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Question about AT bindings - Page 2

post #31 of 48

My only experience with BD was the Factor - didn't work for me because it was not snug enough (too wide)  - others like it.  IMO, go with the boots that fit best - very important to have the heel snug. It's also nice to start with a boot that comes with Intuition liner (or other liner that is mold-able).   Try on a bunch and use a good bootfitter.  What brand of boot did you use for Tele?

 

Have not skied BD skis

post #32 of 48
Quote:

What do you guys think of Black Diamond skiis?  I'm looking seriously at the Aspect.

 

Not sure with boots yet but I have a lot of good suggestions to research. 

 

 

I skied the Aspect for two seasons in a small rotation of skis.  Good all around ski and a good choice imo.  Although a bit dated now on design.  Still a good ski, no question.

 

Boots?  For sure get the boot that fits.  But just as important get a boot that matches your ski.  Alien 1.0 is a great boot for the intended purpose.  But even the guys that really like them  wouldn't generally suggest you use them with an pair of Aspects.  I sure wouldn't.  Aspect is going to be a lot of ski for a Alien 1.0.   Scarpa Maestrale  or RS version or a TLT6 would be a good match up to that skis.as would be a One or a Mercury among so many others.  Find a mid weight boot that fits you well first is my suggestion.   Any heat modable liner should make that pretty easy.   Then find a ski that punches at a similar weight.

post #33 of 48
Get a boot that fits well, but I'd warn you against the Scarpa F1. It's a specialized randonnee racing boot optimized for going up hill with narrow skis. It's very soft/flexible and wouldn't be the best choice for downhills in anything other than perfect snow with narrower skis.

The Scarpa Maestrale and certain Dynafit boots are light and have enough power to drive something like the Aspect (Dane's advice on that is good), but fit and the boot's match to the skis are more important than weight...though weight is a close third.

BD boots are okay, and there are some good prices on older ones right now. But they have to fit. Beating_A_Dead_Horse_by_livius.gif
post #34 of 48

Hey Bob, are you beating  the topic or the BD boots :rolleyes

 

Here is my comment on BD boots after spending a couple of months almost every day in them a couple of years back...:hissyfit:

 

It was freakin painful.

 

So happy to be able to get a decent liner to fit them ($200+ more) eventually and so happy to finally get rid of them and find a boot  you could actually walk in.  This is what I wanted to do to them and the guy who sold me on them who should have known better. :deadhorse:

 

More to that story:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/03/black-diamond-prime-ski-boot.html

post #35 of 48
biggrin.gif I'm not a fan of BD boots, but hey, if they fit and are cheap...

But I was beating the horse on FIT, the boots gotta fit, if they don't fit...tongue.gif
post #36 of 48

Gotcha...it is all about location, location location...or in this case, fit, fit and when it is important check out the FIT first. 

 

Couldn't agree more.

post #37 of 48
Thread Starter 

canadianskier - My tele boots are Scarpa T2's.

post #38 of 48

I've used the original T2.  I bought mine when they first came out - great boot for its time.  I nearly wore mine out, wore out at least one set of liners.

 

In AT boots, I've used Garmont Adrenalin and Endorphin, as well as the BD factor.  The Garmont boots were OK, but a bit too wide for my foot and they felt sloppy to ski on. I have to agree with  Dane that the BD boots were bad and hurt (which I attributed to poor fit).  Probably the worst boot I've ever had.  I also didn't like the flex, which was not progressive.

 

The Scarpa Maelstrale (Orange) has been the best BC boot that I've had and it is stiff enough to drive a fat ski.  The Maelstrale RS (white) is a bit stiffer and only a little heavier.  If the RS was around when I bought mine, I would buy it rather then the orange model because I like a stiff boot.  Regardless, I very much like the orange Maelstrale.  I see a lot of Maelstrales (orange and white) up here in the Canadian Rockies, probably because Scarpa hit a home run with these boots having a very nice combination of lightness and beefiness in a comfortable boot.  My only complaint is that they are a bit annoying to put on and take off - but that is minor.  Having said all of that, If the Maestrale doesn't fit your feet they would not be a good choice for you.

 

As far as weight in grams

 

T2 Eco = 1635

Maestrale = 1534

Maestrale RS = 1571

Scarpa Freedom = 1800

Alien  =  700

F1 = 1188

 

Unless you were racing, I would agree with Bob and Dane that the F1 and Alien would not make you happy on the DH with a bigger ski.  These boots have limited use that is confined to light touring.  DH off a crusty, windblown col in a superlight boot might be intense in a not so good way with these boots.

