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help me select skis for my AT bindings

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

so i got a good deal on some 12/13 rossi S7s last year and mounted fritschi freeride pro bindings on them.  after skiing them a handful of days i came to the conclusion that i really didn't like the ski too much.  it was a bit too soft and noodly and didn't hold up at speed.  i'm looking for something a little more damp that will do better busting through crud while still having decent performance in fresh pow.

 

about me: 6'0" 165LBS, advanced/expert skier.  former comp moguls background.  like to ski fast/aggressively making big GS turns.  charging down steeps, drops, not a whole lot in the park but i like to air off cliffs.  skiing mostly in colorado with occaisional trips to utah or wyoming.  skiing 60-100+ days a year.

 

I decided to put tele bindings on the S7s and put the fritschis onto a ski that will charge a little harder.  i'm considering the blizzard cochise, icelantic seeker, black diamond zealot but i'm open to suggestions.

 

looking for something in the 112-120 waist range and the cochise and zealot are a little narrower than that.  is there anything out there with an early rise tip, camber underfoot, with a stiff, flat tail you'd reccomend?  i'll be using them about 70% for touring/BC and 30% lift served skiing.

post #2 of 19

I can't recommend a ski but can tell you the Cochise is h-e-a-v-y. I wouldn't want to walk up a hill with

2 1/2 sheets of metal. Amazing ski but I get tired just carrying them from the parking lot.

post #3 of 19

As far as ski weight goes, any ski that is 112-120 wide and offers the beefiness that the OP wants is going to be heavy. Since the back country is mostly not perfect, light, thigh deep powder, I would suggest an all mountain ski rather than a powder ski. I just don't know which brand or model. 

 

The OP bought the S7 based on price and didn't like it (I didn't like it for the same reason stated by the OP) so I suggest going the demo route.

post #4 of 19

I'm exactly your size, although you have a stronger background. That said, you're facing some issues with basic physics, not skill set. A ski that rips soft snow at speed and lands airs well will generally be a heavier ski. Plenty to choose from. But no one I know my size takes the skis you're mentioning or their kin out touring. First, because of the sheer weight: pair of Cochise weigh nearly 4,500 g! Zealots aren't much better. And that's at the end of a long series of linked lever arms called your legs. If you think a pound doesn't make a difference, try holding two books, one pound difference, at arms length. Now multiple the effect by 2.5 to adjust for your leg length with boots and skis on.

 

Second, because the nice wide fronts will get lotsa nice heavy settled snow on them - the real backcountry doesn't always oblige with fresh light powder - and then you get to do hip flexor exercises - which are the weakest group that move the leg - every uphill skinning stride. You will wish you were dead. 


Dano had it right. For limited backcountry touring (assume that you mean day touring; actual overnights with gear require more specialized skis that won't be happy taking air), get something in the 98-108 range that can deal with the variable conditions you will actually find, but is light. Plenty of alpine ski choices: Stockli SR 100 or 107, DPS Wailer Pure 99 or 105, Praxis Backcountry, the 2014 Soul 7 - very different ski than the S7,  Prior Husume XTC, Kastle TX107 (marginal for taking air), several K2's, several Armadas like the Norwalk, etc. The Stocklis and DPS's are pricey. You pay for relative lightness and stability in a crossover alpine ski. Plenty of AT skis that fit the bill, but they'll be less useful at the resort, in the air, or being pushed to speed. 

 

OTOH, if what you're really talking about is operating right around resorts, taking lifts up, maybe doing some hiking to a ridge or cliff, skiing down, repeat, then you're on the right track. I'd still go for something on the narrow end of your range, and I'd still lose the Cochise if you plan to do a lot of air. Suggest Blister Reviews, cuz they have a lot of guys who do air, test wider skis sidebounds. TGR is also good, but will get you more suggestions that you need, most of them from highly partisan owners of the ski they're pushing, many of them ignoring your actual needs. 

post #5 of 19

why not the Dynastar Cham high mountain(HM) series?  I demoed both S7 and Cham 98 HM last spring and the Cham was by far the better ski for what you described above.  wide shovel,early rise,canber,flat tail.(5point side cut) lighter than the regular Cham and I found them stiffer than the S7 and plenty happy at speed.  I demoed at Alta.  5'9" 170#  I didn't think of the S7 as tele but now that you mention it,  I think they would be a great tele ski.  

