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Sidecountry vs. AT -- Powder setups: Your favorites + their pros & cons. - Page 2

post #31 of 77
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

This is an example of the optimizing for "the worst". [...] Frankly, ripping sketchy conditions at speed really has little place in what I am trying to do in the BC. If conditions really suck like wet slop and runneled mank at the bottom of a line,  I won't be ripping at speed. I will be piecing my way down with text book ski mountaineering techniques including skidding parallel turns, stem chrisites and kick turns.

 

As said before, late-season BC out here is sketchy the first turn or two, then really great corn/powder, then nasty at the bottom. You rip the middle, come out hot, and hang on in the nasty runout. Conditions are hardly the same throughout the entire line (at least out here). For me, optimizing for the best means optimizing so I can ski how I want to ski in the middle (fast, fun, fluid), without caring what the bottom will be like (i.e. can't go fast because it could turn nasty, can't make a turn here, because I'm not sure what the snow will be like at the end of the turn).

 

Originally Posted by tromano View Post

The burliest alpine skis are simply too heavy for touring and don't ski very well at normal speeds in lighter snow anyway.

 

You don't need the burliest alpine skis. You just need something that isn't a lightweight flimsy thing. I'm certainly not hauling around my 12lb Head 103s around. But I'm also not hauling around a 7lb pair of skis that will throw me on my ass as they fold up when they hit crud. The skis I use are plenty of fun in the light fluffy snow as well (use 'em on big pow days). I'm just a little bit slower on the way in, accepting the fact that I'm going to have a ton more fun (my way of fun) if things aren't pristine.

 

Sure, its rough on the way up, but I just see that as more exercise, and having some piece of mind, knowing that I can do whatever I want on the way down (almost!). If I lived in Washington, where long approaches are common, I might change my tune, but in Colorado, access is pretty decent.

 

This is sort of the same reason that my XC mountain bike is a 6" travel bike with slack geometry and solid parts, rather than a 4" hardtail with steep geometry and carbon/lightweight everything. I like to optimize for the way down, and my way of having fun on the way down may be a bit more aggressive than most, hence a bigger bike.

 

There are other options out there aside from lightweight lively skis and dynafit bindings, and it's important to analyze all of the possibilities to find the right fit for you. DPS pure skis, and a few others fall into this lightweight lively category. The OP should understand that there are other options that are more versatile, ones that can turn less-than-great conditions into a really fun outing.


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 10/27/11 at 8:20am
post #32 of 77

this is a person who places greater importance on walking than skiing, so that skews the direction of his expertise, IMO. exactly the issue for the OP, who is placing more importance on the skiing. I once hiked a small mountain with a group, one lap, a hike for turns, not major touring, actually set up so the down was twice the length of the up. they were all so stoked on the way up, all the cool ultra-light stuff, they charged right up that mountain like Lance Armstrong on the Alpe. At the top they stalled and lingered about, and when it came time to ski they were tentative and had weak technique and in-appropriate gear. dumb, IMO.

 

Not to take anything away from the truth of what Tromano said about bc skiing (the OP said side country, btw) being a different vibe, the agenda should be other than ripping at speed, charging nasty conditions, partly because an injury causing fall is unacceptable there (or even in the sidecountry a crash can be complicated).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


 



Catastrophic? A bit mellow dramatic. I have a friend who uses Tours from the North pole to the South Pole and they have held up pretty well for him. I will defer to his expertise and experiences to what you say, Sorry.

249755_10150331312364989_535449988_9778333_108018_n.jpg

 

He is also touring on a Shiro, light by no means. 

 

As far as the difference of the 112 and the FX being "pounds", without having both in front of me..just for fun I will have to weigh them...I will say if anything the weight is less than a pound (per ski). I just weighed RP112 Pures 168 and my Bones in a 180 and there is just over a pound difference FOR THE pair (with the same exact binding on both), but why bring  facts into a comparison.  rolleyes.gif

 



 

post #33 of 77
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

the agenda should be other than ripping at speed, charging nasty conditions, partly because an injury causing fall is unacceptable there (or even in the sidecountry a crash can be complicated).


Yes, it's very important to make sure you stay within your abilities. That said, if ripping at speed, or charging through nasty runout conditions is within your abilities, by all means, enjoy. My argument, above, (similar to yours) is that if the equipment is limiting your options (rather than your abilities/conditions), then you might want to re-considering your equipment choice. This holds true for both how you want to ski down (burly side of things) and for what approaches/mountains can you do in a day (lightweight side of things). In Colorado, we're blessed with roads everywhere, lots of sled access, and enough mountains/lines for a lifetime, all within a single day's grasp.

post #34 of 77

It may be from this expedition :

 

 

Svalbard ( the Svalbard islands ) is the only part of  Norway where it's mandatory to carry a weapon when in the outback. Polar bears are plentiful up there. BTW, all who applies for a position with the Norwegian Polar Institute are asked why polar bears don't eat penguins...

post #35 of 77

Quote:
Originally Posted by madMads View Post

BTW, all who applies for a position with the Norwegian Polar Institute are asked why polar bears don't eat penguins...



