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AT ski advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey folks, thanks for letting me lurk in these forms and ask the occasional question. This place is a wonderful community, I feel bad I don't participate more.

Anyway I'm looking into purchasing a new pair of skis and would love some advice. I've got the carving ski and the midfat ski already in my quiver, and am looking for a nice fat ski for those deep powder days. Not only do I want this ski to be good for the 15" plus dumps at the resorts, but I'd like to throw AT bindings on it so it will work for backcountry.

I guess I'm curious what you'd recommend for a good fat ski that will be light enough to take backcountry, will float beautifully in the deep stuff, and yet can manageably get around at a resort on those deep days when you have to hit a groomer to get between two great runs.

Then what length would you recommend? (I'm currently skiing 170's and 177's and love nimble quick maneuvering skis)

Here's me in a nutshell. 5'10" 140lbs, aggressive skier, and without sounding too conceited, I'm really starting to get good i.e. confident on any slope in any condition. These skis will be used mostly on slope at Mad River Glen and Jay Peak on big powder days, and in the woods on virgin snow on a few stashes I know around Vermont. They'll also travel out West for the once a year trek to Alta, Jackson Hole, etc.

Thank you all for your advice!

post #2 of 8
My AT setup is K2 AK Launchers with Fritchi Diamir 3's (I'd probably recommend the Freerides if you're going to be doing a lot of resort skiing on them.) I went with 180s - about the same length as my other skis. The skis are nice and light and work great in powder. Salomon AK Rockets (the pre-Pilot system ones) are great too but harder to find - Pocket Rockets would probably work just as well. Atomic 10ex's are good too but not as fat underfoot. Any powder ski that's relatively light would work well - probably best to demo a few.
post #3 of 8
Fischer Big Stix 84 in 180 or 175cm. They are relatively light for a big ski and super turny and handle powder crud etc.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much for your responses, your suggestions for skis are great, and I hope to demo as many as possible in the near future.

I was though curious about the binding recommendation. I was definitely looking at the Fritchi Diamir binders but am not certain I really need the freerides. I only weigh in at about 150 fully dressed in ski garb (no boots) and never set my DIN about an 8. I guess my mountain bike weight obsession is getting the better of me and I'm wondering if the Diamir 3's would be plenty strong for me both in resort and back country. Any thoughts???

Thanks again for your help, it's so exciting to be looking into new equipment
post #5 of 8

Keep in mind that if you start actually doing "real" backcountry skiing (ie. skinning up, skiing down), you're probably going to be carrying a pack with a fair bit of additional weight. Skins, probe, shovel, extra clothes, food, water, minimal first aid stuff, BEER, etc. Your fully-outfitted weight will go up accordingly. Diamir's are excellent bindings, but a lot of people seem to feel the Freeride is a bit better choice if you're going to ski hard and particularly if you're going to be using alpine boots (versus AT boots) very much.

There's a lot of skis that fit your requirements. The Fischer Big Stix 84 that Astrochimp recommended would be a great choice. It's light, easy to ski, and handles most anything well. I went with the Rossi Bandit XX for my most recent AT setup. I'd agree too that you'd probably want to be in the 175-180 range.

Have fun.

post #6 of 8
I ski the same resorts and probably the same backcountry as you. I'm also close in size (5'8", 160lbs)...

My goto skis are Nordica ultrawave MF 180cm with Fritschi Freerides. They're stiff enough to handle ice, straight enough to handle firm steeps, and very durable. They're about the same dimensions as the original Bandit XX.

To be honest, I'm about to suppliment them with a pair of pocket rockets
(possibly beast 92tt or scratch BC), because I want something softer, shorter, wider and with more sidecut for the trees and BC powder. I don't think they give up all that much on the groomed.

If BC isn't always powder for you (e.g. frozen faces in the spring), I'd look into something like the G4 178, or dynastar BIG 178. If you want something a little softer for the trees and powder, the Big Stix 84. If you want something really soft with lots of sidecut, try the Pocket Rocket... twin tips with touring bindings sounds kind of wierd, but I actually saw that setup a lot in Chamonix.

I wouldn't worry too much about weight. The Fritschis save enough weight over standard bindings that they'll feel light no matter what. And definitely get the freerides, which are a downhill binding that can tour. The Diamirs are a touring binding that CAN go downhill on occasion.
post #7 of 8
The new Diamir 3 (as opposed to the original Diamir or Diamir II) has almost exactly the same plastic toe & heel unit housings as the Freeride. (The Diamir 3 toe is contoured ever so slightly different so as to accept the safety leash.) They are both designed to be used with either alpine touring or alpine downhill botos. Therefore, the only reason now to choose the Freeride is for the extra DIN, or a few mm more of lift. In other words, the Freeride is *NOT* any more durable or breakage-resistant than the Diamir 3.
Anyway, I have used both the original Diamir and the Diamir II for lots of lift-served skiing . . .as have thousands of skiers the world over, for many years. The only part that I’ve heard of breaking is the toe unit housing. But if you buy an extra toe unit (both cheap & light - call black diamond mail order), then you can instantly replace it, which is more than can be said for any alpine downhill binding.
post #8 of 8
Moved to Backcountry Forum.
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