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Slack country - dual purpose (sort of) skis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Please help me think through my choices for a slack country ski.  I’m not worried about weight (too much) for this ski although I don’t want something really heavy.  I want more of a fun, playful ski that will be dual-duty for resort skiing and for shorter jaunts into the slack country (e.g., a few k in or out).  The binding that I’ll probably use is the new Salomon Guardian or the Atomic version.  Boots will be both my Solomon XC130s and Scarpa Maelestrales.  Granted, the Maelestrale will be a tad bit on the wimpy side for the skis I’m looking at, but another pair of boots (e.g., the Maelstrale RS) is not in the budget for this year.  I want a ski that will compliment my current resort and BC skis and that can be used for slack country when the snow is good.

 

My current resort skis include; Bones, JJs and Kastle MX88 and various race and rock skis.  My BC set-up is the Dynafit Manaslu with a Dynafit binding (this will be used for longer days with lots of travel), but I want something more substantial for slack country.  I very much like all the skis that I have for the intended purpose of the ski.  The JJs are getting old and have been used a fair amount over the last two years.

 

My current thoughts for skis include: another set of JJs, Atomic Automatic, Moment Bibby, or the 4frnt Hoji.  I’m also looking at the K2 Pettitor.

 

I ski about 70 to 90 days per season, mostly at resorts, but now that one of my kids has “retired” from ski racing and I’ll have less ski-racer-parent responsibilities (I still have one U16 racing), I hope to get into the slack- and back-country a bit more.  In terms of preference, I tend to like chutes, trees, and bumps, although opening up some speed in a bowl is also fun.  I’m comfortable either carving or slarving and like a ski on which I can do either depending on mood or conditions.  I’m not really a hucker, although I like some air time, and I’m definitely not a park rat.  For this ski, I want something more on the playful and agile end of the spectrum rather than a bruiser.  This ski will be used mostly when there is fresh at the resort or a promise of fresh in the next slope over but some travel is needed.   My favorite local places to ski include: Kicking Horse, Reve, Castle, Fernie, Panorama, Louise, and Sunshine (kind of in that order).  Have been back country skiing for many years.

 

Any thoughts or additions to the “list” would be most welcome.


Edited by canadianskier - 9/10/12 at 1:53pm
post #2 of 14
IMHO, Bite the bullet and set up a dedicated BC rig since you already have the scarp as... Dynafit bindings or they're a waste of a boot. Mount them on something like a Line 105 or similar and call it good. IMHO, I'm sure the new salomon/atomic bindings will ski fine, they are still very heavy for any serious skinning. Why not mount some on your old JJ's for slack country stuff? And will you really need skins for lift served slack stuff? Some places sure, others, most likely never.

All told, you'd buy 2 bindings, a pair of skis, and some skins (assuming you have the usual BC safety gear and know how to use it).
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Markojp - I already have a dedicated BC set-up with my Dynafit Manaslu/Dynafit binding.  Although I like the Manaslu skis for BC skiing where distance is involved, I don't find them beefy enough for harder charging.  Also,  I don't find the Manaslu to be a very playful ski.  I like the Manaslu for it's intended purpose - a light, good traveling and capable ski.

 

The set-up I'm thinking about will be used on some days entirely at resorts, so I'd rather have the Solomon boot on those days.  For days of fresh slack country where some travel is involved, I'd use the Maelestrales and give up a bit of performance for the ability to travel.  For example, Bow  Summit or Parker's Ridge are yo-yo muscle access-able skiing areas that would be fun with a bigger, playful ski, but I wouldn't mind the heaviness.  This is why I'm strongly considering the Solomon Guardian.  A dynafit binding wouldn't work for both purposes.

 

In part,  I'm thinking of these skis as more of a replacement of the JJs, which are getting old and are fairly beat up.


Edited by canadianskier - 9/10/12 at 2:53pm
post #4 of 14

Sounds entirely reasonable to me.smile.gif

post #5 of 14

I shill for Rossignol so take my input with a lump of salt, but another ski you could consider would be the Rossi S3.  I have a pair with Marker Dukes and the rig is intended for almost exactly the purpose you describe.  I do a lot of OB skiing where you're doing fairly short boots or relatively short skinning laps but also quite a bit of inbounds skiing because the combo works just fine (not perfectly, mind you, but just fine) inbounds.

 

The skis (although unfortunately not the bindings) are light enough to do mild skinning/booting, but they are also solid enough to be relatively enjoyable in-resort.  The bindings ARE solid enough to comfortably ski whatever conditions I might run into inbounds.  

 

The S3's certainly qualify as being "playful" enough and they are really fun in powder and cut-up stuff.  I think it's a great setup for sidecountry skiing here at Jackson Hole.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob, I will put it on the list of contenders.  My son had an older version of S3s and loved them.  He still uses the now 5 or 6 year old S3s for his backyard terrain park.smile.gif

post #7 of 14

Put some swap plates on your bones. Call it good. 

 

http://bindingfreedom.com/

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Put some swap plates on your bones. Call it good. 

 

http://bindingfreedom.com/


Interesting concept.....A plate that allows easy switching between dynafit and alpine bindings.  Could be an elegant solution to what is obviously an issue for people who want to do what I'm considering.   I'll have to think through the pros and cons.  Off the top of my head..

