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Alpine Touring Equipment Questions - Dynastar Cham

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

New to the forum. I'm looking to pick up a dedicated alpine touring setup using my existing boots: Salomon Quest 130s.

 

I'm not looking to get into a super duper setup using Dynafit bindings and AT-specific boots mainly due to the additional cost of having to buy new boots plus this will be my first AT setup so I want to make sure I like it first.

 

With that said, here is what I'm thinking in terms of setup:

 

2014 Dynastar Cham High Mountain 97 in 184cm

2014 Marker Duke bindings (110mm brakes) - I was originally looking at the Salomon Guardians but I thought the Dukes felt better built and are even a bit lighter.

G3 Alpinist Skins (130mm Long) - was looking also at BD Ascensions. Any difference?

 

Other info that may be useful:

Body: 6'1" 190 pounds

Ski location: Mont Sutton (Quebec) but will probably head down to Vermont if there are some good touring spots there and I would bring these on my annual trip out to Alta and Snowbird in Utah.

 

1. Do you think this is a good setup to start out with?

 

2. From what I've read, I could use these bindings everyday without any issues. I would use this setup when going out west as well as any major powder days we get here in Quebec. Could I do all of that with this setup?

 

 

At this point, the only thing that I'm really hung up on is the skis.

 

2014 Dynastar Cham 97: will the increased weight compared to the High Mountain play a major factor?

 

2014 Dynastar Cham High Mountain 97: more expensive than the Cham 97s but is it worth the weight reduction? How is the stability coming down?

 

2015 Dynastar Cham High Mountain 97: how different are these compared to the 2014 High Mountains? They're about $100 more than the 2014s.

 

2014 Dynastar Cham 107: I demo'd the 107s (non-high mountain) last year but the 107 is probably a bit overkill for the snowfall we get in Eastern Canada. I understand the wider the ski, the more resistance you'll get while going up.

 

I don't really remember how I really felt about them but I think I found the 107s to be a bit wide...For reference, I also tried the Rossignol Soul 7s in 188cm and didn't enjoy them. I thought they looked cool and that was about it.

 

 

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Andrew

post #2 of 16
If the boots have the ability to take sole blocks, I'd buy them and get tech bindings. From everything I've heard, you'll forget they cost more the first tour you take. My daughter has gone twice with a person in the group using non-tech bindings and everyone was always waiting for them, even though the people were in prime physical shape. She almost went your route, because of uncertainty and cost (she's a grad student barely making ends meet) and was thrilled she had not. First trip, they shed fifty percent of the group due to fitness and equipment issues, and she had a thrilling trip through the Sawtooths in March, lasted 13 hours. She could never have done that with AT bindings.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

If the boots have the ability to take sole blocks, I'd buy them and get tech bindings. From everything I've heard, you'll forget they cost more the first tour you take. My daughter has gone twice with a person in the group using non-tech bindings and everyone was always waiting for them, even though the people were in prime physical shape. She almost went your route, because of uncertainty and cost (she's a grad student barely making ends meet) and was thrilled she had not. First trip, they shed fifty percent of the group due to fitness and equipment issues, and she had a thrilling trip through the Sawtooths in March, lasted 13 hours. She could never have done that with AT bindings.

 

Thanks for the fast reply. I think I remember reading your story in another thread.

 

I'm in the same boat as your daughter and just finished my MBA.

 

I will do some research on sole blocks and compatibility with the Quest 130s.

 

What bindings did she go with?

post #4 of 16
Dynafit Radical ST, if I recall.
post #5 of 16

Hmm, I tour on Barons, and I'm slow as molasses. In my case, I think it has more to do with my fitness, and maybe my other gear choices, beyond my bindings.

 

I'm pretty sure I'd be faster if I didn't tour in alpine boots, had tech bindings, and didn't tour on a 126mm ski, but for me the trade-off is 1, cost, and 2, the ability to ski IB with confidence when it dumps.

