Wanted to thank some of the Bears here that gave me some advice on getting started. Even though I am 70 years young and will probably be somewhat limited in my forays into the BC am looking forward to some new adventures.
Ended up buying: Rossi S7 176cm skis (used and cheap), put Barons on them and got some G3 skins. Used them for the lst time and skinned out of a place at Silver Mt. after about 30 turns down into the trees. This was my lst use so sort of limited where I went on purpose. Look forward to future use just need a little more snow to access some places I want to try.
Anyway thanks again to those that answered my questions. If it matters, settled on the S7's basically because I love the ski and thought the shorter version 176's would be good for all purpose terrain, trees/brush etc., a little lighter and easier to handle skinning etc. and I demoed quite a few skis and just came back to them as more fun to ski. Gave up a little weight and size but the rocker works pretty good breaking trail. Sort of wanted the new Salomon AT binding but the barons were about 100 bucks cheaper. The skins were $114 at BC.com and they came with the weird tip sort of spring loops over tips. Had neighbor sew them down as was a little worried about the front of skin coming off and didn't want that happening when using. Mainly tried to save some $ based on not knowing how much I would actually use.
thanks folks. Pete