 

Pros

 

1. allows switching between bindings/boots relatively easily on a single pair of skis

2. not that expensive

3. not as big of a weigh penalty for the dynafits (130 grams extra) versus using dukes or guardians

 

Cons

 

1.  have to plan ahead

2.  potential screw-ups with multiple switching - more screws to go wrong

3.  need to carry two sets of bindings on road trip that involves both BC and resort skiing

 

Have you (or anyone else) tried these puppies?????


Edited by canadianskier - 9/11/12 at 12:17pm
post #9 of 14

I use the swap plates on almost all of my skis. If I were you I'd go for a lightweight ski that you could still use at the resort DPS Wailer 112rp, Lhasa Pow, Praxis BC or Woo 2.0, etc. A ski like that is a lot of fun on piste and off. Swap plates allow you to base your bindings/boot (if you use different boots) on what your plans are for the day and they are very easy to use. Jon at binding freedom is also a great guys so feel good about supporting him. If you have interest in the Wailer 112 pm me and I can help you get on a pair.

post #10 of 14

If you're big enough, think about the Moment Bibby Special in 196.

 

Moment is blowing out the 2012 model for $499 (and you may be able to find a coupon code) and making way for 2013, when the "Special" lengths -- 186 and 196 -- will be rebranded the "Governor" to avoid confusion with the Bibby Pro.  The 196 weighs 4.72kg per pair, vs. 4.4kg for the 190 DPS W112 Hybrid or 3.8 for the Pure Carbon, but of course, it's a longer ski.  I wouldn't use it as a pure backcountry rig, but with Guardians/Dukes/whatever the new Tyrolia AT binding is -- or with Dynafits to offset the weight -- it will be a great in-bounds complement to the Bones and MX88, and in powder, they're heaven.

 

You might also consider a Praxis, although I haven't skied their current lineup.  But they can do some customization for you.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post


Interesting concept.....A plate that allows easy switching between dynafit and alpine bindings.  Could be an elegant solution to what is obviously an issue for people who want to do what I'm considering.   I'll have to think through the pros and cons.  Off the top of my head..

 

Pros

 

1. allows switching between bindings/boots relatively easily on a single pair of skis

2. not that expensive

3. not as big of a weigh penalty for the dynafits (130 grams extra) versus using dukes or guardians

 

Cons

 

1.  have to plan ahead

2.  potential screw-ups with multiple switching - more screws to go wrong

3.  need to carry two sets of bindings on road trip that involves both BC and resort skiing

 

Have you (or anyone else) tried these puppies?????

 

Yes. Swaping takes about 5 minutes. The weight is IMO a non issue, 100grams? Maybe you would find the extra rise would be annoying, but its ok to me. They work as well as you would expect. The thing that worries me is I strip the threads. So far no issues at all. 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks All for your input and suggestions.  I will have to sift through all of this info in the next few weeks, but I have more options now than before, which is what I had hoped for.  I took a little time to do a specifications spreadsheet of the skis that I already considered and those that were suggested.  This data is useful info to a point as I'm more concerned about how they will actually perform.  Hopefully I'll be able to demo some from the short list.  Also considering the "plate" - should be useful in the long term.

 

 

 

  DPS 112 pure Automatic Lhasa pow Praxis BC  Woo 2 JJ 185 Bibby Hoji Pettitor sideseth backdrop
weight lbs 3.97   4.25 4 5.25 4.05 4.8 4.9      
weight kg 1.8         1.96 2.19 2.2   2.3 1.8
Radius  15 to 18 19 34 23 32 16 24.5 30 22 26 23
tip 141 140 140 131 124 136 143 130 147 147 142
waist  112 117 112 106 113 115 116 112 120 118 112
tail 128 129 120 121 116 133 134 121 141 135 131
post #13 of 14

If I were you, I'd add the Nordica Unleashed Hell to that list. Very light for width, almost in 112 territory, cheaper than anything listed, getting a bunch of superlatives (it's basically the Patron with the center core an iso strip for weight, and milder graphics), they seem to have nailed the rocker much like Blizzard did with flipcore. Just sayin'.

 

As far as the Binding Freedom plates, go check reviews at TGR. Or go here: http://bindingfreedom.com/SollyFit-Swap-Plates-1002.htm They seem great, may order some myself when I decide to get some Plums, but remember they weigh 5 oz, so depending on how you conceptualize it, either keeps the weight way down or makes an expensive light ski closer to normal weight. Personally, think they're a waste of time and money unless I'm going to actually tour in them. How often would you skin in your skis above, as opposed to postholing? 

post #14 of 14
I know this is an older post, but curious what you ended up doing? I have been on Atomic Automatics 186 for the last 2 seasons and absolutely love them. They are a do it all ski, but perform best in pow which what I hunt. I too want to change to a slack country set up. Especially this season, I found myself boot packing 50-60% of the time. So, I am thinking about changing out my Atomic Downhill bindings to Dynafit TLT radical bindings and my trusty Tecnica Vento boots to Scarpa Rush. This would not be a light set up but would give me more versatility for the skiing that I am doing now. The Ventos are a little softer boot which is what I like for the steep/deep and tight trees, so I think the Rush would not be that much of a change. The bindings and skins will be new to me. Any thoughts? BTW, 5'10" 200# age 44. Thanks.
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