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Backountry transportation

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So I have been thinking about getting into some light backcountry skiing. Nothing more (i think) than single day trips. Being that this is not gonna be somthing I do alot, Im not wanting to spend alot of money. I will be getting a beacon/shovel/probe but unsure of transportation up the mountains. I do not have AT bindings and it doenst sound nice to spend another couple hundred dollars on new bindings and skin. So I was thinking snowshoes. If i put my skis on my pack (a-frame) and clipped my ski boots onto my skis, I could carry gear in pack, Put normal boots and shoeshoes on, and then put the showshoes and normal boots back into my pack at the top. Is this a good plan for some few hour hikes? And what do you guys think about alpine trekkers if snowshoes is a no go. 

post #2 of 20
Get the cheapest beacon you find, and buy used bc skis, bindings and boots.

You will hate it with snow shoes to the point that you will not want to do it again.

Or don't buy beacon, probe, shovel and just go when it's corn snow.
post #3 of 20
Rent.


Do you already own snowshoes?
If you go out early on a corn day, you could probably walk in sneakers.
post #4 of 20

I'm pondering this right now too. I have an AT setup, and have been skinning up Mt Hood, but it's quite a grind if you don't traverse a lot. In the mornings the snow is kind of refrozen corn and my trail running shoes would be great on it, so I'm thinking I'll try that one day and carry the skis/boots on my pack. But I think it probably comes down to snow conditions. If you have deep snow you are probably better off skinning, or snowshoeing. I've done the snowshoe thing and it's not that bad. It probably depends on your ski setup; if you have a heavy AT setup then it snowshoes would prob be better, if you have a light AT setup that would probably be best. There my 2cents.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 

 I will be getting a beacon/probe but unsure of transportation up the mountains.

As you are getting some gear that is useless on a solo trek may I suggest that if you are not on the same uphill setup as your partner(s) it will result in aggravation for all. snowshoeing up a skin track is better then postholing, but not by much.

post #6 of 20
Btw, skinning one day 48 min, hiking one day 1h, same exact route and snow conditions, firm snow.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post
 

As you are getting some gear that is useless on a solo trek may I suggest that if you are not on the same uphill setup as your partner(s) it will result in aggravation for all. snowshoeing up a skin track is better then postholing, but not by much.

 

My partner would be my dad and we would both be on snowshoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Btw, skinning one day 48 min, hiking one day 1h, same exact route and snow conditions, firm snow.

but what about on soft powdery snow?

 

 

 

Due to the cost of getting into backcountry skiing, I (and my dad) have decided that we will probably just rent when/if we do some backcountry adventures.

post #8 of 20
Soft snow, skinning is faster
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Btw, skinning one day 48 min, hiking one day 1h, same exact route and snow conditions, firm snow.

One hour? Only one hour?
post #10 of 20
Yeah, I was on my way to ski the couloir on the left, and I tried to get there on two consecutive days, first was to figure out the approach, that's why I was booting.
As you might imagine, it took a bit longer to get to the top of the couloir.
post #11 of 20
No idea why embedding did not work.

Anyway, skinning is faster.
post #12 of 20

Yes, skinning is faster, but when I was just trying out light bc skiing, I took my snowshoes up. I think it's a great way to get started - as long as it's not too long or strenuous of a hike up. Most of the trips I did at the beginning were off a road, with an hour or 2 snowshoe up to a ridge, ski down. I think snowshoeing is a great way to get a taste for bc skiing. Then, if you decide you like it, you can get yourself some more gear. One thing I will say with snowshoes is that conditions can be limiting - lots of powder is exhausting in snowshoes, spring snow (rotten snow) is awful in snowshoes. Just my two cents.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 

 

My partner would be my dad and we would both be on snowshoes

Great, When my wife and I go out meadow skipping I skin and she shoes. The speed differential is such that I will usually yo-yo small hills (skins on) while she catches up. Works well because we're not really going anywhere. Since you will both be on shoes it should be fine for just going out to find out if back country is for you. 

 

 

Oh you will be thanked to stay off any established skin tracks.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

Yes, skinning is faster, but when I was just trying out light bc skiing, I took my snowshoes up. I think it's a great way to get started - as long as it's not too long or strenuous of a hike up. Most of the trips I did at the beginning were off a road, with an hour or 2 snowshoe up to a ridge, ski down. I think snowshoeing is a great way to get a taste for bc skiing. Then, if you decide you like it, you can get yourself some more gear. One thing I will say with snowshoes is that conditions can be limiting - lots of powder is exhausting in snowshoes, spring snow (rotten snow) is awful in snowshoes. Just my two cents.

