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Backcountry touring skis for very lightweight skier?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 



I need some advice picking out skis.


In a nutshell: I have been skiing for two years and am exploring some new options for skis as I think I need a softer ski.  I currently have a pair of Rossi Evo Tours and Karhu XCD Pinnacles.  The Pinnacles are mounted with an NNN-BC binding.  As for boots I have the Rossi X5 women's and the Rossi BCX3 Saphir for the Karhu's.  (Unfortunately those boots cause me a bit of pain.)  Gear I used two seasons ago: Fischer Spiders and Atomic's XCruise 55 Alea G2 Synchro.


I'm looking for stability and control, especially in hardpack or icy conditions and while going downhill or on narrow trails.  I also need something with better grip.  On frozen granular, I have no grip whatsoever with the Karhus, I slide backwards even on flat sections of trail.  An instructor noticed (while I was on the Alea's) that "Your skis are too stiff for you!"  The Karhu's and Evo's are definitely better than the Alea's, but still I think I could find a softer ski or one better suited to my needs--control is important for me, since I'm at risk for a spine fracture, so no bad spills on ice or hard packed snow for me.  The Karhus seem to "fish out" and not track straight on hardpack and I feel like I'm all over the place.  The Evos are okay, but I don't feel safe going downhill without a metal edge, probably because my first skis ever were the Fischer Spiders.


The problem is I'm extremely lightweight (~95 lbs) and petite (5'1".)  And I don't ski with any heavy gear to give me some weight.  I ski mainly nature preserves (the kind with narrow trails and a pond/cliff on one side and trees on the other), the backyard, and the occasional trip to a groomed trail like Lapland Lake or Pine Ridge in Eastern NY, which I consider a bit hilly.  I'll sacrifice speed for control any day: I need something I can manuever easily.  In fact, I'd actually go slower if I could when it comes to downhill.  It does melt and refreeze here quite a bit, too.


I've been eying the Madshus Voss MGV+, which is a traditional-length 3/4 metal edge ski with a sidecut of 60/50/55.  I thought I heard somewhere that a full metal edge can make tracking less stable, but I'm not sure if that's true.  I wish I could slap a metal edge on my Evo's (which have an identical sidecut.)  I've heard some good things about the Voss, but I don't know if it would be the right ski for me.  I'm also unsure as to whether I should go with a BC binding or touring.  Since I have both style boots, both could be an option.  The BC boots I have are a bit uncomfortable (they hurt my heels for some odd reason) and I like the flexibility of the touring boots, so I'm leaning in that direction, but I don't want to give up too much control.  (Or would a BC boot be too much for the Voss?)  I've heard of people undersizing traditional skis in order to have a softer ski, with the added benefit of shorter length = more manuverability.  I've also thought about looking into just buying junior skis.  Positive grip patterns work better for me than negative ones (Fischers were impossible to get any grip on.)  I believe the Voss has a positive pattern, but I'm not entirely sure.  The downside is they're a bit pricey, but I could make it work.  I was thinking getting them in the smallest size, the 160, which is sized for "under 100lbs."  (But so is the 170, so a bit of a tossup there.)


Anyway, thanks for listening.  Any advice or insight, or another brand of ski you could recommend would be great.



post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Also, I forgot to mention that the Madshus Glittertind's are also on my radar since they are a traditional length ski with a (full) metal edge.  The profile is very similar to the Pinnacle's so I wasn't too sure if it would be worth getting something so similar.

post #3 of 8

Sorry, can't help you and there doesn't seem to be a lot of traffic in here at the moment.  Have you tried posting at telemarktips.com?

post #4 of 8

And agree re the full metal edge; though I mainly ski AT, the full metal edge makes quiet a difference on hard snow.  Some of my friends on XC skis without full metal edges, struggle when the snow gets hard (and we get a lot of ice/re-freeze here).

post #5 of 8

I might suggest you call an online source like ORS in VT.  I have a set of NEW Fischer S-Bound 88's: full metal edge and half camber rather than full.  They grip fine with the new positive pattern.  ORS would know the difference b/w softer and stiffer skis with full/half camber.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I've heard of ORS and been to their website and they seem pretty knowledgeable.  I contacted Gearx, too, and am waiting to hear back from them.  I took my Evo Tour's out yesterday and am still not getting optimal kick as they're not compressing all the way, so I'd like to see what advice a shop can offer me.  They might just tell me to look at kid's skis, but I'm fine with that.


The Karhu's have camber-and-a-half, I think.  They grip better than the Evo's, except in ice.  I'll keep the Fischers in mind, too.


Thanks again!

post #7 of 8

Karhu's are known for being "soft" so your comment about them makes sense.  I'd definitely go for a 3/4 length ski, rather than a traditional length one for you.  Like I said, you need an xc ski specialist -- ORS, xc shop in Rosecomen, MI, etc.-- to give you some advice.  Manufacturers are actually consistent in their stiffness and "softness" across the line, and someone who really knows skis will be able to help.  Don't rely on your basic outdoors store or (gasp!) big box store.


In addition to ORS (actually call them and speak to a person), try:






post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

That sounds like a really good idea.  I had heard of ORS, but hadn't heard of the others, so I really appreciate the suggestions.  Thanks so much!

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