo. The babe in the first picture (3 pins with leather boot set up) is the dad in the second one (Czars, Factors, Dynafit)

 

GoDaddy%252521.jpg

 

100_2551.JPG.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 18

It's illegal to ski with kids on your back in at least one of the Alpine countries, can't remember if it's here or in Switzerland, after some infants died from exposure in situations like this (eg, kids don't move back there and as a result get very cold). You guys sound like you know what you're doing and would take this into account of course, but as a dad those stories always freaked me out. 

post #6 of 18

Prickly, this is definitely about enabling safe and fun family outings on skis.

 

I have very fond memories of tours with my kid and friend's kids on my back. Proper gear, food, duration, clothing and choosing the time and place are part of it as well. My first thought initially reading this was "You want to learn to tele with an infant on your back?", but knowing Tromano is no fool, the focus changed to muddling through options.

 

Touring on what you know and are comfortable with will make for quality and memorable outings with your kid(s), family and friends. It's part of passing on the passion.

 

Skiing and touring away from ski areas and chairlifts offer tons of opportunities, learning possibilities and great fun, at far lower cost, with less time and hassle.....not to mention better conditioning.

post #7 of 18

Oh sure, don't want to be a Prick in the mud, just wanted to point out the perils to our younger viewers. Now back to the show. 

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Alinord got it right. I certainly understand that little bodies get cold easily. Just to be clear, I see fun family tours with baby and climbing mountains so I can ski back down as distinct activities rather than something to be combined -- regardless of gear or my skill level. And obviously my nordic turning skills are very limited. I am simply trying to work through all the possible options and understand what each entails.

 

It sounds like a BC nordic system is the way to go from the responses here.

 

My desire to get something more burly and supportive is basicly resulting from not wanting to get injured or stranded due light XC equipment being used outside its intended use. The soles on my XC combi boots are about as burly as a pair of dime store flipflops (thought the high articulating cuff is nice).  I hand flexed my wife's nnn BC boots (she has a very basic pair that look like regular hiking boots) and was surprised see how much more substantial and supportive the soles are. If I get a pair with a nice ankle buckle, that should be a big improvement do it.

 

 

 

 


Edited by tromano - 10/11/11 at 8:22pm
post #9 of 18

Your gonna love it. I certainly did. Now I'm getting a "do over"

 

100_3545.JPG

post #10 of 18

I've got 3 waxless touring setups.  

 

(1) Dynafit TLT5 Mountain boots, Vertical ST bindings, and Karhu Guide skis (and skins); I did 30 days of nordic ski patrol on this setup last winter.  The only drawback is that when I hit a flat spot of 100 yards or so on generally downhill sections, I generally don't free the heel and that puts unnecessary pressure on my knees--just being lazy, getting out and back takes 25 seconds, going back to locked heel about 15 seconds; I switching the Verticals to the new Radical speed binding (lighter, hoping for less snow buildup under heel)

.

(2) Brown t-3s, 3-pins, and Fisher outtabounds (and skins); not too bad but my liners are worn out and my feet outgrew my black t-3s; have to use skins a lot on the uphill; on flatter tours I use these skis with old Merrell leather boots.  A very nice XC setup that allows pretty good tele skiing as well.

 

(3) Salomon: SNS-BC boots and bindings on X-adventures skis (basically Fisher rebounds); converted to 3-pin hardwires with removable hardwires.  I don't like this ski much; hated the boots and bindings.

 

I am thinking about switching my Outtabounds to Voile Switchbacks (they have a free pivot for going up and on the flats and the toe piece locks down for going down; their only drawback is they are heavier than 3-pins and you carry the weight of the hardwire cartridges on the heel but they are resistance free in the pivot and believe it or not that makes a huge difference going up). I'll probably use them with my blue 3-buckle t-2 since they have good thermofit liners and without the power strap don't weigh much more than the brown t-3s and actually flex easier than the black t-3s.  This set up or this setup with Karhu Guides (now Madshus Annums) would give an all around XC bc-tele setup; the guide/annums climbs much better than the Fisher O and skis down better too and breaks trail better three.

 

I got a pair of Garmont Excursions to replace my brown t-3s but the upper boot was too small for my calf.

 

I used to have a pair of Madshus metal edge skis, with NNN-BC bindings and boots, but outgrew the boots :-( and that setup was great on the groomed.  My stepson and daughter in law use NNN-BC when skiing with their kids (either in packs on on a trailer).  My stepson uses his lightweight AT setup to pull his kids in a ski-trailer backcountry in Mt. Baker and skis down too; the kids laugh and threaten to tell Mommy when he rolls the trailer. 

 

post #11 of 18

NNN-BC bindings with light touring skis are a great combo for covering ground and even for learning how to tele.  The Subaru of BC rigs ;-}

 

Andy, if you are focussed on tele improvement, then don't match SBs with Scarpa boots.  Too much vertical slop before the cuffs get pressured and then you're on tippy toes.