Hah, nice. Was just up in Svalbard on an Arctic Cruise in the midnight sun. A world unto its own. Maybe this will be my next adventure...

post #36 of 77

and so I find us in total agreement on the question of: why are you hiking in the first place? if not to rip some awesome turns?  if not, it's more a touring thing, as close to backpacking as skiing, IMO  ever hear of "approach skis" ? for mountaineers to use for a functional approach, like 130's with good bindings or something. friends will often offer to give you a pair. that's how you know you don't want them, ROTF.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post


Yes, it's very important to make sure you stay within your abilities. That said, if ripping at speed, or charging through nasty runout conditions is within your abilities, by all means, enjoy. My argument, above, (similar to yours) is that if the equipment is limiting your options (rather than your abilities/conditions), then you might want to re-considering your equipment choice. This holds true for both how you want to ski down (burly side of things) and for what approaches/mountains can you do in a day (lightweight side of things). In Colorado, we're blessed with roads everywhere, lots of sled access, and enough mountains/lines for a lifetime, all within a single day's grasp.



 

post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

As said before, late-season BC out here is sketchy the first turn or two, then really great corn/powder, then nasty at the bottom. You rip the middle, come out hot, and hang on in the nasty runout. Conditions are hardly the same throughout the entire line (at least out here). For me, optimizing for the best means optimizing so I can ski how I want to ski in the middle (fast, fun, fluid), without caring what the bottom will be like (i.e. can't go fast because it could turn nasty, can't make a turn here, because I'm not sure what the snow will be like at the end of the turn).

 

You don't need the burliest alpine skis. You just need something that isn't a lightweight flimsy thing. I'm certainly not hauling around my 12lb Head 103s around. But I'm also not hauling around a 7lb pair of skis that will throw me on my ass as they fold up when they hit crud. The skis I use are plenty of fun in the light fluffy snow as well (use 'em on big pow days). I'm just a little bit slower on the way in, accepting the fact that I'm going to have a ton more fun (my way of fun) if things aren't pristine.

 

Sure, its rough on the way up, but I just see that as more exercise, and having some piece of mind, knowing that I can do whatever I want on the way down (almost!). If I lived in Washington, where long approaches are common, I might change my tune, but in Colorado, access is pretty decent.

 

This is sort of the same reason that my XC mountain bike is a 6" travel bike with slack geometry and solid parts, rather than a 4" hardtail with steep geometry and carbon/lightweight everything. I like to optimize for the way down, and my way of having fun on the way down may be a bit more aggressive than most, hence a bigger bike.

 

There are other options out there aside from lightweight lively skis and dynafit bindings, and it's important to analyze all of the possibilities to find the right fit for you. DPS pure skis, and a few others fall into this lightweight lively category. The OP should understand that there are other options that are more versatile, ones that can turn less-than-great conditions into a really fun outing.

 

Its all about balancing the uphill and downhill. And each person brings different things to the table in terms of fitness, downhill skills, and so forth. There are also real risks in the BC that do not really exist in the resort.  Personally the part of touring I am least "worried" about is I won't have fun skiing down. To me spring touring is about finding some good corn and tackling bigger terrain that is finally stable. This means being there at exactly the right time after it has softened from bullet proof and before it turns to slop. And being more mobile helps with this. 

 

Skiing crappy snow in the BC, happens all the time, not just in the spring. I just keep my eyes open and deal with conditions as they come up.And its usually obvious since you climb your line before skiing down it generally. If I see the snow is looking suspicious up ahead , just slow down. Its not so hard. In truth, whats the rush? A long day in the BC is about as much skiing as as just an hour or two at the resort. What's your hurry -- why not savor the run?


Burly damper skis don't make it easier to turn in crappy snow and crud. You can't buy a turn in crud, either you have the skills or you don't. And the more you go out and ski the more you get comfortable in sketchy snow. Also I think you are discounting how well a 7 or 8lb ski can work. In the bigger scheme of things beyond the resort skier mentality an 100mm+ under foot ski with rocker weighing 8lb  is optimized for the downhill. They will only fold in half if you don't know how to ski them.

post #38 of 77


brian, i fully agree with you on everything you have said in this thread, other than the whole charging sun cups because you can't control your speed adequetly before entering them ;) (<- winky added to underscore the intended humor)

 

i do, however, think that you are over-stating your personal preferences and applying them to all users.  we have never met or shared turns, but we run in the same circles and are after a very similar snow experience (and obviously should get out soon). i personally prefer a light, reactive and poppy ski, with a rather tight sidecut... even though i ski in the fall line and am a large turn only skier. this ski design really allows me to ski fast & loose, but still super precise and appreciate the instantaneous manuverability which affords me the ability to really open up the speeds far more than i feel comfortable on a heavy damp ski, and to me clunky and boring.  on super damp skis, i feel like the ski does all the work and the rider just stands there and fights getting bucked around - which is a really bad way to ski a light reactive ski.  i ski fastest and best in chop when my legs are super athletic and active the whole way thru, and am airing and working the backside of every obstacle, rather than planted and trying to blast thru it.  

