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Groomers + All-mountain + Light Freeride Touring = Which One Quiver

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi, names Milko, 24 years old.

 

Found quite a lot of info in the forums and now decided to get some more personalized advice from you guys!

 

Here's some info about me:

I've been skiing since very young and quite often,

but the last 4-5 only 7-14 days per year mostly groomers and occasionally sidecountry. 

Have good technique on the Red runs when I got things under control, 

I do ski Blacks from time to time but definitely not in style.

 

 

Height: 170cm

Weight: ~60kg

Skill level: 

             On Piste - Intermediate to Advanced

              Freeride - Beginner

              Touring  - No experience

Style: Generally crude, Carve and some parallel. Prefer Mid to long turns.

Places: Mostly Bulgarian mountains, occasionally Alps; Innsbruck, Seefeld.

 

I'm looking to do some more Sidecountry along with some light Touring to get to the Backcountry,

but I'd still like to be able to rip some groomers. I'd say it's 60-40 groomed/ungroomed, but that of course may vary

from full groomers-only resort  to 2-3 days touring side-back country.

 

So, my question is, what would be a good one quiver ski + bindings to do the job?

 

So far I've been looking into skis like:

 

K2 Impact/Aftershock

Blizzard Bushwack

Line Prophet

BD Aspect/Verdict

Rossignol Rev 85, Experiance 88

Vlokl Mantra

Elan 888

 

...and so on, pretty much everything with slight rocker between 80-95 waist, that is 

skin compatible.

There are some many models it's quite difficult to choose having no experience in those particular styles.

Which ski would do all that and do it well enough? Doesn't need to be curent model, I'll hit the outlets as soon as I can.

 

Bindings...I think I know what I need - Diamir Fristchi Freerider Pro.

However, I have the slight concern that although Marker Baron are heavier and and generally a pain for touring (as far as opinions on the net go),

they might be the better options as they are more on-piste oriented? Dynafits are out of the question for more serious grooms, right?

 

 

That's it I think, if you guys can point me in the right direction it would be quite helpful!

I'll post another lovely rant once I narrow the choices down.

 

Thanks! 

 

post #2 of 20

Hi, Milko, and welcome to EpicSki.

 

I want to see some photos of skiing in the Bulgarian mountains.  Can you post a few some time?  That sounds really cool.

 

As you sort of imply, you're asking quite a bit of a single ski.  But as long as you understand that a ski in that category isn't going to be the "perfect" carving/groomer ski or the "perfect" powder ski, I think you're looking at several good options.  Of your list, I've skied the Mantra, the Bushwacher, the Prophet, and the Experience 88.  (By the way, you mention the Rev 85 but you say it's a Rossignol model.  Are you sure you're not talking about the HEAD Rev 85? If so, I've also skied that model.)

 

I'm an on-the-hill rep for Rossignol, so you have to discount my opinions as not totally objective.  Of those skis that I've been on, I think any of them would work well.  IMO, the Bushwacker and Prophet shine a little more on softer snow and the Exp 88, Rev 85, and Mantra are slightly more piste-oriented.  That said, I think any of them would do what you want as a versatile ski that works quite well in all conditions.  I like the Exp 88, but that's just my bias.

 

As to bindings, the Fritschi would be an "okay" choice, but not the way I would go if I were going to be spending 50% or more of my time skiing inside a resort.  I'd rather steer you toward the Baron or the new Salomon or Atomic alpine touring bindings.  I have a pair of Barons on the skis I use for more or less the same purpose you're asking about (Rossi S3's, but that's not a ski you asked about).  Yes, the Baron is a bit heavier and it's slightly more of a pain to switch from ski mode to touring mode and back, but it's a really good on-piste binding and I believe that's what you'll spend most of your time doing.  If you start touring a lot, you'll eventually gravitate to a specialized Dynafit setup but that's probably a fair bit in the future.

 

Good luck with the search and I want to see some photos of skiing in Bulgaria!

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi Bob, thanks for the reply!

 

For the photos, there are some nice shots here : http://befsa.com/?q=image/tid/521&lang=en you can find more in 'Galleries'.

I wouldn't trouble you with my own snaps - they are boring mostly on-piste shots. 

 

 

I can't seem to narrow them down too much, just because I found so many controversial reviews and unfortunately I won't be able to demo anything.

Here's the refined list anyway, and I guess I'll get whatever is on sale and if there's an offer with my bindings of choice.

