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43 yo telemarker converting back to alpine gear for East Coast

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi All,  I have read through the threads and, annoying as this is, all of the "one quiver East Coast advice" seems to miss the mark for me.  Either the writers are 15 and want to be in the pipe or they are intermediate or casual skiers.


I am a 43 year old, 5'10", 195lb, aggressive telemark skier.  I grew up on alpine gear at Bromley, Stratton, and Catamount.  I have lived in the West for the past 25 years and have been a telemarker ever since I moved West.  I am now back in the Berkshires and looking for a good, aggressive, all-mountain ski.  If possible, I would like to be able to use this both East and West...but I can always fall back on my tele gear.  I have looked at the Mantra and skied it last year....it was a great ride.  Any thoughts?  Of course, I am also going to need some boots.  So thoughts on skis, bindings and boots are all welcome.



post #2 of 11

If you like the Mantra, get it.  It's a solid ski.  Also look at the other skis in that width.  (Bonafide comes to mind.)


Also look at the 88s, Kendo, Steadfast, E88, etc.  


All of the Companies make pretty sweet skis ranging from rock solid with metal (Mantra) to slightly softer skis or narrower skis.  88 is still plenty wide.


Bindings? They are all good these days. I like Solly and Look.  Decide if you really want the touring binding, as these are heavy and costly.


Boots?  Try them on.  They all fit different.  I'd look into something in the 110-130 flex.  I think the new walk/touring features on boots are awesome, and I would get them just to hang around with my little girls! (Plus some hiking hopefully!  Just being realistic.) 

post #3 of 11

I ski in the east and my daily drivers are salmon sentinel 177 which are similar to the mantra, I have cheater gs skis for the hard and fast days, I had a pair of Fisher watea 84 which was the beat all around ski I have had, easy to turn, good carving , not bad even on hard snow, still fun in fresh snow. wish I never sold them. The sentinel 's are stiff and demanding as the Mantras 's will be , but with work give a great ride, so its a matter of how aggressive you ski, The kendo at 88 waist is also another good option. as for boots I ski 110 tecnica race boot because of narrow heal, any stiffer is not needed unless you are racing. Bindings I put Marker Barons on the sentinels  thinking I would back country and do some skinning, but snow conditions last year put that to rest.

post #4 of 11

I was once a telemark skier who converted to DH and I have never looked back.  Your question, however, is quite broad.  Perhaps you could narrow things a bit and discuss what your ski goals are or the type of terrain you will be skiing mostly - groomers, off-piste, bumps???  There are lots of great skis out there that have qualities like the Mantra, but with different strengths and weaknesses; such  as Blizzard Bones or Magnum series, Kastle MX series, Rossignol Experience series, etc.  Any of these skis are a great choice, but there are trade-offs that you will need to work through in terms of stiffness, width and length; rocker or traditional, etc.  That's where a little additional info would be helpful for your question and for your own decision making process.


Boots are a personal preference and depends on your foot.  My advice is to try on lots of boots and get the one that has the best and most snug fit.  Find a good boot fitter in your area for advice on what where to start (narrow, medium or wide width).  For your size and weight, start at 120 flex. 


There are lots of good bindings out there.  I like the Look Pivot 14, Solomon STH14, Rossignol FKS14 or Axial 2 .  Can't really go wrong with any of these bindings.  You might have to bear with the color of some of these; for example the Looks are lime green, but they are IMO one of the most solid and reliable bindings.

post #5 of 11

Why do you want alpine equipment now back in the Berkshires when nordic equipment suited you in an alpine environment out west? The skiing in the eastern USA is more challenging than western skiing, but your Rocky Mountain rig should work just fine. Save your money, keep your heels free.

post #6 of 11

I gotta say...I kinda agree with Telerod.  If you're a telemarker, you're a telemarker.


However, if you want to go Alpine, Canadianskier is on the money.  You need to tell us where you intend to ski and how. 

The only thing I'm sure of is that you should go see Nick Blaylock at Mt. Snow for boots.  He's an artisan.

post #7 of 11

I'm in the Midwest and were talking 450' of vertical.  Telemark here 90% of the time for me.  I switched to alpine for UT and CO as I only get 6-10 days out there in a year.  I don't have the power and endurance anymore to have as much fun in the steeps.  Maybe I need P9000000X to pump uprolleyes.gif

Look at the reviews on 80's and 90's skis.


Here's a good read:  http://www.epicski.com/t/110273/whats-become-of-the-all-mountan-ski




Some good discussion not solely about the MX83:  http://www.epicski.com/t/111837/kastle-mx83-holy-cow


More discussion on 88's.  I tried to find the 98's thread, but I am tired:  http://www.epicski.com/t/108443/88mm-skis-blizzard-bushwacker-magnum-8-7-elan-apex-head-peak-90-kastle-mx88-rossi-exp-88-volkl-kendo

post #8 of 11

Just curious:  why are you switching back to locked-heel?  Not challenging your decision - what ever's right for you ...... but I found myself considering such a change not too long ago, also.  My general direction was towards more and more lift-serviced skiing, driven by age-related declining skills/abilities.  Decided to give NTN a try before committing to the change, and the love came back (plus a new-found appreciation for speed and edge control on hard snow).  Perhaps you've already been using NTN, but if not, you might consider it.

post #9 of 11

I'm 50 y/o Ex-Mantra/Goat (Volkl Gotama) lover............. live in northern VT both Alpine & Tele............. 6' 200lbs............... Mantra to Bones (Blizzard Bonafide)  a natural progression........... My Mantras graduated to rock skis.......... I have a pair of Bones for Tele and a pair for Alpine............... It's skis big so no need for long Bones.......... get em short and hit the trees!


Just curious....... why the conversion back to alpine?

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. This was a great thread.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I injured my back and alpine is easier on my spine when managing three kids. I am not going to give up my tele gear but wanted an alternative for ice and crud. Your post was a big help.
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