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Skis for new-to-hiking

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm basically another season away from getting started on the hike-to-ski thing but am already looking at which of the skis i have that will best transition from lift-served skiing to carry-'em-up-the-hill type.
(I'm going randonee because, one, my alpine turns are hardly to the point where i need to tele for a new and/or more challenging turntype; and, two, i like how alpine turns feel.)

I have a pair of salomon x-scream 9's from a few years ago, and I've actually seen this ski referred to as a pretty good choice for touring. They're 103-66-93 in a 185, and I don't know how much they weigh, other than they're light.

My other choice is to use my beloved Odysseys, 112-81-104, in 177 and, for purposes of this, same weight as the screams, though stiffer. These have proven to be my most versatile skis and come to life in crud and heavier, west coast-ish snow.


The screams are easier to turn but my thinking is that hike-to-skiing will present me with more variable snow conditions, in which case the Ods would seem to be the choice.

Would finding skins for the Odyssey shape/dimensions ski be harder than for the the screams?

Am I screwed because bindings are already on these skis and I'd have to re-drill for randonee, thus potentially compromising structural integrity?

Thanks for humoring my probably lame questions; just that, I don't know where to start and this seemed a pretty decent place to pose these first couple questions.
post #2 of 8
Go wide! You find all kinds of funky snow out there, and wide skins are great for going up steep stuff. Don't worry about old binding holes, most rando bindings will have a very different pattern, and you can always use inserts if you have to. Don't worry about more holes, even on the Salomons, not a big deal. No problem finding 110-120 skins, and cutting them to fit, those are about the most popular widths now. Actually a 90 or 100 would work fine too. Be warned that now AT binding is quite the same as an alpine binding. The Freeride is the most popular chioce, but be ready to deal with reduced delta (maybe good, maybe not), and a less precise feel, and some unwanted releases. Get it together, and you can join MammothCruzer and I next spring for a little BC corn.
post #3 of 8
ryan, nice, way to join the fun!

I'd like to reflect what has already been said. I use a pair of 190 Volkl Explosives and have been very happy with the set up. I even ski them inbounds from time to time. I've skied a lot of varied stuff in the bc, but I'm out there for the powder. If I want to ski ice, I'll stick to the lift served. I don't think you can go wrong with either pair.

Are you primarly looking to do lift served backcountry, or start from the road? How long of a trip are you planning (how many runs)? These are questions you need to think about before setting yourself up. Lift served, or only a few runs and heavier equipment won't be as big as a problem as it would be if you went out for a really long tour. I don't mind the extra weight, as I'm out there to go down hill, not up.

Wide skis also make skinning easier. My sploders seem to have 4x4 compared to a few friends who are on narrower stuff.

Don't forget your avy beacon, probe, shovel and Avalanche Level I course!

Let me know when you want to hit the Wasatch!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

thankee, y'all.

i appreciate the notes.
post #5 of 8

What they said!

Hi, Ryan.

Good on ya!

Glad to hear you're joining the movement.

Go with the wider ones. If you don't, you'll just end up wishing you had sometime in the future.

No problem at all getting skins to fit. If you buy the skins from a shop, they should trim them to fit at no (or little) extra charge. If you buy the skins yourself, you can figure out the trimming thing pretty easily.

I've been VERY happy with my Fritschi Freerides. No glitches, no unwanted releases (and no unwanted retentions, either). In addition to backcountry, I've probably got 60 days of inbounds skiing on my Freerides, and I couldn't be happier with the performance. As a matter of fact, the only skis I would consider buying "traditional" alpine bindings for in the future would be heavily race-oriented skis. For general all-mountain skiing, I think the Freerides work just fine. Also, as @mammoth said, I think the drill patterns are a lot different than with most alpine binders, so there shouldn't be much of an issue there.

As Alta said, you should also get all the avy gear and some training. Then, just start doin' it. Look me up the next time you're in NW Wyoming.

post #6 of 8
Go fat.

As I've said several times before on Epic, I'd rather inadvertently find myself on ice (smooth or chopped up) on my 95 mm wide Explosivs than inadvertently find myself in soft crud on any of my sub 80 mm skis.

The former has happened quite a few times in recent years, and it's no big deal if your edges are in reasonable shape. Just put a bit more effort into angulating.

The latter happened to me for the first 25 years of my skiing career when I didn't know that fat skis even existed. I survived, but it's a lot more fun these days having the right equipment.

Tom / PM
post #7 of 8

Dynafit "Comforts" for an AT binding

FWIW Ryan,
I'm gonna try my best to find the breaking point for these ultra-lightweight binders....with a midfat-to-fattie here in NewEngland. Numerous people on various websites with stories of "friends" doing it all with these, going to try some setup....
post #8 of 8
way to git 'er dun, ryan!

re binders, I've been pleased with my Naxos, although mine probably didn't see nearly as much use as others' have. The TGR forums should have some good archival info on them if they interest you in any way.

personal experience tips from my first season on AT gear (last season) --

I think that proper binder location and an excellent AT boot fit are going to be the two biggest factors in whether you enjoy the turn earnin'. My Naxos are mounted too far to the rear on my BD Havocs, and it makes tip engagement very odd. I'm gonna move the binders before this season starts.

My Garmont G-Ride boots perform well, but the fit isn't as nice as my alpine Rossi B2 boots, and the flex is MUCH softer, which compounds the problem from my binder location. My AT turns were no fun in any conditions other than fluffy clouds, if you get my drift.

But it was a good bit o' learnin, and I now know what I want from my AT gear. maybe this will help you avoid my few problems.
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