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Looking for Alpine Touring equipment advice

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

New to this forum and need advice on ski/boots/bindings/poles. 

 

I'm looking for a setup for uphill skiing and then downhill "resort skiing".  I rarely go backcountry.  I plan on using the "uphill" part of my skiing for the workout and then reward myself with the descent.  So basically looking for equipment that gives me the "flexibility" to get up the hill and then gives me the "stability" to rip down the hill.

 

That said, I have a background in nordic and alpine skiing.  I'm 6'5" and 220lbs.  size 13us foot. 

 

I am based in the Midwest primarily, so I don't have the luxury of going to a shop for this request.  Thus, the expert advice given to me by the Experienced Folk here would be greatly appreciated and will hopefully enable me to purchase items online or over the phone.

post #2 of 17

Salomon Guardian 16 (aka Atomic Tracker 16) sounds like the binding you want.  No compromise on the downhill, but a bit heavy for the uphill.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks JayT!!

 

Any advice on good skis (sizing too) and boots that would accommodate the Atomic 16's? 

post #4 of 17

The sky's the limit on Alpine Touring (AT) gear, but if you just want something modest to get you up the hill and let you "rip" the downhill on your regular skis then these will do the trick...

People will doubtless tell you they're Not Scottish, but unless you're doing some serious/long uphill touring they work fine. You can buy them new, but you should be able to find some much cheaper used on eBay or maybe Craigslist.

 

Regardless of whether you go with the Alpine Trekkers or something more state-of-the-art you'll need a pair of climbing skins for your skis. Again, if your uphills are modest you might get away with some skinnier skins that don't necessarily cover the entire base of your skis. ( Although you will be told that is also Not Scottish. )

 

If you're doing any of this outside of maintained resort runs conventional wisdom says for safety you'll need to invest in some avalanche training and standard gear, (beacon/shovel/probe), and have one or more partners to ski with.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you J-C.  I should further clarify that I want to be able to get equipment that would enable me to enter a competitive race down the road (if all goes well :-))  That said, I'm not looking to modify my Alpine Gear, but looking for something AT specific.  Thanks again.

post #6 of 17

Just out of curiosity, what kind of race exactly? Long up, long down? Multiple up/down segments?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

J-C...races that are Similar to the Vail Winter Mountain Games...2 miles/2400 vertical ft.


Edited by BigMountainSwed - 3/15/13 at 12:36pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMountainSwed View Post

J-C...races that are Similar to the Vail Winter Mountain Games...2 miles/2400 vertical ft.

 

IMO if you get gear that fits your original 'stability' criterion, you will be like the guy who shows up to a criterium with a FS mountain bike. 

post #9 of 17

If you're going to need any kind of speed / efficiency for the uphill, you may want to go with a lighter / tech binding.  It won't be nearly as bomber for the downhill but if for an uphill/downhill race I'd think there's a significantly larger margin of error going up.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMountainSwed View Post

J-C...races that are Similar to the Vail Winter Mountain Games...2 miles/2400 vertical ft.

 

This what you're talking about?

 

http://slc-samurai.blogspot.com/2013/02/vail-winter-mountain-games-skimo-race.html

 

 

I guess if you can spare a couple grand you can go state-of-the-art...

 

Scarpa Alien Alpine Touring Boot

 

 

For myself last Fall I found someone who was selling their old AT Setup: AK Launchers, Fritschi's and skins, all for $100.

 

Won't be winning any races or skiing anything like the guy in the Dynafit vid, but I'm looking forward to trying that gear out over the coming weeks.

 


Edited by jc-ski - 3/15/13 at 2:31pm
post #11 of 17

I've a pair of Fritschi's waiting for the right skis under them...how's the AK Launcher working for ya?  Not too much ski?

 

Ideally it would be an easy to ski, light but damp, conventionally cambered high70s-tomid80s waist.   I was thinking of ditching skins entirely and using START tape. 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

I've a pair of Fritschi's waiting for the right skis under them...how's the AK Launcher working for ya?  Not too much ski?

 

Haven't skied em yet. Figure I'll try em on lift-served at a resort first if I have the chance just to get a feel. I do have some Dynastar Bigs that are about the same length and dims, and I did ok on them, so I hope with a little time to adjust I'll be fine on the AK's. Plus it'll probably be Spring conditions when I use these, (at least initially), and everything works fine there! 

 

Ideally it would be an easy to ski, light but damp, conventionally cambered high70s-tomid80s waist.   I was thinking of ditching skins entirely and using START tape. 

 

Never heard of that before. Assume you just apply it under the cambered area (grip pocket), and it works something like a fishscale pattern? Good for repeated outings?

 

http://www.startskiwax.com/en/skiwaxes/kick-waxes/grip-tape/product/491/start-grip-tape

post #13 of 17
ctm, would you use the START tape (http://www.startskiwax.com/en/skiwaxes/kick-waxes/grip-tape/product/491/start-grip-tape) for racing or general hill climbing. I used trad kick wax years back for approaches where skins were not needed, but not for steeper terrain.

bms, you are possibly talking about two different setups. One to tour up for exercise and rip the descent, another to rage up and race down. The bindings and boots for the former are heavier and sturdier assuming that you want to rip on these skis lift served as well. For the latter (uphill/downhill racing), you want ultra-light. The efficiency gained by lightness of gear in the up part will out weigh (no pun intended) the loss of some stability and strength of turn on the descent. While many may say the dynafit binding is durable, it might not hold up well with general lift served skiing. If you only mean to tour up and ski down (no lift served), then by all means the dynafit would be a good way to go.

I used to use a ski called the Altiplume (1996 or so). It was a ski specifically designed for randonee races and was extremely light. It was also extremely fragile. I don't know what is out there now, but an ultra-light ski might mean fragile.
post #14 of 17

General hill - WVa isn't near as steep or half as long as what you've got and the snow condition is much more variable so a one-time-per-month klisterlike tape is just what the doc ordered for least hassle.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMountainSwed View Post

J-C...races that are Similar to the Vail Winter Mountain Games...2 miles/2400 vertical ft.

 

 

If your goal is simply to have fun and complete a short rando race, using heavier style AT Bindings will work.  I've seen heavier type setups in the recreation category at every race I've done.  However, if you are looking to be competitive or even just participate in the longer events that have cut-off times, having tech bindings, lighter gear, 100% mohair skins etc becomes pretty important.  Race specific gear is all about the up.

post #16 of 17

This system isn't quite available yet, but could be just the thing for your needs.  Dynafit toes for a nice stride and less weight on the up, and full alpine bindings for strength and safety on the down.  Might even work with the alpine bindings you already have.

 

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/cast-sii-alpine-touring-system

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

Salomon Guardian 16 (aka Atomic Tracker 16) sounds like the binding you want.  No compromise on the downhill, but a bit heavy for the uphill.

Just be careful if you opt for the Guardian or Tracker, as they are not compatible with AT soles.  They do not have a sliding AFD.  Therefore, they only work safely with regular DIN soles, and Salomon's own AT sole system.

 

I personally went for a Marker Baron EPF on one of my pairs of skis, for exactly that reason.

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