 

so anyway, my point is that a light and reactive ski might not suit you tastes at speed but just because it doesn't work for you does not mean it will never work for anyone, ever... 

 

that is the cool thing about being a skier right now of course.  there are a TON of really super nice skis, that all area little different, and all suit different users.  the challenge is to find what the user might be after, but there really are not many/any truly bad skis out there, which is a long cry from when alot of folks started skiing, and there were really only a few GOOD skis at any given time.  

 

post #39 of 77

and i should add that i ski DPS pure skis because i like how they handle on the way DOWN.  i could care less what weight they are on the way up, i would skin whatever ski gave me the best experience on the way back down.

 

so to tie all that into the OP's question, but the skis ad bindings you want on the down, and don't worry about he rest of it... :D

post #40 of 77

All my touring skis have swap plates between dynafit and burly bindings. I don't tour on skis that I am not happy to ski in the resort, I just look for ones that are also on the lighter side of things. Right now i have Bliizi the ones and DPS RP112. Both of these are actually about 9lbs  pretty heavy compared to what other people will use for the type of toruing I am doing -- but it works for me. I have toured with 11lb skis and full reverse/reverse before, it wasn't worth it.

 

Everything is a compromise. Alpine touring is human powered sport that means you spend about  75% uphiil and 25% downhill. People who focus on the 25% are IMO missing what the sport has to offer and are trying to make the sport something that it is not. People who focus on the 75% are missing the point too. I am not just talking about gear here folks.

 

Touring on hero snow is great. Ripping fast turns and dropping some cliffs is the ideal day to me.  Ideals are one thing, reality is another. I have more challenge trying to ski a 20* slope in wacky snow conditions as I do skiing a 40* slope in perfect snow. With zipper crust, wind eroded snow,  wind slab which variously can and cannot hold your weight, powder snow that fell 1 week ago that isn't quite supportable corn yet, or whatever... you have need to be able to adapt your skiing to work with what the mountain has to offer. People who "focus on the down" tend to get bent out of shape when the snow doesn't live up to expecations and the right answer for how to ski it is to piece your way down it with whatever you have in your bag of tricks including kick turns or christy garlands. I have learned there is a reason that people call the stem christy THE backcountry turn. People who think that kind of skiing sucks and ought to be avoided are too focused on some idealized vision of what skiing should be and not able to enjoy the diversity and unique challenges of what alpine touring really is.

post #41 of 77

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Everything is a compromise. Alpine touring is human powered sport that means you spend about  75% uphiil and 25% downhill. People who focus on the 25% are IMO missing what the sport has to offer and are trying to make the sport something that it is not. People who focus on the 75% are missing the point too. I am not just talking about gear here folks.

 

Touring on hero snow is great. Ripping fast turns and dropping some cliffs is the ideal day to me.  Ideals are one thing, reality is another. I have more challenge trying to ski a 20* slope in wacky snow conditions as I do skiing a 40* slope in perfect snow. With zipper crust, wind eroded snow,  wind slab which variously can and cannot hold your weight, powder snow that fell 1 week ago that isn't quite supportable corn yet, or whatever... you have need to be able to adapt your skiing to work with what the mountain has to offer. People who "focus on the down" tend to get bent out of shape when the right answer for how to ski it is to piece your way down it with whatever you have in your bag of tricks including kick turns or christy garlands. People who think that kind of skiing sucks and ought to be avoided are too focused on some idealized vision of what skiing should be and not able to enjoy what it really is.


Right on!  Wisdom here^.

 

You get a gnar point for that one.  Also because I like pie too.  

post #42 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post
There are other options out there aside from lightweight lively skis and dynafit bindings, and it's important to analyze all of the possibilities to find the right fit for you. DPS pure skis, and a few others fall into this lightweight lively category. The OP should understand that there are other options that are more versatile, ones that can turn less-than-great conditions into a really fun outing.

 

I just wanted to make one more comment here:

 

Versatility can mean lot of different things. It can mean the ability to charge through all sorts of different snow with out any problem.

 

It can also mean that the ski opens up new possibilities and giving the skier more choices.

 

How many times do you get to the top of your line and look down at the snow conditions and think, wow  this wasn't what I expected? Then you dig a pit and this really isn't what I expected!  When I am at the trail head I often don't know what the snow is like at the top of my line and often when I think I know I am proven wrong. I ama BC jong in many ways and flexibility in making a decision on which line I take until I get up close and personal view of the slope is a real game changer.

 

In years past I had a burly setup and when I toured on it I would get to the top of my line: behind schedule, in pain ( alpine botos suck!) and worn out. When I see that the snow is different than expected I won't want to "waste time" thinking about my options, poking around for a better spot to ski down, and doing extra snow study.  Because I am SO DONE with the tour and just want to ski this slope right now! "I can make it down" on my burly setup. I was focused on the down after all.

 

If I am on my current lighter setup I tend to arrive at the top of my line: on time or ahead of schedule, pain free, happy, and more energetic. When I see the snow is different than expected I am curious and ready to explore my options. Do some additional snow study, and am open to extending my tour if I think I can find a better spot to ski down.

