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Backcountry Gear for Maximum Downhill Performance

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

New to the forums here and semi-new to backcountry skiing. 
After in-bounds skiing in New England my whole life I've sorta exhausted the challenges resort skiing can offer around here.  Not trying to brag here but I'm a young expert skier and I like it real steep and fast, and wouldn't mind getting some fresh tracks on occasion.
I get up to Tucks once or twice a year but just strap skis and boots to the pack and hoof it up which blows.
I want to explore the BC around here this season and am looking into an AT set-up.
The caveat: I want as little compromise in the downhill performance as possible.
I want a capable uphill setup but am willing to slog some extra weight.

So, which boots/binding combo would you advise for this?
From what I can tell for bindings the Marker Dukes are pretty burly but I'm worried about boots being too soft.
Another thread on this forum had a recommendation for the Dynafit Titans. Are they worth the price tag or is there something cheaper that can stand up to hard charging?

I know about Alpine Trekkers which make sense as far as being able to bring my alpine boots (which I love) and bindings into the BC but they look like they suck for anything other than slacker sidecountry which we don't have too much of around here.

Advice please! TIA

-Max
post #2 of 9
You can tour in an alpine boot if it fits well enough to avoid hot spots. That is all my brother uses and he tours as much, if not more, than he skis the resorts. They take crampons when you need them and work just fine with any AT binding.

I got Trekkers this year ($10.00 at garage sale. Woo Hoo!) as I may have to give up tele due to a foot problem; only time will tell. I'm looking forward to having my whole quiver to choose from. I don't tour that much, so I don't feel the weight will be a huge penalty. I do know that the Trekkers will stand up to a 190 pound agressive skier like my bro, as he has used them all over Mt. Washington in the past.

MR
post #3 of 9
 Trekkers don't need to stand up, because they don't get skied on.  They are for the tour only.  I never liked them for the weight and how high they put you off the ski.  You will use skins way more than you will use crampons.  At least ski crampons.  I think the OP would like the Duke with his "well fitted?" alpine boots.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxpower2008 View Post

I know about Alpine Trekkers which make sense as far as being able to bring my alpine boots (which I love) and bindings into the BC but they look like they suck for anything other than slacker sidecountry which we don't have too much of around here.
 

Just to be clear, you know that you can ski the Dukes with Apline boots, right? I do all of my "touring" in Doberman 150s. Far from ideal on the up parts, but fun on the down parts.
post #5 of 9
I have some Barons, same as the Duke with a lighter spring.  They are an adequate tour binding, & a pretty bomber alpine binding.  Sounds like these would suit you well.  As has been mentioned, alpine boots will work with most AT bindings that I know of except Dynafit.  I also have a pair of Fritschi Freerides & although I've never had any problems, I am pretty gentle with them.  Most AT boots I have tried really lack the performance you may like.  The nice thing is that they are a lot lighter & comfortable for hiking.  A rockered sole is a big plus when hiking.  Like Epic, I have only used my stiff race boots with the Barons, but never for more than an hour of skinning.  I am much happier with AT boots for longer tours.  Like MR says, I think if you make sure your alpine boots fit well it will pay in downhill performance for you.  You can always add different boots later when you find the need.

Remember, snow safety & avalanche awareness is an important pre-requisite to backcountry skiing!

Have fun,
JF

Also, rocker soled boots with vibram soles will not work well with alpine bindings.
post #6 of 9
Here's a good resource for comparative flexes of AT boots:
http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78437
post #7 of 9
Dukes or Freeride+'s (which really aren't as wimpy as people say they are) with your alpine boots. Trekkers are ok for the first few trips to see if you like bc skiing, but they completely suck compared to real AT binders.

If you have the $$$ go Dynafit - many of the boots that fit this system are pretty performance oriented. Then again, I like really soft boots.
post #8 of 9
 You can do a lot to improve the performance of your AT boots by spending some time with a competent bootfitter wise in the ways of AT boots.  Not all are.

Steve at Christy Sports in Snowbird is one of the few.  He set me up with Zipfits in my Scarpa boots and increased the downhill performance radically with *very* little sacrifice in uphill performance.

They're not anywhere near the performance capability of my in-bound boots, but then I don't have to push that much weight uphill, either.  
post #9 of 9
Trekkers were great in the early 90's when just about all the AT bindings sucked. But their time has passed.  I never really liked my Freerides.  Ok ob, but I didn't like the stand height and don't think they would last me a week inbounds.  I have Dukes on XXL's as my travel ski and they have held up real well and ski about the same as most alpine binders.
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