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Backcountry rentals

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

For someone that has always been an in-bounds skier who only occasionally hikes for his lines, but would like to start doing more side-country/backcountry skiing, are rentals the way to go?  Normally, I'm one that advises folks looking at alpine gear to purchase boots (vast majority of rental boots are crap), but rent skis if you are just getting started or trying things out, but not sure if AT gear is easily rentable or if, like it's downhill counterparts, is often made for the lowest common denominator.  Not looking to tele, strictly a randonee kinda guy.  Is there a way to give this a shot without dropping $600 - 800 on new gear?  Will be out in Summit County for a couple of trips this winter, if that helps (backcountry here means nordic, not AT).

post #2 of 12
Boots are the issue. AT rental boots do exist, but are rare. Some places rent frame binding setups and that would be your cheapest route, but you might suffer on the hike.
post #3 of 12
Check out Mountain Outfitters in Breck.
post #4 of 12

Buy an inexpensive used setup.  


For example, a guy on TGR has skis/Tours/skins fr somewhere around $250.

Or pick up used Fritchis for $100-$150, gets skins on sale and trow them on whatever ski you like that you aren't currently using.

If it turns out you don't like the sport, sell the stuff with little loss.  Or make enough for a case of beer.


As far as boots- AT boots don't need the same precision fit as alpine. To buy used,  you have to know a bit about your own foot, and research the boots.  Most are heat moldable, and as long as you are in the ball park, you should be good to go,


My Skookums were $150.  My T-1's were $100.

These are very different boots, but I have messed enough with liners and insoles to know how to make each work.


Common knowledge on this site is to use a good bootfitter, which is good advice.  Around here there are no shops selling BC boots, and no bootfitters particularly knowledgeable about the various options.  I know a lot of people who manage this on there own, and go to a shop f they need a punch.

post #5 of 12

I rented the first time. It was AWESOME. Didn't bother with any ArcTeryx or Mammut neither. Do it.


post #6 of 12

Second the vote for Mountain Outfitters in Breck for good rentals.  CAIC is predicting considerable to moderate avalanche danger right now, so do pay attention to that issue.

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post




That looks terrifying, from an avalanche perspective.

post #8 of 12

Can you rent beacon/shovel/probe from Mountain Outfitters? When we tried to find some beacons for my two friends a couple of years ago we could only find a place in Frisco that rented that stuff.


OP I'm assuming your planning on going out with some people?  

post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

That looks terrifying, from an avalanche perspective.

30-40 deg. My leader/partner lived 5 miles away and assured me that given the snow pack, last snow, temps and the terrain above us, the odds of not dying were heavily in our favor.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
OP I'm assuming your planning on going out with some people?  

Yep, wouldn't think about trying this on my own, with little to no knowledge of the local terrain.  Have a friend who is very experienced with the area.  He tele's, but I think he would be OK with my coming along with an AT setup.  If I could rent tele boots, I'm sure he could fit me out with skis, but then I'd have to learn how to do tele turns!

post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

That looks terrifying, from an avalanche perspective.

At first glance, it does to me as well. Old snow, convex slope and right in the 25-40 degree sweet spot. No snow on the trees would make me wonder about recent wind events or a melt freeze cycle. Yep, I would be digging a pit for sure, but would definitely consider local weather and terrain knowledge in the evaluation.

post #12 of 12

I suspect it is not relevant for you, but I will throw out there, the DAV (German Alpine Club) rents back country gear in Munich (skis, transceivers, probes and shovels (not don't think boots)).

There are a few other operations in Europe that rent BC gear as well, but they are not widespread. 

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