I'm new to AT/randonee skiing and just looking at getting into it a little bit. I'm looking for equipment advice, particularly bindings and skis. I live in the north east US and will be looking at mostly day hikes (think Mt Washington, Mt Marcy, etc) but may be going a few days in a row. Also my ultimate quest is to do Katadhin (13mi tour to the mtn from parking area of lightly uphill followed by 3.5mi of harder uphill to the base of the mountain), which may not happen right away obviously. I am thinking of getting wider skis and also using them on-piste the few days of the year we get a larger snowfall (...as far as east coast snow storms are concerned). Also I am thinking of bringing them out west to Colorado or Utah when I go for a few days every year or two. So I'm looking at something sturdy enough to handle some on-piste powder as well as be light enough to skin up mountains.
Now a little about myself. I'm 26, have been alpine/downhill skiing a long time, and consider myself a very good skier. I am a whopping 5'5" and 135 lbs naked. While I'm far from being a large mammoth, when I ski, I ski hard. Very Hard. I push every turn to make sure my legs are dead by the end of the day, granted not as much when I'm touring since I want to be able to get back to civilization. I come from a running background and am signed up to complete my second Ironman Triathlon this coming summer. I try to stay in good shape. I have hiked up to tuckerman's ravine with hiking shoes and carry my alpine skis and heavy alpine boots in my pack. I'd like to get more into the AT world than this though.
More specifically what I'm looking for. I am looking for a binding/ski setup that will allow me to tour up mountains, possibly for a few days in a row, without being completely dead until the end, but be able to hold up on-piste during east-coast powder days with me pushing my turns a bit (granted I'm a light guy). I have not quite settled on tech or framed binding, but feel like I should go framed (but honestly don't know how different in weights and performance they are). One up side to framed is I don't have to buy new boots right away....I can wait until after my first Tuckerman's Ravine trip with the new setup before I realize it would be a very good idea to not use my alpine DIN boots...but I'd still make it through. I've been to a couple shops and right now and for these reasons I'm leaning towards the Marker Tour F10 or F12. As for skis, I really don't know how much the lightweight ones like dynafit huascarans compromise on downhill performance; the downhill experience is important to me since while the way up may be nice and scenic, the way down is where I get my thrills. Thus I'm looking at the Rossi Soul 7 or Super 7. They are fairly light, tho not as light as a true "AT Super-Light trek for days" ski, but have amazing reviews and I loved the Soul 7 when I demo'd it. The other thing I'm not sure on is the width. Obnviously the wider the better for powder floatation, but also the heavier. With that being said, it doesn't look like there is much weight difference between the super 7 and soul 7, so if I go that route its more base on how much width I need to keep my butt above snow.
I figure I'll worry about the boots after I determine what kind of setup I should get. I have tried on a couple, but they fit my feet weird. I'll have to try again after I determine my binding setup. What do you guys think? Please help and comment away!