[...] The cross country ski poles were much longer. I thought you needed longer poles to use your arms. Don't you? [...]
The optimum pole length for efficient skinning is about the very least of your concerns at this stage.
But for the record, adjustable poles are useful since you can set the length to about xc "classic" for skinning, varying lengths for skiing depending on the pitch (i.e., steeper = shorter), differential left<>right for extended traversing skintracks, and as short as possible for hiking/booting.
(For "skimo" racing we use what are essentially modified xc race poles, at slightly below xc classic length, then just deal with the absurdly long lengths for the descents and the bootpacks.)
Originally Posted by 5ki8um
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shefftz
The typical avalanche safety class based out of Mount Washington will end up poking around a little bit lower down in Tuckerman Ravine.
If the course provider specifies that students must have skinning setups, then you'll be skinning up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to treeline, i.e., Hermit Lake.
From there, anyone who is skilled at skinning can continue skinning all the way to the base of Tuckerman Ravine.
But a class will usually just hike from treeline to the bowl.
(Alternatively, you could ask the course provider instead of posting here...)
The website listed AT binding or Telemark with skin as gears needed. I called the course last week and they told me it's optional, but I can rent everything from them. I'm not entirely keen on renting, however. I'd rather put the money towards used equipment. I know I'd like to get into this sport.
Renting skis with a frame-style binding for use with your own boots might be a helpful experiment (i.e., to determine whether you're willing to put up with the misery of such a setup).
Alternatively, since the second day of your course will probably have some sort of short field day (as opposed to the full field day on the third day of the course), perhaps you could use such a sidecountry setup on that partial field day. Then the second day you could rent a real touring setup (i.e., with Dynafit or similar "Tech"-style bindings) and see the difference.
And who is "them"? I can think of only two course providers who have a rental fleet.