 

 


Edited by tromano - 10/28/11 at 10:17am
post #43 of 77
Thread Starter 

Holy Zeitgeist Batman!

Been tied up with moving craziness for a few days, and instead of the minor flurry of activity I'd anticipated on my OP, there's a damn blizzard raging.

This is awesome - always cool when you find a bunch of people who are stoked about the same, wacky, out-there stuff you are..
Now I've got to make a sandwich and start shoveling my way through this avalanche of advice from the top...


Edited by Veloscente - 10/28/11 at 5:44pm
post #44 of 77
Thread Starter 

Lots of great insights here: even the marginalia (like the tip on G3 skin cutters) are great: I've gotta go back & hand out some hash-brownie-points, or whatever you call them. 

 

Most posters have intuited my priorities pretty well: I'm a slow-twitch, endurance-sports guy 12 months a year, albeit one who likes to mix endorphins & adrenaline.  I bring a lot of that mentality to the snow as well, always have.  Not surprisingly, I found Lindahl’s analogy to MTB gear helpful for thinking about my uphill/downhill priorities off-piste: what I'm looking for would be the equivalent of a 5-6" travel trail bike: downhill performance-oriented & reliable, but at a weight that does not make you weep on the uphill.

 

An anecdotal attempt to illustrate my feelings on weight vs. performance / durability: I skied with some locals at Big Sky / Moonlight last year on the North Summit Snowfields, and one of them blew out of his Marker Tours several times in the funky, crusty, variable snow we were skiing. Said he'd already warrantied them too. That spells a great big *heck no* in my book when it comes to sacrificing downhill performance/retention in the name of weight.  I don't "huck" anything, or drop off stuff much bigger than I am, but I do like to ski pretty aggressive lines on some reasonably burly terrain, so I'm not willing to sacrifice downhill performance for weight. I've got 3 seasons of pretty steady abuse out of my Marker Griffons, so I would be comfortable, on the other hand, with opting for the lighter weight of the plastic Barons over the burlier metal Dukes.

 

As for *exactly* how I'm going to be using this sidecountry / skinning setup, this is a work in progress.  It starts with Sierra's Huckleberry Canyon & a season pass.  Gonna enroll in courses on how not to get myself killed in the BC, and let the range of my sidecountry excursions grow w/ my skills & ambition. Like I said in my OP, the one thing I can say for sure is I'm *not* aiming at making this first setup the ultimate, lightweight, long-tour rig. If I can find some BC touring buddies who want to go long, and find a way to work it into my regular schedule, then I'll purchase a "true AT" setup at some point down the line for that specific purpose.  I have a flexible work schedule, but my wife does not, so I'm the one on the hook for the pre & post work routine with our two kids. Sunday is a family ski day, and Saturday will likely be a half-day at Sierra as well due to other morning commitments.

 

To put it in Phil's terms: I will be "earning my turns" with freelance work & providing sweat equity for my family, so at least as far as this season goes, I will *not* be doing full-day-long tours on a weekly basis.  As far as selecting skis for a more realistic 2-4 hour tour timeframe, my game-plan on gear acquisition is to focus first on skis, skins & bindings, so I can have a list of powder sticks to demo when the first fresh of the season falls. (I want to bracket boots here & make them the sole subject of another thread!)

To try & sum up the ski I'm aiming for: I want a ski that will serve everyday lift-served & bootback duty on powder days at the resort, and also work as the more downhill-oriented ski in a future 2-ski backcountry quiver with lighter, touring-oriented setup.. As for my style: I tend towards longer, fluid, powerful turns, & have a good "strength-to-weight" ratio due to the cycling legs, but still have to rely a good deal on finesse & technique to get through burly conditions that bigger skiers may be able to punch through with extra muscle mass. I tend to dislike skis at the extreme ends of the continuum between nervous & super-damp.  We're talking powder skis here, so after 1) 105mm+ waist for flotation, my priorities would be: 2) variable turn shape & quick performance in the trees, but with 3) enough oomph for punching through heavier crud & crust, and some form of sidecut for 4) does-not-suck frontside edgehold.

 

Anyone want to take a stab at helping me compile & prioritize a list of 10 skis to test?

Looks like there’s a runaway consensus on the DPS skis, so they’re number 1.

I’ll list, in no particular order, the other potential contenders nominated in this thread & elsewhere, and let the jury of my peers litigate it from there  ;~>

1. DPS Wailer 112RP  - Pure & Composite versions

Armada JJ  - Regular & AK versions

Moment Night Trains

PM Gear 179 Fat, 110 mm

Atomic Bent Chetler

4FRNT CRJ

Praxis PB or BC.

