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Looking for ski rec - possible AT?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Skier profile: Male, 6'2, 185; Level 7 (on the Crested Butte scale, "Links turns on black terrain, working on technique in various snow conditions and carving blue terrain). Maybe 7.5. Western skier, typically Crested Butte, plans for Park City area this year. Not a big bump guy; would like to have some tight-space versatility. Small jumps, but minimal park. Like the jacket to flap, but not a die-hard speed freak.

Current setup: 05/06 174 K2 Apache Crossfires; Nordica Beast 10 boots

I'm looking to replace or supplement the Crossfires (I recognize many will suggest keeping the K2's and expanding the ski quiver, but that may not be feasible). Crossfires have been fun, but seem a little narrow when I'm on anything other than hardpack or groomers. A buddy is encouraging me to go with him on some guided backcountry, and in between take some early a.m. trips skinning up in the resort. CB appears to have some good terrain that isn't lift-serviced, but still accessible without a full blown AT rig. I'm convinced it can be done as long as I don't expect perfection for all terrain types. Just like a hunting rifle - Beware the man with one gun, 'cause he probably knows how to use it well.

I would like to find skis that I could ski anywhere on the resort, but still have the ability to use for some limited sidecountry / AT trips. I doubt I'm in waist deep pow anytime soon, so looking more for a good intro step into gear that is still versatile.

Any ski / boot recommendations? Research is pointing somewhat towards Garmnont Endorphine boots with Marker Dukes - possibly on something like Black Diamond Havocs, but I'm still wide open to suggestions. I know that the hardpack / groomer capability may suffer some, but will I be miserable on a setup like this? Extensive demo is certainly desirable, but I confess impatience with being in ski shops while the lifts are running. Maybe I'm looking for a setup that doesn't exist and the answer is "keep the K2's and rent an AT setup, moron."

My first post - hopefully I've given enough info to allow for recommendations. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 15
The setup you described would give you a very solid binding interface, reasonably stiff boots with capability for AT. Although there is a bit of a weight penalty, its fine for side country and moderate length tours. The BD Havoc is a pretty respected ski, but I wouldn't hesitate to look at any number of alpine alternatives like the Atomic Sugar Daddy or Big Daddy which are light and wide. The SD would give you the 99 mm width that would be versatile enough for all conditions. You should be looking at the 183 cm length.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks much for the prompt reply, Cirque. I'm actually thrilled that my post wasn't so messy that no one offered up any advice at all. An additional question comes to mind - the 183 sounds scary. Can you describe for me a ski's behavior when it's too long / too short?
post #4 of 15
I don't do AT setups yet (tend to posthole with my alpine stuff, finding Dukes very attractive), but would second CR about what I've heard from my AT buddies re Havoc and Sugar Daddy, also have heard good things for crossover potential of new Volkl M-Rock, BD Verdict, and if you're thinking Utah, maybe something like the shorter Movement Goliath.

If you settle on SD's, I have an unmounted 05-06 pair in 173 I've decided to sell. PM me.
post #5 of 15
OKskier, you are 6'-2" and by weight fit. a 183 Sugar Daddy, Gotama and many other skis with a raised or twin tail will ski shorter than a square tail ski. That raised tail is an advantage when sliding into a narrow entry and even in bumps. You will feel very comfortable on a 183 length on this ski because the contact area is only slightly longer than what you are used to, and the side cut (shape) is considerably straighter. This ski uses the softer snow to bend longitudinally and create a turn shape, and the longer radius keeps it on a straighter line, allows you to modulate the edge to slip, and keeps you from getting tossed in crud. A longer length really gives you more stability off-piste, and at higher speeds.

The K2 outlaw you have now is 124-88-111 with a radius of 19 meters. BTW, the BD Havoc is nearly identical at 122 -88- 114.
The Sugar Daddy has a shape of 126 - 99 - 117 and radius of 29 meters, yet because of the flex in the tip will turn at least s tight in soft snow with less hooking than the Outlaw because the waist tends to follow the tip very predictably. Compare that to the PMGear Bro which at 179 has a profile of 125-99-114 30 meters. Pretty amazing similarity, and this is another lightweight ski with a wood core you should consider.

