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Backscountry novice equipment advice

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,
I moved to CO and I will start doing some BC skiing. As far as gear is concerned (I already have beacon, shovel, probe, avy level 1 trained etc) I would like to know what to get. I have a pair of brend new B4's that I would like to keep. My boots are Tecnica Magnesium. They are still in the box and I can return them if needed.
I will be skiing inbounds as well as BC and I would like to use the same equipment if possible. I'm an aggressive skier but very light (140 lbs)
So is getting new At bindings and putting them on the b4's enough? so I don't have to get new boots or returning the boots and getting a new binding/boots set is a must?
Thanks
post #2 of 21
Brand new B4 and AT bindings might be a problem. You will want skins (no point in having bindings without them). Other than that friends you trust to ski with.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Brand new B4 and AT bindings might be a problem. .
Whiteroom, I'm curious about this statement. Is there something funky about the new B4 that would make mounting AT bindings on them a problem? I don't know the construction of the ski that well, so maybe there is something about the ski that precludes AT bindings. If so, what is it?

nando: I'm glad to hear you two made the move. I hope all is going well. Thanks for the compliment in the other thread and I hope I'll see you here in Jackson again one of these days.

My advice would be for you to think about what kind of skiing you'll be doing on this setup. If you'll be using them primarily in-resort, I don't think you would want to substitute AT boots for your Tecnicas. There simply is still a performance premium of alpine boots over even the stiffest of the AT boots, so if you are going to be doing lift-served skiing most of the time, I'd stick with your alpine boots.

I think you COULD go with a Fritschi or Naxo binding for most in-resort skiing (unless you really like a lot of mogul skiing or really high-speed carving). You can ski those with your Tecnica's and have the flexibility somewhere down the road to add a pair of AT boots if you start doing a lot more out-of-bounds skinning and skiing.

The other thing to keep in mind is that now that you live in ski country , I'm certain you're going to start acquiring more than one pair of skis. When that happens, you can make one pair much more specific to out-of-bounds skiing.

Just some thoughts.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Bob,
Thanks for the info. I was also puzzled by Whiteroom's comment. I will wait for his reply. I am not a Mogul fanatic anyways and I may be too light to stress any bindings with high speed turns. I really think I will do more inresort skiing than OB so maybe this season I will demo some stuff and see how it goes and next season I may get more specific gear. I am strongly considering the Steep and Deep this year so we may see each other soon. How much OB do they really do? The website say 3 of the 4 days...
post #5 of 21
The new (last years) B4 has a rubber and metal insert for binding mounting, it is intended for the axial binding. Many AT bindings may have a problem with not fitting onto the mounting area (Fritschi and Naxo heels have 3 screws, the middle one is the issue). It might not matter, but it might....
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Whiteroom!
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
My advice would be for you to think about what kind of skiing you'll be doing on this setup. If you'll be using them primarily in-resort, I don't think you would want to substitute AT boots for your Tecnicas. There simply is still a performance premium of alpine boots over even the stiffest of the AT boots, so if you are going to be doing lift-served skiing most of the time, I'd stick with your alpine boots.
Is the 'performance penalty' substantially less for freeride boots like the Scarpa Tornado & Garmont Adrenaline versus lighter AT boots? They sound like a happy medium to me.
TIA
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Is the 'performance penalty' substantially less for freeride boots like the Scarpa Tornado & Garmont Adrenaline versus lighter AT boots? They sound like a happy medium to me.
TIA
I haven't skied the Tornado, although I've flexed it recently in the shop. I've skied the Adrenaline but only for one day as a demo. I've skied a pair of Scarpa Lazers for the past six seasons but I'll probably get a pair of Tornados this winter.

"Performance penalty" might be a poor choice of words. Even the Adrenaline and the Tornado are pretty soft-flexing compared to most middle and upper alpine boots. That means that if you're going to be driving hard on a pair of big skis IN-RESORT, I think most people find those AT boots a little too soft. If that's the kind of skiing you primarily do, then an AT boot might disappoint you.

On the other hand, a lot of people aren't interested in railing GS turns all the time or skiing super hard while in-resort. For those, either of these boots would indeed be a "happy medium".

So it really comes down to the kind of skiing you do most of the time. Here in JH, we're blessed with a lot of great terrain that's available as in-resort, "sidecountry", and backcountry Most of the strong skiers I know here will use their alpine boots for in-resort and sidecountry, and their AT boots when they're skinning (or booting longer distances) to get to more traditional "backcountry".

If I were making a decision about a single pair of boots to own, I guess I would think long and hard about the percentage of in versus out of resort skiing I'll do and how hard I'll want to ski when I'm inside the ropes.

Another thing that enters into the "performance" equation is conditions and intent. When I'm going purely backcountry, I'm normally (but certainly not always ) going to find good skiing conditions. Conditions that generally don't require as much of a strong ski and stiff boot. In those conditions, my Lazers work just great because I'm often skiing at a more leisurely pace and in better snow.

Maybe the Tornado "skis" stronger than it feels in the shop. If so, it may well be that Holy Grail of a boot that bridges both kinds of skiing. I didn't exactly feel the Adrenaline accomplished that, but I'm sure I didn't give it enough of a try to really make a fair judgement.
post #9 of 21
Thanks for the insights Bob,
I skied last season with a pair of T2xs in Silvrettas LSV 500 in everything Telluride has to offer and was content with their performance, though lighter than the Tornado or Adrenalines, and with 3 buckles versus 4. The previous years have been w/T3s so anything more than the T2xs will feel 'beefy' by comparison. Either one sound like a good match for me, I can still tour with the lighter T2xs in tele or AT mode.
post #10 of 21
nando:

Do you already have a pass? Where do you plan on skiing the most? How's your powder technique?

