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skiing offpiste with rx8s

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to ski off-piste with fisher rx8 (165) skis? What would be the limitations or things to look out for? I've been invited to an offpiste weekend and it will be my first time away from groomed slopes. My weight is around 180 (82kg). any advice appreciated here.
post #2 of 19
from previous posts it seems like the rx8 will ski powder up to around 12-18". I reccommend demoing powder skis for the day like pocket rockets, mantras, b4s, etc. You will have a blast
post #3 of 19

Demo something fatter

The RX8s can go off piste, I mean - we all skied off piste for years on straight skis, but if you're doing it for 2 days straight, you'll have more fun on fatties/midfats in crud/pow, etc.
post #4 of 19
What exactly is an offpiste weekend? Are you talking about alpine touring? Any uphill skiing involved in this venture?

I did a lot of off piste skiing on Volkl 6 Stars which are similar. Shouldn't be a problem, but a wider ski is more fun if conditions are soft.
post #5 of 19
My RX-8 do just fine in untracked powder (though they obviously don't float nearly as well as a wider waisted ski). However, I find them to be a tad difficult in variable conditions, namely crud. I think they take more effort to ski well than mid-fats like my Elan M666.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
What exactly is an offpiste weekend? Are you talking about alpine touring? Any uphill skiing involved in this venture?

I did a lot of off piste skiing on Volkl 6 Stars which are similar. Shouldn't be a problem, but a wider ski is more fun if conditions are soft.
Any uphill skiing involved in this venture? That would be tricky wouldn't it :-) but I think I know what you mean. I guess it will be a little bit like Alpine touring. So we will have snow shoes, bleepers, etc. I plan to carry my skis and walk uphilll on snow shoes. Some of the guys have these special adapters for walking I hear.
post #7 of 19

More advise

Ask the folks you are going with their opinion of how appropiate your gear is for the task at hand. They know the situation and will be the best source of information.

What you mentioned sounds like a type of skiing that to enjoy to the fullest requires specalized skiis, bindings and boots. But you can make do with your skiis and snowshoes.

Again, ask the folks you are going with, they may (although I don't think it is likely) know where you could rent some of this gear.
post #8 of 19
I've skied of piste in 150 slalom skis. So I guess powder skis are better, but you don't need them. Sometimes its fun to sink
post #9 of 19
Now that we've established you are alpine touring, here is my opinion. Your skis, bindings and boots are not designed for this. You will be carrying at least 20 pounds of downhill gear on your back, while snowshoing uphill. Going back down, you will be carrying snowshoes and hiking boots along with everything else. On top of that, you are using a skinny waisted slalom ski that is not optimum for backcountry decents.

Rent an alpine touring setup if possible. AT boots, wider lightweight skis and AT bindings and skins. You could adapt your downhill skis using Alpine Trekker adapters and skins, but that would be costly and far from ideal. Renting or buying used would be better. If you can't locate a touring setup, at least be sure your pack has a good ski carry system (A-frame or diagonal), and I hope you are in shape. : Most of all, it should be fun. Are you setting up base camps or doing a hut tour? This will allow you to tour during the day with the least weight penalty.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by muja2
I've been invited to an offpiste weekend and it will be my first time away from groomed slopes. any advice appreciated here.
Are you saying that you have only skied on groomed trails? You have never skied ungroomed terrain within a resort? : If you are saying that, then you are in for an "interesting" trip and could be in over your head. You are talking about an entire trip in the ungroomed when you have no experience in ungroomed. You will surely be exhausted. And you may not have the technique to be able to ski these kinds of conditions. I hope you can make it back out on your skis (at least you have snowshoes if you have to hike out). This is not the time to learn to ski ungroomed, especially since you mention it's for a weekend.

If you are saying it's simply your first backcountry excursion, and you do have experience in the ungroomed at resorts, then re-read what Cirquerider said.

No matter what, you're first touring experience will be very tiring. It helps to know that up front.

Thatsagirl
post #11 of 19

Thatsagirl

Thatsagirl - Well said, muja2 seems to be going with friends. He needs to get in touch with them to get the scoop on what is going on. If the friends are hard core and he is not, it could be a bad experience for both parties.

Time for the parties to get some communication going!

Muja2 - Best advise; have a serious talk with who you are going with. I assume they are experienced and know what is involved, including equipment, supplies, expectations and potential dangers. (you did mention bleepers -sic)
post #12 of 19
Thatsagirl's comments remind me of a couple other ideas: Have you ever skied with a pack and load? Do you have a group leader who knows the terrain, and you trust to make good (safe) decisions, and to consider the abilities of the weakest skier in the group? Plan to take time to learn how to use that beacon before you leave? Finally, wear breathable clothing in layers and pack a waterproof shell. You will hate a heavy insulated ski jacket. Carry enough water, and stay hydrated. You can lose a lot in strenuous winter hiking!

Out of curiousity, what part of the world will this adventure take place?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanx a lot everyone!

i've just been reading through all the useful pointers you guys had kindly given, thanks for that.

When I first thought about posting this issue, I really wasn't sure what kind of responses I was going to receive. I almost didn't post this thread, but now I'm really glad I did.