The extra width doesn't hurt anything either if you are looking for float when skinning or downhill skiing. Longer turn radius and less sidecut makes it easier to maintain more edge on the snow during traveres, skinning or skiing, and does not force the ski to decamber nearly as much. That makes it easier to maintain a line and hold an edge, yet its very easy to slip the tail or bend the ski using weight distribution. Pressuring the tip doesn't cause dive, it causes bend and turn. So you ski in better balance.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
My current setup is actually the Crossfire - unfortunately much slimmer than the Outlaw. Crossfires are 109 - 68 - 99 (they have widened it a little in this year's model, but still pretty narrow). That was the cause for part of my concern - how much disadvantage was I going to feel in going from such a narrow wasted ski (68) to something 10+ wider during those times I was on groomers or hardpack. That was one of the reasons I drifted towards the Havoc - not as fat as the pure powder skis, but still 20 wider than the Crossfires. Incidentally, my buddy skis K2 Mt Bakers - he doesn't seem to ski any differently on solid ice than I've seen him ski in powder, which gives me some sense of security, although potentially false...
post #7 of 15
FWIW, my buddy has been riding Havocs for going on 4 seasons now. He's about 6', but probably doesn't weigh more'n 145 (skinny dude). he ride's 'em in a 176ish length. I've ridden with him on boilerplate, knee deep fresh, and crud and he rips 'em regardless. He swears by 'em as the supreme 1-ski quiver.

Cirque, who has given some advice above, rides 184 Mantras as an AT set-up (unless he's changed it from last season). Volkl just put out the M-Rock, which is their designated AT/BC ski taken from the original Mantra mold (94mm waist).

I presently ride the AK King Salmon, which has similar dimensions to the original Mantra, but is a whole lot lighter. That's another potential option (they only come in 180cm, though).
post #8 of 15
lighter would be nice.

The weight of the Mantras is a bit of a drawback for AT. I might swap AT bindings to the SDs and alpines to the Mantras. We'll see. The Dukes aren't that light either, but at least I could put them on my lighter skis and still have full resort use.
post #9 of 15

I'm putting together an intro AT set-up this season.

I'm going with Dukes on Lib Tech NAS Freeride skis, 188cm (but they're twined and have a running length of about 150cm) and 99mm at the waist. Skis are incredibly light and I'll admit that I was suckered into their "magnetraction" hype (waved edges that are supposed to have killer ice grip). i've read a few solid reviews/testimonials from folks who have ridden the ski and those that favor Lib Tech snowboards (which also boast "magnetraction").
post #10 of 15
You want a one rig setup for Short tours, side country, and inbounds. The duke is the perfect binding for that. I have heard that the havoc is light weight and a good spring touring / mountaineering ski. But not that great for deep pow or heavy crud which will probably be the most likely conditions you see on your side country tours and inbounds. Think about what conditions you will be skiing and pick the ski based on that.
post #11 of 15
My advice is get good bindings and boots and buy used skis. AT stuff tends to get beat up more, and your bindings and boots should last for about 3 pairs of skis, so spend your $$ on the important stuff. If you buy a $150 pair of used skis and don't like them it's no big deal. I suggest trying it for a while and get a feel for what you really are using the equipment for and then go for some boards that will meet your needs. Just remember, the bigger the skis, the bigger the skins, the more weight you will have to drag uphill every step. Not a big deal for sidecountry, but if you are truly climbing for your turns you may want to consider something with a 85-90 waist instead of 105.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
How about the Endorphins versus the Adrenalines? Worth the price difference? Both are probably superior alpine boots to my Beast 10s.
post #13 of 15
The stiffest AT boots are about as stiff as mid level alpine boots.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ot+stif fness
post #14 of 15
tromano: That's the funniest thing i've read in a long time, i'd give them 10/10 for effort. Comparing, Pebax, Polyester and Polyether boots and judging them against an X-Wave, hmm.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Looks like here's where I am now:

I'm not hearing anyone say using a crossover type setup (Havocs, Sugar Daddys, M-Rock, etc) is a huge setback on groomers / hardpack. While not the best choice if that was where all my time was spent, a crossover setup can hold it's own in a wide variety of conditions and I wouldn't be disappointed using them as the mythical "all mountain ski". I'm gathering a lot of AT guys use their AT setups very efficiently in the resort, but the converse is not true - a resort rig as narrow as mine is a significant disadvantage in sidecountry or even short AT trips. Looks like I'm going to have to overcome my impatience and demo a few that have been recommended here, although I would probably take a risk and buy now if I found the right deal on the Havocs or similar. I think anything that hits the 100mm width waist is going to be a little wide for my use - I can always check rentals or trade up if I get experienced enough to get into the deeper stuff. If anyone knows of a shop that demos any of these skis in Crested Butte, please post.

I'm gathering from some of the other threads that the Adrenalines may be a reasonable alternative to the more expensive Endorphins. For bootfitting, I'm told the Alpineer in CB does a nice job, but I hate to spend a couple of hours of ski time in the shop getting fit. Being in Oklahoma, I'm probably SOL to find a bootfitter nearby (I'm still kicking myself for not buying a pair in Telluride last April at 40% off). I travel a bit to DC and don't live far from Dallas - any suggestions for a bootfitter in those areas would be appreciated.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Looking for ski rec - possible AT?