Camron Pass is much closer to you than any ski resort and you don't have to mess with I-70. But most of the good shots are a fair hike from the road and it wouldn't be the best place for a newb.

First thing you need to find is a good mentor. Is the Outpost still the top AT shop in town?
post #11 of 21
Also, if you do go with AT bindings only go to a backcountry dealer or shop with lots of experience mounting AT bindings. One of the big chain shops screwed up my mount last year...heel piece misaligned/rubbing in tour mode. I made them replace the ski and took my business to The Bent Gate in Golden...another good place is Edgeworks off Broadway in Denver. I'm not sure about Fort Collins, but I know that Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder may be a good option for you.

Also, I think that the Bent Gate has a demo program where you can take out X pairs over AT skis/boots over the season. Might be a good way to sample different bindings/boots.
post #12 of 21
FWIW regarding the Tornado, from Couloir and recently posted by KR of PineNeedle Mountaineering, an excellent boot fitter and BC aficionado, I've known for 20 years:

"As to skiing, I found the Tornado to be as stiff as my last full-Alpine boot, or maybe more. The Endorphin samples weren't fitting me as well, so hard to split hairs on those, but certainly in the same league as the Tornado."
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
nando:

Do you already have a pass? Where do you plan on skiing the most? How's your powder technique?

Camron Pass is much closer to you than any ski resort and you don't have to mess with I-70. But most of the good shots are a fair hike from the road and it wouldn't be the best place for a newb.

First thing you need to find is a good mentor. Is the Outpost still the top AT shop in town?
I do have a Colorado pass. My deep Powder technique is fair and a mentor would be great. I will most likely skiig around Vail but I am open for suggestion as I would like to explore the area. I may have found a mentor....
The best shop in town for Tele and Backcountry is The Mountain Shop. For alpine, Outpost.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
I'm not sure about Fort Collins, but I know that Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder may be a good option for you.
FWIW I got my BC setup (Scarpa Lazers, BD Havocs, G3 skins) from Neptune and couldn't be happier. Got Zipfits for the Lazers at ESA last year from Steve Begley and was blown away. Already had footbeds through Custom Foot in Englewood.
post #15 of 21
Nando- I am also getting in to the BC, also looking for mentors, and live in Denver. I also probably have as crappy a schedule as yours (pedi anesthesia, rather than surgeon) and a CO pass. Interested in sharing some tours and turns? PM me.

FWIW, I am a bit lighter than you and have Atomic TM:x and Fritchi Freerides, mated with Lowa Strukturas (all procured on end of the season sales). I have Thermofit (intuition) liners in them, and in addition to warmth and comfort, it lightens the boots dramatically. If you want to use your Technicas but are concerned about the weight, this is an option to consider if they can be fitted to your shell. I know that they sell and mould them at Precision Ski in Frisco (just off I70). My AT boots are considerably softer than the (already fairly soft) Flexons that I use in bounds- you should definitely try a pair before committing to them as your sole (no pun intended) ski boot, but they are much more comfortable for climbing, and the rockered VIbram sole is critical for use on any rock or scrambling if you get into ski mountaineering.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
....
The best shop in town for Tele and Backcountry is The Mountain Shop. For alpine, Outpost.
The Mountain Shop only carries tele and at, no alpine equipment.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
I do have a Colorado pass. My deep Powder technique is fair. I will most likely skiig around Vail
Then I would probably stick with an alpine boot for now. I think you will be off with the extra control in the bumps, harder snow and improving your powder technique.

If you were already a strong powder skier, skiing most resort days at Steamboat and hitting the pass often. Then I would say go with an AT boot.

You’re lucky. Ft. Collins is a really nice town and the terrain up Cameron pass is incredible. They don't call it the Never Summer Range for nothing.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
Also, if you do go with AT bindings only go to a backcountry dealer or shop with lots of experience mounting AT bindings. One of the big chain shops screwed up my mount last year...heel piece misaligned/rubbing in tour mode. I made them replace the ski and took my business to The Bent Gate in Golden...another good place is Edgeworks off Broadway in Denver. I'm not sure about Fort Collins, but I know that Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder may be a good option for you.

Also, I think that the Bent Gate has a demo program where you can take out X pairs over AT skis/boots over the season. Might be a good way to sample different bindings/boots.
If you're getting Fritschis mounted, one key question, before you give them your skis, is do they have the mounting jig. Mounting correctly with the paper template is possible if one has the experience and learned the nuances, but the jig makes it almost foolproof. Many shops will try to mount Fritschis freehand.
post #19 of 21

BC and/or inbound....

nando..I hear ya',
fwiw..some Naxos do officially accept alpine boots...as does the Fritschi Freeride.
I'm in the same situation...love my new alpine boots...but happenned to find some great AT boots that fit and thus...respond pretty well....just need some bootwork: and want to find the liner...and it'll be great.
Some pretty nice AT skis out there to try...so there ARE choices...just have to hunt em' down... Gets tiresome just thinking about all the choices...for what are still some gear limitations...
$.01
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
The Mountain Shop only carries tele and at, no alpine equipment.
I thought that was what I said....:
post #21 of 21

.....

You could drill the needed holes in Technicas for Dynafit Comforts???.....their footings are pretty small...can usually get them onto most anything...your B4s? The Comforts will be my first Dynafits....Im not quite sure as to their torque/release/speed limits....but have heard positive opinions.
$.01
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