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Alpine Trekkers

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I came across an interesting looking product for alpine skiers that will allow us to freeheel with regular bindings. When you get to the destination just remove them and the skins, clip in and rip. Alpine trekkers: http://www.facewest.co.uk/Products%2...g/trekkers.htm Does anybody use these things? What do you all think?
post #2 of 20
I've got some, don't use them anymore because of my current geographic location - but did log many miles on them in the past. Mine are much older, some of the 1st generation of them, they are heavier - have more plastic, and had a tendancy to slip in (get smaller) on their own sometimes. Looking at the new ones, I'm sure these issue are all long resolved.

One thing that will be the same is that an alpine setup is a lot heavier than a dedicated AT or Tele setup, so you wouldn't want to use it for long tours. But for getting up to a chute you want to hit, and then getting back across the flats to the road or lift after a descent - they are indespensable. Make sure you get a good pair of skins to go with them, and adjustable poles as well.

They put you up much higher than you would be in an AT or Tele setup, which makes for some weird feelings at first, but you get used to it. If you think you could do some tele turns with them . . . don't bother, its pretty much useless for tele turns because the pivot point is in front of your boot and they don't flex correctly.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 07, 2002 01:54 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Todd M. ]</font>
post #3 of 20
Yeah I have had a pair for about 4 years. There are a couple of brands that I have seen but the Trekkers by Back Country Access are by far the best as they are all metal. I just cant remember the othe brands but can change settings while in use due to the plastic used in their construction.

I found also found it a bit tricky after getting my Betarides as the riser plate makes it hard to balance compared to a non lifter ski but the benefit of having a high performance ski when you get to the top makes up for it.

The great thing about this little piece of kit (and of course the skins that go along with it) is that it saves you lugging heavy skis on you back and it also stops you sinking into soft snow. It does still use a fair amout of energy and is no free ride but you generally get there before people without them so you get more time to rest and look at ther view!!!

There is one other issue with any of the brands of touring converters. My friend got some speed SF's with the std look/rossi binding and because of the high heel piece the trekker don't fit, gets in the way of the boot.

Hope this helps.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 02:25 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Riccardo ]</font>
post #4 of 20
I have had these for a few years too, and find them excellent for accessing backcountry terrain. Far easier than hiking, as Riccardo has pointed out. Very easy to set up and go, just make sure you have them set and adjusted in the warmth of the lodge before you go out, as they are a bit fiddly to adjust in cold weather/snow etc. They are at their very best on ice and deeper snow, when the foot soldiers around you are floundering. I would also recommend undoing the top boot buckles to add the comfort factor, as they can hurt the calf if you have stiff boots.
post #5 of 20
One other thing I noticed was after ditching my 205 GS boards for a pair of 180 free ride skis there is a total of 50cm's of skin that is not there anymore. I actually found that on hardpack and especially rhyme ice I was slipping back. Need to get some fat skins I guess.

Will put a little post about the Ruapehu back country under the back country forum.
post #6 of 20
I am just about to order a pair of these.

Feedback that I got is similar to what others posted. If it mellower terrain and you are skinning longer than 3 hours, you may want to go with AT setup. Anything under three hours and/or if you feel more comfortable with your alpine gear, go with trekkers.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm just about to order them too. The consensus seems to be that it is a good product, though not perfect. For those who had them: how steep of a ridge would you attempt to walk up in these things?
post #8 of 20
That may well be the case but every touring set up I have seen (and I have not seen that many) has been a performance compromise. I would rather trek for 4 hours and have my atomics at the end of it.

Another tip while I think of it. There are a couple of heal lifters that can be clipped up to to counter the angle of the slope. These are great but really need a bit of moulded rubber on them to stop the boot getting worn where it makes contact.

Still nothing a strip of duck tap wraped around 7-10 times won't fix. This does need to be replaced after every trip but worth the effort.
post #9 of 20
The main bad thing about trekkers is its an excuse not to by another pair of skis and bindings!
post #10 of 20
Hey noodles:
I am corresponding with a guys who has a line on trekkers for cheaper than retail. I already bought beacon from him through eBay. I am buying trekkers direct. PM me for details if you are interested.
post #11 of 20
Hey Riccardo, I think a seamstress would be able to cut and stitch your skins to length pretty easily. Certainly cheaper than getting new skins.

