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What size skis?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to put together a randonee setup as well as all the essentials for the backcountry. I'm hoping for some advice on a ski and size. I know preference, ability and terrain are the factors. Looking to tour for powder and steeps in the west, but I want a strong ski in any b/c conditions. I'm 6'2 185, and ski aggressive. Any size recomendations on skis like Launchers or Bigs? Also wondering if a 2-4lbs makes a huge difference when climbing?

I'm looking for deals on Fritsches + boots-thinking Denalis(10.5) would be good. I also need a beacon. If anyone wants to sell or knows links any help is appreciated.
post #2 of 4
I usually tour for turns in the west (Montana). Most of my flats are handled with a snowmobile and i go straight up from there. I am also a relatively poor (I can afford some gear, and a beat up snowmobile) graduate student who can only afford one rig for both backcountry and resort skiing. I am also pretty big, 6'2, about 230#. Until this season, i had been strictly a telemark skier for about 10 years. This season i switched both of my big pairs of skis to at.

So, thats my background.

I use Denali XT boots, got them for around $300 from www.barrabes.com its a spanish site, kind of like www.telemark-pyrenees.com which is also a good place to look for boots. For a single rig, resort/backcountry, the denalis are a good choice, but the big Garmonts (i forget the name) look pretty bomber too.

I have two pair of Fritschi Freeride binders, so far i love them, but only have about 2 days on them. The hiking is much easier than tele, and although it feels a little weird to have my heels locked down im starting to like it. THe best price i could find on freerides was from the black diamond website www.bdel.com the price is about what you will pay from anyother website or retailer, but unlike most of these, they will swap the regular brakes for the wide ones to fit bigger skis for free. Most other places want $40 for the wide brakes. If you do order from BD, make sure you tell them to swap the brakes in the comments section of the orderform. of course that is only if you need the wide brakes i suppose.

For skis, i have a pair of 190 Fischer Big Stix 106 and a pair of 198 Volkl G41's. The Fischers are my primary bc ski, they are very fun in powder, and the surface area is awesome for hiking. The G41's come out mostly in the spring, or if a difficult line is the goal and i need a more predictable ski that does well in a variety of snow conditions. These are both VERY heavy skis though.

As far as weight goes, it makes a huge difference. Personally i find it worthwhile to suffer with a little more weight on the way up to have the skiis i want on the way down. Thermofit liners also make a big difference in boot weight. I have heard they can save up to 2# per boot, which is enough to make up for some fatty skis!!

I think www.telemark-pyrenees.com also has good deals on beacons, but i dont really know. If you are new to using a beacon, i reccommend the BCA Tracker. I usually use an Ortovox F1 focus, i practice pretty frequently, and am fast with it. Last season, my girlfriend got the Tracker and i was pretty impressed with how fast i could locate with it. It has a shorter range than an analog beacon, and i have heard it can be rather imprecise close in. I have also heard the Barryvox is pretty easy to use.

Dont forget a probe and shovel too!

And you are going to need skins. Really the only ones to get are Ascensions.
post #3 of 4
You could consider a bit shorter ski. I use a 165 AK Launcher/Silvretta 555/Denali set up. I am 5'7" 170 lbs, and it is very versatile for the Eastern Sierra.
post #4 of 4
I have 180 AK Launchers with Diamir II bindings. I haven't done much touring with them yet, but so far they work well. I used the Launchers at Alta for a few weeks before switching to the AT bindings and was happy with them - they're softer and lighter than my Volkls, but handled well in all conditions except icy hardpack.

I would say that the biggest factor in choosing touring gear is your mindset. Some people enjoy the climb and want the lightest gear possible - they are willing to sacrifice performance on the way down. To me it's all about the downhill - the climb is just a means to get there. (I'm the same way mountain biking and have been known to push my DH rig up XC trails - and I always think it's worth it despite the raised eyebrows of all my friends.) So personally, I wouldn't go with skis significantly different in length to what you're used to for resort skiing.
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