 

Royal

post #6 of 19

Your apparent very extensive ski experience notwithstanding, as several posters have noted, the answer to the question of what ski (or even type of ski) might be a good choice for your Fritschi's entirely depends on what you want to do with them, which you really haven't said.  If your goal is true BC skiing, you want lightweight, and of course you won't be using alpine boots.  If your goal is occasional hiking to sidecountry terrain, most any of the skis you are mentioning are appropriate.  If your goal is area skiing and you just want to impress folks you meet on the gondola that you ski with BC gear, well, whatever.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

intended use is for touring but not long distance extended sort of stuff.  mostly just parking at the top of berthoud pass, hiking at most 90 or so minutes up to the top and coming down.  not concerned with weight as much.  i don't want the heaviest skis in the world but i'm not trying to shave every possible ounce with this pair.  hopefully can find a good balance between a good performing ski that isn't too noodly at speed or in somewhat variable conditions that doesn't need to be featherweight but ideally would be somewhat light

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

I'm exactly your size, although you have a stronger background. That said, you're facing some issues with basic physics, not skill set. A ski that rips soft snow at speed and lands airs well will generally be a heavier ski. Plenty to choose from. But no one I know my size takes the skis you're mentioning or their kin out touring. First, because of the sheer weight: pair of Cochise weigh nearly 4,500 g! Zealots aren't much better. And that's at the end of a long series of linked lever arms called your legs. If you think a pound doesn't make a difference, try holding two books, one pound difference, at arms length. Now multiple the effect by 2.5 to adjust for your leg length with boots and skis on.

 

 

Going to disagree with this analogy.  Your skis should stay on the ground when touring uphill although I see plenty of people picking them up on each stride, they are doing it wrong.  With the skis gliding on the snow a pound per ski although noticeable is not nearly as impactful as a pound of lifted weight on the binding or boot.  

 

Your single best weight/efficiency step you can take is to get a tech binding.  They will ski way better than the Fritschi too-first hand experience.  That being said you own the Fritschi and probably don't own tech compatble boots so stick with them, but if you tour for a while you will go tech.

 

My all around touring ski is the Nordica Hell n Back.   My powder touring ski is the Moment Jag Shark.  I have a similar background as you and these work well for me.  Both are discontinued but I like the product lines and I would look at both.  Some friends really like their Kastle too.

post #9 of 19

Take a hard look at the Rossi Sickle.  It's perfect for MJ trees and Berthoud Pass, IMO.  They are about $300 on STP with a coupon.  I like them enough I bought a backup pair.  Both of my friends who got on mine bought a pair the next day.   Check the Blister review and comments and you'll get an idea how versatile they are. 

post #10 of 19

Don't discount that your binding choice is killing the enjoyment of your ski.  I had a pair of Freeride + bindings that spent time on various pairs of skis and I liked the skis so much better when new bindings were added:  Stockli Stormride XXL, replaced the Freeride+ with Marker Dukes. The Freeride + then went onto a pair of G3 Barons which I always felt meh about until I swapped the bindings for Dynafit TLT.  The Freeride + has a high stack height and is not that well connected to the ski, hence it makes any ski feel vague.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

 

Going to disagree with this analogy.  Your skis should stay on the ground when touring uphill although I see plenty of people picking them up on each stride, they are doing it wrong.  With the skis gliding on the snow a pound per ski although noticeable is not nearly as impactful as a pound of lifted weight on the binding or boot.  

 

Your single best weight/efficiency step you can take is to get a tech binding.  They will ski way better than the Fritschi too-first hand experience.  That being said you own the Fritschi and probably don't own tech compatble boots so stick with them, but if you tour for a while you will go tech.

 

My all around touring ski is the Nordica Hell n Back.   My powder touring ski is the Moment Jag Shark.  I have a similar background as you and these work well for me.  Both are discontinued but I like the product lines and I would look at both.  Some friends really like their Kastle too.

I'll have to disagree with your disagreement. Your assumption, very popular around here, is that skis' weight is irrelevant as long as they're on the ground. Nope. Skis's weight impacts every movement you make on them, including pushing them forward if you're breaking trail, or getting them around on a switchback. Moreover, if - more likely - you're following a trail that's already been made, it'll be irregular, perhaps iced over in spots. So there will be moments when some part of your ski is off the snow, then on again. If you're in trees, you'll have to be lifting the skis singly sometimes. Your legs will be supporting some of the skis' weight whenever its partly off the snow. Finally, a proper stride may not involve picking the ski up out of the snow - although if you're in heavy deep snow, you pretty much have to do some hip and dorsi-flexion to work against the snow on the ski - but it sure will require shifting your weight toward the fronts of the skis, which means the tails will be lightened, or more likely lifted a bit. And your legs are doing that mechanical work of making the tails lighter or slightly lifted. If you want to get the effect magnified, go try actual X-C gear. So yeah, this is all small increments of force. But over thousands of repetitions, it makes a large difference in energy expended. Which is why serious tourers, like mountain climbers and backpackers on treks, really do pay attention to every oz.

post #12 of 19

I think you should work on your reading skills.   I said and you quoted, "With the skis gliding on the snow a pound per ski although noticeable is not nearly as impactful as a pound of lifted weight on the binding or boot."  You turned that into "Your assumption, very popular around here, is that skis' weight is irrelevant as long as they're on the ground."