 

A boot like the Maestrale is already similar to what you are used to in terms of weight.  Also look at Dynafits in a similar weight range.

 

The Freedom makes a jump in classification from touring to freeride and has a big weight penalty.


Edited by canadianskier - 9/13/13 at 3:43pm
post #39 of 48

FWIW the Maestrale RS and the Dynafit ONE weight virtiually the same.  Within 10 grams or so iirc.   I am lucky enough to have both for a long term review an write up and skied both all last Winter and into Spring early summer.  Very very similar boots.  I'd give the nod to the RS for skiing a bigger ski and a nod to the One for walking.  But both are close in both respect.  I really need to do that write up soon.  Fit is also similar..inner boots are a distinct choice between them.  But in the end I' shop both for price.

 

Mercury and Vulcan are heavier and stiffer boots with the same technology on walk mode.  I like the ONE because it is exceptionally progressive in flex.  As well as a bargin fro the price and not a huge weight penalty over a TLT6.  I use the ONE and the RS as lift area based boots.

 

The TLT5 and now 6 is another boot choice out there.  Almost  full pound per boot lighter in my 29s (RS and One are 28s) a little fragil but will push a decent size ski (115mm and more) easy enough.

 

I've skiied everything listed here but the TLT6 with the Aspect.  Nice combos.  And the 6 will just be better than the 5 for skiing.   Just not as durable as the heavier boots mentioned.

 

Race boots like the Alien's and DyNA/PDG crowd are really fun with the right ski.  But the right ski isn't going to be anything you'd want to ski every day or off a lift.  

post #40 of 48
And as mentioned before fit... especially the heel.... I can alpine ski my Technica Cochise all day but touring they max out at aroubf 20kms a day before the sloppy heel fit turns my feet to pulp...... but dedicated AT boots are on their way (thanks Santa).
post #41 of 48

At downhill ski resorts, I see many skiers on low-end rental gear.

On the bike path behind my house, I see many cyclists on Huffy and similar brands, without clipless pedals.

On hiking trails, I see many hikers wearing cotton and with zero or close to zero of whatever ten essentials are supposed to be essential.  

 

So yes, on popular easily accessible routes like Muir, I do see all manner of miserably inefficient and ineffective contraptions.

Much different on less accessible and less-known routes, where backcountry skier enthusiasts use the gear that is made specifically for: backcountry skiing.  

Telemark gear, snowboard gear, and sidecountry/hybrid gear can certainly be used for backcountry skiing, and it certainly is convenient for those whose primary goal is to telemark, snowboard, and ski the resort (respectively), yet also want to ski a little bit of backcountry but don’t want a dedicated setup.

 

But there isn’t any debate as to whether the best gear for backcountry skiing is ... gear designed for backcountry skiing, i.e., with the “Tech” boot<>binding interface.  

And the boot market reflects that, as tech-compatible boots are now available from:

Atomic

BD

Crispi

Dalbello

Dynafit

K2

La Sportiva

Movement

Pierre Gignoux (exotic cf race only)

Roxa

Salomon

Scarpa

Scott (rebadged Garmont)

Tecnica  

 

As for those of you on Tech gear who tour in mixed parties, I’m very surprised.

Unless the Tech skiers are very out of shape, that sure means a lot of waiting around or moving slowly on any sort of extended tour.  

Even gear differences within the broad Tech range can create serious pacing problems, e.g., on Glacier Peak, I was definitely feeling the extra pound/pair weight of my Hagan Cirrus skis over my two Colorado partners who were on full ski mo gear.  And my Portland partner who was on TLT5 + Vertical + 7 Summits SL (which of course would be an extremely light setup in almost all touring parties) that was a far more serious problem.  (I even had to swap gear with him for the final hike out to even out the pace.)  

 

When a non-Tech partner has to deal with lifting up all that extra weight on each stride, that adds up very quickly.  

 

The avalanche courses I teach have been seriously dragged back by the laggards on non-Tech gear.  (Even those on Tech boots like the Titan and Factor are already bad enough.)   This year I’m making an exception since I have a tight-nit group of skiers, but I’m hoping for some conversions to come out of our fall review/discussion session and gear check. Then for future years, no more exceptions – the laggards limit the terrain we can cover, and hence severely compromise the course’s primary goal of actual in-the-field decision making in potential avalanche terrain.

post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
 

Alien 1.0 is a great boot for the intended purpose.  But even the guys that really like them wouldn't generally suggest you use them with an pair of Aspects.  I sure wouldn't.  Aspect is going to be a lot of ski for a Alien 1.0.  Scarpa Maestrale  or RS version or a TLT6 would be a good match up to that skis as would be a One or a Mercury among so many others. [...]

