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Is This Touring Setup Too Heavy?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I ski Japan 30-40 days a year and just bought Atomic Automatic 117s in the 186 length for my one ski quiver.  I am planning on doing about 5-6 days of light touring this year (0.5-2.0 hour hikes).  I am thinking about putting either Guardian/Tracker 13 or Marker Baron bindings on the Automatics and using my downhill boots (K2 Spyne) to hike.  I am not looking to spend money on an AT/tech setup since I will primarily be skiing lift accessed powder.


Last year I used the same boots with snowshoes for 1-2 hour hikes, and with the buckles loosened my feet/ankles had no problems.  


Is the Automatic + frame binding + downhill boot setup too heavy?  My legs are in fairly good shape and I run quite a bit when not on the slopes.  I am 5'11 160lb. Appreciate any input. Thanks.

post #2 of 11

Yes it is heavy.  You need to consider the skin to fit those skis will be heavier and have more drag.


That said, I don't think it is too heavy especially if the boots work for you and it is all you know.  

post #3 of 11

IMO your main problem is the length of the skis; not only is 186 quite long for someone your size, but in general touring skis are as short as possible to reduce leverage from snow out at the tip. To get an idea of this, just take a book, hold it 6" from your body, then out at arm's length. The book hasn't gotten heavier but it requires more force to counterbalance because of the distance from the axis. Now add snow and ice out on your shovel and you get the idea.


So for a guy your size, typical touring skis would be in the middle to high 170's, and not more than say 105 mm. The Automatic is fairly wide and heavy, and as Maniac says, once you add skins and start uphill, every ounce shows up. Basic physics, again. 


OTOH, if you plan to basically skin instead of hike out to downhill opportunities, prolly all good. Just don't think it'll be much fun for a half day out and back. 

post #4 of 11

If you intend on doing more touring in the future, or touring with people using tech bindings, I would just get a true AT set-up right now. Last year I mounted Guardians on a set of Soul 7s for my touring ski, but I quickly found out that it is almost impossible to keep up with friends on tech bindings. With frame-style touring bindings like the Guardian you are essentially lifting about 1.5 pounds per leg more than a tech binding with each step, and the mechanics aren't as efficient due to the placement of the pivot point. After a couple day tours I decided to buy Marker Kingpin 13s. (PSA: You can get these for $450 shipped from Telemark Pyrenees. They arrived in 4 days!)


It's more money right now, but in the long run it could save you money by not having to buy bindings again. With that said, if you wnat a pair of Guardians then I'll have a set for sale very soon. It's the size small so it fits up to a 320 mm BSL and they are in great condition. If you're interested let me know- I'll also be in Japan from January 23 to February 6th this year.

post #5 of 11

Guys, he is looking for a 'One Ski Solution' with less than 15% of his ski time spent touring. The Guardian/ Adrenaline/ Baron is the best way to go. Tech bindings, while wonderful for touring REQUIRE a boot that is compatible. They are also not the best option for someone who is primarily looking to ski lift access.


At the end of the day, it's your fitness that will limit you, not a slightly heavier/ less efficient touring rig. You would be happier while skinning with light weight ultra efficient gear, but you don't need it. 

post #6 of 11

I have a pair of 193 automatic with Marker F-!2 Tour  bindings but I can't tell you how I like it since we didn't have enough snow around here the last 2 years to try them...But I skied the F-12 on another pair of skis before and it skied well... It sustained my 215 pounds so should be more than ok for your weight...I believe that they are lighter than the other bindings you mention... I didn't really set them for touring but more for an "in case I went to far from the ski area and had to hike a little to come back to the lift" situation... I then have a pair of kickers in my bag...

I talked with someone who do a lot more touring than me and she said that the problem when going with fatter skis is the drag because you have to open up a larger trail than if you are on a 98 or a 104 cm widht ski... So widht has more impact than lenght... I think it make sense but hey, if you're gonna do it just very occasionnally, everything goes...






post #7 of 11
It's not too heavy. It's not a race to the top.

And don't listen to the guy who said you need a170 some ski.
I'm 5'8 and ski on a184, 112 under foot. And I do a lot of bc skiing.

Use a ski you like on the way down, and get fit for the way up.
And by the way, running will not build the legs you need for skiing, you need to lift weights.
post #8 of 11
A 186 rockered ski is perfect for an average size male. Going to a 170ish length would be like skiing on a slalom ski. Touring on a short rockered ski would also mean you have a tiny bit of skins touching the snow, which is a bad idea tol.
post #9 of 11

My local pro shop in Japan has been using Tyrolia Ambition bindings for some of the Mt Hakkoda guides

post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Use a ski you like on the way down, and get fit for the way up.

Money, right there.

post #11 of 11

0.5 to 2 hr hikes 5 to 6 days per year - you're just fine with the set-up you suggested especially if you're skiing lift accessed the rest of the time.  I've got a similar set-up to yours (Atomic Tracker 13) as well as a super light Dynafit touring set-up, light boots, super light carbon skis, tech bindings.  The Dynafit setup is much lighter and I use these for the longer tours - yes, easier on the up, but not as good on the way down - definitely would not use as a one-ski quiver.  I've done plenty of 1/2 day tours on the similar setup as yours and really like them.  Barons and Trackers both good - comes down to personal preference.  Trackers are easier to get in and out of on off-camber, precarious slopes, plus you don't need to take them off to switch from ski to tour mode.  Personally not a fan of the Marker Tours, the single center heel tower gets a bit flexy if you're skiing really hard, regardless of your weight, the Barons and Trackers both have twin heel towers on the outside of the heel mech, - much stiffer.  Plenty of people use the Marker Tours and like them - just not me.  

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