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Looking for gear advice for backcountry hiking off Appalachian trail, etc.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

... and I would appreciate some tips/information regarding the purchase of a set of skis.

 

I'm 5'7" and weigh 170 lbs.

.

My primary goal is to purchase a set of skis that I can use for multi-day trips off of the Appalachian Trail and other various rural backcountry areas. I will be out for multiple days/nights and will be wearing a backpack that can weigh up to 75lbs.  

 

I plan on buying used gear most likely off of craigslist.

Any specific measurements should I be looking for?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  

 

Mod note: moved to Ski Gear

post #2 of 27

welcome to Epic.  

 

OK, first, there is no such thing here as "snow skiing".  That is a term which comes from people who do not ski.

 

Second, why on earth would you have a 75 lb pack?  I skied across Yellowstone on the coldest days of the year with half that much.

 

There are good knowledgeable people here who can help you,  but it appears you are looking at an ambitious project with limited experience.  Have you done some day trips to get an idea of what backcountry skiing is all about?

post #3 of 27
Maybe he water skis, so that's what he thinks of instantly when he hears the word "skiing".

And maybe he's primarily looking at the hiking aspect and extending it to winter. And maybe this is job related or some kind of research internship for counting moose or bears or something.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
 

welcome to Epic.  

 

OK, first, there is no such thing here as "snow skiing".  That is a term which comes from people who do not ski.

 

Second, why on earth would you have a 75 lb pack?  I skied across Yellowstone on the coldest days of the year with half that much.

 

There are good knowledgeable people here who can help you,  but it appears you are looking at an ambitious project with limited experience.  Have you done some day trips to get an idea of what backcountry skiing is all about?

 

Thank you for the welcome and the reply.

 

1. I stand corrected, I'm looking to "ski".

 

2. Why on earth... why not? I get this attitude from people on the trail. I don't take a minimalist approach. I've carried heavy packs for years. It's important to remember that your objectives may not be the same as others.

 

3. Yes. I agree. There are some very knowledgeable people on this board. I did quite a bit of reading before registering. I look forward to receiving replies that will assist me in this endeavor.

 

I realize this is an ambitious project and I do have limited experience. However, as stated in my original post, I have skied years ago. I did a 30 day backcountry trip that included extensive instruction. I plan on purchasing a pair of skis, bindings and boots, getting some additional instruction  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Maybe he water skis, so that's what he thinks of instantly when he hears the word "skiing".

And maybe he's primarily looking at the hiking aspect and extending it to winter. And maybe this is job related or some kind of research internship for counting moose or bears or something.

 

Correct on all points.

post #5 of 27
So, basically, you're looking for some heavy duty cross country type skis.

Do you do tele turns or are you planning to get skis where the heel locks? What part of the Appalachians? How rugged is the terrain? And wouldn't snowshoes be lighter and easier for someone who hasn't skied lately? Just thinking the Trail is famous for being rocky...
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

So, basically, you're looking for some heavy duty cross country type skis.

Do you do tele turns or are you planning to get skis where the heel locks? What part of the Appalachians? How rugged is the terrain? And wouldn't snowshoes be lighter and easier for someone who hasn't skied lately? Just thinking the Trail is famous for being rocky...

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

The course I took was in the military. We used skis where the heel locked/strapped in. We used Bunny Boots. I was planning on selecting a type of binding that would allow for the use of these Bunny Boots and/or hiking boots. In some areas the terrain will be rugged and the skis will be carried via backpack. Once at my destination I will want to be able to wear footgear that will be comfortable walking around in. I do have snowshoes. However, covering long distances in snowshoes is a lot more strenuous than on skis.   

post #7 of 27
White Rockets & bunny boots. Were you AK 10th Mt. Div.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

White Rockets & bunny boots. Were you AK 10th Mt. Div.


Correct.

 

1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Bn. 

post #9 of 27

Thanks for your Service. Wonder how I knew that?:D This guy is no rookie.  Your good to go.Thumbs Up

post #10 of 27

Where would one go about buying that kind of ski gear? I've never looked for it ... I'm sure control is miserable compared to "normal" ski gear, but there are obviously other priorities at play.