As for steepness...well they will go up steep enough that in your head you think "I should be herring-boning". In terms of degrees I don't know, but they will go damn steep. This obviously depends more on the skins, but like Riccardo just said they have a heel thingy that makes it like you are walking on a stepper machine at the gym.

A small compromise for the hiking makes for NO compromise in the ski down.
post #12 of 20
Trekker also has an attachment (a $45 piece of metal ) to make it a little easier to traverse/climb icy/packed slopes:

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 07:21 AM: Message edited 1 time, by eug ]</font>
post #13 of 20
The Trekker is good for what it is, but compared to:
Alpine downhill midfat skis
Alpine downhill ski boots
Fritschi Freeride AT bindings
...the uphill performance is much worse (heavier, too high off the snow for traverses, and probably very difficult to master the art of uphill kick turns), and the downhill performance difference is negligible. (And now that competition from European web sites has forced Black Diamond to equalize their prices with Europe's, the FR binding is less that the sum of an alpine binding plus trekkers.)
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

I don't think anybody was discussing decents with trekkers, it is a device that allows you to freeheel during the hike, you would then take it off and click in your regular bindings. That way, non-tele skiers don't have to learn a completely new sport to get some of tele benefits for the hike.

eug, you have PM.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 09:28 AM: Message edited 1 time, by noodles ]</font>
post #15 of 20
He knows that.

J. for those of us who already have alpine setup and don't make a living touring in BC, meaning skin for a hour or two, then climb/ski and also spend 80 percent of our time in the resort trekkers seem like a better option. Would you agree?
post #16 of 20
Well...if, you just bought new skis & bindings, and you get a really great deal on the Trekker, and you're somewhat uncertain about whether you're going to like the concept of all that skinning for so little skiing, then yes, the Trekker is a good idea.
But...if you're possibly in the market for another alpine setup, then the introduction of the new 12 DIN Fritschi Diamir Freeride, combined w/ the lower prices (as opposed to last year's retail of almost $400 for the Diamir II plus brakes), means that it is now feasible to use the same setup (i.e., alpine downhill boots + alpine downhill midfat skis + Diamir FR bindings) for lift-served and limited backcountry. (Which is a development that I think will erode the Trekker's market share, and make those clever Swiss at Fritschi even more wealthy...unless Rossi comes out w/ a revamped Emery binding.)
post #17 of 20
That is what I thought. Thanks for clarification. I am just getting into bc and not quite prepared to invest into full AT setup. Seems like trekkers for now, AT later.
post #18 of 20
Yeah, I'll be mounting up some 198 10.EX's with the Freerides soon. It seems like lots of people are going this direction, especially since the Freerides are getting so much closer in terms of performance and durability to alpine binders. For long, and/or multiday trips, I plan on getting a pair of AT boots to substitute for my boots (very stiff GPRT's).

If you don't care what (ie, weight) is in your pack, by all means, get Trekkers.
post #19 of 20
I and my two kids each have Pocket Rockets. The last pair I bought for my daughter and we got the Freeride binding on it. My son and I are going to convert ours this summer. I don't see much (if any) downhill compromise with the Freeride, and its got tremendous advantage over the Trekker for skinning. My biggest fear is that skinning will be enticing enough with the Freeride that we'll be seduced into AT boots as well (although my financial goal is to stick with one pair of regular downhill boots for all of us).

As has been said I think that skiers are going to very quickly catch on to the efficacy of this approach. Now you can go between resort and backcountry with only one compromise (the boots).

BTW our plan is to use our our high performance downhill bindings, currently on the Rockets, for a second pair of short slalom skis or something like that (when we can affort them).

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 09, 2002 08:27 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Si ]</font>
post #20 of 20
I've seen some people have some miserable days on those things (trekkers). If you become one of them, dont give up on the backcountry, just realize the trekkers fill a need, but are a poor aproximation of what you will experience on at or tele gear.
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