I'm leaning towards those in bold and if they receive the forums blessing I might try and get one of them.

 

- Blizzard Bushwacker 88

- Line Prophet 90

- Fischer Water 88

- BD Verdict 102

- Elan 888

- Volkl Kendo 89

 

I guess all these are nice for sidecountry skiing, how do they feel carving the groomers?

For length should I be looking at 170 + 5÷10cm for my 65kgs? 

Feel free to rearrange them in order of recommendation.

 

Dropped the Exp as most of the reviews suggested they need an expert driver to get most out of them.

 

 

Back on the bindings, are those still valid points today http://www.weekendwarriorsguide.com/backcountryskiing4.htm ?

 

Barons is my second favourite after Freeride Pro, but 1) I have to dismount to switch modes 

and 2) why is the switch in the middle of the binding close to the hinge? Also quite heavy 2.45 kg

 

 

I like the design of Salomons and Atomics (they are the same thing Tracker and Guardian, right?) and although they switch 

between downhill/tour without dismount they are quite heavy - almost 3kg! And the additional weigh that I'd have to lift with every step kinda scares me.

 

I read things like:

 

 

Quote:
 the fritschi is an AT binding. the marker is an alpine binding w/just enough touring functionality to get by.

 

Quote:
get markers if you're just planning to do laps at berthoud or loveland pass. get the fritschi if you actually plan to get out into the backcountry. 

 

Quote:
Mostly lift served with occasional tour: Markers 
50/50: Fritschi 
Touring with occasional lift serve: dynafit

 

 
I thought the Diamirs would be best for me...but now I might end up getting Markers...
at least most of my previous bindings were Markers even on my first 5 pairs of Mladost skis (Bulgarian brand, haha, doesn't exist anymore) so I kinda trust them.
 
Geez, this turned into another rant...
post #4 of 20
Hi Milko, I can vouch for the Bushwacker in 173cm. I am about your size @ 150lbs but a few inches shorter, also about the same skill level but unfortunately alot older. I am using the Bushwacker for the exact same thing that you described, although I am currently using snowshoes with my boots and skis on a pack for short hikes on closed down ski resorts, but 50-60% is inbounds with my family. I am still researching what affect the barons will have on the characteristics of the bushwacker. I am very impressed with its on and especially its off piste performance, just as advertized, I am skiing terrain I never would have been confident on, with a big smile. If you have the opportunity, you should try them. they are proving to be very versitile. They are etremely easy to use, so you have a few sizes to choose from.
Good luck, and Happy New Year
Edited by vwr1vwf - 1/8/13 at 3:50pm
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milko View Post

Barons is my second favourite after Freeride Pro, but 1) I have to dismount to switch modes 

and 2) why is the switch in the middle of the binding close to the hinge? Also quite heavy 2.45 kg

 

Taking skis off to switch modes or put skins on or take them off is no big deal unless you are into randonee racing (I've owned and used Dukes, Freeride and Dynafit and used them from side country to multi day tours).  The Marker step bar sucks compared to the Freeride but the Freerides have more negatives re skiability than the Markers (Duke/Baron/Tour).  If weight is an issue, get a Marker Tour 10 or 12 instead, lighter than the Freeride.  If weight is still an issue then you are going to Dynafit/Tech and you will be looking at a full dedicated AT rig.  Don't use the Salomon Guardian with an AT boot - no toe ADF so release will be inconsistent.

 

One ski that isnt on your list but IMO is worthy of inclusion is the K2 Wayback; fairly light and quite versatile.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the input, much appreciated!

 

Ok, down to 3 now in this order:

 

- Volkl Kendo 89

 

- Blizzard Bushwacker 88
- Line Prophet 90
 
I managed to find them bundled with either Baron/F12 or Freeride for seemingly 
decent price.
 
Quite like the idea of the Kendos, watched some footage of skiers with different skills
various terrain...they seem to be quite good all-rounder methinks. But then again, so 
does the other two.
 
Hmm, I do like the Wayback, and the Sideshow for that matter.
 
 
Okay, so its Baron vs F12?
 
On Markers website it shows that F12 is more touring oriented but at the same time
it's got better carving abilities according to the graph...
I'm afraid it's might be a lot flimsier than the Baron, is it going to break after the first 
crash on the groomer?
 
How does Baron feel on piste compared to alpine binding an to F12?
 
