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Learning to Ski on AT gear

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I have searched the internet for several weeks and have not been able to find an answer to this question.


I have been snowboarding a total of 9 days over the past 4 years or so.  I can effortlessly ride blacks in any condition and have a blast riding trees.  Double blacks are dooable with a few falls and I would ride them all the time but for the most part I can't get my friends to go with me and I end up riding blacks with them.  99% of the time I wiped out on double blacks was because of moguls and my board wouldn't turn as fast as I wanted.


This past trip (I live over 600 miles from my nearest ski resort) I took I was wanting to experiment with BC splitboarding so I skinned the resort and did a run back down.  Even though the board felt significantly inferior to my beginner board I've had for years, it was by far the most enjoyable run I have ever done.  Coupled with my habit of riding whatever terrain (and weather) kept me from the crowds I instantly became hooked on the Idea of back country riding (and specifically splitboard mountaineering.)


The more I researched Splitboarding the less in love with the idea I was becoming.  I would go into detail about why but it would just distract from the overall question I am going to ask.  I just know that I want to go the AT skiing route instead of splitboarding.  For me its less about how I get down the mountain as it is opposed to being in the mountains.  So now for my question!


Is it safe to learn how to ski on AT gear on a resort.  


The equipment I plan on getting is K2 cOOMBAck skis, dynafit tlt radical ft bindings, and dynafit tlt6 mountain boots.  From what I researched it seemed like this would be an ideal set up for being middle ground(and more cost effective) between learning and progressing into BC skiing/ski mountaineering.  I would also be open to renting beginner gear for my first few days to get my feet under me, but knowing myself in anything I do the basics really take traction with me and I generally progress significantly faster than most people I know.  I also plan on throwing a lesson in every few days.


So my questions has nothing to do with how many days till I'm ready to venture in the BC, or how many days till I can ski a black diamond, or on the merits of BC on a splitboard, telemark, or AT setup, I just want to know if it would be safe to learn to ski on AT gear (specifically what I listed, or what you think would work better.)


I apologize for all the confusing statements I may have made, and bad grammar, I have drank a few IPAs while writing this.  could we also avoid discussing the pros and cons of IPAs?


Thanks for your input!

post #2 of 14

No worries...bring what ya got... Be careful skiing bumps and rough terrain aggressively and you'll be fine. I wouldn't worry all too much if you're just getting your wheels on and plan to spend your time touring. 

post #3 of 14
Just want to clarify. You are just learning to ski? Or skied in the past? Is the question about the safety of the ski/binding set up for a beginner skier?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I would consider myself as having 0 days skiing.  I snow plowed a bit on my split board and could handle turning left and right on the minimal downhill I had the day I used it, but I would still consider that being no experience skiing.  And the question is the safety.  I am not worried about the performance, I am more concerned about having my boot/binding/ski breaking in half and fracturing my femur and people saying "well what did he expect to have happen by learning on an AT setup?"

post #5 of 14
You're not likely to be charging, hucking, and otherwise ripping hard for awhile. Dynafits are certainly more fragile than a frame style touring binding like a Duke, Adreneline, etc... But should be fine provided you aren't an exceptionally heavy person and use a bit of common sense. I see dynafit at our hill... Usually when local avy conditions are very high and beyond most sensible folks' risk levels. Locally, there's also a series of lessons taught specifically for AT skiers that is lifted served... It's the only way to get enough laps to truly improve the skiing of people not unlike yourself, kcf.
post #6 of 14
Yes, that's one aspect of resort skiing that justifies lifts, your skiing gets better much faster than if you have to earn every descent.

But it seems to me that he could get an alpine setup for far less money, learn on that, sell it, and then get his AT setup. Yeah, it'll cost more in the end, but how many days skiing will he need to get proficient enough to be going in the back country? I know there's some that pick it up in one season, but not everyone.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have no idea how many days I'll need. I'm hoping to get in a minimum of 30 days mostly in 3 to 4 day blocks. Would you think I would need more than that?
post #8 of 14
Not likely. But I've been skiing 42 years and am still learning. 😁
post #9 of 14
Given decent athletic ability, access go coaching, and previous glissading experience, you might become a solid advanced intermediate in 20-30 days.
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by kcff738 View Post

I have no idea how many days I'll need. I'm hoping to get in a minimum of 30 days mostly in 3 to 4 day blocks. Would you think I would need more than that?

Are you thinking of just figuring out how to ski on your own, or investing in a few lessons?  You mentioned that the nearest place to ski/snowboard is 600 miles.  So you are planning 5-10 trips?

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Planning multiple shorter trips in the beginning of the season when I think the learning curve will be the most frustrating then some longer ones in Feb to march. And I plan on spending at least a morning session with an instructor on the first day of my shorter trips. So no I don't plan on learning on my own.
post #12 of 14

Oh boy.  This post has so many red flags that I wonder whether you are jerking our chains here? Suffice it to say that trying to learn skiing on AT gear isn't a path conducive to rapid progress, and that for most folks it takes a long time to gain the skiing competence necessary for all but the easiest BC terrain/conditions, much less the type of BC terrain you apparently want to ski.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well the post had gotten away from what I was asking. I was just wondering if it was safe to learn on AT gear so that I had it as opposed to getting down hill equipment then selling it after I had gotten skilled enough, how ever long that will take.
post #14 of 14
Life is never simple.
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