 

I messed around endlessly with shop-made and factory wedges to deal with this but gave it up.  The SBs are great touring bindings, and maybe the new power model will work better for tele turns but do your research first.

 

HTH.

post #12 of 18
Quote:

 

  1. I am thinking I would I need to go to a system or light weight 3 pin boot to get something significantly more tour-able than what I already have. Correct?
  2. Do system or light 3 pin boots have enough power for making turns in powder on mellow terrain and skiing with a heavy pack on single track hiking trails?
  3. Is the Madshus Annum (used to be Karhu Guide) the right type of ski for this setup? Or should I go wiht something more like the Epoch / 10th mountain?
  4. If I go 3pin should I even bother trying to learn the tele turn?
  5. Realistically how long does that take to get to an intermediate level skiing 1 day a week on tele?  I am guessing at least a season...

 

Thanks in advance.


1.  If you want to tele, go for cable bindings.

2.  & 3.  The Epoch is too narrow underfoot for powder conditions.  Annum would be the minimum.  To drive that cable bindings and a boot like the T3 would the the minimum, T2 would be far better if you want to get to intermediate tele std.

5.  Depends on how quickly you learn and the length of your season.  My rec'n would be to spend a week in a resort getting a tele lesson each morning and practising what you've learned during the day.  By the end of that you should have good habits in the basics and maybe more.

 

post #13 of 18

i have karhu 10th mountains  with voile hardwire cable bindings (the ones that dont pivot on the uphills - pennywise....) and some garmont excursions to go with them...I cant stand the excursions

cant seem to get them to pull my foot all the way back into the heel pocket - they will likely get replaced with something like a 3 pin Rossi ...dunno -  dissapointed with that boot

 

I also have some alpina boots with NNNbc bindings (though not the newer more burly bc versions) these i use with some fisher something bounds or

some atomics Raniers that are similar but a bit softer flex...the atomics glide noticeably better than the old stiff fischers...

 

My feeling is that if I was stuck in the woods and need to make lots of progress across very variable terrain the alpina/fischer combo is pretty sturdy, will snowplow

down anything and just inspires confidence - i have never thought about attempting a tele turn on them - and frankly its not all that much like skiing...more like really effective walking with some glide when you get to a downhill and you can easily throw them into a snowplow...

 

If we are making the run over a ridge and the down the black xc trails that lead to the nice restaurant in the next town and i may be going fast on whoopdedos I'll take the Raniers for their glide or the 10th mtn/excursion combo because there is nothing that can get in ur way that you can't handle on those things...But look, the reason we started down this route is that my oldest son 

(now just 13) and i wanted to find freshies ...we r getting AT gear this year because well....we cant tele for beans - i mean we really dont want to spend all this effort to get to the few turns we can find in our areas...and then muck up the turns!

 

If i was you i'd get the burly nnnbc binding and a ski to go with it (if ur out west and occasionally sliding down moderate meadown with some fluff i'd consider the rainers but i bet there r better options) as u've already got AT covered

post #14 of 18

In case anyone is interested, I just ran across this on craigslist:

Touring/backcountry skis/ Atomic Chugach/voile 3-pin bindings/boots - $210 (Grand Junction, CO)

post #15 of 18

I use Karhu Lookouts (patterned base, metal edge) with 3-pin bindings and Merril Hybrid boots (plastic lower, leather upper).  This is a very lightweight setup that I am very happy with and is perfect for day trips.  I enjoy making Tele turns on these; they are short, light and easy to turn in soft snow.  I can even force turns in hardpack and icy conditions.  We ski gentle BC terrain 25-30% and lower grade slopes.  I have skied single-track hiking trails with these but prefer open terrain near or above treeline.

 

I have never used these with a heavy backpack; only day packs.  For backpacking I would probably get something sturdier. 

 

I you want to ski more aggressively; steeper terrain or more aggressive turns I would get plastic boots with cable bindings.  more weight but more control.

post #16 of 18

"This winter I will be skiing with a 20lb baby in a backpack...... Realistically how long does that take to get to an intermediate level skiing 1 day a week on tele?"

 

This is a really old thread, but I'd be interested in hearing from the OP how it went learning to tele with a baby on his back?

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post

Your gonna love it. I certainly did. Now I'm getting a "do over"

 

100_3545.JPG

 

 

Wooley, 

 

that picture gave me a fright, it was like looking into a mirror, perhaps I've got a cousin I didn't know about who migrated to the States. 

post #18 of 18

Ha! I once asked the same of a skier from the Tetons. I think we are the remnants of a clan of nordic nomads with hairy upper lips and poor eyesight.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › BC Touring setup and the benefits of learning the tele turn?