Originally Posted by mudfoot
Like you, I would never consider serious alpine skiing in my AT boots, but on Sunday I skied with a local couple at Telluride that were both on Adrenalines and Fritchi Freerides. We skied very steep terrain off Gold Hill including bumps, crud, trees (sometimes all at the same time) and they did not seem to be having any problems keeping up with those of us on alpine gear. That was their regualar setup, except when they tele. It made me seriously rethink my equipment choices.
I hear ya. I actually use an AT binding (Fritchi Freeride Pluses) on the mountain but with my alpine boot - they're the same shell size just need to do a quick toe plate adjustment to switch between the two. Here's my thinking on it. I have been skiing in an alpine race boot for decades. I'm used to the super stiff forward lean of them. To be honest, I think they've made me lazy as I am able to essentially delegate a ton of balance exertion to the boot themselves. The seems especially the case with forward and backward lean. When I ski with my Garmonts I don't have that support and I miss it dearly. I think if I hadn't been hooked on the stiff race boot I would have essentially developed better balance (forward and backward) control and muscle memory. It probably would have made me a better skier. So, aside from starting a religious war on whether stiff alpine race boots actually hamper your progession as a skier, i've been considering the following:1. Going cold turkey
: essentially, shelving my alpine boots for the better part of a season and just using my Adrenalines to get that muscle memory. I'm sure after several days of hitting the slopes I would develop better balance control and pick up where I left off.2. Switching to a lesser drug
: I've been toying around with replacing the adrenaline liners with Intuition Powerwraps or Zipfits and slapping on a beefy booster strap. I doubt i'll end up with race boot stiffness but I will at least improved things so it isn't so big of a change.
As for safety issues with using AT gear on the mountain, I think that lies mainly with the binding. From what i've seen, the latest beefy AT bindings seem to have decent release mechanisms and I no longer worry about them as a safety issue. I've heard people complain of the slop in some of the AT bindings but I haven't noticed it with the Freeride Pluses.