 

Setting aside some of the 1.0 inconveniences for general touring purposes, why don't you think the 1.0 can handle a ski of the Aspect width and weight?

The 1.0 sure does seem plenty stiff enough for me.

I've used the 1.0 for my Movement X-Logic, with a similar waist width to the Aspect, and I definitely didn't lack for boot control over a ski of that size.

I have a 171cm Trab Volare that I picked up over the summer for cheap (so hard to resist, although not sure I'm going to bother keeping it, since I have my hopes set on the Hagan Y-Flow's big tip for flotation), and I'm thinking the 1.0 would be fine for that too.  The Dorais brothers have identical setups (although then again, the widest ski they ever seem to bother using is the Trab Maestro, even for mid-winter unconsolidated snow.)

post #43 of 48

"why don't you think the 1.0 can handle a ski of the Aspect width and weight"

 

'cus I have skied them both.  :rolleyes

I saw Colin Haley in the Moutains this spring...."decent" skier, gear whore and really likes his Aspects.  He was on his Dynafit Mercury and the Aspect on that occasion.  But those aren't his lightest boot.  Sometimes he skis in a Spantik or a TLTP.  I suspect he has other boots and skis I am not privy to.  Never seen him in a set up that doesn't match for gear though.

 

And OMG...you should have see the shite gear his partner was on that day.   Poor Colin...he actually had to wait on them,  while we took a moment to catch up and share a laugh and the exceptional snow.

 

"The Dorais brothers have identical setups"

 

Cool, now we have both name dropped in the same response.:hopmad:

 

As I said prior, best to match the boot to the skis.  Alien1 and and Aspect is wasting both th best of the Alien 1 by using a heavy and too wide of ski on the UP and the down.  And the Aspect isn't really going to be taken advantage of becasue the Alien1 is not a down hill boot.  No matter how much you want to pretend it is.

 

The OP was asking simple questions.  Having exceptional skills (Colin or Doctors Dorias) and using gear that isn't the best match doesn't make those combos good advice for a beginner or even any one well experienced.  Suggesting one buy a Aspect and a Alien1 as their 1st BC combo is bad advice IMO.  Not just bad but really dumb.   You would have a hard time making that sugegstion with a straight face to anyone skiing the Alien 1 or the Aspect.

You'd get laughted at by most (all?) of us..

 

 

You're a smart guy Jonathon and know better.  Why would you ever suggest it?

 

For a guy from Mass. that plays in the NW a few times a year you are pretty free proclamations on gear choices being made here.  My experience back country skiing in the NW almost every day during the winter months doesn't jive with your comments.

 

Oh, and BTW...skiing on the North side of Rainier when the road is open summer and fall is dang near as popuar with the Seattle area folks as the Paradise area.  Even the south side offers a  LOT more terrian than the Muir Snowfield.   Be sure to check it out next time you are on summer hioliday.

 

"Unless the Tech skiers are very out of shape, that sure means a lot of waiting around or moving slowly on any sort of extended tour."

 

Rude?  An east coast thing ?  Or just being a prick.  I don't get it.

I do a race locally that allows any gear.  The race involves 2000' of vert up and then 2000' down.  Two laps.  All ages, any gear.  Split boards, tele, and any weight rando gear you can afford.  Last I checked everyone was having fun.   Those fit and those not so fit.  By my account anyone that can climb 2000' on any gear is "fit".

 

I have friends that "ski" together on a regular basis.  Tele, AT and a split board.  I have no doubt what gear requires the least amount of effort but I also don't jam it down anyone's throat.   Careful not to, hate to have a split boarder run away from me in the skin track because he is pissed off at a rude partner.  My point is,  even with 5 or $6K worth of super light weight rando gear on you might not be someone I'd want to wait for or stay with on a skin track.

 

I'll leave you with this Jonathon.  Last winter at OR I was invited out for a day of skiing and business.  I suspect you and I have much in common.  I have my own heros in skiing and climbing too.  And the OCDC obviously.

 

Anyway for anyone that climbs my partner for the day is well known.  Interesting guy I have known for a while.  Unknown to me he brings a a couple of friends I have not met but equally well known in the climbing community.  All exceptional and professional skiers at some point in their carreers.   Me on Broad Peaks and TLTs with race binders and lycra.   All of them in 100mm plus skis and big boots. No lycra to be seen :D I had them all by at least a decade and then some in age.  They made an effort not to pummel me as we crested 11K and patiently  waited for me in the skin track.  I really enjoyed my day out.  Pretty casual for them obviously.  No one gave a shit about what gear we were using but me.   I was skiing a 115mm ski in the BC a couple of weeks later.   They went looking for lycra.

