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Blazing own trail - types of snow

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This morning I took my skinny, long double cambered skis on some walking trails behind my house. There was about 5-8cm of powder, it was about -10 C, and the skis were great. I was thinking i needed backcountry skis for anything but track set (for kick and glide).

So this has me thinking, how good will they perform in deeper powder, hard-pack, wet snow, etc?

If they're only work-able in conditions similar to today's that's ok...but it would be positive to hear that others use theirs under multiple conditions. I would like to save from buying new BC equipment!

Note - I'm in southwestern Ontario...and the trails by my house are pretty flat, so no turning needed.

post #2 of 6

Get ready for an onslaught of opinions from people who live in different terrain and snow type than you do. 40 years of off track skiing in upstate New York and I never had a XC ski wider than 60mm. I always has fun.

post #3 of 6

The best ski I ever had for touring, climbing, etc.: 210 cm  KarhuXCD-GT, 62/54/59, 1991; never needed skins.  


They were THE ski of the day; mine were mounted with HD 3 pins and I used floppy leather boots; I could not link turns with them in anything but groomed LOL , but many people could turn them in any kind of snow; they climbed and glided great.

post #4 of 6

What are your current skis/boots?  Track/race oriented or casual-touring oriented?  I'm presuming you don't have any of the nordic 'BC' versions (nnn-bc etc.)

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Kneissl tour lite 52. Bought them used ten yet as ago. NNN bindings and Rossi x1 boots.
post #6 of 6

Ah, ok, so a casual light touring sort of set up.  Should be fine for most putting around where you are.  If you had a stiff cambered racing style ski it would probably really suck off trail or without a hard packed base.  Modern track oriented xc skis are often much narrower than traditional skis from a time when people spent more time on natural ungroomed snow making their own tracks.


You will probably lack for a bit of control in nasty manky slushy snow or in rough icy bits, but if you ain't going downhill much then it doesn't really matter.  The 54 & 60mm skis the other folks mentioned would probably be 'ideal' but you can certainly have fun on your setup.  A stiffer boot/binding will give you a bit more stability and control, but the metal edges won't help much if you're mostly cruising around on the flats.  Your local terrain certainly doesn't justify big boots, big bindings and what westerners call 'backcountry' stuff.  


My normal ski for farting around off groomed trail or on skier set hiking trails is the Madshus Voss or Atomic Rainiers with Salomon XADV8 boots.  It's a good setup until it gets steeper and deeper, then I don't have the skills to rip it.  I used to have a pair of Karhu Catamounts that were 70mm underfoot and were great in the bush in deep snow.  Like a long overgrown snowshoe.  I also had 212 Karhu GT XCD's, they're now bolted to the wall to remind me how miserable it was to get to the top of the pass and not be able to turn on the way down!  


p.s. SW Ontario: I grew up there, but have now lived in the Rockies for a long time.  

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