Dropping the Freeride for now I guess.
post #7 of 20

I would go with the F12...and with the Nordica Hell and Back or Steadfast...

I have a Steadfast (90mm, tip rocker, very light but also very stiff)) with Baron ( that are supposed to be more on-piste oriented) and a pair of Hell & Back (98mm, tip rocker,very light and less stiff) with F12 ( that are more for the big dumps and off-piste).

If I had to do it again, I would have put F12 on my Steadfast too; they ski really well and are so light compared with Baron.

 

http://www.nordicacanada.com/products/steadfast/?target=back

 

http://www.nordicacanada.com/products/hell-back/?target=back

 

The Steadfast is more fun on hardpack but the H&B has more flottaison...

post #8 of 20

I am another happy Nordica Steadfast owner who recommends them as well for your needs.  The Hell and Back would also work well for you.
 

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

My list seems to get longer instead of the opposite...

 

- Volkl Kendo 89

 

- Blizzard Bushwacker 88
- K2 Wayback
- Nordica Steadfast 
- Line Prophet 90
 
@Mogsie, I see you own Kendos as well, what is it that you don't like about them in comparison to the Steadfast?
                Do you ski groomers with the F12? Aggressively? 
 
@FatChance, what is your gear and length of skis?
 
@Bob, if you are still around, what do you think of F12s instead of Barons?
 
@Taxman, what would you choose today if you wanted to do what I'm looking to?
 
 
I might upgrade my Technica Dragon 120s as well...
Quite like Technica Cochise 100, any thoughts? What do you ride?
 
 
 
Hm, just saw this below Dukes in one online shop:
Kind of quote:
The Marker Duke is not intended for all-round ski touring or mountaineering use... (bla, bla...) ...If you want one binding to do every thing - ski mountaineering, off piste skiing and piste skiing, we suggest the Fritschi Freeride Pro or Eagle bindings are a much better bet for all-round use.

Eagles, huh...

post #10 of 20

Love them both! But have sold the Kendo...

The Kendo is a notch more solid on the hardpack but very similar... The Steadfast is lighter, have a smaller radius and is rocker so it is better after a dump and I wanted the bc option... but I could have do the same with the Kendo...

In fact, I bought the Steadfast because I didn't really like the Kendo at first...until I upgraded my boots!!!! But then, it was too late!frown.gif

 

And yes I did  ski groomers with the F12... And I always ski aggressively... Is there another way to ski the groomer?

post #11 of 20
 
The Marker Duke is not intended for all-round ski touring or mountaineering use... (bla, bla...) ...If you want one binding to do every thing - ski mountaineering, off piste skiing and piste skiing, we suggest the Fritschi Freeride Pro or Eagle bindings are a much better bet for all-round use.

 

I think that they are right but you must ask yourself what proportion of your skiing will be ascendent???

I'm new into BC and I choosed to go with Baron and F12 because I know it will be ok for normal skiing and that I don't know yet how much BC I will do....And also, I don't have the boots for Fritchi's!

I can always upgrade in a couple of years...

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milko View Post

My list seems to get longer instead of the opposite...

 

- Volkl Kendo 89

 

- Blizzard Bushwacker 88
- K2 Wayback
- Nordica Steadfast 
- Line Prophet 90
 
@Mogsie, I see you own Kendos as well, what is it that you don't like about them in comparison to the Steadfast?
                Do you ski groomers with the F12? Aggressively? 
 
@FatChance, what is your gear and length of skis?
 
@Bob, if you are still around, what do you think of F12s instead of Barons?
 
@Taxman, what would you choose today if you wanted to do what I'm looking to?
 
 
I might upgrade my Technica Dragon 120s as well...
Quite like Technica Cochise 100, any thoughts? What do you ride?
 
 
 
Hm, just saw this below Dukes in one online shop:

Eagles, huh...

 

Still here.

 

I think all you need to do is decide whether you'll spend more time inbounds or more time out of bounds with this setup.  If you'll be mostly inbounds, I would go with the Baron.  If mostly out of bounds, the F12.

 

I just asked that same question of the area Marker rep a while ago for my own rig.  That's the advice he gave me and I bought Barons.