 

OP, if you're looking to bring this set-up to Alta-Bird for IB, I'd say go with the Dukes, and probably the 97mm width would cover most of your needs. I took a trip to St Anton a couple of years back, and could only bring one pair, so I opted to bring my 112's. They were great the first day when we had a foot and a half of fresh, but a little too much for the days following when things started to bump up. Looks like I'm going back again this March, and am looking at picking up something in the 100mm range, or just bringing my existing 91mm twin-tips, depending on the season their having.   

 

If I toured more frequently, I'd go tech, and probably put them on something in the 105mm range for CO, but 97mm would probably be fine for the NE. OTOH, I've never really felt like my 126mm held me back as much as my being old and fat, and the extra width has floated me above most of the snags that my partners were hitting with their 90's waist "touring" skis.

post #6 of 16
IB?
post #7 of 16

Inbound. The consensus I'm hearing is tech binders aren't that great for hard snow, but I'm sure there are a bunch of folks killing at the resort on tech bindings. I read something last night where someone was trying to figure out the din equivalent on a dynafiddle by going +3 to avoid blowing out. Of course I have no experience with dynafits, and maybe this guy didn't know what he was talking about, but at least for me, I set my barons up just like my griffons, and both perform equally well, with the barons having the additional benefit of the ability to tour (inefficiently).


Edited by MT Skull - 10/18/14 at 1:44pm
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your suggestions MT Skull.

 

Currently, I have Volkl RTM84s in 176, Rossignol Experience 88s in 178 and Salomon Lords in 185. I plan on selling the Lords and maybe my RTMs depending on what I can get for them.

 

Would it be better to have my Rossi 88s and Cham 97s or Cham 107s considering I will be using the Chams for touring, powder days and big mountain skiing at Snowbird and Alta?

 

I'm really trying to optimize my ski selection to suit most conditions but the 97 vs 107 decision is proving to be difficult.

 

107 > 97 for powder

97 > 107 for touring uphill

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

My other question (which will really show my lack of knowledge for tech bindings) is how safe are Dynafit bindings during falls? 

post #10 of 16

I toured on Line SFB's last season with the Cast system and G3 Alpinist skins. I'm not sure how the Chams compare to the bacons in terms of weight but I didn't feel like a 108mm waisted ski was slowing me down too much. To me, the main reason for skinning anywhere is to find better snow so IMO it is worth the extra weight to have a better performer in those conditions. That said, it you didn't like skiing a wider ski (did you demo them? what were the conditions) stick to what you like. If this new setup is going to be strictly for touring and powder I would go with the wider ski but that's just me.

 

Another thing to consider is that most of the ATing on the east coast is fairly short distance with the exception of a few places. Some people like a lighter setup but there are plenty of people who tour on heavy setups and don't them. From my experience out of Burlington VT you can basically drive up to or very close to what you want to skin up which means that skin glide is less of a factor since the approaches are short. Right out of the box the G3's had good glide but there were a couple times where more grip would have been nice. If I could go back I'd probably go with the high traction alpinist skins.

 

 

 

Edit to ask why you would set the RTM's? Is it to help fund the new setup?

 

And if you wouldn't mind your boot being operated on I would check out the Cast system. Best alpine skiing/touring tradeoff IMO.

post #11 of 16

Louckser, I don't really know enough about the Dynafits to speak to their safety. A bunch of people use them, and I really haven't seen any horror stories, so how unsafe can they be?

 

As far as ski widths; here it comes, another vague response: Are these going to be the fattest ski in your quiver? 10 or 11 years ago the fattest ski in my quiver was a 90mm Pocket Rocket. I was like ZOMG, THESE THINGS ARE UBER-FAT AND FLOATY!!!:eek:eek:eek Now my 91's are my go-to hard-pack to under 6" resort skis. Given the rest of your quiver, and based on my personal experience, I'd go with the 107's, especially if these will be your fattest skis, but might still bring the 88's and the 107's to Alta-Bird, just to have all my bases covered.

