Originally Posted by Powdr
Let's stay away from the pseudo intellectual stuff. Ordinal rankings and speciousness simply do not belong in a discussion on Tele vs. AT.
The speciousness of ordinal ranking is this context is not pseudo intellectual, but rather a valid (and shorthand) way of expressing the opinion that one cannot sensibly ascertain whether the motor or the bike is the most important. They both make important contributions. For example, even if you put me on some sort of Star Trek-ish weightless AT setup, I could never win a randonnee rally competition with an international-level field of competitors. And if you put the best randonnee rally racer on, say, Atomic Sugar Daddies, Fritschi Freerides, and Scarpa Denalis, then his winning days would be over.
1. “YOU don’t understand that there is no such thing as ‘all things being equal’ in the real world.” You really still don’t seem to understand what I mean by “all else being equal.” I absolutely agree with you that fitness plays a very important role. And I agree that it is unlikely to find two skiers in a touring party who have *exactly* identical fitness levels and skinning technique. But on a moderately big ~6k vert outing even the fittest AT skier on, say, alpine race gear w/ Trekkers is going to have a harder time (than if he had a lighter setup) keeping up with just about any AT skier on a Dynafit setup. Ditto for a fit tele skier on T Race w/ a highly “active” binding versus a retro skier on floppy leather boots and 3-pin binding. That doesn’t necessarily mean the latter will beat the former, but it is nevertheless a drawback, and hence what the “all else being equal” comparison is intended to convey. And when comparing AT vs. tele, the pivot resistance is a drawback. (Even among AT bindings with resistance-free pivots, manufacturers argue about which pivot point offers the optimum efficiency.) It would be interesting to see some high-tech scientific study conducted on exactly how much of a drawback it is (either in terms of caloric expenditure, or maybe in terms of weight equivalent). But since such a study will probably never be conducted, it will remain an unquantifiable yet still real drawback.
2. I have never seen either in stores or on websites significant and consistent price differentials between comparable AT/tele boots from Scarpa & Garmont. If you would like to direct my attention to published prices that reflect such significant and consistent price differentials, then I would be glad to revise my opinion.
3. “Had you had some real world learin’, you would find that NO ONE has time to release their bindings during a slide, and that most bindings are set so tight that people go along for the ride anyhow. Sheesh.” I never said the skier is supposed to reach down and release the binding. Rather, the binding is more likely to release on its own, which will help the skier stay on top of the slide, if the binding is designed to release in a normal fall. (Even a “nonreleasable” tele binding might eventually release in an avalanche, but only after it will have stayed on longer than a releasable binding and hence contributed to the skier getting pulled down more.) I have read many accounts of avalanches in which AT or alpine downhill bindings released at some point during the slide. All of this is confirmed by every avalanche book on the market, by all three avalanche courses I have taken, and is often mentioned in “The Avalanche Review” to which I subscribe. (“did you actually get to dig a pit?” - Yes, in Level 1, and then in Level 2, and in Level 3, and on my own tours too. I really don’t understand why you insult my avalanche education.) Apparently your expert partners feel that a releasable binding doesn’t matter, but the weight of published expert opinion is vastly against them.
4. “Glad I’m not in your boring touring parties.” I really do not understand why someone who boasts about being “soulful” and “cool” resorts so often to ad hominem (as well as baseless) attacks.
“Regarding your ‘expertise’ in the subject, you’re the one pointing us to conclusions that are based on research, rather than real world experiences.” The resistance of the tele pivot, the tele/AT price differentials, and the potential liability of a nonreleasable ski binding in a slide are all facts based upon a various combinations of books, periodicals, avalanche coursework, discussions with mtn guides, store research, etailer research, website research, discussions with touring friends, and many many many backcountry tours. All of this derives from the real world experience of both myself and others. (Books and courses are the distilled real world experiences of others too - not all knowledge need be conveyed person-to-person.)
As for the Karhu 7tm and its new Tour version, I applaud such innovations in tele gear. (I also think the K2 tele platforms that accept the Dynafit AT ski crampon are a *great* idea and look forward to more of my tele partners being able to use ski crampons.) Unfortunately, many skiers do not care for Karhu’s downhill performance. But other imitators are bound to follow. (The Silvretta adaptor plate is also intriguing.)
Easier or more rewarding? Well, some skiers find a fixed-heel turn more rewarding - in part because it’s easier. Others prefer that special something about a well-executed tele turn, and are more than willing to put up with the typical liabilities of tele gear. I just want potential skiers to be aware of all their options, rather than mistakenly believe that backcountry skiing necessarily entails having to learn to telemark - which sadly keeps many skiers from getting into the backcountry. (But of course, apparently the backcountry does not need any more “unsoulful” and “uncool” skiers like me and my friends?)