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Need help narrowing things down: all-mountain-fats - Page 3

post #61 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

are we done searching for unicorns.......th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

And WHAT is the problem with searching for unicorns.......?

 

post #62 of 74

Found a unicorn: just bought my wife Women's Dynafit Manaslus, TLT5s, Vertical STs, skins, and 7 summit poles for our anniversary--to replace her present bc outfit and to supplement her Salomon Idol boots and Volkl Estrella skis and [marker] bindings in the front country--for off-piste deeper snow. 

post #63 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Iceinsanity, despite your disclaimer, am struck by how you don't seem willing to divulge your priorities, nor do you mention reading any reviews anywhere. A learning curve starts there. Seriously, why do you think it's appropriate to just keep picking our brains, like a bunch of private tutors, and not bothering to actually read reviews that have already been written by some very experienced skiers here? Or TGR? Or Real Skiers? The reviews, many of which are in the form of comparisons, will give you a lot of answers to questions you're asking right now. Once you have a foundation, you can come back with realistic questions about particular skis, or at least types of skis, and you'll get more useful responses than "I love my XXX's and they rock everywhere..."

 

I have looked for reviews on a lot of the skis that I have on my list.  Some have more reviews than others, and some don't seem to have much information on them at all. Some of these reviews I DID read on this site, and on others for cross referencing. But some skis were just kinda plopped out there without much more than manufacturer raves about how their ski did everything you'd want it to including time travel. As harsh as this thread may be becoming with cross hairs aimed squarely at my forehead about my indecision and disclaimers and how I might just be a complete idiot who is afraid of his own analysis, I don't want this to turn into a purely self-defensive thread, as I can clearly see that a good chunk of you are getting really annoyed.

 

But before this goes any farther, my trip to the PNW, did have some very fruitful results. I won't have a "short list" of skis because I bought a pair- Dynafit Manaslus (187s). Based on what I've read on some reviews and what I've been told of this ski is that it is hard-pack runnable, but I've got to work it right for it to be enjoyable. Otherwise, I might get bounced around a bit. Of all the information I've seen and heard on these skis, it's in general, consistent. And hey, if push comes to shove, I still have my K2Fours, and I can always upgrade those later, even if I don't want to now. Who knows where this will lead me? Obviously, I did not buy this ski for our groomed hills in the UMW, but for stuff in the PNW. It's just that I want it to do both.

 

I also got some recommendations on bindings, and tried on a few boots in my relatively short time in the Seattle area. My short list of boots- two pair- Dynafit Zzero 4 PxTF (28-28.5) and Black Diamond Primes (28-28.5). I liked the BD boots a bit more than the Dynafits due to the thicker sole and more rugged tread pattern as opposed the the Dynafit pair (The BDs tread pattern looked more along the lines of a regular passenger truck tire, as opposed to the Dynafits which looked more like a summer performance tire.... odd analogy, I know. Regular mountain boots standard Vibram "Stars & Bars" I'd equate to off-road tires.). Tried on a few others including a pair of Scarpa boots, and some other Dynafits. Don't know the model, other than they didn't fit as good as the either of the other two (Another of the Dynafit boots was essentially the same as the Zzero 4 PxTFs, but made of a different shell material and fit the same). I did like the flip-top feature of the Scarpas though. But they didn't fit as good, so they got axed. Down to the wire, I'll likely spring for a better deal between the two. The BDs are likely heavier than the Dynafits, but the features of the BD boots are more attractive to me. I'd also venture to say the fit was also slightly better, but I was trying a slightly different size, and that can throw things off.

 

I've got some research ahead of me for bindings. The two that were recommended to me were the Radical ST and the Radical Speed. But it seems that the Radical ST may have had some issues recently. I don't know anything about the other. I'll come back later with specific questions if I have any about these, and I'll look into others.

post #64 of 74

Certainly buy the boot that fits well and consider getting it custom fit.  

 

As for the bindings, I have Speed Radicals, Radical STs, and Vertical STs: the Speeds can't use brakes; brakes are worthwhile for your go-to bc ski in PNW.  I bought Vertical STs for my wife last week because they were slightly cheaper than the Radicals.  Advantages of the Verticals: if you can rip skins, a flip of the wrist (pole to heel) puts you in downhill mode, remove the skins, and start down; with the Radicals you either have to take your ski off or be flexible enough to reach under your heel and turn the post a full turn.