0N3P Billy Goat (hard to find around Tahoe)

Nordica Hell & Back

Blizzard Cochise

Prior Husume

Rossi S7 – regular & Super-7 versions (heavy)


Edited by Veloscente - 10/28/11 at 8:26pm
post #45 of 77

At the very least make sure any boots you may buy are dynafit compatible.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Most posters have intuited my priorities pretty well: I'm a slow-twitch, endurance-sports guy 12 months a year, albeit one who likes to mix endorphins & adrenaline.  I bring a lot of that mentality to the snow as well, always have.  Not surprisingly, I found Lindahl’s analogy to MTB gear helpful for thinking about my uphill/downhill priorities off-piste: what I'm looking for would be the equivalent of a 5-6" travel trail bike: downhill performance-oriented & reliable, but at a weight that does not make you weep on the uphill.

 

An anecdotal attempt to illustrate my feelings on weight vs. performance / durability: I skied with some locals at Big Sky / Moonlight last year on the North Summit Snowfields, and one of them blew out of his Marker Tours several times in the funky, crusty, variable snow we were skiing. Said he'd already warrantied them too. That spells a great big *heck no* in my book when it comes to sacrificing downhill performance/retention in the name of weight.  I don't "huck" anything, or drop off stuff much bigger than I am, but I do like to ski pretty aggressive lines on some reasonably burly terrain, so I'm not willing to sacrifice downhill performance for weight. I've got 3 seasons of pretty steady abuse out of my Marker Griffons, so I would be comfortable, on the other hand, with opting for the lighter weight of the plastic Barons over the burlier metal Dukes.

 

As for *exactly* how I'm going to be using this sidecountry / skinning setup, this is a work in progress.  It starts with Sierra's Huckleberry Canyon & a season pass.  Gonna enroll in courses on how not to get myself killed in the BC, and let the range of my sidecountry excursions grow w/ my skills & ambition. Like I said in my OP, the one thing I can say for sure is I'm *not* aiming at making this first setup the ultimate, lightweight, long-tour rig. If I can find some BC touring buddies who want to go long, and find a way to work it into my regular schedule, then I'll purchase a "true AT" setup at some point down the line for that specific purpose.  I have a flexible work schedule, but my wife does not, so I'm the one on the hook for the pre & post work routine with our two kids. Sunday is a family ski day, and Saturday will likely be a half-day at Sierra as well due to other morning commitments.

 

To put it in Phil's terms: I will be "earning my turns" with freelance work & providing sweat equity for my family, so at least as far as this season goes, I will *not* be doing full-day-long tours on a weekly basis.  As far as selecting skis for a more realistic 2-4 hour tour timeframe, my game-plan on gear acquisition is to focus first on skis, skins & bindings, so I can have a list of powder sticks to demo when the first fresh of the season falls. (I want to bracket boots here & make them the sole subject of another thread!)

To try & sum up the ski I'm aiming for: I want a ski that will serve everyday lift-served & bootback duty on powder days at the resort, and also work as the more downhill-oriented ski in a future 2-ski backcountry quiver with lighter, touring-oriented setup.. As for my style: I tend towards longer, fluid, powerful turns, & have a good "strength-to-weight" ratio due to the cycling legs, but still have to rely a good deal on finesse & technique to get through burly conditions that bigger skiers may be able to punch through with extra muscle mass. I tend to dislike skis at the extreme ends of the continuum between nervous & super-damp.  We're talking powder skis here, so after 1) 105mm+ waist for flotation, my priorities would be: 2) variable turn shape & quick performance in the trees, but with 3) enough oomph for punching through heavier crud & crust, and some form of sidecut for 4) does-not-suck frontside edgehold.

 

2 hour tours? To get in much more than 1000' you will need to be pretty fast climber and have a short efficient approach.

 

Analogous classes of MTB to AT Rig.

 

Fully Rigid: Nordic BC System setup

 

Carbon hard tail:  Randonee race setup

 

Sub 28lb 5.5" trail bike equivalent: A touring oriented fat ski (up to 100mm under foot, 6.5-8lbs)  with dynafits and a all day tour-able boot (scarpa maestrale, Dynafit Green Machine).

 

28-35lb 6-7" all mountain bike equivalent: A light weight alpine fat ski (8-9.5lb) with a dynafit binding, burly touring boot (Dynafit ZZeus, Scarpa Skookum). 

 

35+lb 8"+ freeride bike equivalent: A metal laminate freeride ski with a marker duke and burly side country boot (Synafit Titan, Scarpa Mobe, Garmont Radium, Solly Quest, Tecnica Cochise).

 

You ought to add the PM Lhasa to your list. Not sure how that got left off.


Edited by tromano - 10/28/11 at 9:21pm
post #46 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

Analogous classes of MTB to AT Rig.

 

Fully Rigid: Nordic BC System setup

 

Carbon hard tail:  Randonee race setup

 

Sub 28lb 5.5" trail bike equivalent: A touring oriented fat ski (up to 100mm under foot, 6.5-8lbs)  with dynafits and a all day tour-able boot (scarpa maestrale, Dynafit Green Machine).

 

28-35lb 6-7" all mountain bike equivalent: A light weight alpine fat ski (8-9.5lb) with a dynafit binding, burly touring boot (Dynafit ZZeus, Scarpa Skookum). 

