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Backcountry Nordic touring ski length

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am looking to find an old pair of Karhu 10th Mountain skis and am wondering what length to get. I'm 150lbs at 5 foot 11 inches, but I intend to ski with a pack between 15-40lbs sometimes...like when I really need the skis for long distance touring. My question is is feasible to have a length of ski that I can use without a pack (at 150lbs) but have it also work well with a pack? If I had to only pick one, I'd choose the ski length that is most suitable when I have a backpack on. So what length would you recommend I search for?

 

Thanks.;)

post #2 of 16

it is not so much length as camber you need to check.  although camber can be related to length.  if there is too much camber your body weight will not be able to compress the ski enough to get the scales to bite.  length will give you more flotation for the extra weight of a pack.  I would recommend getting skis you can compress with out the extra weight of the pack.  with the pack you will only lose some glide.  I'm not sure of the Karhu 10th mtn skis have different cambers/weights in each length.  if they do, get the longest length for your weight to maximize float or the shortest length to maximize maneuverability. depending on snow conditions and terrain.

 

hope this helps.

 

Royal

post #3 of 16

A test that we used to use in the old days was put your boots and the test skis on a hard floor, put a piece of typing paper underfoot under the each ski .  Shift your weight to one ski; if you can pull the paper out the ski is too long/too much camber; if you can't pull the paper out from beneath the unweighted ski, the ski is too short/too little camber.  This is essentially a test to determine how well the skis will kick and glide.  there is a tradeoff between kick-and-glide ability and the ability to climb on steeper firm or groomed snow conditions.  The Karhu 10th Mountain/Madshus Epoch has a nice aggressive waxless pattern for climbing but IMHE has a strong double camber that might prove challenings if you get too long a ski (one to match your height) and you aren't super proficient at collapsing the camber to make turns downhill on a firm surface.

 

I didn't like the 10th Mountain/Epoch as much as the Guide/Madshus annum (which has much less camber); in my latest waxless ski choice I went a full 15 cm shorter than the length I had on my Epochs and Guides because I cared equally about climbing steep hills and turning in both hard and soft conditions and not so much about maximizing kicking and gliding on firm surfaces--but I do tons of touring on AT skis with skins too.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info guys. I might not be able to try the skis or even stand on them before buying since I can't find a store that carries such old skis, but I think I'll try to get a shorter ski (like 185cm, which they state is rated for 150-180lbs) unless there is a good reason to get the next size down. I think the maneuverability would be nice anyways seeing as I'll be going thru forest.

 

I will probably end up getting the annum or its equivalent as well later on down the line. I wasn't sure which to pick, but I figure just pick whichever one I come by first and get the other one later. I will have to try to find out what I need most.

post #5 of 16

I think I have some 200's at home.  I'll use my wife and daughters to test out the camber/ grip for you tonight.

 

Royal

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Awesome, Royal. Thanks!

post #7 of 16

Where are you and how soft/fluffy is the snow?

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Planning to use these (or at least one of the pairs) in both Southern WI and the UP of michigan where it's often around 0F and that makes for fresh, fluffy snow. But will also be skiing in the South of the state where there isn't as much fresh snow and it gets somewhat windpacked or melted and refrozen.

 

Do you  ask because the 10th mountain might not float me enough?

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by joolyen View Post
 

Do you  ask because the 10th mountain might not float me enough?

 

Yup.     And also because a long ski stiff enough for a 40lb pack will backslide under you when climbing unloaded.   Especially in fluffy snow.   

 

 

40 lbs is a lot of weight to pack.      You might want to consider two pairs - a super long soft-flex  and a jack-of-all trades for loads of 15lbs or less.     The jack might float you and the big pack on compressed flat snow down south.  Assuming you have a use for it there, of course.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Alright, what skis might you recommend that meet those two descriptions?

post #11 of 16

You're already on track for the jack ski.   

For packing 40lbs in soft fluffy snow you want something like the Karhu Hunt classic:   http://www.karhu.com/backcountry-hunt-classic-ski#.VKxOOSd0Ghg

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Okay, that seems similar to the Altai Hok. I think I'll get the jack of all trades first and see how it handles me with a pack and maybe work on bringing my pack weight down. The number 40 was kind of a maximum and would likely usually be around 15-25lbs.

post #13 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by joolyen View Post
 

Okay, that seems similar to the Altai Hok.

 

Well, except for the fact that the Karhu comes in 210cm-250cm sizes :) and is meant to carry a hunter and a reindeer haunch, yeah, I suppose ;)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by joolyen View Post
 

 I think I'll get the jack of all trades first and see how it handles me with a pack and maybe work on bringing my pack weight down.

 

Yeah, good plan, let's get you on some skis and know what we're dealing with.

post #14 of 16

mine are 193 cm.  my 120 lb daughter compresses them just fine.  my wife at 5'9" and 135lbs really likes how they ski and she tends to like "grippy" skis not "glidey" ones.

 

I hope that helps.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for checking that for me, Royal. I will take it into consideration. Is that the 10th mountain ski?

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by joolyen View Post
 

Thanks for checking that for me, Royal. I will take it into consideration. Is that the 10th mountain ski?

yes

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