Yep, skinning is faster but when the goal is to get out for an hour or a day speed is a mote point.  I think it's not just snowshoes and conditions. Breaking trail on any gear once it gets much over boot deep is exhausting, and I find skiing down in truely rotten snow to be scarey as well as hard work.  

post #14 of 20

If I was in the OP's situation, I would buy a pair of waxless metal edge skis 70 or more mm at the waist, prefarably about 90 mm, get 3 pin bindings, and a lightweight boot like the Scarpa or Garmont or even, like I have, the BCX6.  And buy skins.  You could buy all these used (exc. used skins might suck) and actually pretty cheap new and the setup will be very lightweight and very versatile and easy to carry if you have to.  BTW I have expensive snowshoes but haven't used them in 4 years.  Snowhoeing can never compare to the rhythm and smoothness one can get with skis.   On problem snow, traversing  with kick turns is easy with 3 pin bindings.  Breaking trail with longish bc skis is not that bad at all.  And in mellow terrain anybody who can parallel turn on alpine gear can parallel turn with 3 pins.  An alternative worth exploring is the Hok ski http://altaiskis.com, which I would own if I lived in rolling, forested terrain and wanted to go for a fun day tour in untouched snow.  If these day tours included subalpine and alpine terrain with descents of more that 15 degrees, my choice (which I have) is the Voile Vector BC, with the cheapest Dynafit binding (Speed, Speed Turn), TLT5 or 6 boot, and skins (which would stay in the pack most of the time).  A little heavier but really versatile option.


Edited by Andy Carey - 4/30/16 at 5:24pm
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've decided i won't be getting into backcountry. Currently, I don't think it's worth it for me. To much cost for not enough benifit. I could spend this money to get an all day guided cat tour instead. And I don't know how much use the gear would get anyway.

It's just not worth it for me (currently). Maybe once I'm out of college and am making a living i can think about it but I don't even have a job currently.
post #16 of 20

This is my current meadow skipping/thicketeering set up well worn Garmont ener-G's, Rottafella Cobras on their 3rd pair of skis and LLBean (rossignol) Boreals 130cm long ~100mm wide and fish scale from tip to tail. LLBean called them sliding snowshoes but they must not have sold as I bought them new at an outlet for $60.

 

Oh and a mobile mogul named Lazlo

post #17 of 20

I've never worn snow shoes.  They look really bulky.  I have go to get out there and try walking on a pair...I bet its a fun time.

post #18 of 20

I see some 2014 Marker Duke bindings for sale for $300.  Can I put these on some skis, get some skins, and then use the skis at the resort and backcountry?  I would use alpine boots for now.

 

I ski with my kids so I would use this setup to occasionally do an hour or 2 hike up a mountain adjacent to the resort.  Maybe find a group trip now and then.

post #19 of 20

That would work well to get started. The "adjacent mountain" should be avoided until you have enough education to know when you are being dumb. Depends on the mountain though. When I started I practiced in the side country of my home hill that got good powder dumps on it's 350' of vert.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter5 View Post
 

I see some 2014 Marker Duke bindings for sale for $300.  Can I put these on some skis, get some skins, and then use the skis at the resort and backcountry?  I would use alpine boots for now.

I ski with my kids so I would use this setup to occasionally do an hour or 2 hike up a mountain adjacent to the resort.  Maybe find a group trip now and then.

I have Duke's mounted on my Rossi Soul7. Compared to my wife's setup (Rossi Saffron7 with Dynafit TLT Radical) they are super heavy, and certainly not best option for some heavy ski touring, yet I still have fun out there, and there's almost never less then 1000 height meters of climbing during my daily ski tour (with biggest one just a bit over 3000m of ascend in total in about 6h tour). You suffer a bit more, you need some more power, and you are a bit more tired on the end of the day, and you are a bit slower climbing up, but you still have fun. So even though they are not perfect option, they are still good option. And ability to use my alpine race boots (which I do use when I go for lift assisted powder days) is worth that extra weight for me. But either way, for ski touring, even if it's "just" hour or 2 hike up, I would suggest you to get AT boots. It's so much easier and so much more fun to climb up in those boots compared to alpine boots.

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