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Can you use Randonee gear for Alpine skiing?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Having to buy new alpine skis, I would like the flexibility to use them for some occasional mountaineering trips.
If I buy randonee, are there downsides in using them locked on normal ski resorts?
Thanks
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariov View Post
....If I buy randonee, are there downsides in using them locked on normal ski resorts?
Comprimised release characterisitcs compared to alpine bindings (especially when AT soled boots are used). Exception being Marker Duke when used with an ISO soled boot. After a number of non-releases with my Fristschi Freeride + bindings (mostly slower twisitng falls), I am no longer comfortable skiing an setup all day inbounds.
post #3 of 16
The Duke does ski very well, perhaps better than your typical AT bindings, but bindings like the Freeride give you better touring. There is a bit of a tradeoff going with an AT binding but it does open up an entire new world or skiing by giving you access to the BC
post #4 of 16
Totally agree skierhj, which is why I will have two AT set-ups:
- Stockli Stormrider XXLs & Dukes (which are going to Kashmir with me in 2 weeks time). This is a slack country rig. Great perfomance, but too heavy for extended BC trips.
- [insert new ski here] & Freeride +. Lighter weight setup for longer/multi day BC trips where weight is important. Probably looking at a super light mountaineering ski at around 80mm waist (all round performance is important in Oz due to variable conditions especially lots of ice).

Back to Mariov's original question, the comprimise will be weight and tourability v performance.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariov View Post
Having to buy new alpine skis, I would like the flexibility to use them for some occasional mountaineering trips.
If I buy randonee, are there downsides in using them locked on normal ski resorts?
Thanks
Yes, there are downsides:

AT (randonne) gear is designed to be light and allow touring, this means moving parts made out of light materials. Flex is an issue with most AT bindings, stand height is an issue (for some) with AT bindings, safety can be an issue. Oh... and they cost WAY more.

AT boots don't fit or perform like high performance Alpine boots, not an issue for many people, but for some it REALLY matters.

Any flat ski can be an AT ski, the lighter the ski the better it will be for AT, light weight is neither good nor bad for skiing on lifts, it's preference.

I'd say if you Alpine ski a lot buy an alpine set-up, it will perform way better. Alpine Trekkers and skins will let you tour (sort of) if you want to try it. If you tour a lot and only ride lifts occasionaly, buy an AT set-up and use it for both. If you do both a lot you really need two set-ups.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Yes, there are downsides:

AT (randonne) gear is designed to be light and allow touring, this means moving parts made out of light materials. Flex is an issue with most AT bindings, stand height is an issue (for some) with AT bindings, safety can be an issue. Oh... and they cost WAY more.

AT boots don't fit or perform like high performance Alpine boots, not an issue for many people, but for some it REALLY matters.

Any flat ski can be an AT ski, the lighter the ski the better it will be for AT, light weight is neither good nor bad for skiing on lifts, it's preference.

I'd say if you Alpine ski a lot buy an alpine set-up, it will perform way better. Alpine Trekkers and skins will let you tour (sort of) if you want to try it. If you tour a lot and only ride lifts occasionaly, buy an AT set-up and use it for both. If you do both a lot you really need two set-ups.
What???

I have been skiing in and out of bounds on AT gear since the mid-80's, and I have never had any problems with skiing AT gear.

Once again, its not the gear, its the skier's ablity.....
post #7 of 16
I agree, it is the skier. He didn't ask 'will it work', he asked 'are there downsides'.

Are there 'downsides' to randonne??? Yes, the bindings are raised off the ski and they flex (there are downsides to EVERYTHING).

Can they be overcome, or lived with? Yes, learn to ski smooth and easy, don't catch air, don't ski agressive.

Do AT bindings meet TUV standards for alpine bindings? No, the standards for AT are much easier to pass.

wanna keep playing?
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Can they be overcome, or lived with? Yes, learn to ski smooth and easy, don't catch air, don't ski agressive.?
I retired my alpine gear about 3 years ago and have been skiing resorts (50%) with my AT gear. I find them lighter, warmer and much more comfortable for all day skiing or skinning. I am also concerned about not releasing when needed; but so far I have not had any problems. As I get older I do ski less aggressively and hunt for powder.
post #9 of 16
I've skied for about 5 years with my AT bindings in all kinds of conditions, terrain, aggressiveness, etc. But you need to discover their limits and realize their is clearly a performance difference and limitation between them and performance alpine gear. At high speeds on steep and hard surfaces I get very concerned on my AT and with alpine gear the concern is gone, confidence is up and performance is substantially better. In powder and crud, other than occassional ejections, I love my AT stuff as it's very light, when the snow gets more dense and in bumps it's just better on alpine gear.

I bought DIN compatible AT boots so I could switch back and forth between alpine and AT bindings/skis. Love the lightweight boots with walk mode and in my mind no performance hit for my purposes. Limited BC is part of the mix, not the priority these days.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post

Once again, its not the gear, its the skier's ablity.....
or it could also just be the skiers personal preference.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
wanna keep playing?

LMAOROF....

I'll pass and let you play the expert on TV.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariov View Post
Having to buy new alpine skis, I would like the flexibility to use them for some occasional mountaineering trips.
If I buy randonee, are there downsides in using them locked on normal ski resorts?
Thanks
The Freerides do have considerable lift, and they don't hang on to my Nordica Doberman alpine boots very well. And yes, they have some some lateral play that alpine bindings don't allow.

I have skied the Marker Dukes with the same alpine boots and they seemed to work well. There was still a little lateral slop, but much less than the Freerides, and they didn't have any trouble with the boots. They still have considerable lift, but I didn't find that to be a problem. The bindings were mounted on a pair of Volkl Mantra skis (alpine ski, 96mm waist).

For "occasional" touring, the Duke, as expensive and heavy as it is, might make a reasonable compromise.
post #13 of 16
If you are charging the area and skiing hard, your AT stuff will only hold you back. The boots and skis are not as high performance as alpine gear and will not last as long. Especially if you like to ski hard bumps!
post #14 of 16
I've done a lot of patrolling on AT gear. Works fine. Wouldn't want to use it for a race.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
I've done a lot of patrolling on AT gear. Works fine. Wouldn't want to use it for a race.
I can think of at least one race coach who wears them though. Beats Alpine boots for standing around all day and climbing up and down to set courses.
post #16 of 16

....under 200lbs...AT boots great...(with tweaks)

I love my Endorphins(Garmont) and Spirit 4s(Scarpa). Both, with fit-tweaking(for my narrow heel/wide forefoot shape), are terrific anywhere...but I can be found, for the most part, taking bpratl's avenues for a ski day...plus steeps...anywhere. The two mentioned AT boots are terrific laterally as well as fore/aft...imo. I would, however, like to see the Endorphin's plastic thickened on the bottom(for additional warmth)...as well as interchangeable soles on the Spirit 4s(like the Endorphin). But of course I'd like to see the alpine sole change/morph;-), via switch, into the Vibram sole...somehow;-);-).
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