post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
A couple days ago I went out cross-country skiing for the first time in at least a month. I used my school's newer, wider equipment. It was just me and one other person, and we had an excellent time touring, climbing up and coming back down. The coming back down was the scary part, though. The snow was pretty hard and frozen after a couple warm days, so the skis were unstable and very fast on the downhill. My parter managed to not fall on a long downhill that we encountered; I almost made it but fell at the last moment. It was scary, but it got me hooked, and I now want to purchase some real backcountry gear, for two reasons:

1: My ancient Trak waxless skis are finally coming apart. The base is peeling off from the tail, and I must face the fact that I need new skis and boots. Additionally, my bamboo poles probably aren't the most efficient.

2: I will most likely be going away to college in western Massachusetts after my senior year (next year). With luck, I'll be in the Northhampton/Amherst area. With the local terrain and whether, I hope to be able to do a lot more cross-country as well as downhill skiing. My thought is, why not mix the two? The concept of "hiking, but on skis" is very appealing to me.

I kind of wondering where to start. I do know that I want, at minimum, something with at least a partial metal edge for better control on a downhill. I'm pretty sure that I want a full edge though, to allow easier turning; I'm in this for the descent as well as the trekking. However, I'd also like something that works well for touring and won't weigh me down and exhaust me too much.

My really big question, though, is whether to go with waxless or waxable bases. The advantages of using wax are obvious; however, since I'm likely to be operating out of a dorm room, I'm not sure how practical it would be. Any thoughts on this?

So far, I've mostly looked at Karhu gear, and liked what I see, but as I said, I'm really not sure where to begin. Any help would be greatly appreciated.