This sounds like a cool project. Hope someone chimes in who can help you!

post #11 of 27
I don't know, but I think he needs a mountaineering forum.
post #12 of 27

Actually, @MtnMn , I think what you need is to get a moderator to change the subject of this thread, or for you to just create a new thread altogether. When people scan through the list of new subjects, this one will not cry out to be answered - there is no explicit question, nothing that leaps out as interesting, in the subject. On the other hand, a subject like "Gear advice? Multi-day trip; skis compatible with hiking boots" is *bound* to get you more views. Although it might get cut off for being too long; not sure of character limit.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Actually, @MtnMn , I think what you need is to get a moderator to change the subject of this thread, or for you to just create a new thread altogether. When people scan through the list of new subjects, this one will not cry out to be answered - there is no explicit question, nothing that leaps out as interesting, in the subject. On the other hand, a subject like "Gear advice? Multi-day trip; skis compatible with hiking boots" is *bound* to get you more views. Although it might get cut off for being too long; not sure of character limit.

 

Thank you

post #14 of 27

mod note: changed title of the thread

 

FYI - all you need to do to get moderator attention is to use the flag icon to report to the mod team.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnMn View Post
 

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

The course I took was in the military. We used skis where the heel locked/strapped in. We used Bunny Boots. I was planning on selecting a type of binding that would allow for the use of these Bunny Boots and/or hiking boots. In some areas the terrain will be rugged and the skis will be carried via backpack. Once at my destination I will want to be able to wear footgear that will be comfortable walking around in. I do have snowshoes. However, covering long distances in snowshoes is a lot more strenuous than on skis.   


your cheapest option imo is water skis with alpine skins. They durable can take abuse and wide enough to stay afloat on the snow. Downside..... they heavy. Alpine skis much lighter more expensive and take less of the abuse. I made pair of skis for a friend of mine for similar purpose like you.... dimensions are 145-125-130 165cm long with tip rocker.

there are bindings which can be used with regular hiking/winter boots. have no idea where to get them. Same friend bought the binding I can show you pictures.

You might find additional help on this website http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/126-Winter-Camping

 

another option if you can't find what you want make the skis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXdbqa65GhI

post #16 of 27

Water skis are way too heavy for the mission.  I'd recommend some telemark gear.  Boots are easy to walk around in along with being plenty warm.  You can find some affordable options on eBay. Craigslist too if you live in a community near a ski area.

post #17 of 27

The Voile Vector BC comes in up to 180cm - if you're seriously going to be schlepping a 75lb expedition pack then your total weight will be somewhere in the 250 lb range.    There is also the Charger BC in 191, for even more surface area. 

Advantage: No skins needed for low angle terrain.   Can use full length wall-to-wall skins if necessary.
Advantage: Is likely to have some float and some glide in fresh snow 

Disadvantage: it's a lot of ski to have in heavily wooded or rocky terrain.    
Disadvantage: it's not fun at all on crusty or heavily potholed icy (old snow refrozen) terrain, you may as well carry a pair of snowshoes for those days. 
Disadvantage:  Very much prefers ski-specific (touring with a tech fitting) or telemark boots. 


Something like the Altais shown here http://us-store.altaiskis.com/shop/ are going to be *far* more manoeuverable in trees especially if you're not wearing ski-specific boots. 

 

Advantage:  Snowshoe-like manoeuverability over rocks and trees

Advantage:  zippy fun when not loaded down

Advantage: can be used with the sort of boots and bindings you are talking of.   In fact they even sell ones like that. 
 

 

Disadvantage:  Almost no glide at all with a full pack - fresh snow means slogging just like with snowshoes

Disadvantage:  icy crust they are a lot less fun than snowshoes 

 

 

Now, if your skiing will not involve a lot of up and down - I really don't see that in sidecountry off the AT but maybe you're using lowlands to travel then climbing up - then there is a third option.   It's called  nordic hunting skis.       They're hard to find in the US so we don't really need to go there unless you know for a fact that that is what you'd like. 

 

 

So - what sort of terrain will you be in?    Will most of your  skiing be done with the pack or without?    How much new snow will you have and how much icy crust?

 

Personally, I'd probably go with the big skis, AT bindings and a set of snowshoes for real ice days but you know your plans best. 
 


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/2/15 at 7:06pm
post #18 of 27

I'd try these with a 3-pin boot and binding. They kind of blur the line between ski and snowshoe. No skins as they have scales which means no transition time on rolling parts of the trail.

post #19 of 27

Where do you live?  I was just in SW Colorado and second hand outdoor stores and backing stores of full of that stuff both used and new at closeout prices.  Do some internet searching in Durango, Telluride, Ouray, Montrose, etc and make some calls.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

I'd try these with a 3-pin boot and binding. They kind of blur the line between ski and snowshoe. No skins as they have scales which means no transition time on rolling parts of the trail.

I'd agree with the 3 pin (75mm) binding and boots. You can hiking style boots with Vibram soles that will fit these bindings, which come with or without cables. 

