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Glacial Travel Ski Setup

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, 


So I am going to traveling across an icefield for two months this summer and I'm trying to figure out what kind of ski setup I should get. I have had talks with many people whether to get downhill skis with tele bindings or backcountry xc skis. I am an intermediate-advanced skier, and I want something that when I'm off the icefield I can still ski through potentially deep snow or hard pack. Not looking to spend a fortune either, I have a graduate student budget so looking to spend $300-500 for a whole package, skis, bindings, boots. Thanks!



post #2 of 14

You'll die.

post #3 of 14
It will be tough on that budget! Maybe on some older tele gear? You'll want some skins too.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well that's a great attitude. What is the lowest priced setup I could get? I was looking to get Rossignol BC 90's or larger, the majority of the traverse will be somewhat flat.

post #5 of 14

Where will you be?

post #6 of 14
Yeah, we need way more info. Is this a flat ice field, sloped? Complete with crevasses? Over vast stretches of cliffs? Is the point to ski or cover distance for examining... I don't know... Penguins? Well you be carrying a pack? Led by a guide? There is not enough info here at all.

And unless you're buying well used equipment, you're clearly out of touch with equipment prices.
post #7 of 14

The real question is who would go on a 2 month trip on a remote icefield with gear so manky that it costs $300-500 for the whole package, and has to come onto a skiing bulletin board to ask the most basic advice in the first place?  And who would be willing to go on such a trip with them?

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

I will be traveling across the Juneau Icefield, I will not be alone I will be with many experienced individuals. We are skiing from camp to camp to study the glaciers themselves. 


To address your equipment prices statement, I don't mind buying used equipment, like I said I am a graduate student on a small budget, sorry if I don't know the exact cost of skis, that would be why I am asking you about prices.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

So far you have all been extremely unhelpful. Thank you all for your snobby approach to this subject.

post #10 of 14
Don't the guides/organizers give you a list of the type of equipment you need? I know when my daughter did something like this in different arenas they were told what they needed.

Personally, I think you need something sturdy, but geared more towards walking than skiing. Do you know how to tele? Because the type of back country gear I'm thinking of would need someone who knows how to do tele turns. It really doesn't sound like something for the uninitiated.

But, thinking something like this:

I think you want Nordic backcountry skis with a metal edge. But I'm no expert in the area. Another forum than this might be able to help more. One geared towards that type of skiing. Most here are downhill oriented.

Look on Craigslist.

And this might be helpful:
Edited by sibhusky - 4/19/14 at 8:50pm
post #11 of 14

The planks on you feet are almost irrelevant, but make sure they have metal edges.  Go patterned based telemark skis and kicker skins as would be less hassle on the transition than alpine touring.   As you are travelling on glaciers the skis will be the least expensive piece of kit. Spend the most on your boots as they will either give you comfort or the most grief.  I'm doing some hut to hut touring on New Zealand's glaciers in the Southern Alps. The guys I'm going with are on a mix of alpine touring and telemark gear; however, all of us must be prepared for and be able to execute crevice rescues so we are all fully kitted with ice axes and climbing gear (Harnesses, ropes, carabiners, prusiks etc...).  Good luck and enjoy and don't forget the sun block.    And wool stinks less than polypro when you haven't been able to wash for a few days.

post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by dhmtber687 View Post

Well that's a great attitude. What is the lowest priced setup I could get? I was looking to get Rossignol BC 90's or larger, the majority of the traverse will be somewhat flat.

1 post, no profile info, no talk of any prior equipment research. Given that much info, I was pretty sure you would die.  Rossignol BC 90's at $250 leaves you $50 - $250 for boots, bindings and skins if you need them. Sales are now so now is the time to buy. If you have a year learn how to do it, used could be done for under $500. Experience speaking. I've bought over $3-4000 worth of used and fire sale gear. Don't tell my wife. I also traveled a glacier for my first time with another glacier virgin. No ropes, no map, no clue. We made multiple moves and decisions that could have killed us.


Really, the best advice will come from those experienced people that you are going with.  Have fun.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice, that is what I was asking about. I have experience tele-skiing I just never had a setup of my own. I am also an experienced climber and have all the required gear to traverse an icefield safely my weakest field just happens to be sorting out what type of skis to get. I appreciate the advice about the ski setups, yes they give me a gear list but I haven't received it yet and I am trying to do some research on my own so I can budget out my expenses for the trip. 

post #14 of 14
Teley gear, maybe even light XCD could work and would be my choice if you were traveling on flat/rolling terrain. Downside? Carrying a heavy pack on teley gear isn't fun. If it's about simply transport and not skiing so much, I'd go with something short and wide assuming that it's not a kick and glide show. Wide for float, short for mobility/ maneuverability. Used teley gear / light XCD stuff can be found used pretty inexpensively. Find a second set of bindings to keep for spare parts.

AT gear will be better for pure up, then down... For your purposes, light is right. Light is also expensive.
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