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Backcountry/off piste gear advice

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My daughter asked me to take her skiing a few years ago, when she was 10 and I was 50, so after a 25 year hiatus I took her to a ski area in Minnesota, where we were visiting for Christmas and we rented skis and she joined me for a day on the slopes after her private lesson. I was shocked and delighted by how skis had changed - parabolics rock! It was like I had been skiing last season, except it was way harder to get air. We started going to the Catskill ski resorts when we returned to NY and downhill skiing is now one of our family activities. I bought a used pair of Volkl 6* and a new pair of Salamon Performas, and I've been having fun on groomed slopes.

When I was skiing lots in my youth, my preference switched from downhill to cross-country, telemark and backcountry touring all on cross-country skis. After a visit to the French and Italian Alps last week, my interest in Backcountry off piste skiing has been piqued. I'll be going in the Catskills, Adirondaks, and the Alps from time to time. Because I was so successful in getting advice on gear when I bought my Volkls, I wanted to check in again with the Barking Bear community for advise on Backcountry ski gear. Any thoughts, comments or advise will be most appreciated. Interested in quality gear for a middle aged guy, 6'1" 220lbs, athletic but limited time for conditioning. Are lessons available/advisable for off piste?
post #2 of 2
You have posed a very open ended question, and the answer depends on what you mean by "backcountry" skiing.

Are you talking about mostly touring? Are you talking about sidecountry skiing using lifts and then going off area? Are you talking about climbing for all your turns and seeking primarliy a downhill experience but without lifts? Do you plan on doing all of the above?

Are you seeking advice on just a ski for backcountry skiing, or a pack, avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel, which are all usually necessary for venturing into the backcountry?

The options for bc gear have exploded in the last few years, and much of the equipment can be very expensive. In order to find something that will fit your specific needs you should probably claify those a little better.
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