 

Again, good luck with the choice.  Don't succumb to paralysis by analysis.  Practically every ski and binding that has been recommended would work for your purposes.  My advice would be to close your eyes and throw a dart if you must, but just buy something and start skiing.  wink.gif

post #13 of 20
Quote:

The Marker Duke is not intended for all-round ski touring or mountaineering use... (bla, bla...) ...If you want one binding to do every thing - ski mountaineering, off piste skiing and piste skiing, we suggest the Fritschi Freeride Pro or Eagle bindings are a much better bet for all-round use.

 

Complete bull. The only difference is weight and having to remove the skis to switch between ski and tour mode. On the top of a steep ski mountaineering line, I would trust the Duke 100x over either Fritschi. Same with Dynafits. Fritschis ski like sloppy poo and tour just as poorly as the Dukes (high stack height, lift the heelpiece with each step, etc.). They're the worst of both worlds. That said, if you're doing ski mountaineering, you don't want either. You want Dynafits. Fritschis became obsolete when Dynafit arrived. FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and price have kept people on Fristschis over Dynafits.

 

As a reference, the last 8 ski days I've been skiing Dynafits in resorts and sidecountry, including sending 10' cliffs to flat hardpack, hard moguls, and sending up to 30' cliffs to pretty consolidated/supportive snow. Haven't had a problem yet at DIN 10 (speed radicals) and 165lbs + ~15lbs of stuff in the pack.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post

 
 

 

I don't think that they are right but you must ask yourself what proportion of your skiing will be ascendent???

I'm new into BC and I choosed to go with Baron and F12 because I know it will be ok for normal skiing and that I don't know yet how much BC I will do....And also, I don't have the boots for Fritchi's!

I can always upgrade in a couple of years...

Oups!  I mean't Dynafit!  Fritchi's don't inspire me...

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the comments everyone! 

 

After few more sleepless nights, it's down to just two:

 

Blizzard Bushwacker   (a guy who mounts QuiverKillers in his worksop told me those have amazing build quality!)

- Nordica Steadfast

 

Just waiting for some funds to clear and I'm ready to order, delivery time will decide which on it is. 

 

On the bindings it's still Baron vs F12,

I'll ask some other workshop guys who serviced those kind of things to see if there are many broken F12s 

as I'm going to meet a few anyway.

 

 

Managed to see quite a reputable boot fitter today, 

got the following models suggested for my type of feet/skills/desires:

 

Atomic Tracker

Dalbello Krypton

Salomon Quest

 

I'm gonna try them all next week and see what fits better.

 

 

One question, there are pre-cut skins for Steadfast, but I couldn't find any for the Wacker.

I guess I could use generic ones?

 

 

I can't wait to hit the slopes!  drool.gif

post #16 of 20

A good walk mode is really only useful for long flat sections. On the uphill, unbuckled alpine boots work almost as well.

 

Use your alpine boots for another year. Next year, dynafit inserts will be in a bunch of boots (K2, Salomon, Lange, probably others). If you enjoy any amount of touring, you'll eventually end up on dynafits, so you might as well get compatible boots now. With alpine boots unbuckled, they're passable. I toured in alpine boots and Dukes for a couple years, including some big spring ski mountaineering days.

post #17 of 20

I would suggest you take a hard look at the new Dynafit Beast binding; it will probably blow all the frame bindings except the Duke off the market.  Also look at Dynafit cross-over boots (you won't even need the interchangeable soles with the Beast binding) including the new Vulcan/Mercury boots; I ski the Zzeus with my Volkl Mantras, Kastle LX92s, and Rossi S7s.  For skis you may won't to consider something like the Volkl Nanuq (intermediate in weigh between a full-blown alpine and super light-weight alpine touring)--just depends on how much touring vs. how much lift-served inbounds and side country.

post #18 of 20

The Dynafit Beast is $1000.  Some People might balk.

post #19 of 20

The Beast is also pretty unnecessary for most people. I agree with Brian Lindahl, even the 10 din Dynafits are more than enough binding for most people. I have speed radicals and use them for everything. I'm 5'10", 180 pounds, and ski the whole mountain, including parts of the park, in dynafits with no problems. However, I also have Dukes, which are great to use as a resort binding. They are just easier to deal with if you don't plan on doing a lot of touring. 

post #20 of 20

Also, I would definitely go with a touring, rather than alpine, boot. Most of the new touring boots ski as well as alpine boots, but none of the alpine boots can tour anywhere near as well as touring boots. I would go try on several of the beefier boots and then pick whichever ones fit you the best.

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