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Questions about setup

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am new to this board and am an aspiring backcountry skier. So far my only bit of experience in the backcountry has been skiing the Sherburne Trail on Mt. Washington last year. However this year I am hoping to spend more time on Mt. Washington and on some of the other backcountry trails in the White Mountains area.

This is what I have right now for an AT setup--BCA Alpine Trekkers, Garmont Dynamite boots and Black Diamond skins. I have 2 pairs of skis, Vokl Energy 320 carving skis and Salomon Scramblers. I am thinking my Salomons would be more suitable for backcountry conditions.

One of my questions is, how good are the Alpine Trekkers? I have only used them once. Should I instead invest in a pair of real AT bindings and have them mounted on my Salomons? Is it possible to find bindings that I can use for both backcountry skiing and resort skiing so I would not have to be continually swapping them out? Or is there something else I should be thinking about, keeping in mind that I will probably be doing a backcountry trip on average about twice per month? Also I am aware I need to obtain/learn to use proper avalanche safety gear.

Also I would love to connect with anyone who skis in the White Mountains as right now I don't have anyone to ski with and am planning to coordinate trips through the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Thanks for all your help!
post #2 of 8
If you're planning on spending a reasonable amount of time skinning, do yourself a favor and get rid of the trekkers. If you want the AT binding to double as a resort binding, check out Fritschi Freerides or Naxo. Both have DIN 12 and full toepieces. I personally have Naxos and they're great going up and down the mountain. Good luck.

By the way, calling the Sherburne trail backcountry is quite a stretch don't you think? I guess it's a start.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I agree, but given my situation at the time, it was the best I could manage. I ski alone and am not willing to go into more potentially hazardous, unknown places by myself.

I am very interested in doing more of this stuff though if I can hook up with some good people, so thanks for your advice.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Another question I have is do most people use specifically AT skis or is it acceptable to place AT bindings on regular downhill skis such as what I own?
post #5 of 8
Yes, you can put AT bindings on any ski you like.

The only cavaet is that heavy skis will suck for going uphill. I actually dont see many people with AT skis with their AT bindings.

My Naxos are on salomon 1080s.
post #6 of 8
Hi, Stryder.

I agree with foxer720 on the Trekkers. They work well for someone who is doing relatively small hikes, typically thinngs like hike-to knolls and easier-to-get-to peaks from chairlifts, etc. To spend several hours climbing with Trekkers, however, seems to be misery for most of the people I've been with who tried it. It sounds like you're put a fair amount of thought into this and you'll be doing more and more backcountry skiing as time goes by. Go with a Naxo or Freeride and use them for in-resort alpine skiing as well as skin-to backcountry.

As to skis, you can definitely just use alpine skis. As a matter of fact, I think the *only* downside to that is the weight. Alpine skis will ski better in more conditions than specialized AT skis.

I've been at it for quite a while and have the luxury of a backcountry quiver. I have a super-lightweight setup (K2 Heli Stinx and Dynafit bindings) for days when I know I'll be skiing excellent, consistent powder or corn. The problem is that those skis just don't have the guts to really deal with wind slab or frozen chicken heads or in-area moguls or the like. For those days, I use an alpine ski (Rossi Bandit II's) with Freerides. That setup is about 50% heavier than the Heli Stinx, but it will handle essentially any conditions I ever run into, backcountry or in-resort. They aren't as nice going up, but they shine going down.

I'd recommend that you use your alpine skis and mount them with Naxo's or Freerides.

post #7 of 8
Like Stryder, I'm just getting my back country set-up together. I have the Fritschi Freerides on a mid-fat ski. My question is are telescoping poles necessary?
post #8 of 8

They are "nice" to have if you'e doing skinning tours that involve long (I mean like 30 minutes or more) and steep upward traverses where one arm will be on the uphill side for a long time. In those conditions, it's nice to be able to shorten the uphill pole (and maybe even lengthen the downhill pole) to match the slope. My own experience is that I seldom do that kind of traversing, and on shorter traverses it's more of a pain to fiddle with poles than to just bumble along with what you got.

I just bought new backcountry poles a couple of days ago and I went with non-adjustables for the first time. I just very seldom found myself actually using the adjustable feature. Besides that, I've had Life-Link adjustables and Black Diamond Flicklocks and neither of the adjustable mechanisms seemed to survive a couple of years of skiing very well.

One caution - I assume you're asking about adjustable poles purely as ski poles and not as avy probes. If you don't have a separate probe that you carry, then the adjustable probe poles are a lot better than nothing (but nowhere near as good as a dedicated probe).

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