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Need Help figuring out my AT Setup

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ive been Skiing Stockli Stormriders (178) alpine setup with Atomic Alpine boots. Ive been doing much more backcountry and side country skiing. i'll probably spend 50% of my time off piste in bounds, 25% side country (<=1hr hike/skin from a lift) and 25% Backcountry. Im eyeballing a either Fritchi Freeride plus bindings or The Duke. Also my boots are shot so i want to invest in 700-800 in boots and i need a 1 pair of boots quiver, im looking at the new Garmont Raduim boots, But was thinking something a little bit stiffer might be better since im only doing the BC for the downhill. Also, the Stormriders seem to be tough in the trees, I have a cheap pair of rossi 162 i use for rock/in bound tree skiing and they handle 100% better than the Stockli in the tight stuff (though they rage when you pop out of the tight trees). Any suggestions on a Ski? Im sort of a Stockli fan, i was sold on them the 1st day i skied them. Im looking for a one size fits all setup here, seeing that Im going to spend around 2000 bucks on it. Thanks.
post #2 of 13
Scarpa Tornado Pro does it for me. I realized I just wasn't using any other boots much. They are stiff enough for racing skis on ice, and the hinge offers some decent movement.
post #3 of 13
Given that you are walking uphill 25% of the time, you'd benefit greatly from a boot with a walk mode; but touring is not your big thing, so yyou could take a very burly boot so long as it walks.

As with all boots, fit is the key. If you have a low volume foot, like I do, look at Garmonts. The Garmont Axon and Endorphin are both rated a 130 flex and have full walk mode. All reviews on those boots have been stellar. That new Radium is not quite as burly, and as I understand the reviews, it incorporates a different design than the others that is supposed to walk better. I've had a pair of 3-buckle Garmont for 4 years that tour great and also are more than adequate to push around larger planks on deep snow days inbounds. I'll be springing for some new 4 buckle garmonts this year, for that extra performance. For higher volume feet, Scarpa makes comparable models and again, people who ski them seem to uniformly like them.

As for bindings, Marker is supposedly coming out with a lighter weight version of the Duke.

Skis, Volkl makes BC specific (ie, lighter weight) versions of a couple of their top freeride boards, typically giving you about 80 and about 90 underfoot. BD also makes both BC specific and ligher weight freeride boards that many use in the backcountry. Bonus on the BDs, they are typically 200-300 bucks cheaper than the competitors--enough to pay for a set of Markers.
post #4 of 13
FWIW Axons and Endorphins both flex around 90 - not more. They are way softer than you would think. The Shaman flexes around 120 but hasn't got walking mode, only the interchangeable boot sole.

What is your definition of backcountry? How much verts on the ascents? Multi-day tours with large backpack? Climbing involved?
Please enlarge for proper rec.

Dukes and Freerides are entirely different animals for different purpose, beef- and weightwise. Dukes fit the bill for the first 75% of your skiing. Likely not for the remaining 25%.
post #5 of 13


Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
FWIW Axons and Endorphins both flex around 90 - not more. .
where do you get that info?
post #6 of 13
I use a pair of Garmont Endorphins for work boots. I weigh 150lbs and I can easily flex the boots. Boot flex varies between all AT boots (e.g., difficult to compare Scarpa and Garmont with similar flex - they are still different). Compared to my Lange WC boots, the Garmont boots are quite soft. Still, some v. good skiers use Stocki skis with Garmont Endorphins boots and Fritchi bindings. FYI, on hardpack, these bindings flex laterally quite a bit - in the backcountry it makes little difference (at least to me). In the end, try the boots on for fit - scarpa, BD, garmont and dynafit all have different fits.
post #7 of 13
Will only comment on skis: Stockli makes some very nice AT skis, if you want to stick with them. Otherwise, depends on your mission.