Advantages of the Radicals: a solid, laterally sliding anti-friction plate on the brakes (the Vertical is stationary and has a hole in that tends to collect snow); the heel lifts go up and down very easily compared to twisting the Vertical heel piece, but some have found the Radical heel lifts fragile; any new Radical will have had the problematic pin in the heel place replaced.

 

As far as the Manaslu goes, keep the edges sharp (Wildsnow recommends 1 degree side and base, tips & tails detuned).

post #65 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

are we done searching for unicorns.......th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Yes. I found one just east of Issaquah WA on I-90. Part of it is still stuck in my front driver-side fender. I harvested the horn and it magically healed my vehicle, so it might just look like a mangled white horse with a large bullet wound to the head if you go look for it. suspect.gif

post #66 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post

Certainly buy the boot that fits well and consider getting it custom fit.  

 

As for the bindings, I have Speed Radicals, Radical STs, and Vertical STs: the Speeds can't use brakes; brakes are worthwhile for your go-to bc ski in PNW.  I bought Vertical STs for my wife last week because they were slightly cheaper than the Radicals.  Advantages of the Verticals: if you can rip skins, a flip of the wrist (pole to heel) puts you in downhill mode, remove the skins, and start down; with the Radicals you either have to take your ski off or be flexible enough to reach under your heel and turn the post a full turn.

Advantages of the Radicals: a solid, laterally sliding anti-friction plate on the brakes (the Vertical is stationary and has a hole in that tends to collect snow); the heel lifts go up and down very easily compared to twisting the Vertical heel piece, but some have found the Radical heel lifts fragile; any new Radical will have had the problematic pin in the heel place replaced.

 

As far as the Manaslu goes, keep the edges sharp (Wildsnow recommends 1 degree side and base, tips & tails detuned).

Thanks for the info on bindings.

 

As far as custom fitting the boots, are you referring to the thermo-moldable liners or molding the shell too? I was told that some people are starting to mold the shell in addition to the liner....

 

I also read that Wildsnow review about detuning the tips. :-) Not sure if it's the same review (I'll admit I blasted through a bunch of them) but I do know it was on Wildsnow. I spent more time reading the comparison between the old and new. http://www.wildsnow.com/4814/dynafit-manaslu-review/

post #67 of 74

Just getting a good boot-fitter to look at fit, stance, need for insoles (pronation), even ramp angle on the skis, etc.  Most new boots are coming with thermomoldable liners that which can be molded at home, but having a toe cap, making space for the nerve on the top of the forefoot, making or selecting an orthotic, etc. are good things to know.  After having a reputable boot fitter examine me,  make a custom orthotic, and thermofit my liners, I then felt I could do my next few boots on my own, because I had no real anomalies except moderate pronation that could be corrected with a good-fitting OTC orthotic.  But ignoring that could lead to foot, ankle, and knee problems.  If you buy your boots at a good AT ski shop, they usually will do the analysis and thermo-molding for free, some make custom orthotics, etc.  If you buy online, you can go to a bootfitter (it will cost a bit) or you can just take your chances if you think you know your feet enough.

post #68 of 74
Thread Starter 

After a long time waiting and waiting, the Black Diamond Primes went on Uber-sale. And then I missed my opportunity to get these boots in my size as they sold like crazy. I suppose you could look at it both ways, but I wound up buying a pair of Dynafit Zzeus TF-X boots. I don't have them in hand yet, but based on fitment information that I got, they fit pretty much the same as the Zzeros, which I tried on. And I also think it's slick that they have interchangeable sole blocks to work with Alpine bindings as well. The plus: Multi-use, very stiff, comfortable boot, good for both back country and inbound use. The bad: They are heavy. They are a full pound heavier than the Black Diamonds I was looking at. However, I would be able to get rid of my current Alpine boots, which are a poor excuse of a boot being two sizes too big for me.

 

Should the weight be out of line, I can return them no questions asked and get what I need.

 

On to bindings. I've heard some whispers elsewhere about a new brand of tech binding coming out, but I have been focused on boots lately and will have to look into it again. Another thing I found interesting about the Dynafit bindings, is that some people say the toes do not release in some directions. (been a while since I read the report, but I think it was laterally. They pop out fine vertically, but not to the side...) This wound up raising some safety/injury questions. AND I think it was in this same report that I read about the newly developed brand or something to that effect that allowed a safer relies.... I don't know when that report came out either.... they may have been referring to Plum Guides?