 

 

 

 

.


Edited by Dane - 9/15/13 at 12:12pm
post #44 of 48

ACDC?  OCDC or OCD...it is all the same two/to/too me  :yahoo:

 

KInda like a dog with a bone here but....

 

"The avalanche courses I teach have been seriously dragged back by the laggards on non-Tech gear."

 

The attitude really gets me riled up.  Having guided, taught avi classes, skiing and other silly chite even more esoteric.   I just gotta say it, 

"a instructor that allows gear to get in the way of his students learning the material offered tells me all I need to know about both".


Edited by Dane - 9/15/13 at 3:21pm
post #45 of 48

I’ll try to avoid getting dragged down into all the ad hominem attacks here, but in brief (at least relatively):  

 

“Cool, now we have both name dropped in the same response.”

 

- Maybe I’m missing the point of the emoticon, but all I was trying to point out is that Scarpa- and Trab-sponsored athletes blogged about their 1.0 + Volare combo.  Maybe it didn’t turn out to be a good idea for them, and maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea for me either.  (By “I'm thinking the 1.0 would be fine for that too.” that was more along the lines of “I’m contemplating such a setup since the 1.0 seems to offer enough control for a ski that wide, and for when conditions merit a ski that wide.”)  

 

 

“For a guy from Mass. that plays in the NW a few times a year you are pretty free proclamations on gear choices being made here.”

 

- I’m by no means a full-time skier of any sort, but I did get in over 513,000 earned vertical this past season, with almost 59,000 of that spread across four western states (CA, CO, OR, WA).  

 

- And given the highly variable conditions we have throughout New England (often unfortunately not so good...), I think that provides me with a wide-ranging exposure to different type of snow + terrain combinations.  (And yes, I’ve skied more than just Muir on Rainier...)

 

- However, I did not pick up the 1.0 until relatively late in the season (after sheering off almost half my EVO lugs), so my experience with them is more limited in terms of skis and snow conditions. 

 

 

“Suggesting one buy a Aspect and a Alien1 as their 1st BC combo is bad advice IMO.”

 

- That was the proposal from the OP (who is not a BC newbie), not my suggestion.

 

- My response was in the form of a question: “Setting aside some of the 1.0 inconveniences for general touring purposes, why don't you think the 1.0 can handle a ski of the Aspect width and weight?” ... coupled with my own feedback: “The 1.0 sure does seem plenty stiff enough for me.  I've used the 1.0 for my Movement X-Logic, with a similar waist width to the Aspect, and I definitely didn't lack for boot control over a ski of that size.”

 

- If you have substantive feedback on just what downhill skiing qualities are lacking in the 1.0 for use with the Aspect or any other 90-ish ski (especially since the CO skimo crowd has me so enamored of the 1.0 for everything), then I would sincerely like to hear such feedback.  (Or if you just want to continue with ad hominem attacks and various wandering anecdotes, then at least those are generally amusing.)  

 

 

“The attitude really gets me riled up.  Having guided, taught avi classes, skiing and other silly chite even more esoteric.   I just gotta say it, "a instructor that allows gear to get in the way of his students learning the material offered tells me all I need to know about both".”

 

- Unfortunately it is the other way around, i.e., gear-induced student immobility gets in the way of learning the material.  Given our topography and weather in the Presidentials, some of the best instructive terrain requires some long (by Eastern standards) tours.  To provide my students with significant experience at decision making in potential avalanche terrain (i.e., the core skill in an avalanche safety course), we have to move at a good pace.  This goal has been greatly hindered in the past by setups like downhill boots + hybrid bindings or various big tele w/o tour modes.

 

- The even worse situation is with all the commercial providers who allow snowshoers into L1 courses.  The typical L1 schedule looks something like: Day 1 = classroom plus basic beacon practice; Day 2 = more classroom, more rescue practice, very short walk out to look at some slide paths and snowpack attributes; and, Day 3 = ascend ~1900' vertical up a below-treeline hiking trail, ascend ~500' vertical up an at-treeline hiking trail, then poke around a little bit in the base of a glacial cirque.  I don’t see how that fulfills the AIARE goal of teaching real decision making in the field.  (To be continued at our AIARE IRC on Nov 10...)

post #46 of 48

And back the the OP's questions. From the original post, I get a skier of an unknown ability with 3 years of Tele. who is worried about an injury. Might be from Seattle, Syracuse or Salt Lake. All with different snows and angles. Poops out early and likes to meander while touring. That last part sounds like me. My gut response, based on thousands of hours spent in internet  back country ski research suggest you stick with Tele and learn to ski on rotten snow.