 

35+lb 8"+ freeride bike equivalent: A metal laminate freeride ski with a marker duke and burly side country boot (Synafit Titan, Scarpa Mobe, Garmont Radium, Solly Quest, Tecnica Cochise).

 


while agree with the ski analogy, in general (i would go up to a light-ish 115mm on the 5.5" bike, and a light 120-130+ for a 6-7" trail bike, assuming you are going backcountry to ski powder, not had pack), the boot analogy is a bit off IMO.

 

carbon 29'er hardtail - dynafit evo/tlt5 etc rando boots

 

5-6.5" trail bike 28-31lb - dynafit titan/zzeus, tecnica cochise, scarpa mobe, scarpa maestrale w/ whatever bindings (dyna or marker)

 

6+" freeride/DH bike 30-40lb - alpine boots + duke/baron/tour

 

 

a titan/tital UL/zzeus has every bit as good of a stride as the maestrale and green machine for instance, and only give up 100-200g per foot if a comparable liner is used.  if you are coming off of alpine boots that are properly fit, i would strongly suggest buying AT boots based around the FIT and flex, rather than the perceived touring or skiing benefits.  i personally think that the titan and cochise ski so well i retired my dobermann plug boots at the end of last season, and ski these AT boots everyday inbounds as well, yet with an intuition liner they are within 150-200g of a green machine or maestrale for example.

 

the rest of those boots (green machine, skookum, radium, quest, bd factor/method), are frankly just not very good boots, be it fit issues (green machine + skookum have no heal hold compared to an alpine boot, radium crushes toes, bd has very strange last) performance issues (G.M, skookum, radium are all way soft compared to a 120-130 flex boot with poor rebound), materials issues (quest buckles, bd walk mode), etc

 

so try on a bunch of AT boots with your packed in and comfortable alpine liners, and see what shell fits and flexes right, and don't worry about what small little sub-genre of skiing it might call into.  

 

 

i would second that if you are buying AT boots at this point it would be foolish to buy boots that are not dynafit compatible, even if you are not going to immediately use dyna bindings.

post #47 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by msolson View Post


while agree with the ski analogy, in general (i would go up to a light-ish 115mm on the 5.5" bike, and a light 120-130+ for a 6-7" trail bike, assuming you are going backcountry to ski powder, not had pack), the boot analogy is a bit off IMO.

 

carbon 29'er hardtail - dynafit evo/tlt5 etc rando boots

 

5-6.5" trail bike 28-31lb - dynafit titan/zzeus, tecnica cochise, scarpa mobe, scarpa maestrale w/ whatever bindings (dyna or marker)

 

6+" freeride/DH bike 30-40lb - alpine boots + duke/baron/tour

 

 

a titan/tital UL/zzeus has every bit as good of a stride as the maestrale and green machine for instance, and only give up 100-200g per foot if a comparable liner is used.  if you are coming off of alpine boots that are properly fit, i would strongly suggest buying AT boots based around the FIT and flex, rather than the perceived touring or skiing benefits.  i personally think that the titan and cochise ski so well i retired my dobermann plug boots at the end of last season, and ski these AT boots everyday inbounds as well, yet with an intuition liner they are within 150-200g of a green machine or maestrale for example.

 

the rest of those boots (green machine, skookum, radium, quest, bd factor/method), are frankly just not very good boots, be it fit issues (green machine + skookum have no heal hold compared to an alpine boot, radium crushes toes, bd has very strange last) performance issues (G.M, skookum, radium are all way soft compared to a 120-130 flex boot with poor rebound), materials issues (quest buckles, bd walk mode), etc

 

so try on a bunch of AT boots with your packed in and comfortable alpine liners, and see what shell fits and flexes right, and don't worry about what small little sub-genre of skiing it might call into.  

 

 

i would second that if you are buying AT boots at this point it would be foolish to buy boots that are not dynafit compatible, even if you are not going to immediately use dyna bindings.

 

Thanks for the additional perspectives on some of these boots.

 

I tour on maestrales right now and they tour great. But its not a threat to replace my alpine boots in the resort. Maestrale do not ski as well as a 120 flex alpine boot. But they are enough ski to drive a 100 underfoot ski in most any snow conditions. I am looking into replacing my alpine boot swhich are not quite old technicas. Potentially with a pair of Cochise since I have a tecnica foot.

 

As far as the analogies...

 

I really have no idea what people mean when they say they want the touring version of an AllMountain bike but don't want to give up any downhill performance. To me a 28lb trail bike or 33lb AM bike is a bike that you can pedal all day long and still have a lot of fun carving up the down hill with. But they do not pedal or climb  as well as a 4" XC bike and sure do give up a lot on the down hill compared to a real FR bike.  I think AM bikes with all the different choices are trying to be the perfect compromise between downhill performance and pedaling efficiency providing just enough of each for what you want to do.

 

You can ride an XC trail on a freeride bike if you want to and vice versa assuming you have the tallent...

 

Here is another MTB to AT analogy.

 

To me the difference between platforms and clipless pedals is about the same as the difference step-in bindings (like the duke) and tech fitting binders like dynafit. Sometimes you want both on the same bike -- viva la dynaduke! Its mostly newbies on their first MTB and riders who are looking to get in the air who are using platforms.