 

... I dunno yet. Got a lot of work ahead of me. Also wondering if the Maroon Bells Loop has been skied before, or even recommended, but that's another topic. Not much came up on a google search.

post #69 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post


It is quite the trend now for manufacturers to produce skis with notches, holes, etc. to which one would attach that manufacturer's overly high priced not necessarily good skins.  I fell for Volkl's promo for my Snowwolfs.  The attachment mechanism was great, the skins sucked, and the price was high.

 

My personal favorite ski is the G-3 Alpinist; bought in the right width you can make it fit every ski I know of.  My low cost favorite is skins for skinsdirect.com with just the tip loop; you may have to buy a Black Diamond oversize or adjustable tip loop to make these skins fit on some skis with robust tip protectors.  

 

 

I just paid a visit to skinsdirect.com. Did they go out of business? I could find climbingskinsdirect.com, but they seemed to provide their own proprietary universal fit skins. After looking at the differences between the G-3 and those available from that site, I like the attachment mechanism of the G-3 better.

 

Also checked out the Manaslu specific skin. Yeah, they are expensive compared to other stuff out there, but a few people on Backcountry.com seemed to like them. It also seems like the G-3s might be discontinued? I found a pair on uber-clearance. Not exactly great timing for me to buy another piece of gear, especially when I haven't done a whole lot of checking into them, but if they are THAT good...

post #70 of 74

I think he meant climbingskinsdirect.com.   I have gotten a few skins from them and am very happy with them.  It is not hard to custom trim your own skins and the quality of the material is similar to G3 and Ascension for a lot less money.  I also like them because they are based where I live and I can order and pay on-line then pick them up the same day at Hungry Jacks in Wilson, WY at the base of Teton Pass.

post #71 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

ski weight: within reason, the wrong place to save weight. you need ski that performs well, with minimal compromise. the ski is what will keep you alive in the descent. Most top skndreasiers that ski extreme terrain (Andreas Fransson, Chris Davenport, Jon Morisson, etc) ski on Salomon, kastle and Blizzard skis, and not the lightest models.


CD and JM to the best of my knowledge ski on mid 90's. Both are phenomenally fit and strong, but I don't know that they'd agree that 110+ is the call for true ski mountaineering and extremely steep variable snow terrain. Other than that, absolutely spot on advice about boots, bindings, poles, etc.....
post #72 of 74
dint know where the 110+ if coming from,i think 100 wou be the right size
post #73 of 74
Thread Starter 

Just thought I'd stop back and thank all you guys for your input and help. (and jest and criticism in some cases)

 

My setup:

Dynafit Manaslu skis

Dynafit Zzeus TX-F boots

Dynafit Radical ST bindings

G3 Expedition skins (applied BD Glop stopper wax to these)

And picked up a new ski helmet as well.

 

I also got a pair of Volkl Carver Access skis for resort use (though they are fairly old, but in excellent shape, and FAR better than my K2 Fours... and they were FREE.), and the multi-binding functionality of the Zzeus boots works great with these.

Tried everything out recently after the snow storm rolled through. The local snowboarders made a real mess of one of the runs at a local hill, but the Manaslus cut right through the chop and crud left all over the place, and handled the exposed ice very well too. Gave a great sense of confidence. I tried the Volkls on the same run and had to catch myself several times through the worst spots. While this isn't why I bought the Manaslu skis, it certainly gives a glimpse of the capabilities out on the mountain. Boots, while heavier than I'd like, fit fantastic, and feel solid going down and give plenty of movement while in touring mode. Bindings, those work great too. I've never experienced the older Radicals, but those posts in the toe binding certainly seem to make a difference based on what I've read about the old ones. I only messed around with them on my floor once. After that, it was second nature without any markings on the boots to help guide them in.

 

For the touring mode, I went to a local cross country ski trail to give that a try, along with the skins. The skins are probably the biggest mistake I've made. While I understand that full coverage skins is great for climbing, the duel radius/asymmetrical design of the skis makes applying the skins a real pain (I marked one of them so I know which side they go on). I also found out that the G3 skins grip like mad. Had a decently steep hill climb to see how well they griped, and had no issues sliding back. The glide is minimal, which is what I expected from what I've read on full synthetic skins. But I bought those skins for climbing, and for that they will work great. I just wish I got straight skins. But I bought a second set of half skins (Black Diamond Mohair Mix Kickers) for any ice climbing approaches on the lakes, bluffs, or rivers around here, and any other touring use I might get out of them around here and I should be able to try those out this weekend. The glide should be much better. The G3s will stay in storage until I hit the big stuff out west.

post #74 of 74

Nice. Now go and us it :)

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