In short, this is my first time in the backcountry sort of speak, and i've really only ever skied on groomed slopes, albeit sometimes though the trees etc.

The place is Northen Finland (this may come as a surprise to some of you), so though it's going to be mighty cold, the hills are not really that dangerous (at least that's what I'm hoping). Luckily, we will have a guide with us from a local resort and he will be there to give some pointers. As far as the communication goes, you're right, we should be doing some pretty soon.

Hey many thanks again. EpicSki and the people who use it saved my day
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by muja2
the hills are not really that dangerous (at least that's what I'm hoping).
I don't know anything about the terrain or prevalent snow conditions in northern Finland, but keep in mind that the "danger" level in the back-country is higher then resort-level skiing. You have the possibility of avalanches and other natural hazards to worry about; part of your guide's responsibilities should be to warn you of these hazards. Then you need to remember: should you get hurt you have a far bigger problem on your hands then simply having somebody ski down and get the patrol.

I'm not trying to scare the crap out of you here, and I'm certainly not hoping that you or any member of your party gets injured, but you do need to be ready for this circumstance should it occur.
post #15 of 19
To back up what Kevin said, you mention that you will have "bleepers" which I assume are beacons in case of avalanche. So, there is clearly some possiblity of that danger or you wouldn't carry them. Since you are going with a guide, he/she will most likely have you practice with the beacon before the tour (at least in North America, that is standard operating procedure). If no one shows you how to use the beacon, I wouldn't go on the tour. What's the use of having them if everyone doesn't know how to use them? You are relying upon your friends, and your friends are relying upon you, in case of emergency.

Again, not trying to scare you, just letting you know that going into the backcountry is entirely different than being at a resort. Many people take it far too lightly, and when accidents happen, they are unprepared. Bad things can happen when you're unprepared. It's great that you'll be with a guide, but he can't do everything. He will need your assistance if there is an avalanche or other accident.

You confirmed for me that you basically spend your time on groomed terrain. I hope you plan to ski a few days in ungroomed to see whether you are ready for this trip.

Thatsagirl
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Now I always thought the beacons (perhaps it time to use the correct word) were there so that they could locate your body afterwards . OK, bad joke... I am actually hoping we will have some instructions on the basics (avalanche basics too) before we start off. Actually, now I hear the guide will also be providing beacons for those who don't have them (very nice of him I say!!!), so without presuming too much I'm hoping he shows how to use them etc.

So, after reading your words carefully, I am not only excited but aware that with great joy and axcitement can also come great misery, so I will only join the trip only after doing serious evaluation.

You know, I thinks I might go and practice a liitle bit in the off piste stuff this weekend.
post #17 of 19
Everyone has to have a "first time" in the backcountry. Best-case scenario is to go with knowledgeable friends and a great guide. You'll know how you feel about that once you are standing there in the group. If you don't have good vibes, there's always another time. Walk away and let them go without you. But it sounds like you are on the right track and chances are you are in good hands.

Definitely go practice in the off-piste this weekend. It will help you get all excited. Might humble you a bit too, but we all need to be humbled before venturing into the backcountry.

There are some excellent books out there to read about avalanches and avi safety. If you have time to do some reading, I highly recommend it (perhaps on the plane?). Ask for suggestions and the knowledgeable folks on this board will steer you in the right direction.

Thatsagirl
post #18 of 19
Muja, beacons work 2-ways. If you turn it on, it simply transmits a signal. The beacon can also be set to work as a receiver, and therein lies the beauty. When you are doing things right, not exposing your entire party to a risky slope or crossing, In theory, there should be only one victim. Everyone else becomes a rescuer. Knowing how to use the equipment to locate your friends is an important skill...Knowing how to recognize and avoid danger is an even better one. Good to hear you will be with an experienced guide.

Backcounty skiing is great fun, even if you spend a lot more time skiing uphill than gliding downhill. There is specialized equipment that can make it much easier. But before I owned fancy AT gear, I have walked to the tops of mountains carrying alpine skis and boots, and it can be done, its just slower and heavier. If you can't rent AT gear, your RX8 skis are hardly ideal, but how you use your skills and experience, and apply them to the new terrain, are more important than the gear. Enjoy the trip, and share your experience back here. It would be very interesting to hear and perhaps see some pictures about your experience in Finland.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by muja2
i've just been reading through all the useful pointers you guys had kindly given, thanks for that.

When I first thought about posting this issue, I really wasn't sure what kind of responses I was going to receive. I almost didn't post this thread, but now I'm really glad I did.

In short, this is my first time in the backcountry sort of speak, and i've really only ever skied on groomed slopes, albeit sometimes though the trees etc.

The place is Northen Finland (this may come as a surprise to some of you), so though it's going to be mighty cold, the hills are not really that dangerous (at least that's what I'm hoping). Luckily, we will have a guide with us from a local resort and he will be there to give some pointers. As far as the communication goes, you're right, we should be doing some pretty soon.

Hey many thanks again. EpicSki and the people who use it saved my day
Unless you are from Finland, I would rent an AT/randonee setup when I got to my final destination if possible. One less thing to carry, and you can get an idea of whether this is something you want to do more of before you invest $ 600-800 in randonee gear. If you are going with a guide he can probably help you with this.
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