 

 

 

post #48 of 77
Thread Starter 

Ohboy, I (re)opened a can of worms with the MTB analogy.

Upon reflection, the analogy is flawed, because we're not really comparing true Nordic XC setups to XC-racing MTB setups.

40lb MTB downhill racing rigs that only ever go uphill on ski lifts may indeed prove a neat & clean analogy to 120mm+, 10lb+ ski mounted up w/ Marker Jesters, but that's not really what we're talking about here either, so I move we toss the MTB comparisons out the window & get back to the snow.

 

I've duly noted the strong consensus that any future Sidecountry / AT boot purchase needs to be made with an eye towards Dynafit compatibility.

I really am trying hard to defer the boot discussion for a later occasion -- mostly because I have a foot that is *ridiculously* difficult to fit -- but since we're on the subject of Dynafit compatibility, can anyone offer a primer on the different "plate" systems people are referring to at various points in this thread, including the "Dyna-Duke Plates"?

Are these systems that would allow me to swap between different bindings on a single set of skis?

I like the idea, but what are the main tradeoffs: cost and weight?

 

I've also noted the suggestion of the PM Lhasa, and have added it to the list of contenders below.

Does anyone want to take a stab at helping me sort or at least annotate this list some more (w/ ski weights, etc.) based on my stated priorities, goals, style, etc?

 

1. DPS Wailer 112RP  - Pure & Composite versions

Armada JJ  - Regular & AK versions

Moment Night Trains

PM Gear Lhasa &  179 Fat, 110 mm

Atomic Bent Chetler

4FRNT CRJ

Praxis PB &  BC.

0N3P Billy Goat (hard to find around Tahoe)

Nordica Hell & Back

Blizzard Cochise

Prior Husume

Rossi S7 – regular & Super-7 versions (heavy)

post #49 of 77
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tromano View Post

2 hour tours? To get in much more than 1000' you will need to be pretty fast climber and have a short efficient approach.

 

I still have a lot of scouting & research to do before I can calculate what my drive times will be, and how much time that will leave me for weekday tours.

On shorter days, I imagine it will pretty much amount to a glorified aerobic workout followed by a ski back to the car.

I'm not the kind of climber that likes to stop & rest if I can help it. I eat, drink, change clothes, etc. without getting off the bike.

 

Your comment does make me curious, however, about whether there might be a rule of thumb about the distances / elevations I can expect to cover in a given time while skinning.

I was reflecting on this very question just last week as I was out at Sierra trail running from the Base lodge to the 360-Smokehouse Lodge up on Huckleberry Mtn.  Covered the the 2.2 miles / 2200 ft.elev. in 30 minutes pretty comfortably.

 

Obviously as a newbie to skinning, I'm going to start out slower than experienced BC skiers with optimal skinning technique.

Likewise, snow conditions can vary wildly, but as a starting point, could you take a stab at how much distance/vertical your average, BC skier in decent shape could expect to cover in an hour on *groomed* snow vs. say 8" of new, light snow?

post #50 of 77

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Your comment does make me curious, however, about whether there might be a rule of thumb about the distances / elevations I can expect to cover in a given time while skinning.

I was reflecting on this very question just last week as I was out at Sierra trail running from the Base lodge to the 360-Smokehouse Lodge up on Huckleberry Mtn.  Covered the the 2.2 miles / 2200 ft.elev. in 30 minutes pretty comfortably.

 

Obviously as a newbie to skinning, I'm going to start out slower than experienced BC skiers with optimal skinning technique.

Likewise, snow conditions can vary wildly, but as a starting point, could you take a stab at how much distance/vertical your average, BC skier in decent shape could expect to cover in an hour on *groomed* snow vs. say 8" of new, light snow?


A good average goal is to shoot for 1000 feet of vertical per hour of skinning.  

 

Hope that this helps:

http://www.epicski.com/a/skinning-primer

 

post #51 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

I've duly noted the strong consensus that any future Sidecountry / AT boot purchase needs to be made with an eye towards Dynafit compatibility.

I really am trying hard to defer the boot discussion for a later occasion -- mostly because I have a foot that is *ridiculously* difficult to fit -- but since we're on the subject of Dynafit compatibility, can anyone offer a primer on the different "plate" systems people are referring to at various points in this thread, including the "Dyna-Duke Plates"?

Are these systems that would allow me to swap between different bindings on a single set of skis?

I like the idea, but what are the main tradeoffs: cost and weight?

 

http://bindingfreedom.com/

 

Basically it gives you an easy swap-ability between bindings. They plates are fairly inexpensive (compared to owning two bindings for two sets of skis) and are easier to use than inserts, but do weigh about .5 lb. 

post #52 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 


A good average goal is to shoot for 1000 feet of vertical per hour of skinning.  

 

Hope that this helps:

http://www.epicski.com/a/skinning-primer

 

 

That is a good goal to shoot for! Does that number include just skinning or does it include everything (transitions, downhill etc)? Is it for an individual, organized group, or disorgnaized group etc...?


