We should take this discussion to the AT and Telemark forum, but no problem. I like your strategy. My planned approach is similar; a carver (existing 6* rarely used); a mid-fat (80-90 mm) and fat (99+ mm) strictly alpine with downhill boots. That outfit will also work for most sidecountry without a significant hike. For now the Mantras w/ Freerides and Adrenalin are my AT boot and are well suited to sidecountry and lift served BC with hikes. For true backcountry with mileage, I'm thinking a much lighter mid-width ski (no metal), dynafit bindings and a lighter boot. I'm willing to sacrifice downhill performance for an easier time climbing.
So, that would all be a big investment, but that is where I'm headed. The Adrenalin has 2 forward locking positions. Having used both, the difference is hardly perceptible, but I usually use the 25 degree. For an interesting variation, I suggest skiing in walk mode
. The boot is not as stiff as its reputation, and combined with AT bindings, the difference in control from a true alpine, and this AT rig is very noticeable. I've learned to deal with it through technique, and use a lot more edge (angulation?), than I need to pull the same turns in alpine equipment. Of course in soft snow conditions, the flexibility is something you suggested is desireable. I agree. OTOH, I like more direct transmission in crud, chowder and breakable crust. Even at 25 degrees, I can get upright, but by being a bit more forward, I seem to have better control over large skis in very steep terrain or uneven conditions. Powder I usually use the 20 degree lock. I should avoid sounding like I'm bitching about the Adrenalins. They are really good at what they are made for. They are not excellent as a true alpine crossover, because there ARE compromises in downhill mode, in order to enable the uphill mode.