Here's an example of a binding http://www.orscrosscountryskisdirect.com/voile-telemark-3-pin-bindings-cable.html

Boots http://www.orscrosscountryskisdirect.com/alpina-1575-backcountry-ski-boots-0708.html

Skis--for carrying a lot of weight in wooded terrain, on narrow trails, short and wide skis like these http://www.rei.com/product/878569/rossignol-bc-125-positrack-backcountry-skis#tab-specs

 

I still have a set up like this except the skis are much narrower and longer--worked fairly well for day trips but with an overnight pack the skis were too skinny and they were hard to maneuver in the woods. For hiking on skis you definitely want a free heel. If you're into serious,steep descents you want a heel that locks down or you need to learn Telemark technique, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're talking about.

 

This is gear for carrying a pack in rolling terrain. You can use skins for steeper ascents. Descents will most likely be in survival mode, especially with a pack. I'd be surprised if you can find anything compatible with Bunny Boots or ordinary hiking boots these days. Years ago I had some Silvretta cable bindings that worked with old style mountaineering boots with a sewn welt but those were very primitive--the heels could be locked down, sort of--and the toes didn't release. Long since discontinued, and good luck even finding boots like that.

 

Of course you can go with full on AT gear if you are looking to do serious descents but that sounds like it may be a lot more pricey than what I'm talking about and more downhill performance than what you're looking for. 

 

You might try posting in the backcountry, cross country, telemark forum or is that where this this thread was moved from? 

post #21 of 27

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post I'd be surprised if you can find anything compatible with Bunny Boots or ordinary hiking boots these days.

 

 

http://us-store.altaiskis.com/product/universal-binding/

 

(this appears to be the same binding known in Europe as the X-Trace  http://x-trace-bindings.com/start.htm )

 

Then there is the slightly more affordable Berwin Backcountry Binding:

 

http://www.akers-ski.com/product/37B8.html

 

Or he can just take telemark binding toe irons and modify tele binding heel straps like so:

 


Which could have been a valid option if he was going with nordic hunting skis like these Karhu Jakts:


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post performance than what you're looking for. 

 

You might try posting in the backcountry, cross country, telemark forum or is that where this this thread was moved from? 

 

 

He did and it was.


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/4/15 at 9:05am
post #22 of 27

Just realized my post doesn't make much sense without this link https://marquette-backcountry.com

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post I'd be surprised if you can find anything compatible with Bunny Boots or ordinary hiking boots these days.

 

 

http://us-store.altaiskis.com/product/universal-binding/

 

(this appears to be the same binding known in Europe as the X-Trace  http://x-trace-bindings.com/start.htm )

 

Then there is the slightly more affordable Berwin Backcountry Binding:

 

http://www.akers-ski.com/product/37B8.html

 

Or he can just take telemark binding toe irons and modify tele binding heel straps like so:

 


Which could have been a valid option if he was going with nordic hunting skis like these Karhu Jakts:


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post performance than what you're looking for. 

 

You might try posting in the backcountry, cross country, telemark forum or is that where this this thread was moved from? 

 

 

He did and it was.

Glad to see primitive technology is still around. How well does the heel strap on the modified tele binding work with the glued sole where there is no lip at the back of the boot to catch the heel cable? I assume that's your gear so I would assume the heel slipping out of the cable isn't a problem. It doesn't look that set up would work with the Bunny Boots, although the first two you linked to would. That Berwin looks like it would be very difficult to walk in with the fixed heel.

post #24 of 27

@MtnMn , do the suggestions above get you going in the right direction?

post #25 of 27

 

 

I'd like a pair of those for kicks.  I tried using a really old pair of super long wooden skis with those bear trap bindings when I was about ten years old.  I got them at a garage sale for about five bucks if I remember correctly.  It's amazing that there is still some use and application for those bindings after all these years. really though fat snow blades are just fine for kicking around the neighborhood but deeper snow would make having something bigger preferable.

post #26 of 27

I've been using the Altai Hok 125's all season with tele boots. They're worth considering, in either the 125 or 145 size. I didn't like the universal bindings unless I wore a boot with a high, stiff back--too easy for the skis to shoot out from under you.

 

Anyway, the Hoks are a blast and very versatile. I'm sure with some internet searching you can find out how well they might work with a pack. Good luck!

post #27 of 27
Not my photo - I don't they work with regular boots terribly well - which is why I prefer to use a pair of Scarpa Alps that have a crampon welt. 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 
 

Glad to see primitive technology is still around. How well does the heel strap on the modified tele binding work with the glued sole where there is no lip at the back of the boot to catch the heel cable? I assume that's your gear so I would assume the heel slipping out of the cable isn't a problem.


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/4/15 at 10:42pm
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