1) If you are more about postholing up to near ridges/peaks, walking to OB chutes and such within visual range of the lifts, not doing a bunch of breaking trail in skins, would recommend something beefy, light, and wide, like a Movement Goliath or a BD Verdict. Think the top of Jackson on a nice day at first lift, lines of locals taking off.

2) If you are more about skinning up side ridges, over the back ropes etc. so you can work your way through virgin glades back to a lift, ending up walking a a ways, I'd think hard about either a Mantra or the AT all wood version. Think country around Vail or leaving Squaw. Actually, the Mantra's surprisingly light, and superb at weaving in and out of tight spots in weird snow. Some less afluent AT guys I know use these rather than AT specifics because of the crossover versatility. Not my choice for speed in steeps, though. The Head Monster 95's look promising for this too, don't know of any feedback.

3) If you are more about actually getting several km away, spending the whole day (or several) in deeper snow, maybe ending up climbing a face, then IMO you should be thinking about some of the dedicated Atomic, Karhu, Stockli, or BD AT skis in the low-mid 80's. Wider than that and you'll be pushing half the slope ahead of you each step...
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by JW View Post
where do you get that info?

Tried the Endorphines on myself - they aren't any stiffer than my old '90s Nordica AT boots which was a disappointment for me. Only difference to the Axons is the lacking Dynafit compatibility. Ended up with the Shamans which are really stiff animals.

The figures in the thread above seem very accurate to me.
post #9 of 13

Garmont Endorphins as 90 flex

Interesting thread you link to powhog, but I thought you were going to cite me to some objective flex testing of AT boots, which would be very useful to have. Otherwise, we have to rely on the manufacturer's flex rating, or on some guy on TGR who compares every AT boot he can stick his foot into to his old Salomon alpine boots, which he says are 90 flex, and then he assigns a flex # to the boot, depending on how it feels to him. Obviously, this is not exactly objective testing, and in any event, comparing an alpine WC boot to an AT boot doesn't tell you much. One boot is hinged and walks, one doesn't. One is built to reduce weight, one has no regard for weight. One is for hard snow, one for pow. They will not flex similarly. Apples and oranges.

Someone moving from an alpine boot to an AT boot needs to find the boot that fits him best, and within that line, select as much flex and weight as he feels he needs. For a Garmont foot, is there a stiffer flexing AT boot that walks? Stiffer than Endorphin/Axon that is? Shaman does not walk; its an alpine boot.

In any event, the guy who started this thread is in an Atomic alpine boot, which tend to be fuller volume boots, so not sure Garmont is going to be his ticket anyway. He may end up in Scarpas.
post #10 of 13
If you think the 130 flex on the Endorphines is more objective solely because it's manufacturer based that's fine, although definitely off in this particular case. I for myself rather tend to trust people with experience gained out in the field by use of that particular equipment than a maybe marketing driven producer's rating. Especially when finding out myself those comparison of the Garmots to other boots being pretty close.

FWIW the Shaman is a hybrid boot with the interchangeeable sole, pretty downhill performance orientated and not suitable for climbing rock.

However the very last thing I'm gonna do is speculate what the thread starter might end up in since so far he/she hasn't specified what he/she will mostly be doing in the backcountry.
post #11 of 13
I sell Garmonts and race boots as well. If we assume some similarity between flexes from manufacturer to manufacturer if the Endorphins are a 130 flex then we should change WC flex to 200 instead of 150.

post #12 of 13
My comments about AT boots come from personal experience and from on-hill discussions with other skiers that use Garmont Endorphins. Prior to Endorphins, I used Garmont Megarides (my current touring boot). The Endorphins were a substantial step up w/regard to flex, but they are still AT boots. Again, no flex numbers, but the flex is way softer than my Lange WC plug boots (no surprise here). I modified my Endorphin liners and swapped out the garmont power strap with a booster strap. This has also helped with control.

I suspect in 2008-2009, there are new AT boots that have a stiffer flex.
post #13 of 13
Agreed hence my comments. Axon and Endor are nowhere near the 130 flex of a WC boot.

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