 

These guys made last years PNW spring mank look smooth and easy while I, on tech gear and re-learning to ski, had to straight line it to the bottom ending with some sweet air time and a face plant.

AppleMark

 

Namedropping?? The real test for an admitted  "Poser Extraordinaire" like myself is who's  phone numbers have you got in your phone. Let me see. Splat, Martin Volken, Glen Oakley, Dane, JonathanS, Scotsman, Finndog, Alpine Earth,.......

 

Please Lord, let it snow. A lot. And soon.


Edited by wooley12 - 9/15/13 at 10:41pm
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post
 

And back the the OP's questions. From the original post, I get a skier of an unknown ability with 3 years of Tele. who is worried about an injury. Might be from Seattle, Syracuse or Salt Lake. All with different snows and angles. Poops out early and likes to meander while touring. That last part sounds like me. My gut response, based on thousands of hours spent in internet  back country ski research suggest you stick with Tele and learn to ski on rotten snow.

 

 

As one of Jonathan's tele-laggards, a couple of further thoughts on this suggestion.  My basic thoughts for the OP are:

-- No, you don't have to worry about safety if you go AT, as many others have noted above;

-- AT bindings certainly would help with your "wider range of conditions" concern, and if your group includes a lot of aerobically fit weight weenies on tech bindings, then anything heavier underfoot will be a handicap - the numbers don't lie;

-- but if you want to stick with tele, then learning to ski on rotten snow is key, as wooley12 suggests;

-- if you do stick with tele, NTN might really help with the rotten snow/"wider range of conditions" issues, and in NTN Freedom variant is reasonably light; 

-- consider "switch hitter" boots - NTN boot with tech fittings - that will work in both NTN telemark and dynafit-style AT bindings.

 

Background: skiing on breakable crust with outdated tele gear DID hold me up relative to Jonathan's group of mostly younger, fitter guys on light skis and dynafits.  Fitness was part of the equation but also there's no question AT gear was a better solution to the problem at hand.  I was in CRB 3-pins - harder on the up, prone to face-plants in breakable crust conditions, and slow to get in and out of.

 

My limited subsequent experience on AT gear (G3 Onyx) was it's way easier on the up.  Not as much fun in perfect powder conditions where I really couldn't enjoy being locked down.  But it's WAY easier on the up, at least compared to 75mm bindings I have used (G3 Targa, Voile CRB and 7tm Power).

 

My greatly expanded subsequent tele experience on NTN was a revelation.  IMHO NTN is much more powerful and secure than 75mm bindings. It's easier to get in and out; the release function and brakes are as simple and reliable as any alpine binding; it feels more secure in crud and crust when you want blast through in parallel mode.  I've only used NTN Freeride but NTN Freedom is on my "wish list" for a touring setup - http://www.scarpa.com/ntn-freedom-binding-large-medium-110-brake -- it's lighter, not as light as Dynafits but in the G3 Onyx range -  and has a better pivot range in the toe so it tours better.  But plenty of people tour happily on the Freeride binding (including the only other telemarker in Jonathan's avy group, a stronger skier than me).

 

And here's another concept: there are a number of NTN boots that can work in both tech-style AT bindings and NTN - e.g., Scarpa TX (comparable to Scarpa F3 AT boot) and TX Pro, and I think there also may be something from Crispi.  You have to also use a little support block under the ball of foot to keep the tele boot bellow from flexing out of the tech bindings; Scarpa includes a dynafit-compatible support block with the boot, but for G3 Onyx you need a separate part from G3.

 

Finally, these boots have allowed this innovation: http://www.wasatchski.com/tts.htm - a telemark touring binding that uses a Dynafit-style toepiece and traditional heel bail.  No personal experience but it's gotten a lot of attention on the late Telemarktips, and on telemarkeast.com forums and earnyourturns.com, seems like this is not just vaporware but real and field tested by many users (search those forums) and media (http://backcountrymagazine.com/gear/2014-editors-choice-awards-bindings/).

post #48 of 48

I'm also moving from Tele to AT gear (but will never get rid of my tele stuff). There is a lot of good info in this thread (so thank-you everyone!). I've bought boots already but am now on the hunt for skis and bindings, probably 50% backcountry so I need something that's good all around. The options are overwhelming!

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