Good article there. The hands below heart thing really works for me. If I seems to be redlining cardio wise choking up one my poles (dropping my hands below heart) seems to make a big difference in how quickly I recover. Also, good skin tracks are ones that climb at a fairly steady rate. If the track is too steep  or too flat its usually better to cut your own track. Also use terrain and flat spots in the terrain to turn on. Turns where you sort of shuffle around are easier than a kick turn and even kick turns are easier in flatter spots.

 

Also, who you are touring with will have a big impact on how long it takes. You are never going to be faster than the slowest person. Just as an example on transitions. Some people get to the top, latch their bindings, latch their boots, bend over rip their skins off in one fluid motion. Turn around and are ready to ski down taking like 2 minutes. I have been with this one split boarder who I will never forget, he borrowed his setup and had to take the bindings off the board completely, reconstruct the board and then remount the bindings from parts taking about a half an hour. Whatever setup you get, practice with it and know how to transition. Have things organized in your pack so that you can transition quickly.  Its a good idea to take a big puffy with you, something you can throw over all your layers once you get to the top if you do have to wait for your buddies. 
 

post #53 of 77

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

That is a good goal to shoot for! Does that number include just skinning or does it include everything (transitions, downhill etc)? Is it for an individual, organized group, or disorgnaized group etc...?


Oh jeez...I dunno.  It's a ball park, me+a small, fairly organized group kind of number.  But if I'm getting much less than that, there should be a pretty good reason.  biggrin.gif

 

Quote:

...Also, who you are touring with will have a big impact on how long it takes. You are never going to be faster than the slowest person. ...I have been with this one split boarder who I will never forget, he borrowed his setup and had to take the bindings off the board completely, reconstruct the board and then remount the bindings from parts taking about a half an hour. 

 

And then there's the safety meeting, you know how those guys are.  wink.gif  Splitboarders can present...special challenges. 

 

Quote:

Its a good idea to take a big puffy with you, something you can throw over all your layers once you get to the top if you do have to wait for your buddies. 

 

Always.  beercheer.gif

 

post #54 of 77

I'm humbled and inspired by that ^^^^

post #55 of 77

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm humbled and inspired by that ^^^^


There might be some helpful stuff about technique and pacing in that wiki.  And anyway, aren't you a mountainbiker?  Then you probably already have a good foundation for grinding out some vert.  

 

post #56 of 77
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

A good average goal is to shoot for 1000 feet of vertical per hour of skinning.  

Hope that this helps:

http://www.epicski.com/a/skinning-primer



Nice article Bob, thanks.

What would your recommendation for a newbie be regarding skins: the burlier the grip the better?

Several recs for BD Ascensions earlier in this thread: my intuitive choice for a short-excursion-oriented sidecountry setup would be to go for maximum grip, and wait to get more glide-oriented skins when it's time to add a second, true AT ski to my quiver.

Does this make sense, or am I missing something?

post #57 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 


There might be some helpful stuff about technique and pacing in that wiki.  And anyway, aren't you a mountainbiker?  Then you probably already have a good foundation for grinding out some vert.  

 



I was.  This past summer turned me into a massive pile of wussyness

 

post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Quote:



Nice article Bob, thanks.

What would your recommendation for a newbie be regarding skins: the burlier the grip the better?

Several recs for BD Ascensions earlier in this thread: my intuitive choice for a short-excursion-oriented sidecountry setup would be to go for maximum grip, and wait to get more glide-oriented skins when it's time to add a second, true AT ski to my quiver.

Does this make sense, or am I missing something?

 

You will probably not be using a kick and glide diagonal stride when you are touring for turns. Its mostly just walking up. If you are doing a 7mile fire road approach (or something) you will want something that glides and kicker skins or skinny mohair skins are a good choice -- or just kick wax your bases.

 

post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post



I was.  This past summer turned me into a massive pile of wussyness

 


Feeling Wussy? Just go out and grind on some fire roads (or road bike), thats great cardio and endurance with  no gnar shread required. Trail running is also a great summertime training for skinning. Plenty of time to get your base fitness in before the season is really here.

post #60 of 77

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Nice article Bob, thanks.

What would your recommendation for a newbie be regarding skins: the burlier the grip the better?

Several recs for BD Ascensions earlier in this thread: my intuitive choice for a short-excursion-oriented sidecountry setup would be to go for maximum grip, and wait to get more glide-oriented skins when it's time to add a second, true AT ski to my quiver.

Does this make sense, or am I missing something?


Thanks for the props.  Short version: yeah, that makes sense.  

 

BD's Ascension STS skins are like the gold standard for skins - that's what I use and recommend.  Watch for sales to save a few $$.  That said, G3 and Climbingskins Direct have their proponents, and they're not bad so if you find a good deal on your size it's probably okay to go with those.  I'm almost always going uphill when I have skins on so my touring doesn't seem to require great glide and I haven't bothered with the more expensive - but better gliding - mohair and mohair mix skins.  That's just me.  I seem to require more abrasion resistance (think rocks in spring).  To me grip is more important than glide, YMMV.  

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