 

Ski weight of course matters and if you are a ski mountaineer or a rando racer it matters a great deal.   

 

The issue I had is that you describe the weight effects of skis in your original post as being on the ends of long lever arms and the weight difference as being 2.5 times the actual weight.  I think that is some poor thinking on your part and does not reflect real world impacts of skinning with proper technique.  Despite your long winded response you never did address that declaration that I had a specific concern with. 

 

If you are looking at efficiency gains when skinning that are beyond technique, look first at tech bindings (pin), second boot weight, and then muddied someplace in distant third are ski weight, ski surface area, skin weight and  skin efficiency, I am GUESSING in that order for third and beyond.

 

For the OP and the type of skiing they are doing, having an 8.5 pound ski versus a 7.5 pound ski if they have tech bindings and light boots is not going to make much of a difference on the up, but it could make a significant difference on the down.  


Edited by Maineac - 9/7/14 at 5:20am
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineac View Post
 

I think you should work on your reading skills.   I said and you quoted, "With the skis gliding on the snow a pound per ski although noticeable is not nearly as impactful as a pound of lifted weight on the binding or boot."  You turned that into "Your assumption, very popular around here, is that skis' weight is irrelevant as long as they're on the ground." My reading skills are fine, thanks, and no need to get snarky just cuz I disagree with you. That's one thing we do here, y'know, disagree. Hopefully in a civil manner. You're right that I altered your language. I did so because while you're correct about the impact of weight and so on, AT skis don't spend much time "gliding on the snow." I was drawing attention to a larger and more pervasive phenomenon here at Epic of assuming weight is irrelevant if the ski's on the ground. 

 

Ski weight of course matters and if you are a ski mountaineer or a rando racer it matters a great deal.  It also matters every step you take. You can draw on your experience, for sure, but you can't fight basic physics. 

 

The issue I had is that you describe the weight effects of skis in your original post as being on the ends of long lever arms and the weight difference as being 2.5 times the actual weight.  I think that is some poor thinking on your part and does not reflect real world impacts of skinning with proper technique.  Despite your long winded response you never did address that declaration that I had a specific concern with. Again, think about your tone. I'm a long winded guy. :D Chill. I didn't say that the weight difference for you or me is invariably equal to 2.5 times the weight of the skis; I said: "If you think a pound doesn't make a difference, try holding two books, one pound difference, at arms length. Now multiple the effect by 2.5 to adjust for your leg length with boots and skis on." That's an analogy, y'see, actually taken from a physics text, cuz this isn't worth sitting down with a program, weighing a bunch of gear, and working out the exact numbers. 

 

If you are looking at efficiency gains when skinning that are beyond technique, look first at tech bindings (pin), second boot weight, and then muddied someplace in distant third are ski weight, ski surface area, skin weight and  skin efficiency, I am GUESSING in that order for third and beyond. Don't disagree, and never said anything about technique or specific bindings. My comment was specifically about whether weight of ski/boot/binding matters. It does. You disagree. Fine. 

 

For the OP and the type of skiing they are doing, having an 8.5 pound ski versus a 7.5 pound ski if they have tech bindings and light boots is not going to make much of a difference on the up, but it could make a significant difference on the down. Here's a link to a comparative chart of alpine and AT or tech boots. http://www.evo.com/ski-boot-weight-chart-for-alpine-backcountry-ski-boots.aspx Eyeballing it, the average difference seems about 700 g, give or take. The average difference between alpine and tech bindings is also less than 1 lb. So I'm having a hard time seeing that the 1 lb diff for skis is somehow less significant, since they're all part of the same physical system that as you put it, "glides on the snow." And I'd guess that most folks who use skins would disagree with you. Or not. :dunno When I have time, I'll work out the actual difference in force that that pound will require, and then calculate oxygen uptake changes. Meanwhile, suggest a second beer; winter's getting closer and we can all calm down and ski. 

