or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do I need AT boots?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am interested in getting an AT setup. Do I really need at boots? I know they are softer making it easier to skin, but what other benefits do they offer? Thanks for the help
post #2 of 19

If you want AT setup, you will need AT boots. They are easier to skin, but also significantly lighter. You can't tour in your alpine boots (at least not well).

post #3 of 19

Yes and no.  The subject is far to big for a forum post.  The most important piece of equipment if you're just getting into AT would be an experienced partner--ask him or her.  Also see if you can find a shop that specializes in backcountry gear (hard to find outside the mountains). As far as advantages AT are lighter (usually), have a walk mode that allows the ankle to flex for skinning, and have  rockered vibram soles that are much better for hiking, rock scrambling, and cramponing.Some are lighter and more touring oreinted, some are heavier and more downhill oriented.  There a number of different binding/boot combinations, and there are also boots with interchangeable soles--AT and standard downhill (DIN). Do people tour with downhill boots--sure--that's what Dukes and Barons are for, and some newer bindings as well, but it's a heavy setup and serious tourers generally use more specialized gear.  The main thing to understand is that certain types of boots go with certain types of bindings so you have to decide on both at the same time.

post #4 of 19

Maybe you need to think about what AT means to you. All day touring? Overnight touring? A few hours scrambling sidebounds? How much of this is about skinning, and how much is about hiking? Would strongly suggest borrowing or renting or begging someone else's gear and trying it out, with some experienced friends or a guide, before you go spend $$$ on a setup that you think you may really want.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am focused more on doing some side country stuff and inbounds hiking/ traversing at snowbird. It's there any downside to having an AT binding on a ski? Does it impede on your downhill performance? I was thinking about getting another ski a nordica patron or something similar and throwing an AT binding on it. How does that sound? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I figure if I want to do some more serious back country skiing I can always get some AT boots
post #6 of 19

The only benefits to current AT boots is the weight saving and range of travel of the cuff when unloacked to make a more natural gait.

 

They ski like crap. The position of the hinge pivot is to maximize cuff movement, but that location makes for poor skiing performance. Even though some "stiff" boots are available now, their skiability is nowhere what an alpine boot is. The negatives are less pronounced when in softer conditions, but are very prevalent when snow firms up.

 

Next season will see a new benchmark for AT boots that actually ski properly, and Alpine boots that actually tour properly. Atomic has been working on the Waymaker series and will have them in retailers for next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Maybe you need to think about what AT means to you.

 

Exactly.  I have Cochise Pro 130's.  Are they AT boots?  Yes, but not really.  Are they DH alpine boots?  Yes, but not really.  There's a big range out there nowadays.

post #8 of 19

You see AT/Alpine bindings like the Marker Dukes all over the place.  Obviously people like them.  But don't make the mistake of assuming they're right for the skiing you do.

 

I slapped some Fritschi Freeride Pros on a pair of new skis a couple seasons ago, without having any real experience with AT/Alpine bindings prior to that. I read a bunch of threads and thought it was a safe choice.  Nope. 

 

This was my experience.  In softer, flatter snow, they worked okay, but for a lot of the terrain within ski area boundaries (this was at Jackson), I had to take things down several notches to feel safe on them.  On several occasions, I was left with just one ski in high consequence areas while still traveling at a high rate of speed.  They also made groomers an unpleasant experience once you started getting even the slightest bit aggressive.  Just not for me.  Granted, I ski pretty aggressively, so maybe it's not as much of an issue for a lot of people.

 

I think dynalooks might be what I'm looking for.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFull View Post

I am focused more on doing some side country stuff and inbounds hiking/ traversing at snowbird. It's there any downside to having an AT binding on a ski? Does it impede on your downhill performance? I was thinking about getting another ski a nordica patron or something similar and throwing an AT binding on it. How does that sound? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I figure if I want to do some more serious back country skiing I can always get some AT boots

For that kind of skiing your best bet is probably a binding like the Marker Duke or Baron and stay with your downhill boots. There are other makers but the marker has been around the longest--hopefully fewer bugs.  The binding is heavy but if you're not climbing that won't matter. No real benefit from an AT boot either. If you buy boots you could look at a downhill boot with a walk mode--there are plenty of those. My son patrolled at Squaw with that setup for a couple of years--lots of climbing for avy control, some very serious skiing and hucking and it worked fine. True Alpine Touring gear is for--big surprise--touring.

post #10 of 19
I do short (1 - 2 hour) tours in my Nordica SpeedMachines. They are very comfortable going up and extremely nice while skiing. I use Fritchi Diamirs on fat skis. The Fritchis tour really well, but are not so great for hard pack, so I don't take the to the resort; I have another 5 or 6 pairs for there.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
What makes the binding so bad for hard back skiing?
post #12 of 19
I have 110 race boot and Barron binding and used them skinning for the first time last weekend and was very happy how well that system worked . It may be a little heavy but not all that bad for a 1 or 2 hour hike.
post #13 of 19
There is a lot of plastic in the Fritschi Diamir which is an older version of the Fritschi. Play occurs at various points in the system but not that it is detrimental to any conditions but the hardpack. The binding is light compared to anything but the minimalist DynaFit (and its clones), the one that uses pins to hold the boot to the ski. It tours very nicely with 4 levels on the heel lift.

In case you don't know, the heel lift creates an artificial platform to stand on so that while you are hiking a 20 - 30 hill, your boot will be level when standing on the ski.
post #14 of 19

OP: for your requirements, stick with your alpine boots and get Dukes/Guardians/Trackers/Adrenalin bindings. You sacrifice basically nothing on the downhill with those bindings, and you do not need an AT boot unless you are skinning a lot.

 

About 1/3rd of my days this season have been touring, with a couple big (for me days) and I am using 4FRNT Renegades with Dukes and Tecnica Dragon Slayer boots. The setup is ridiculously heavy but managable. I've been using this for a few years and am just now considering a proper AT setup for more skinning efficiency. My point is try Dukes/Guardians for a few years before you decide to drop big $$ on a tech setup.

post #15 of 19

Best part about duke/barons, is that when you upgrade to a real touring set, you'll have an extra set to lend to friends. 

post #16 of 19

Bypass AT and go straight to Tele! :)

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Best part about duke/barons, is that when you upgrade to a real touring set, you'll have an extra set to lend to friends. 

 

 

Plus, you'll be in really good shape. 

post #18 of 19

I've owned and skied in AT boots for over 25 years.  All I can tell you is that every time I got a new boot, it was stiffer and better at going downhill than the previous one.  Same with bindings (comments on the downhill capabilities of the Fritschi here are for the most part accurate).  Right now I use a Tecnica Cochise 120, Marker Tour12, and a Blizzard Kabookie for everything.  I've done lots of multi day, hut to hut tours in the alps with similar gear.  If you like to maximize the fruits of your uphill labor, then this is the general direction in which to head.  If you have the cash, you can go the lightweight route for boots and bindings and add as much ski weight as you think you need.  Dynafit bindings ski quite well in downhill mode.

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by choucas View Post

Dynafit bindings ski quite well in downhill mode.

 

And the new Beast is only $1,000.  eek.gif

 

(not that there's anything wrong with the current offerings that are much cheaper)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion