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AT Noob looking for some general gear advice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all, so this may have been discussed prior - I did a little searching around but didn't find much - I'm trying to piece together a setup to get out into the side country and do some short 1-2 day tours. I would say that realistically I'll be doing 70% lift serviced runs/side country an 30% backcountry. 

 

Anyway, my question is more geared toward boots and bindings. Would it be better to get a frame style AT binding (Marker Freedom/Atomic Tracker, etc.) for all-mountain use or to get a set of binding freedom inserts to allow me to swap between my old (outdated) alpine bindings and some tech bindings?

 

Also, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Technica Cochise 110 or the Scarpa Freedom (not sl/rs) boots? I don't feel like I really need a flex of over 110 for my style of riding yet so the Cochise 120 and SL's  seem to be a little over kill (and more expensive). How are these boots for climbing if you're used them?

 

I really appreciate any advice, stoked for this winter and praying for some much needed snow in the Sierras. 

 

Cheers!

post #2 of 19
I have a frame binding for my AT excursions. Their main advantages are: (a) they can accommodate both AT and alpine boots; (b) they are essentially a regular DIN alpine binding mounted on a plate that pivots, and therefore are burely as hell; (c) because they are DIN bindings, you can have confidence in your DIN setting; and (d) you don't need a true AT boot (there are many hybrid boots out there with a walk mode but DIN soles).

The downside is they are heavy.

Regarding boots, a true AT boot with tech inserts and lugged soles are incompatible with DIN alpine bindings.
post #3 of 19

So you have a pair of skis and alpine boot that you are happy with, and consider changing just the binding to an AT-binding?

 

You say "1-2 days tours". Overnight stay? Lots of vertical? Typically more than 4000 feet a day? Are the approaches long in your area? Weight can be very important for your comfort while touring, especially if you are going people that are in better shape than yourself and/or on ligthweigth gear. If you are in better shape than your touring comrades then weight might not be important at all. 

 

Some years ago I changed from frame binding (fritschi)  and burly boots (scarpa tornado) to dynafit bindings and a dedicated AT-boot used on the same ski. Saved 1500 g pr pairs and with no loss at all  in skiing performance of boots and bindings. Try saving 1500 g on skis without loosing performance. Walking comfort on boots with better walk mode and bindings with pivot point further back was also a big change. Wondered why I didn't do that before :D. Many people will say go tech right now, cause thats what you will end up with anyway.

 

I sometimes ski the dynafit setups at resorts if that is what I have at hand when traveling, but always miss my alpine boots when doing so. The dynafit bindings however, do their work just fine, even at the resort. Dynafit will work for sidecountry for most people.

 

Seven years after my first AT setup I now have maaany pair of skis (6) and including two sets of dynafit bindings. My deep powder skis are still shared between AT use with dynafit and alpine with alpine bindings and alpine boots.

 

Swapping is a bit of work and it depends on a lot of things if you will be happy with that solution. If your AT/resort split is shared between going on trips to "backcountry destinations" and "resort destinations" then swapping is easy and will work very well. On the other hand if you tend to go one day touring and next day resort and your crew will not decide before looking out the window in the morning, then it depends on your tolerance for gear fiddling in the morning...

 

So in simple words my advice is: If you are happy with your current alpine boots, go dedicated AT-boot and dynafit binding. Skis with inserts for both alpine and dynafit if appropriate. Then expand you ski selection towards your needs, buy used if money is limited.. Don't plan on binding swapping in the parking lot with changing conditions, too much work.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Maybe I wasn't clear. My current alpine skis are some old salomon xscreams and are pretty outdated and roughed up, I finally have some money to invest in a new setup all around. Since I'm not too experienced with skinning I'm thinking this year will be more intermediate in terms of climbing. 

 

Basically, I think I'm going to buy a buddies Scarpa Skookums that have hardly any mileage on them, get inserts for my marker griffons and some tech bindings once I come across a good deal. All of these will be mounted on a pair of Rossi Sin 7s. 

 

Any input?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smear View Post
 

So you have a pair of skis and alpine boot that you are happy with, and consider changing just the binding to an AT-binding?

 

You say "1-2 days tours". Overnight stay? Lots of vertical? Typically more than 4000 feet a day? Are the approaches long in your area? Weight can be very important for your comfort while touring, especially if you are going people that are in better shape than yourself and/or on ligthweigth gear. If you are in better shape than your touring comrades then weight might not be important at all. 

 

 

post #5 of 19

Skookum is an OK boot if it fits your feet. But it won't fit into the griffons. Do you plan to use your alpine boots with the griffons?

 

If you are happy with your current alpine boot and don't mind the fiddeling, then I would go the inserts for dynafit and alpine bindings on the same ski route. Dynafit bindings are a lot better for touring than frame bindings, and most alpine boots are hugely better than touring oriented AT boots for skiing at the resort. And this way it's expandable to a more dedicated resort ski or more dedicated touring ski later.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Really? I read that Skookums fit into Alpine and are DIN compatible bindings so I assumed that meant they'd fit the Griffons. But yeah, I was planning on using my AT boots for everything, since my Alpine boots give me quite a bit of discomfort after a half day of skiing. 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Markey View Post
 Since I'm not too experienced with skinning I'm thinking this year will be more intermediate in terms of climbing. 

Well you might plan that way up front. But when you are actually on the mountain, with nice snow, good weather and good people that plan will change fast  :D Inexperienced skinners use more energy when going up. One more reason to choose light weight gear in terms of boots and bindings. Sin 7/dynafit/skookum will work fine. I use Rossignol B-squad/maestrale/dynafit most often for touring. I think the skis are around the same dimensions and weigth. A bit on the heavy side, but very damp and stable.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

I feel ya there Smear, hoping my "plan" is proven wrong. Thanks for the advice. 

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Markey View Post
 

Really? I read that Skookums fit into Alpine and are DIN compatible bindings so I assumed that meant they'd fit the Griffons. But yeah, I was planning on using my AT boots for everything, since my Alpine boots give me quite a bit of discomfort after a half day of skiing. 

Looks like an touring boot sole that won't fit into most alpine binding to me. Marker Lord or Salomon Warden will fit in terms of alpine bindings. But more $$$ if you already have the griffons. Spend that cash on better fitting alpine boots? Or be "crazy" and just use the dynafits at the resort too for a while. I know plenty of people who do that, and they don't have any more binding failures than most tele skiers...

post #10 of 19
The Binding Freedom idea sounds best to me - tech bindings and alpine bindings will give you the best of both and present few compromises.

A personal question: What size boots do you wear? smile.gif I ask because:
http://www.epicski.com/t/142992/fs-2016-scarpa-freedom-26-5-w-tech-soles-nib

Those will also fit size 27. Note that you get both sets of soles - DIN and tech.

Skookums will not work properly in Griffon binders.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

The Binding Freedom idea sounds best to me - tech bindings and alpine bindings will give you the best of both and present few compromises.

A personal question: What size boots do you wear? smile.gif I ask because:
http://www.epicski.com/t/142992/fs-2016-scarpa-freedom-26-5-w-tech-soles-nib

Those will also fit size 27. Note that you get both sets of soles - DIN and tech.

Skookums will not work properly in Griffon binders.

I actually tried on some 27 Freedom SL's. I'm a 10.5 on my right and 10 on my left and they felt snug so maybe I'd have to get them punched because I think I'd be way to big with the 27.5-28 shell. Not sure what I'd have to do for a 26.5 footbed or liner. What size US do you typically wear?

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Markey View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

The Binding Freedom idea sounds best to me - tech bindings and alpine bindings will give you the best of both and present few compromises.

A personal question: What size boots do you wear? smile.gif I ask because:
http://www.epicski.com/t/142992/fs-2016-scarpa-freedom-26-5-w-tech-soles-nib

Those will also fit size 27. Note that you get both sets of soles - DIN and tech.

Skookums will not work properly in Griffon binders.

I actually tried on some 27 Freedom SL's. I'm a 10.5 on my right and 10 on my left and they felt snug so maybe I'd have to get them punched because I think I'd be way to big with the 27.5-28 shell. Not sure what I'd have to do for a 26.5 footbed or liner. What size US do you typically wear?

A 27 Scarpa is the same size shell as a 26.5. I have a never-used size 27 Intuition liner I would put in them for you. Shoe size is kind of irrelevant - measure your foot on a metric Brannock or trace your foot on paper and measure your foot metrically. That will give you the size of your foot. Did you do a shell fit when you tried on the 27s? It would be good to know how much room you had between your heel and the shell when you took the liner out of the boot and, putting your foot in the shell, touched your toes to the front of the shell.

The Freedom not-SL/RS is punch-able because it's PU instead of Pebax.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


A 27 Scarpa is the same size shell as a 26.5. I have a never-used size 27 Intuition liner I would put in them for you. Shoe size is kind of irrelevant - measure your foot on a metric Brannock or trace your foot on paper and measure your foot metrically. That will give you the size of your foot. Did you do a shell fit when you tried on the 27s? It would be good to know how much room you had between your heel and the shell when you took the liner out of the boot and, putting your foot in the shell, touched your toes to the front of the shell.

 

I did do a shell fit and the boot fitter said it was about a 1/3 of an inch and looked like the appropriate size for my foot. My toes did touch slightly at the end of the toe box on my larger foot, which is why I was thinking they'd need to be punched. 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Markey View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

A 27 Scarpa is the same size shell as a 26.5. I have a never-used size 27 Intuition liner I would put in them for you. Shoe size is kind of irrelevant - measure your foot on a metric Brannock or trace your foot on paper and measure your foot metrically. That will give you the size of your foot. Did you do a shell fit when you tried on the 27s? It would be good to know how much room you had between your heel and the shell when you took the liner out of the boot and, putting your foot in the shell, touched your toes to the front of the shell.

I did do a shell fit and the boot fitter said it was about a 1/3 of an inch and looked like the appropriate size for my foot. My toes did touch slightly at the end of the toe box on my larger foot, which is why I was thinking they'd need to be punched. 

Let me know if you decide to go for it. The price I quoted is a less than wholesale for the package.
post #15 of 19
How well does sole swapping work? Is it screws into plastics? Can you swap many times without ruining the threads?

Are the sin 7 previously mounted or new? You should check for hole conflics with your bootsole length and the two binding types before comitting to the swapping plan. You can find templates at the tgr forum.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smear View Post

How well does sole swapping work? Is it screws into plastics? Can you swap many times without ruining the threads?

Metal on metal, machine screws.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smear View Post

How well does sole swapping work? Is it screws into plastics? Can you swap many times without ruining the threads?

Are the sin 7 old or new. You should check for hole conflics with your bootsole length and the two binding types before comitting to the swapping plan. You can find templates at the tgr forum.

I've read the sole swapping in the Freedoms can pretty much be done numerous times since its metal on metal. I called the fellas at Binding Freedom and they said that it'll work out fine, especially if they're mounted for the same boot. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


Let me know if you decide to go for it. The price I quoted is a less than wholesale for the package.

One more question, have you talked to anyone that's skied them? I've only been able to find reviews of the SL and RS versions, was wanting to hear how they performed.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Markey View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smear View Post

How well does sole swapping work? Is it screws into plastics? Can you swap many times without ruining the threads?

Are the sin 7 old or new. You should check for hole conflics with your bootsole length and the two binding types before comitting to the swapping plan. You can find templates at the tgr forum.

I've read the sole swapping in the Freedoms can pretty much be done numerous times since its metal on metal. I called the fellas at Binding Freedom and they said that it'll work out fine, especially if they're mounted for the same boot. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Let me know if you decide to go for it. The price I quoted is a less than wholesale for the package.

One more question, have you talked to anyone that's skied them? I've only been able to find reviews of the SL and RS versions, was wanting to hear how they performed.

No, but having carpet-tested them both, I found them like 10% softer in forward flex than the SLs.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


No, but having carpet-tested them both, I found them like 10% softer in forward flex than the SLs.

PM sent by the way. 

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