 

Right now I'm looking at a K2 Shreditor 102 177 cm to fill the hole the 112's will create when I retire them at some point during or at the end of this season. I'm 5'-7", and around 165 lbs, if that helps. Good chance I'll pick these or something similar up before my yurp trip in March, and if I do, they'll be the only ski I'll bring.

post #12 of 16
Dynafits release fine.
I ski inbounds, salomon 918,din 11, and radicals in the bc, also@11. Both release when I need them.
Radicals also did not prerelease, though if I ski something steep enough that I can't stop if I fall,50deg or so, I lock the toes, but only if the snow is firm.
post #13 of 16
Dynafits release fine, as stated above^. I looked up Lange Quest 130s and it looks like at least some of them have interchangeable sole blocks. If that's the case with yours, then I'd echo sibhusky's advice and say get those and tech bindings. Much better touring for a dedicated set-up - the more you tour, the happier you'll be. Putting Dukes on a dedicated backcountry rig doesn't make much sense, but it kind of does for a inbounds/outbounds rig.

I haven't skied them yet, but Fritchis tech binding looks pretty interesting, and they're in their second year of production with significant improvements. I mention that last bit because smart money doesn't buy tech binding models in the first year of production.
http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/ski-bindings/fritschi-diamir-vipec-12-binding-BD1012960000ALL1.html
https://www.wildsnow.com/14680/diamir-vipec-12-inline-changes-2014-2015/

As far as skis, remember that you spend 90% of the time going uphill so weight does make a difference. I haven't skied on the ones you mentioned, but if you like stiffer skis those High Mountain Cham 97s sound like they'd work for you based on what you wrote. I like softer skis, especially for touring, but that's just me.

G3 Alpinist and Black Diamond Ascension skins are both very good. Get the ones you can get the best deal on. Buy width closest to the width of the tail of your skis - that provides good coverage (traction) and may save you a little weight and money over buying for the tip width.
Edited by Bob Lee - 10/18/14 at 4:53pm
post #14 of 16

How much are you intending on touring? 

 

If you plan on going quite a bit I'd really suggest investing in more dedicated AT gear. Your Quests will work, but they really are not a touring boot, they are an alpine boot with a decent walk mode, for an alpine boot. Regarding the skis, I wouldn't even consider any of the regular Chams, stick to the HM line and pick your width. They are lighter, almost as damp, float better, easier to ski and for 99% of people are simply a better ski. 

 

I'd suggest investing in tech bindings as well. As mentioned by others above, they are a great investment for anyone who tours. Releasability on them is fine, as long as you take the time to clear snow and ice build up, and cycle the toe inserts to remove ice thats built up. They are not the best option for skiing inbounds, you can if you want too, but they do work best in the backcountry.

post #15 of 16

I would recommend using tech bindings for only a limited basis in bounds for two reasons.

 

First, they are very expensive and designed to be very light.  Ride a cheaper alpine binding in bounds which you can hammer and will stand up to it.

 

Second, I notice the lack of elasticity in my tech bindings in terms of my knees becoming sore.  A big day of touring is like 6 or 8,000 feet.  That can be done in an hour inbounds.  The Frischi Viper (think that is the name), Dynafit Beast, Marker Kingpin and I guess the Dynafit Radical 2 all offer some elasticity.  I have never ridden those bindings, but I don't think they compare to a good alpine binding.

 

I run separate boots for touring with my tech bindings.  Many people do not like to switch boots.  As in all things skiing, the boots come first in your gear decisions.

post #16 of 16

Cham HM is a better ski across the board than the regular Cham. Last year's is the same as this year's except for the graphics. I prefer the BD skins... very reliable glue. By them according to the widest point of your ski, then trim. The Quests now have interchangeable tech soles for about $80 or there about. Look at the new daimer tech binding as well. The elasticity in the heel looks appealing, and the first year teething issues seem to be sorted out. 

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