EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › Adjusting Alpine Touring Ski Length for Pack Weight
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adjusting Alpine Touring Ski Length for Pack Weight

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, i'm looking to put together my first alpine touring rig on a tight budget, and I was wondering about the appropriate length ski. I plan on buying these in large part for use with a pack in the backcountry, and am wondering how to factor that in. Do I simply combine my projected total weight? For reference, I'm 5'11", currently 164 but am cutting weight and expect to settle around 155. Typical trips would be probably 1-3 nights, maybe 25-45lbs gear. Would this mean that I should buy skis with recommended weights around 180-210lbs? I am an intermediate skier in resort conditions, comfortably riding groomed black diamonds, but have yet to build a lot of fresh snow experience. I am mostly interested in touring speed and not in aggressive downhill performance, but would like to earn some moderate turns, and will likely use these skis occasionally at resorts at relaxed speeds.

 

I already bought boots ($100 for Black Diamond Slants used off ebay). I am tempted by some blem 2009 Black Diamond Cult skis for $150 in 167s. The size chart suggests these for 140-170lbs, but I'm worried that they may not be long enough for use with a pack. I'm thinking of using Dynafit TLT Vertical ST bindings (the only thing I'm probably going to pay close to retail on).

 

Thanks for any advice.

post #2 of 5
I suppose you could consider yourself to weigh what you + pack weigh in sum, and pick your ski based on that weight.

You could also increase the ski width while keeping the length shorter. Shorter skis are more maneuverable in kick turns and are lighter, two things that begin to matter the more time you spend skinning uphill.

On the other hand if you're young and/or very fit, more ski weight and more length are probably worth the penalties and you'll get more cardio work lugging more underfoot weight.

Among people who do a fair amount of skinning you'll find those who prefer short skis, flimsy boots and tech bindings, and those who use boots, bindings and skis close to what they use lift-served (if not the very same setup)... and people between those extremes.

If you're more interested in the uphill walking and not the downhill raging, the shorter ski is *probably* going to be more fun. But only you will know for sure once you've spent plenty of time walking uphill.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

That makes sense, Grizzled Veteran.

 

I'm pretty sure I want tech bindings, but from reading more it seems that a very light narrow rando race type ski (like the Cults) is probably not what I'm looking for exactly. Maybe something a little on the short side for my total weight with pack, but within bounds for my unladen weight, and a somewhat fat ski (85-95?) will be better. Combined with mid-weight tech bindings (TLT Radical STs instead of say, TLT Speeds) and possibly later another pair of boots, this'll also probably a more fun ski downhill, including rare resort days, though I'm perfectly aware this is anything but an aggressive setup.

 

For what it's worth, I'm 26 and very fit (will be training to be a competative amateur cyclist next season). Mostly looking towards backcountry in the Sierras and in the Trinity Alps. There's undoubtably powder involved in these areas, but I'd also probably going at the edge of the ski season also with much less powder.

 

It's a good thing I like obsessing about gear or this would be frustrating. AT gear is more confusing than a lot of things.

post #4 of 5

A longer ski, mid-fat (90-100 mm underfoot), helps both in breaking trail and skiing in deep snow (especially, the "platform" the mid-90s and greater provide).  Lou Dawson at Wildsnow suggest going over 100 mm underfoot results in carrying more snow on top of the ski to be irritating/fatiguing.  For deep snow/winter season, I suggest you looks at skis like the Dynafit Manaslu, K2 Wayback, Black Diamond Kilowatt, etc. and choose a length that might be advised for your body weight plus 30 lbs (if you are carrying overnight gear, plus avy gear, plus 1st aid gear + boots, clothes, pack you will be carrying probably 40+ lbs; day trips I usually carry a 25-lb load in my pack alone (clothes, food, survival gear, avy gear, 1st aid gear, water).  Any of these skis will work in the spring as well; but for spring-summer skiing I would aim towards th 80-90 range instead of the 90-100, and shorter skis, to reduce weight, ease skiing on ice and icy crust, and make skiing on corn snow so much fun.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpach View Post

 I am an intermediate skier in resort conditions, comfortably riding groomed black diamonds, but have yet to build a lot of fresh snow experience. I am mostly interested in touring speed and not in aggressive downhill performance, but would like to earn some moderate turns, and will likely use these skis occasionally at resorts at relaxed speeds.

 

I already bought boots ($100 for Black Diamond Slants used off ebay). I am tempted by some blem 2009 Black Diamond Cult skis for $150 in 167s. The size chart suggests these for 140-170lbs, but I'm worried that they may not be long enough for use with a pack. I'm thinking of using Dynafit TLT Vertical ST bindings (the only thing I'm probably going to pay close to retail on).

 

Thanks for any advice.


IMHO:  The Cults will be fine for you going up.  But coming back down in anything other than spring corn, a 167 70mm ski is going to have a very steep learning curve in soft snow.

Try to get some more deep snow experience, inbounds!  I don't like seeing people flounder in the BC!

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › Adjusting Alpine Touring Ski Length for Pack Weight