post #14 of 19
^Short version: It will take more energy to push a 5 pound book up a ramp than a 1 pound book, even if you don't pick it up.
post #15 of 19
So... While all this was happening, went and looked up the weight of the daughter's ski, as 8.5 pounds sounded ridiculous.. 4.4 pounds for a 169. Seems like there's weight to be saved by paying attention to the weight of the ski. And it's more than a pound.
post #16 of 19

You're about my size (6'1"/170#) and my backcountry touring rig is the 184 Fat-ypus D-Sender mounted with Dynafit Radicals.  They're a fairly damp, med-stiff ski that comes in at 1,950g per ski (~8.5 lbs per pair). 112mm underfoot with early rise in the tip/tail and camber underfoot.  They hold up at speed so much better than the S7.  Seems to me like they would fit your criteria quite well. 


Edited by cmsummit - 9/8/14 at 4:45pm
post #17 of 19

Edit: Apologies sibhusky that I overlooked your response in responding to beyond.  Usually ski weights for AT skis are reported as per pair ski weights although sometimes they are reported as per ski.  One of may places that there is no standardization within the industry.  I am guessing that your daughters skis are 4.4 pounds per ski and not 2.2 pounds.

 

cmsummit I have skied the D-Senders for 4 years and thought they were a great ski, but I only skied them with alpine gear.

 

Now to my response to Beyond:

 

You are correct I did have a snarky tone and that is apt to creep in to my language.  I read you as amping up the "tone" in your response and I continue to read into you amping up the "tone" with your following response.  It is ok to say you are wrong on here isn't it?

 

My skis glide on the snow when I am skinning a great majority of the time.  

 

I believe the link is only for AT boots.  Many of the spreads of weight between boots are over two pounds per boot. Your 700g eyeball is 1.5 pounds and that is again per boot which is lifted with each stride.  I am quite sure if you compare most frame AT bindings (guessing that is what you meant by alpine bindings) to the Dynafit Speed you will also see well over a pound difference again per foot.  And here is the key difference: the tech binding stays on the ski and is not lifted with the foot.  Most of the weight of the frame binding is lifted with the foot.  This lifting of boot and binding weight is significantly more taxing on uphill travel than ski/tech binding weight which glides up the hill in contact with the snow.   The type of weight gains made by lightweight touring boots and tech bindings can only be offset by the shortest most flyweight rando skis if you go with a heavier boot and frame bindings.

 

An inexact, but illuminating analogy is to imagine adding 4 pounds to each cycling shoe and pedaling uphill and compare that to the energy of adding 8 pounds to the bike.  

 

Even if the energy is equal with the heavier boots and the heavier bindings with the lighter skis to the lighter boots and lighter bindings with the heavier skis, Something I would wager a large sum of money on it is not.  I would much rather have my weight in the skis for the down experience.

 

I do disagree with your premise on weight and AT skiing.  Yeah it is late summer and I am antsy for snow.

 

Look forward to your calculations.


Edited by Maineac - 9/8/14 at 5:42pm
post #18 of 19

^^^^ Hi Maineac - Nope, written into the Code of Conduct that I'm never wrong. :D

 

Link seems to be mix of alpine ( they have Dalbello Boss, K2 Spyne, etc), alpines that walk (Lange XT130's etc) and a lot of AT's. Alpines that walk weight about the same as regular alpines.

 

Alpine bindings for comparable DIN range from light ones like the Marker Jester (940 g) to the Look Pivot 14 (1094 g)/per binding. AT's range from heavy like Dukes (1432 g) or Atomic Tracker (1460 g) to light, like the Baron (1354 g). So AT's weigh more than comparable DIN Alpines, cuz of the extra frame and such. A Dynafit Beast is 953 g, a Radical ST is 570 g. So the lighter non-racing techs (assume no one uses Speeds for sidecountry bombing) run from about same as Alpines to 370 g less. And are about 500 g to 800 g lighter than AT. Eg, lot like boot diffs and ski diffs. Each diff contributes (very) roughly 1/3 of the total weight diffs on the snow, each leg, AT vs tech. 

 

But we actually agree on most points. Especially lifting a bunch of junk with the heel. And we can agree to disagree about the rest...

 

Good luck with the snow!

post #19 of 19

That's nice that you agree... but, the OP's 'problem' is the binding he is using, not the weight of his diffs. A Fritschi will make any ski seem under-powered and sketchy. Taxman get's a star for nailing the answer.

 

OP, sell the Fritschi and buy a binding that better transfers power to the ski. A better binding would be anything else except sillveretta.

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